Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Macon, GA

  • Published 2023/01/17

Macon is a must-visit city with beautiful architecture and unique history.

The Ocmulgee National Monument tells stories about the land’s native people, while pretty pieces like the Cannonball House and the Hay House tell what Macon has gone through in the past.

Want to know something even more exciting?

You can visit the home of the incredible Allman Brothers Band.

Some of the members are even buried in the historic cemetery of Macon.

There is a lot to see and enjoy at Macon, making it a destination worth adding to your bucket list.

Here are the 20 best things to do in Macon, Georgia:

Learn about Native American Culture at Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park

Entrance of an earthwork at Ocmulgee National Monument

Jeffrey M. Frank /

Are you interested to know more about Native American culture and history?

There are a lot of areas to explore in the city, as Macon is filled with native history.

The Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park is one of those places.

Landscape of Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park

EWY Media /

You’ll find some things over 10,000 years old at the park.

You could probably even spot artifacts that date back to 1000 C.E. since the native Americans inhabited these South Appalachian regions for the longest period.

The museum inside really tells you everything about the past.

A walkway leading to a mound at Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park

Joseph Creamer /

Admire The Hay House

Exterior of the Hay House

Doug Nurnberger /

The Johnston-Felton-Hay House, commonly known as the Hay House, is a must-visit in Macon.

Located along the iconic Georgia Avenue, the historic mansion is considered a National Historic Landmark.

Steps leading to the entrance of Hay House

Jeffrey M. Frank /

With its Italian Renaissance Revival architecture and impressive interiors, the Hay House attracts many people visiting Macon.

With 18,000 square feet, you’ll need about an hour to explore the entire house.

Entrance doors of Hay House

Artazum /

Visit Rose Hill Cemetery

Entrance arch of Rose Hill Cemetery

Saginaw-hitchhiker, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit one of the most blissful cemeteries in the city: Rose Hill Cemetery.

This cemetery brings in a lot of visitors every day.

The Allman Brothers Band loved this cemetery and spent most of their time writing songs.

A family grave plot at Rose Hill Cemetery

Infrogmation, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is the resting place of some of the most important people of Georgia, as well as guitarist Duane Allman and bass player Berry Oakley.

Its beautiful location also attracts tourists.

Ocmulgee River, which flows nearby, adds to its beauty.

Tall headstones at Rose Hill Cemetery

Infrogmation, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check Out the Allman Brothers Band Museum

Duane Allman Bedroom in Allman Brothers Band Museum

Jud McCranie, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Allman Brothers Band Museum is one of the top places you must check out here in Macon.

From 1970 to 1973, the house witnessed the band members, their families, and friends.

Exterior of the Allman Brothers Band Museum

Jud McCranie, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Now, the museum houses a lot of memorabilia, such as their released and unreleased songs, handwritten notes, and the instruments they played.

You can still buy some of their merch and DVDs in the museum gift shop.

History plaque of the Allman Brothers Band Museum

Infrogmation, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn about African American History at the Tubman Museum

Side exterior of the Tubman Museum

Doug Nurnberger /

Macon has a rich past in the African American community, so much so that a museum was built to preserve its heritage.

The Tubman Museum speaks all about African American history.

It has become an icon for the city, with many tales to share with tourists.

Front exterior of the Tubman Museum

Doug Nurnberger /

Not only will you see some of the best folklore displayed gracefully, but you will also come across several paintings and other forms of art that represent Macon’s very talented African American communities.

This art collection is said to be one of Georgia’s very best.

Enjoy the Peace at Amerson River Park

Pond at Amerson River Park

Kat Heesh /

The Ocmulgee River is something that you need to enjoy once you are in Macon.

The views are out of this world and some of the best you’ll see on vacation.

Amerson River Park is where you get the best views of the river.

Entrance archway of Amerson River Park

Kehli.west, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The park is a multi-million dollar government venture that aims to show people what they’re missing out on.

It also has some of the best landscapes suited for picnics.

You can go boating in the river, have a picnic, and enjoy the sunset.

The porter pavilion of Amerson River Park

Kehli.west, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Step into History at the Cannonball House

Exterior of the Cannonball House

Blastoids, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Cannonball House house has quite a unique history.

During the Civil War, this house was almost damaged by a cannonball in 1864.

You can see the original cannon from which the shot was made, as it’s located just outside the house’s gates.

