Macon . Just over a small town in the heart of Georgia , surrounded by cotton fields and woods, with a small but fascinating old town with many buildings dating back to the years before the American Civil War as some of the ancient and luxurious mansions that you can visit. Already this is enough to make a short stop here - also because it is convenient, a perfect intermediate stop if you are going to Atlanta or Montgomery from Savannah. But there is another good reason to visit Macon, Georgia, and it's the music . The slogan of the city is "where the soul lives" and is definitely appropriate because some of the greatest musical talents of the last century were born and raised. Macon was born Otis Redding, the king of soul, but also Little Richard , and above all the Allman Brothers , which here are a real object of worship and veneration.

What to see in Macon, Georgia
I stopped at Macon for a day , but this stage of my trip on the road got narrow, I wanted to stop me any more. If you have time available, I suggest you to stop for a couple of days or at least a day and a half to have the time to visit everything and enjoy a few moments of relaxation in the historic district and surrounding areas.

Here is my travel itinerary in the south of the United States .

Hay House, 1885
Macon and the Allman Brothers
As I told you, Allman Brothers here are real local celebrities. In Macon, band members were born and raised, they started playing and became famous. There are several important venues linked to the band and brothers Duane and Gregg Allman, here are the ones you can visit:

The Allman Brothers Band Museum - The Big House.
A real home-museum where Allman Brothers have lived for three years together with their families and their roadies. Today, some of the Big House's rooms have remained as in the 1970s, while others include tens of dozens of memorabilia, instruments, prizes and memories of the Allman Brothers Band. If you are going to visit this place, organize your itinerary carefully because it is open only from Thursday to Sunday . I had not taken this into account and found myself in Macon at the beginning of the week, and I was very sorry to be unable to visit. Find out more about the Big House Museum site .

The tombs of Duane and Berry at the Rose Hill Cemetery
Two of the band members died in Macon under very similar circumstances - Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident in 1971, and a year later Barry Oakley died a few blocks away, always in motion. Both stay forever in Macon , in the Rose Hill cemetery. It is on the edge of the town, at the entrance there are indications to find the two most famous and sought after tombs. It is a beautiful historical cemetery that develops on a terraced hill, deserves a stroll through its tombstones. The tombs of the Allman Brothers are located near the lower part of the Confederate section of the cemetery (with many graves dating back to the Civil War). They recognize why they are surrounded by a cleavage, put in order to prevent the fans from doing inappropriate things on the graves (better not know what they would do wrong here). Beside the burials there is a small space where band fans can leave a flower, a message or a memory.

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The tombs of Duane and Barry at the Rose Hill cemetery
H & H restaurant
A soul food restaurant that is a must for all fans of the Allman Brothers Band. But you have to come and have lunch, even if you do not care about the band, because you eat really well (and it costs too little). The restaurant opened in 1959 thanks to Mama Hill and then Mama Louise, two tough black ladies in the south, who make excellent soul food, simple and tasty. The formula is that of meat and three , you choose a meat dish between the 3-4 alternatives proposed and then choose three contours (the options are many more). The roast turkey was very good, as did the pumpkin shake (I ate it a lot and this was in the top 3).

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H & H restaurant, Macon
Legend has it that Allman Brothers Band , when it was still not famous and had no beak, was recording an album at the nearby studios of Capricorn Records. The hungry musicians entered the restaurant to share two meals in five, but Mama Hill gave a meal to everyone and said they would pay when they could. Once famous, they repay their debts, have become very friends with Mama Hill, and if they are also on tour as a band attendee.

Today, H & H's restaurant has changed properties, but no appearance or management: it's always a simple, cozy and informal atmosphere full of memories of the Allman Brothers Band . Sometimes you can still meet old Mama Louise in the kitchen and have a chat with her, but I have not been so lucky.

macon georgia what to see
Memories of Allman Brothers and many others at the H & H restaurant
Places related to Otis Redding and Little Richard
Two pillars of soul and rock and roll, two great personalities and two incredible talents, both African Americans and both of Macon, Georgia. The first is Otis Redding , which has been dedicated to a bronze statue : it is at the entrance to the public gardens overlooking the Okmulgee River, at the intersection between Coliseum Drive and Riverside Drive.

