Macon: Where the Spirit of Soul Lives

Photo by  Marsha Brockman

Are you in the mood for a day trip or weekend getaway? If you’re stationed at Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield or Fort Benning, the perfect destination is just two hours away. It's especially amazing if you're a foodie, music lover or craft beer aficionado. Read on to learn more about Macon, Ga.: The country town where the spirit of soul lives.

Even though Macon is Georgia’s fourth largest city — behind Atlanta, Columbus and Augusta — it still has a small town feel. With its soulful kitchens and contemporary craft beer breweries, Macon is a culinary gem. Plus, it has a wealth of history, site-seeing attractions and an awesome music scene.

Craft Beer Crawl

If you're on a craft beer quest, Ocmulgee Brewpub should be your first stop. Named after the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds (pronounced “oak-mull-gee”), this local joint brews its own beer and sells local favorites. Order “The Sampler” to try all six seasonal beers on tap. Want some chow along with your beer? Choose any delectable dish from their artesian menu—everything is delicious.

Right and Up Tip: Try Ocmulgee Brewpub's hand-cut fries tossed in parmesan cheese and white truffle oil. Ask for the white truffle aioli sauce on the side.

The Macon Beer Company opens its doors twice a week so the public can enjoy its craft beer. Drop by the Tasting Room and Beer Garden on Thursday evening or Saturday afternoon for brewery tours, beer tasting, or just to hang out and have one-of-a-kind beer.

Just Tap’d is a modern tavern featuring craft beer and good eats. Located in the heart of downtown Macon, it serves a robust selection of regional craft beers on tap. Try to catch one of their trivia nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Soul Food Sensations

For the foodies who plan trips based around the local cuisine, Macon's soul food selection is sure to satisfy.

The Rookery, established in 1976, is a local favorite for good reasons. Situated in the heart of Macon, The Rookery is famous for their delicious Allman Burgers and Jimmy Carter shakes.

If you'd rather have a more elegant option, try The Rookery's sister restaurant, Dovetail. Located directly upstairs from its laid back predecesor, Dovetail opened in 2012. This chic, lodge-inspired soul food fusion eatery is perfect for those who enjoy unique hand-crafted dishes inspired by seasonable availability. In addition to its amazing dinners, Dovetail serves an incredible Sunday morning brunch from 11am to 2pm.

Right and Up Tip: Make reservations at Dovetail through OpenTable.

Music Scene

Photo by  William Haun

Photo by William Haun

Macon is the home of several music legends including Otis Redding, Little Richard, Allman Brothers Band and more. Because of that, Macon is a must-visit for anyone who likes learning the history of their favorite artists.

The recently renovated Douglass Theatre hosted performances by Ray Charles and James Brown, and it is now open for shows and museum tours.

Allman Brothers Band fans from far and wide go to Macon to check out The Big House Museum since it has the largest collection of the band's memorabilia. As a result, it is the No. 1 tourist destination in Macon.

Macon's history is enriched with music legends, but it's also a hot spot for up-and-coming artists. Venues lend their stages to local musicians who keep the soul of Macon alive with live performances. There's almost always a great band or singer to check out every weekend. View The Rookery, The Hummingbird Stage and Taproom and Cox Capitol Theatre calendars for upcoming performances.

Macon's stunning Grand Opera House has a jam-packed events calendar featuring broadway shows, comedians, bands and more. Visit its website to view the calendar and purchase tickets online.

History

Photo by  Kitto1975

Photo by Kitto1975

Take a break from the city and learn more about the area by visiting Ocmulgee National Monument. History buffs may know that Central Georgia was the heart of the Creek Indian territory during the 18th century. The Creek Indians, as well as their predecessors from the late Mississippian period, constructed large earthen mounds for religious, ceremonial and burial purposes. One of the original earthworks can be found here.

Located just five minutes away from downtown Macon, this beautifully preserved national park has several original and replica Mississippian-era constructions. Plus, it has an educational museum (admission is free!). And as a bonus, while you're exploring the rich history, you'll get some serious wilderness therapy by exploring the park’s six miles of well-maintained outdoor trails.

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about the author

Liz Brunette is an active duty Captain in the United States Army. She is a 2012 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science. She is an avid reader, writer, photographer, and all-around unapologetic adventurer! Her most recent assignments were in Vicenza, Italy with the 173rd Infantry Brigade (Airborne) and the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. She is currently stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia in the 3rd Infantry Division. She absolutely loves being stationed in the South and experiencing all that Savannah and the rest of the “low country” has to offer!