Disclosure: Lodging at the Wingate Hotel by Wyndham was provided complimentary. All opinions are my own.
My previous experience with Macon was seeing the signs for the town as we were passing through on our way to Florida or the Georgia Coast. It’s Georgia’s 4th largest city and has a rich Native American, Civil War and music heritage. We decided to make it our destination instead of a blur from the car window.
Where To Stay
Wingate Hotel by Wyndham, Macon
During our first visit, we stayed at the Macon Wingate by Wyndham. It was right off the highway and down the street from a crazy amount of food and retail establishments. The staff was amazingly friendly the entire stay, the room was clean and comfortable and it provided a free continental breakfast each morning. There is a pool which my kids loved but be warned – there is NO shade on the pool deck at all. Otherwise, our stay was extremely pleasant and had everything we needed. Here’s what my 3 tech-obsessed kids loved most about the room – outlets. Everywhere. In the walls and in the light fixtures. We could all plug in our multiple devices and enjoy some comfy downtime.
My kids loved how many outlets we found at the Wingate by Wyndham in Macon! I loved the table that could be moved around the room!
A really cool feature – this table was on wheels and could be moved around the room as needed!
Comfort Suites, Macon
For our most recent trip down, we stayed at the Comfort Suites. My husband was joining us and there aren’t a ton of affordable hotel rooms that fit five. Our room at Comfort Suites had two double beds and a pull out couch. They also offered a great complimentary breakfast in the morning and both our room and the eating area were clean and comfortable. The standout was the service. We had already checked out and were on our way to have some fun when I got a call – my husband had left his iPad in the room. My children have left some valuable things in hotel rooms before, never to be recovered even when I made calls. I appreciated their integrity and customer service!
Spend Some Time Outside in Macon, GA
Macon, GA is a great place for families to explore. Although it’s a busy city, there are still enough outside attractions to satisfy your need for fresh air!
Take in a Bacon Game
Catch some good old fashioned fun at a Macon Bacon baseball game!
I wanted a shirt so bad, y’all. Next time.
Our second visit to Macon was for the sole purpose of seeing a match up between the Macon Bacon and the Savannah Bananas. I know, RIGHT? The Bacon and the Bananas are baseball teams belonging to the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer league. As a serial visitor to Savannah who has passed by the Bananas stadium multiple times, I was giddy to discover that they played the Macon Bacon and I wanted in on that experience. OUR GAME WAS RAINED OUT, Y’ALL. I took it pretty hard. We’ll see them next year and I’ll get the t-shirt.
Coleman Hill Park
For some old-fashioned fun in Macon, your kids will love the cement slide at Coleman Hill Park!
Within walking distance of the Hay House (see below for indoor attractions) is Coleman Hill Park and this amazing concrete slide! This is low-tech, old-fashioned fun at its best. My kids spent ages sliding down in any physical condition they could imagine – on bottoms, bellies and backs, forward and backward. With cardboard and without. It’s a great picnic stop to burn off some energy after you’ve toured Hay House.
Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park
Stay active on your vacation to Macon, GA - explore Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park!
My youngest son is a huge fan of the Junior Ranger program at the National Parks. Admission to Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park is free and it’s a great attraction for keeping your kids active on vacation. The Indian mounds were fascinating. Thousands of years of history at your feet and right in front of you. There are several mounds within the park and great walking trails. In the visitor’s center you’ll want to check out the museum. All 2,000+ items in the museum were excavated on site in the largest archaeology dig in American history.
Indoor Fun in Macon, GA
Not an outdoorsy family? Weather forcing you inside? There is still plenty of fun!
Be sure to stop by the Hay House while in Macon, GA. This historic home and grounds are worth the tour!
More formally the Johnston-Felton-Hay-House, this 1855 home is owned by the fabulous Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. If you’ve got an eye for historic homes, this one is worth the stop. The home itself is gorgeous and I enjoyed the tour. The boys most enjoyed the grounds. They could run around, pop in and out of the low-hanging magnolia branches and spy frogs and other critters in the fountain.
Macon Museum of Arts & Sciences
The Macon Museum of Arts & Sciences is full of hands on fun!
We lucked out and visited the MOAS during a special “Feathers and Feelers” event the first time we visited. The boys had a blast. But… now the older two are teenagers and there was no special event during our 2nd visit. Would it be just as much fun?
The short answer is “yes.” The Macon Musem of Arts & Sciences was one of my favorite stops out of both visits. This is a museum that “gets” kids. The exhibits are hands on and at kid-level. There is a mini-zoo right in the museum!
The Macon Museum of Arts & Sciences has a mini-zoo that kids and adults love.
There are so many spaces for creativity and exploration. The teenagers had plenty to do in the science area downstairs that is home to a fossil dig, a green screen and plenty of contraptions they could manipulate. Don’t miss the Sweetgum Trail outside that wraps around a pond full of frogs and turtles!
Reboot Retrocade & Bar
One of the most unique stops we made in Macon, GA was at the Reboot Retrocade & Bar!
Don’t shut down at the word “bar”. This is a family-friendly place from 1-6 pm! My 15 year old gamer was beside himself. Classic video games, pinball and two large screen tvs with gaming consoles are a kid’s virtual playground. Tokens are 4 for $1.00 and all games take only one token. I sat in a window seat with an adult beverage and watched my children happily scampering between all the games. If you were a kid in the 80’s you can get some serious street cred with your kids. My husband and I were playing games like Donkey Kong and Galaga, much to the amazement of our children. If your family is more into board games, there is a shelf full of those, too. Once 6:00 pm rolls around, they are serious about the 21+ only rule.
Where To Eat in Macon
Y’all, I have only two suggestions here because one has become my favorite and the other is simply a Macon tradition. They are worlds apart and you should try them both!
The Rookery is a must for me when in Macon, GA. Burgers, battered fries and milkshakes that will make your day!
I will eat here any day of the week, twice if you let me. The fare is standard American – burgers, sandwiches and salads – and the atmosphere is casual. My personal favorite is the Allman Burger pictured above. My teens give the chicken tenders high marks. Everyone loves their milkshakes. Be sure to specifically ask for the battered fries. I forgot this time and had serious regret.
Much like a trip to The Varsity is in order when in downtown Atlanta, a stop at Nu-Way Weiners is a solid Macon tradition. The company began in 1916 and cranks out good food, cheap. There are nine locations around Macon and they are famous for their secret-recipe chili dog!
Have you only ever seen Macon, GA as a blur through the window on your way down to Florida? Instead of a pass-through, make it a destination. The third-largest city in Georgia is full of affordable fun for families!
Under Two Hours From Atlanta
The fact that I can throw the kids in the car and find all these fun things within two hours from home is a huge draw for me. I could absolutely see us making a day trip down for an afternoon Bacon baseball game next summer. A destination just a few hours from home still has the right Road Trip spirit without the non-stop “Are we there yet?” that kicks in on longer trips.
Instead of Macon, GA being a blur on the highway, why don’t you make it the destination?
The Macon Convention and Visitor’s Bureau was a great resource for me in planning this trip! When planning your trip, be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram