Last weekend, Kevin and I found ourselves with just a few hours to spend in Macon, Georgia on our way to see his nephew. See what all we got up to in just a short afternoon trip:
About Macon, GA
Macon, Georgia was first inhabited by the Creek Indians and was settled by Europeans in 1809. Macon is known for its rich musical history; the Allman Brothers Band called Macon home from 1970-1973. Macon has a whole lot of history, from the site of the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds, the largest ancient earthwork mounds in Georgia, to the Tubman Museum, the Southeast’s largest museum dedicated to African American art, history, and culture.
Museum of Arts and Sciences
Our first stop was Macon’s Museum of Arts and Sciences. The museum contains fine art exhibits, interactive science exhibits, nature trails, a planetarium, and a mini zoo.
The museum’s Discovery House features three floors of art, science, and humanities exhibits. The top floor Artist’s Garret allows you to see the affect perspective has on art.
The main floor Humanist’s Study showcases some of the museum’s permanent collections. The main floor also has the Mini Zoo where you can see more than 70 live animals, from monkeys to snakes, and learn about them with a live animal show. The lower level Scientist’s Workshop allows you to learn about weather, gravity, archaeology, and more with interactive exhibits.
The fine arts gallery is currently exhibiting artwork from emerging artists across the United States, the cloaked sculptures of Spirits by Deborah Masters, and a wide range of vessels, jars, and pottery.
The daily planetarium show takes you on a ride through space to learn about the constellations, planets, and galaxies.
The drive to the museum took us past one of Macon’s many historic sites: Wesleyan College, the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women. The beautiful Georgian Revival-style buildings stand out against the wide open fields.
Unfortunately, a lot of Macon’s top attractions close by 4 or 5 p.m., and some places have last admission at 3 or 3:30, so the Museum of Arts and Sciences was the only place we had time to go in to, and we spent nearly 2 hours there. For the rest of Macon, I was happy enough to just stop outside and take pictures, so what’s next is my driving tour of Macon!
The Hay House
The Hay House is an incredible 4-story, 18,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance Revival Style home in the heart of Macon. Built from 1855 to 1859, the house was technologically modern with hot and cold running water, central heat, gas lighting, a speaker-tube system, an in-house kitchen, and an elaborate ventilation system. The museum is open daily with the last tours starting at 3 p.m.
The Cannonball House
The Greek Revival Style Cannonball House is so named because of the cannonball that came crashing through the front parlor window in July 1864. The home still contains the damage done by the cannonball as well as period furnishings and the founders’ furniture for the two oldest sororities in the world, Adelphean and Philomathean, recreated from Wesleyan College. The museum is open Monday through Saturday with the last tours starting at 3:30 p.m.
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
The architecture of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church is absolutely amazing. This Romanesque Neo-Gothic church was built between 1889 and 1892. It’s twin spires tower 200 feet high. Inside is an abundance of stained glass windows, a white Carrara marbled alter and pulpit, and an organ with 1,000 pipes.
Spring Street Landing
Our last stop in Macon was to Spring Street Landing on the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail. This park is located right off of Spring Street Bridge and has a playground, a boat ramp, and is apparently a great spot for fishing. We didn’t walk very far; we just played on the playground and enjoyed the views of the river as a good ending to our impromptu visit to Macon.
Bonus: Bear of Terror
The Bear of Terror statue is located on the Mercer University campus. I saw this bear statue on a previous trip through Macon but didn’t have a blog post to put it in, so I’m throwing it in here! Mercer University’s mascot is a Grizzly Bear, and this ferocious statue is perfect for instilling fear into rival sports teams.
What do you like to do in Macon, Georgia? Let me know in the comments!