Are you looking for the best things to do in Macon, Georgia? Look no further! Our list will take you through the best attractions and activities Macon has to offer.
Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in Macon’s rich history, explore the great outdoors, or enjoy the vast arts and entertainment scene, there is a site on this list for you. Take in the famous Macon music scene, peek in one of the many well-preserved historic homes, and enjoy locally brewed beer, all while getting to know the best that Macon has to offer.
Many locations on our list are located in downtown Macon, so it’s easy to check out multiple destinations in a day. Put on your walking shoes, and get out there to explore exciting Macon!
14 Best Things To Do In Macon, Georgia You Shouldn’t Miss
Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park
To step back in time and celebrate the prehistoric lands of many different indigenous people of the Macon area, you shouldn’t miss a visit to Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park. It also makes our list for one of the coolest national parks in Georgia! People first settled this area during the Ice Age, and around 900 CE the mounds that are on view today were constructed for different ceremonial purposes. Because of its rich cultural history, Ocmulgee Mounds is one of the best things to do in Macon!
Begin your visit at the Earth Lodge, featuring a 1,000-year-old clay floor. This structure was a place for warriors in the tribe to gather before battle, so entrance into this mound was likely limited to male tribal members only. Visitors can also visit the Funeral Mound, which was built as a place of burial for important members of the tribe, and the Great Temple Mound Complex, which features the two tallest mounds in the park. These mounds are where the tribal chief would have lived in the Mississippian Period.
In addition to the amazing mounds on view, the park hosts eight miles of trails, winding around the historical sites and taking guests through surrounding forests and wetlands – a great opportunity to view the local wildlife! The park is open year-round, and admission is free. If the park is hosting a special event, like the Ocmulgee Indian Celebration in September, guests will need to purchase a ticket to participate.
See the Cherry Blossoms
If you’re visiting Macon in the spring, viewing the gorgeous cherry blossoms is an absolute must-do! Macon hosts an annual Cherry Blossom Festival in March when the blossoms are in peak bloom, but the beautiful trees are on display throughout the city in the spring – this is definitely one of the most quintessential Macon attractions that shouldn’t be missed!
The Cherry Blossom Festival is about celebrating the beauty in Macon and bringing the community together. Past festival events have included a wiener dog race, a bed race, parades, a food truck frenzy, and hot air balloons taking flight above the gorgeous blossoms.
If you want to skip the big festivities, a driving tour is available taking visitors through the best cherry blossom viewing areas around Macon. You can enjoy the spectacular scenic landscapes from the comfort of your car!
Museum of Arts and Sciences
One of the best things to do in Macon with kids, the Museum of Arts and Sciences showcases so many permanent and traveling exhibitions, there will always be something new to explore. Introducing guests to fine art and scientific wonders, there is so much to see on a visit here.
There are many sculptural and painted works highlighted throughout the museum for guests to view – both indoors and out! Your first stop should be The Discovery House, which features three floors of interactive exhibits – The Artist’s Garret, where you can make your own art, The Humanist’s Study, where archeological and natural wonders are on display, and the Scientist’s Workshop, where visitors can try out all kinds of cool scientific experiments.
Make sure to stop in to their Planetarium for a daily show all about the wonders of space and the world around us. Their schedule of traveling exhibitions and events is ever-changing, so make sure to check their website for schedules and times that coincide with your visit. The Museum of Arts and Sciences is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, and a standard ticket is $10.
The Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House
Macon is a city steeped in music history – Otis Redding, Little Richard, and the Allman Brothers have all called Macon home. To experience the joy and history of southern rock a trip to The Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House is one of the most fun things to do in Macon, GA!
The Big House actually housed the Allman Brothers for a time during their life in Macon. Now it has been converted into a music history and memorabilia museum celebrating the Allman Brothers’ musical legacy. The various rooms throughout the house feature different exhibits highlighting the band’s career. Posters, instruments, clothing, and hand-written lyrics are all on display to visitors. Guests can also see firsthand rooms where the band rehearsed, bedrooms that were used by band members, and the kitchen where “Ramblin’ Man” was written.
The museum is open Thursdays thru Sundays, and tickets can be purchased online.
Rose Hill Cemetery
Opened in 1840, and located along the banks of the Ocmulgee River, Rose Hill Cemetery is a beacon of history with many prominent Macon citizens being buried here at their final resting place. Rose Hill Cemetery is also notable as a hangout for members of the Allman Brothers Band, and many band members, including Duane and Gregg Allman, are buried here.
