For not such a big town, Macon, Georgia has produced a preponderance of world famous musicians: among them the Allman Brothers, Little Richard, and one of the greatest of them all, Otis Redding. Something in the water? Nah, it’s in the BBQ.
It’s a cool place, Macon, with a sound and a taste coming together in a way that’s singularly soulful. I had a lot of fun during my breeze through town. This was my first time to visit – despite my being a Georgia boy by birth – but I certainly hope it’s not the last.
3947 Houston Ave, Macon, Georgia 31206
Pit-cooking hams in the Middle Georgia style for more than 75 years, family-owned Fincher’s Barbecue in Macon has the distinction of smoking the only BBQ to be sent into space. One taste and it’s easy to see why astronaut Sonny Carter made his odd request for Fincher’s wood-smoked ham to be part of the cargo for his 1989 NASA mission. When you go (ain’t no “if” for those in the area and hankering top quality BBQ), get the Pig Special (large BBQ sandwich with slaw and sliced tomato). Pork perfection? Pretty close to it!
Visit Fincher’s online at finchersbbqga.net.
Fresh Air Barbecue
3076 Riverside Drive, Macon, Georgia 31210
With locations in Macon and Jackson, the 18-hour wood-smoked hams at family-owned Fresh Air have been wowing local folks (and out-of-towners keen for an authentic taste of Georgia BBQ) since the 1929 The hams are amazing, as is the Brunswick stew.
For more information go to freshairbarbecue.com.
Beyond the Q
Hilton Garden Inn Macon/Mercer University
1220 Stadium Drive, Macon, Georgia 31204
In Macon, I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn for a night. I really appreciated the warm reception, spacious and comfortable room, and the quick access to I-75, Mercer University, and downtown Macon. Have an online look at hiltongardeninn.com.
Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park
1207 Emery Highway, Macon, Georgia 31217
A visit to the fascinating Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park near downtown Macon is a chance to discover 17,000 years of Native American heritage at the only reconstructed Earth Lodge in North America with the original 1,000-year-old floor and learn about the region’s prehistory, and what life there was life before the arrival of Europeans and during the Colonial era. For details go to Ocmulgee at nps.gov/ocmu.
To learn more about Macon go to visitmacon.org, and for info about making the most of a visit to Georgia have a look at exploregeorgia.org. For loads of help planning your trip to anywhere in the States, go to VisitTheUSA.com. And please be sure to keep an eye out for more BBQ Bound posts to come!