Located in the heart of Georgia, Macon is an hour south of Atlanta and hosts many fun, kid-friendly things to do.  You can find local delights off each of the three interstates surrounding the city. I lived in the city for 14 years; here is my local perspective on awesome stops.

Downtown Macon

Take a trip back in time at the Ocmulgee National Monument, where you can step inside mounds built thousands of years ago. In September, be sure to catch the annual Ocmulgee Indian Festival with living history demonstrations, storytellers, dancers and more.

Toward downtown, visit the Tubman Museum on Cherry Street, a place full of African American history and events like the annual International Taste of Soul Festival. Romp in Tattnall Square Park, one of the oldest parks in America. While there, grab lunch at The Bear’s Den, a local favorite with cafeteria-style, Southern cooking. For a pick-me-up, drop into Taste and See Coffee Shop & Gallery for caffeine and soul-refreshing art. Also, south of downtown, see the statue of Otis Redding, one of America’s greatest soul singers, as he’s “Sittin’ on the Dock” with a guitar by the Ocmulgee River.

Learn about the legendary rock band at The Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House. Walk through the rooms where the band lived and rehearsed, and see display cases full of Allman Brothers artifacts and musical instruments. After your visit to the Big House, get soul food at the H&H Restaurant, where legend has it the Allman Brothers Band scrounged up enough money for two meals for the entire band, but co-owner Louise “Mama Louise” Hudson felt sorry for them and brought them all individual plates. The band and Mama Louise were friends since. The restaurant’s walls are filled with Allman Brothers memorabilia, and the food is tasty and down-home. Or, head to The Rookery on Cherry Street in downtown, and enjoy an Allman Burger and a Jimmy Carter shake.

Midtown Macon

Walk along the river, and enjoy over 180 acres of green space at the Amerson River Park. Visit William’s Fun Smart Toys for unique and educational kid’s favorites. Joe D’s on Ingleside is right across the street for homemade soups, sandwiches and salads. Or, stroll down to the corner and get pizza at Ingleside Village Pizza, or IVP for short. You want to get the bread sticks, and you want to get them extra sloppy—trust me on this one. After lunch, make a trip to the Museum of Arts & Science. Go on archeological digs, see giant bugs (yuck!) and gaze at the universe, along with revolving exhibits.

Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences

North Macon

Enjoy nature at Lake Tobesofkee. There are three parks, and each one is at a different section of the lake (Sandy Beach, Claystone and Arrowhead). Lake Tobo also boasts Sandy Beach Water Park, which is open seasonally. Swim, hike, bike, cookout, play disc golf (BYO frisbees) and enjoy the outdoors. For breakfast or lunch, grab a bite at Johnny V’s Restaurant, where the biscuits are fresh, and the service is friendly. And, if you happen to be hanging out in the area at suppertime, go to Fish N’ Pig, where you can dine on the lake, feed the fowls and have some tasty—yep, you guessed it—seafood and BBQ. If you happen to be boating on the lake, you can simply chug on over and tie up at the dock.

Shelly Gable

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