Rose Hill Cemetery was intended to function as a garden cemetery with elements of both a cemetery and a park. The cemetery is meant to be an inviting place for people to gather and celebrate the lives of the people buried there. Notable Maconites who are buried here include Senator Augustus Bacon, World War II spy John Birch, journalist and poet Harry Edwards, and Elizabeth Reed Napier, inspiration for the Allman Brothers song “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” among others.
The cemetery is open to visitors and can be viewed as part of a self-guided walking tour of Macon. Depending on the time of year of your visit, you might also catch the Rose Hill Ramble, a guided tour led by the Historic Macon Foundation. This hour-long tour takes visitors throughout the cemetery and focuses on the history and architecture of the site.
Formally known as the Johnson-Felton-Hay House, this historic home is one of Georgia’s most distinguished buildings. Hay House was built between 1855 and 1859 and features architecture in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, which was unique for the time period. Marvel at this gorgeous home, and witness the innovations that the home put in place during its construction.
The four-story building, upon completion in 1859, boasted hot and cold water, gas lighting, and central heat, all of which were special amenities for the time. Two families occupied the house during the period it was used as a single-family home, the Johnson family and the Hay family. When you visit, you will mostly see furnishings from the Hay family, who lived in the house from 1926 to 1962.
Visitors are invited to a guided tour that spans the first three levels of the house. Specialty tours like the Behind the Scenes Tour and the Legends and Lore Tour are available at select times. Make sure to check their website for more details. The museum is open Wednesdays through Sundays, and standard tickets are $13. This historic gem is certainly one of the most interesting things to do in Macon!
Celebrating African American art, history, and culture, the Tubman Museum is a can’t-miss Macon tourist attraction. The museum was founded in 1981 by Father Richard Keil, a pastor at Saint Peter Claver Catholic Church. His goal was to establish a museum in Georgia that honors African American history and culture, thus the Tubman Museum was born.
Guests are treated to a variety of permanent exhibitions on a trip to the Tubman Museum, which includes the mural From Africa to America, created between 1988 and 2009 depicting the African American journey from past to present. The Untold Stories exhibit features the histories of African Americans who have had a prominent impact on Macon, and Macon’s Music Heritage exhibit celebrates the rich history of Macon’s music scene, featuring the careers of performers like Otis Redding, James Brown, and Little Richard.
In addition to their permanent exhibits, the Tubman Museum is also host to many traveling exhibits and special events throughout the year. Make sure to check their schedule to see what is going on during your visit! The museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, and standard tickets are $10.
Grand Opera House
There is never a shortage of great performances happening at the Grand Opera House in Macon, so no matter when you visit you’re sure to catch a fantastic show!
The building began as Macon’s cultural arts hub, The Academy of Music, in 1884, before being rebuilt as the venue you can visit today in 1902. This version of the theatre featured an office tower and a large theatre. The inaugural performance in the new theatre was a production of Ben-Hur, showcasing a live horse race with treadmills onstage, a technological marvel at the time. The Grand has gone through many different stages of use over time, moving towards a major renovation in 2018.
Today the Grand hosts many different touring performances including concerts, Broadway shows, ballet, comedy acts, and movies. Their schedule is constantly changing and ticket prices vary depending on the event, so make sure to check their website for more information before your visit. Celebrate Macon’s cultural arts history while enjoying exceptional entertainment in a beautiful setting at the Grand Opera House!
Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Museum
To witness the best in Georgia sports history, a trip to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Museum is at the top of our list. Encompassing excellence in sports at the prep, college, amateur, and professional levels, a visit here is a deep dive into a diverse athletic history, making this one of the best things to do in Macon, Georgia!
The building was designed with inspiration from a turn-of-the-century ballpark, so guests feel like they are attending a sporting event when they step inside. The museum boasts 14,000 square feet of exhibit and memorabilia space, taking visitors on a journey through a vast sports history in Georgia. Learn about the state’s legacy with baseball, football, and beyond!
Inductees into the Hall of Fame include football standout Hines Ward, baseball great Ty Cobb, and golf champion Larry Mize, among others. The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, and a standard ticket is $8. Tours are available for groups of 10 or more. If you’re thinking about a tour, call ahead to schedule in advance.
Amerson River Park
Situated along the picturesque Ocmulgee River, Amerson River Park is the best place to spend a day outdoors in Macon. Showcasing over 180 acres of diverse ecosystems in the area, there is so much to see and appreciate here, especially if you’re on the lookout for native wildlife to the area!
When you enter into Amerson River Park, you have the choice of visiting the forest, the wetland, or the meadows – or perhaps you want to venture through all three! There are also several bluffs in the region that provide outstanding views of the river – make sure to keep children close by if you’re hiking in these areas.