Name sign of the Cannonball House

Kvvirginialee, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The house itself was constructed in the Greek Revival style, and after many renovations and remodeling, the authorities were able to return it to its previous glory.

You can see a lot of original pieces of furniture inside, most of them over 200 years old.

History marker of the Cannonball House

Kvvirginialee, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy the Ocmulgee River Trail

The Ocmulgee River Trail is something that attracts visitors from far and wide.

The trail is lengthy, scenic, and overall stunning.

What makes it even more beautiful is that it goes through a forest, so you can paddle to the shore, step out of your boat, and rest for a while.

You can even explore unknown lands.

When venturing from Macon, you might find the route easier as the rapids are only marked as Level 1.

The length is almost 200 miles.

There are even camping options along the way.

Go Back in Time at Fort Hawkins

Statue of Benjamin Hawkins in Fort Hawkins

Dsdugan, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

While many attractions in Macon focus on Native American communities, Fort Hawkins will take you back to Creek Nation as it was built during that period.

It was constructed in the 1800s, and thousands of people still flock to the site.

The government made use of this fort for a long time.

The Muskogee Creek Nation also used it as a burial ground for their deceased.

Go Thrift Shopping at Smiley’s Flea Market

If you like thrifting instead of buying costly items from malls, you’re in for a treat.

In Macon, Smiley’s Flea Market lets shopaholics indulge in good shopping at an affordable rate.

Smiley’s Flea Market has locations across three destinations in the U.S.

When you’re in Macon, you need to check it out.

Not only does it have some of the best items of clothing at a super cheap rate, but the styles are excellent, too.

Are you looking for some gifts or souvenirs?

Smiley’s Flea Market has got your back.

Pray at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

Exterior of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

Andy Coan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

St. Joseph Catholic Church is one of the most exotic structures in Macon.

It’s not every day you witness something this stunning.

The building is made in a neo-gothic design and is quite old.

Its construction dates back to the 1800s.

Stunning view of the St. Joseph's Catholic Church from the bottom, up

NatalieSchorr /

The classic stained glass windows around the church make the interiors look even more aesthetically pleasing.

St. Joseph Catholic Church was built when Catholicism was not so popular in the area.

It played an essential role in attracting more people to the religion.

Top details of St. Joseph's Catholic Church

NatalieSchorr /

Enjoy the International Cherry Blossom Festival

Beautiful cherry blossom trees during International Cherry Blossom Festival

Sean Pavone /

Cherry blossoms, or sakura as they’re called in Japanese, are some of the prettiest things in the world.

You don’t need to visit the streets of Japan to witness such beauty, as Macon has the complete package just for you.

Drummer of a marching band during the International Cherry Blossom Festival

Wendy Moore Photography /

Macon holds the International Cherry Blossom Festival every March to celebrate the beauty of cherry blossoms when they are blooming.

The streets are lined with cherry blossom trees, boasting the flowers’ light pink color.

Go Swimming at Lake Tobesofkee

The calm waters of Lake Tobesofkee

Light-jet pilot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you happen to be in Macon for the summer, you must visit Lake Tobesofkee.

This reservoir is one of the top attractions in all of Macon.

The best part about this place is that you can set up a camp and spend a night in nature.

There are parks all around the lake, so there is no shortage of fun activities to participate in once you are here.

Try swimming in Lake Tobesofkee’s clear waters, too.

Learn While Exploring the Museum of Arts and Sciences

Exterior of the Museum of Arts and Sciences

Harrison Jones, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Museum of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1956.

Since then, it has hosted various exhibitions, including the Discovery House, Mini-Zoo, and American Impressionism.

If it’s rainy or freezing outside, this museum is an excellent place to spend an hour or two.

The Discovery House, which has exhibitions on science, humanities, and the arts, is a great place to spend some time while visiting the museum.

Mar Smith planetarium in Museum of Arts and Sciences

Harrison Jones, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Don’t forget to visit the Mini-Zoo exhibit inside the museum and see over 70 live creatures.

It offers several educational programs in its auditorium and classrooms, including those for schools and the general public.

On your way out, grab something from the museum shop, which offers a wide range of products relating to the arts and sciences.

Gesturing woman art in Museum of Arts and Sciences

Harrison Jones, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See the Record-Breaking Collection of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

With a floor area of 43,000 square feet, this is the vastest state-level sports hall of fame in the United States.

