Macon, Georgia is the fourth largest city in the state, with a metro population of approximately 150,000. Known as a “college town,” Macon is home to Mercer University, Middle Georgia State University, and Central Georgia Technical College. The city is located in the center of Georgia, about 90 miles south of Atlanta. Famed residents include Lena Horne, Otis Redding, and James Brown, among others.
Macon Georgia’s historic downtown features a variety of architectural styles. The town’s Greek Revival-style houses, in particular, contrast sharply with the simple frame homes that Black residents called “shotgun” houses. Intown and Vineville are also notable for their varying architectural styles, with Greek revival and Italianate predominating. Macon Georgia’s historic architecture is also varied, with many religious influences visible.
There are many things to do in Macon, including visiting the town’s numerous museums and cultural centers. The Macon Museum of Art and Science features an interactive, educational, and hands-on museum experience. Families can also take a self-guided tour of the museum to learn about the various exhibits. If you have children, check out the Museum of Arts and Sciences, which is a hidden gem in Macon. Its four galleries feature a variety of art and science exhibits, as well as hands-on activities.
There are more churches in Macon than in any other city in the South. Because it is located in the middle of Georgia’s transportation corridors, religious life has long been a central part of the community. Early churches in the area included the Episcopalians, Baptists, and Presbyterians, as well as a Christian denomination. The city was also founded as a county seat in 1823, and was given its formal name of Macon in the same year.
The town was saved during the Civil War when Union General George Stoneman almost defeated it. Because it was connected by a single bridge, it was easy to defend. The city’s rich history is evident in its Victorian and Greek revival homes. Today, Macon is a diverse and thriving cultural center with an exciting music heritage. In addition to manufacturing and aerospace, Macon also benefits from agriculture. Its State Farmers Market offers the freshest peaches, peanuts, and vegetables in the Middle Georgia region.
The Cherry Blossom Festival draws throngs during March. The Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, established in the 1930s, preserves and interprets the mounds. Year-round activities and events take place in the park. Live music and performing arts are also common in the area. And, as the city is home to several other parks, Macon is a cultural hub that is well worth a visit.
Macon’s Grand Opera House is one of the best-known historical buildings in Georgia. Built in 1884, the theater has been home to such notable performers as George Burns, Charlie Chaplin, Sarah Bernhardt, and Harry Houdini. The historic structure lasted despite plans to demolish it. Today, the Grand Opera House is an important cornerstone of the Macon arts community, as the Mercer University stages productions here.