There are seven miles of trails that are walking and biking friendly throughout the park, and the playground is the perfect spot to relax with the little ones in your family after a hike. If you’re looking to get in the water, you can do that here, too. Visitors are invited to canoe or kayak down the river in their own boats, or enjoy a two mile tubing excursion.
The park is open seven days a week during daylight hours. Grab your family and come enjoy the great outdoors at Amerson River Park, one of the most fun things to do in Macon!
Macon is home to several historic homes that allow visitors to step back into history to learn about the Macon of a different era, and the Cannonball House is no exception. The name derives from damage the house incurred during the Civil War from, you guessed it, a cannonball. A trip to this magnificent stately home is sure to satisfy the history-lover in your group.
The home was built in 1853 and features a Greek Revival style of architecture. The Cannonball House’s furnishings also date back to that era. When you visit the Cannonball House, you can tour the many rooms that showcase what life used to be like for planters in the Macon area. Walk the stately gardens that are almost always in bloom, admire the grandeur of the formal dining room, and view portraits of the home’s original owners in the family room.
Guests can walk the house on their own, or participate in a guided tour for a more informative experience. The Cannonball House is open to visitors on Mondays through Saturdays and a standard ticket is $8. Because of it’s strong connection to the history of the region, a trip to the Cannonball House is one of the best things to do in downtown Macon.
Rock Candy Tours
As their motto states, “Long live rock and soul!” Macon is a city rife with connections to the music industry. Many popular artists have emerged from this Georgia city to share their musical genius with the world, and Rock Candy Tours celebrates the impact the local culture has had on those musicians’ careers.
The tour takes visitors through homes, offices, and favorite places of the legendary musical acts that have called Macon home. For over two hours, a knowledgable guide takes visitors to local musical historic sites like Otis Redding’s office space (which became the first integrated workspace in Macon), the hotel room where Little Richard lived, and the room where James Brown recorded “Please, Please, Please.”
In addition to their standard music tours, Rock Candy Tours also offers a variety of themed tours including a Behind the Beer Brewery Tour or the Macon Macabre Public Walking Tour to bring the best of Macon straight to you. Tours must be booked in advance, so make sure to check their website for all of their offerings, schedules, and ticket prices. No matter which tour you choose, you’ll find that an afternoon or evening spent with Rock Candy Tours is one of the most fun things to do in Macon, Georgia!
For another look into Macon’s diverse history, a visit to Fort Hawkins will showcase the city’s past in a new light. Fort Hawkins was built in 1806, commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson and Indian Agent Col. Benjamin Hawkins. The goal of this site was to establish an official U.S. Army Fort that would serve as a trading space and meeting ground between soldiers and indigenous people of the area. At the time of it’s building, it was totally in the wilderness and helped build Macon up into the city it is today. Since the Macon we know today sprang up out of the existence of Fort Hawkins, it is one of the foundational Macon tourist attractions.
Fort Hawkins was built overlooking the sacred Ocmulgee Mounds, occupied by the Muskogee Creek people, and situated alongside the Lower Creek Pathway that eventually connected Washington, D.C. to New Orleans. The site is fully preserved and a great place to explore with all ages.
The Fort is open to visitors on the weekends for self-guided tours. Check their website for the many special events hosted at the Fort year-round – you’re sure to catch something special on your trip!
Macon Beer Company
The best locally brewed beer lives at the Macon Beer Company, Macon’s first brewery since Prohibition, and one of the tastiest Macon tourist attractions. Stop in a for a delicious beverage after a day exploring some of the other activities on our list, to make the perfect end to a day in this high-spirited city.
Many of their beers are inspired by sites on our list, including the Macon Love, a blonde rye mixed with cherry wine inspired by the Cherry Blossom Festival, and the Macon Mounds, a bittersweet porter, named in honor of the nearby Ocmulgee Mounds. But the tasty beer doesn’t stop there – order a flight to try multiple beers brewed in-house.
The fun doesn’t stop at the beer though. Macon Beer Company also hosts live music and a Wednesday night Pub Quiz. If you’re looking for some yummy food to accompany your beer of choice, you’re covered there, too! Try the Collard Green Queso or Low Country Boiled Peanuts for a true taste of the best of Macon.
No matter how you’re looking to spend your time, Macon has the right spot for you to visit. From delicious beverages to living history gems, there is so much to see and do (and learn about) here. It’s a city with a vibrant downtown scene, and a vast cultural history. You won’t want to miss a weekend strolling the streets of Macon!