Besides the hall of fame, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame has exhibits devoted to different levels of sports, from high school to college to professional and Olympic and Paralympic sports.

Georgia Sports History Great Moments is a separate display.

The museum’s interactive exhibits include a basketball and football game, a NASCAR simulator, and a NASCAR race simulator.

The stadium is a magnificent, turn-of-the-century ballpark with a typical green roof and red-brick front.

Celebrate Culture at Ocmulgee Indian Celebration

This event is one of Macon’s most popular tourist attractions because it honors Native American culture and heritage.

Ocmulgee Indian Celebration is a must-attend whether you reside in the region or are passing through.

It provides an excellent chance to learn about and respect Native American culture while having fun.

In addition, if you’re looking for low-cost activities around you but still want to have a good time, attending this festival is a terrific choice.

Listen to music, dance, dine, and even play games at this yearly event, attracting thousands of visitors.

Appreciate a Performance at the Grand Opera House

Exterior of the Grand Opera House

Rheave, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Grand Opera House, a thriving community assembly, offers immediate access to all Macon-Bibb County residents.

Its goal is to promote an appreciation of the arts among all Central Georgians by drawing attention to top-notch performances and providing opportunities for visitors to see up close and personal a priceless architectural heritage that captures 116 years of Macon’s history.

Numerous choices are available for special events at the Grand Opera House, including on-stage marriages, anniversaries, cocktail hours, and birthday celebrations.

The SouthState Reception Room and the modest Encore Room are both accessible for special events in addition to the theater.

These lobby rooms make for incredibly unforgettable event locations given to their two full bars, expansive windows facing Mulberry Street, and majestic décor.

Venture Towards History with Rock Candy Tours

A guided tour business called Rock Candy Tours focuses on displaying the spirit and heritage of Macon, Georgia’s illustrious musical past.

Rock Candy Tours was founded to honor, preserve, protect, and outright showcase several of the most unique and colorful locations in the South with family histories and thorough research.

Rock Candy Tours gives weekly guided public trips and specially designed private guided tours for groups of any size.

They also conduct guided tours of Central Macon, exploring all about food, alcohol, and ghosts.

View the residences, workplaces, crash pads, and favorite hangouts of some of the most illustrious figures in southern music, along with the supporting cast of figures that were essential to their rise to success.

Take on a Water Adventure with Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions

The original and sole independently operated canoe and kayak rental company on the Ocmulgee River in Middle Georgia is called Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions.

Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions focuses on the 40 miles from just beneath the Lake Jackson dam to Macon and provides a variety of tours with various tones.

Although trips are picked with novice paddlers in mind, both experienced and new paddlers will enjoy it.

They feature a range of outings ideal for inexperienced and seasoned paddlers and shuttle services for people who already own boats.

Custom tours for both small and big groups are readily available.

Prepare to be Entertained at Macon Coliseum

It was the first building of its sort and scale in Georgia when it was constructed in 1968 and had its most recent renovation in 2015.

It has hosted packed houses for greats like Elvis Presley, Billy Joel, and other well-known figures.

The 9,000-seat Macon Coliseum serves as the entertainment hub for Macon and the neighboring 30 counties in Middle Georgia.

It is the ideal location for many events, including conferences and trade exhibitions, sports, ice shows, circuses, and other athletic or entertainment events.

Explore The Coliseums’ 7,068 square foot meeting/banquet space, paved and lit parking lot, and many more amenities.

They guarantee you will enjoy your time with them while providing their fans with the greatest entertainment.

Admire the Talents of the Performers at Macon Little Theatre

Macon Little Theatre is the Southeast’s oldest and longest-running community theater of the same name.

The performance of Hay Fever on March 14, 1934, marked the theater’s grand opening to the general public.

Local visual artists contributed to the set and costume decoration while local performers showcased their skills.

Macon Little Theatre became the place to be seen, with 200 founding members and sold-out performances.

Using demitasse glasses to serve coffee during intermission is an example of Macon Little Theatre’s traditions.

Since then, several cups still in use nowadays have been around, upholding this distinctive, old custom.

Final Thoughts

Experience Macon’s rich history and culture with several museums, festivals, and historic buildings and structures.

If you’re looking for a city that offers a wide range of entertainment options, this is the place to be.

Plan your next vacation to Macon today and see what makes it unique!

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