With a long history dating back to 1806, Macon is Georgia’s soulful heartland. Nicknamed “Where Soul Lives”, Macon boasts a variety of historic monuments and attractions that celebrate rich and diverse cultures including Native American and African-American heritage. Macon is also the birthplace of Soul Music legends like Otis Redding and Little Richard. Even if you find yourself on a budget, experience a dose of culture with these seven fun things to do in Macon, Georgia.
Cultural Things To Do In Macon GA
(On A Budget)
Ocmulgee National Monument
The Ocmulgee National Monument is a prehistoric American Indian site and one of Macon’s most cherished landmarks. This national park spans 702 acres and it honors and protects the land where prehistoric American Indians settled during the Paleo-Indian period while hunting Ice Age mammals. Hike along green pastures and take in views of the earthen mounds and the continent’s only reconstructed earth lodge.
Ocmulgee Indian Celebration
Named one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast”, the annual Ocmulgee Indian Celebration is one of the largest Native American events in the country. Showcasing and celebrating Native American heritage, culture and living history, the Ocmulgee Indian Celebration welcomes hundreds of artists, dancers, storytellers, and craftsmen to Macon the third weekend in September.
This event is perfect for learning more about American history and discovering thousands of artifacts within the National Monument.
Located in downtown Macon, the Tubman Museum is an educational and cultural resource that highlights the African-American experience throughout U.S history. This 49,000 square-foot museum is the largest museum dedicated to African-American art, history, and culture. It also boasts an expansive and ever-growing collection of exhibits like “Inventor’s Gallery” which celebrates the inventions of African-American inventors. Or “The Black Artists” of Georgia exhibit that displays the work of local African-American artists.
Don’t forget to check out the museum’s free drive-in movie-night as well.
The Bear’s Den
For over 25 years, The Bear’s Den has been a staple in downtown Macon for cooking Macon’s finest Southern comfort food. Open from Monday to Friday, The Bear’s Den’s cafeteria-style menu changes daily. Monday’s “meats and sides” are different from Tuesday’s “meats and sides”, so if you decide to go more than once, you’ll likely eat different meals.
For hungry travelers on a budget, The Bear’s Den is an ideal place to dine in or take out fried chicken, fried pork chops, meatloaf, sweet potato pie and more. Dishes generally cost less than $15 USD.
Soul Sights Macon Guided Tours
If you’re looking for a way to tour Macon on a budget, Soul Sights: Macon Guided Tours offers driving tours around the city that show you the historic sights that helped create Macon’s soulful Southern charm. On this insightful one hour tour, you’ll see the most important sights and attractions that inspired Macon’s pioneers.
St. Joseph Catholic Church
Whether you’re a devoted Catholic/Christian or the complete opposite, St. Joseph Catholic Church is a welcoming church known for its Romanesque Neo-gothic architecture. This marvelous church is adorned with 60 stained glass windows that teach biblical stories, a beautiful white-marble altar, and a spectacular organ with 1,000 pipes. St. Joseph Catholic Church also puts on free live concerts that are accompanied by lunch afterward for $10 USD per person.
Museum of Arts and Sciences
Lastly, Macon’s Museum of Arts and Sciences is the only cultural institution in Georgia dedicated to art and science. This massive 55,000 square-foot facility covers 14 acres of land and has exhibitions, a full-dome planetarium, a mini-zoo, scenic nature trails and much more. The museum also puts on wonderful holiday performances around the holidays that not only bring the community together but also showcases the work of local artists. The Museum of Arts and Sciences is perfect for lifelong learners on a budget in Macon.
What are your favorite things to do in Macon, GA?
This post is in collaboration with Macon Georgia.
Danielle is a travel finance strategist, writer, speaker and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27 and has traveled to 26 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her own terms.