Zelma, the widow of Otis Redding (extraordinary at least her famous husband) in 2007 set up a foundation dedicated to her husband dealing with educational and artistic education programs aimed at childhood and adolescents at risk. The Otis Redding Foundation is also home to a mini-museum dedicated to the King of the Soul with some cymbals and some souvenirs and souvenirs for sale to fund the activities of the foundation. To learn more: Otis Redding Foundation .

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Otis Redding Foundation and mini-museum
Macon Georgia United States

As for Little Richard (which I admit is my favorite) unfortunately there is little to see, even though they have dedicated a road to him, Little Richard Penniman Boulevard.

First, there is the piano of Little Richard , which is kept at Tubman Museum in Macon (see below in this article).

Macon's visitor center , decorated outdoors like the keyboard of a piano, was once an old bus station where young Little Richard worked as a dishwasher. If you have a good budget and a decent dress (they require dress code) go to dinner at the Tic Toc Room , the ballroom where Little Richard, James Brown and Otis Redding performed frequently.

Little Richard's house , which was in the black and poor neighborhood of Pleasant Hill, had a curious fate. At the risk of demolition for the construction of a motorway, the 60s house was rescued by the neighborhood committee, in April 2017 it was moved elsewhere to renovate it , transform it into an information center, and then be brought back to Pleasant Hill ( but not exactly where it was before, because in the meantime we were passing the freeway).

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The Macon Convention and Visitors Bureau, where once Little Richards was washing the dishes
Old mansions in the south
Macon was saved from the destruction during the Civil War , in this case from Sherman's march to the sea because it was connected by a single bridge that was easy to defend, and that battle was perhaps the only real military victory of the army Confederate. This historical fact has preserved Macon practically intact since the early 1800's.

One exception is the Cannonball House , an elegant mansion built in Greek revival style. During the Civil War he was hit by a Unionist cannon, the cannonball broke some columns, made a hole in the wall and rolled into the house. Today it can be visited, restored to it in 1853 and there is a small museum dedicated to the history of the civil war in Macon.

Another mansion not to be missed is the Johnson-Hay House , a magnificent Renaissance Renaissance-style townhouse filled with elegant lounge and dance halls, imposing staircases and colorful stained glass windows. The house has changed properties and styles from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, restoration has brought the rooms to their splendor at different times: visiting it is like traveling through time through the history of the South of the USA and a part of his company.

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The Hay House Ballroom
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One of Hay House's living rooms
African American Art, History and Culture at the Tubman Museum
In Macon there is also an important museum dedicated to contributions to the art, history and culture of Georgia's African Americans, the Tubman Museum . It is the largest American museum of this type, but leaving aside its relevance, I recommend it because I really enjoyed a lot . I was advised by the historian working at the Old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston and thanking you for the precious advice.

The art section of the museum particularly liked me, the collection often overwhelms in visionary art (which I learned to know and love in Baltimore ). Beautiful then the patchwork quilt series telling the story of the American black population, from the time of slavery through the Civil Rights Movement to the present day.

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Art Gullah at Tubman Museum
But the Tubman Museum is also an opportunity to discover many heroes ever celebrated by history and culture, starting with the inventors of common but used household appliances to end with the troops of black soldiers (closely segregated) who fought in World War II and they have also liberated some areas of Italy.

And yes, at the Tubman Museum there is also the piano of Little Richard ! For the record above, there is a ticket saying "it is forbidden to play the piano of Little Richard. If he does, he'll know. "

For more information: Tubman Museum

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Do not touch the piano, Little Richard sees you

Where to eat in Macon
I could not conclude without some advice on where to eat in Macon . If you've read everything up here (good!) You've seen a couple of interesting suggestions I've already given you before, in chapters dedicated to music. But in case you missed some of the post, here's a summary of the first two addresses plus an extra tip:

H & H restaurant - what is a piece of Allman Brothers story but is also a great soul food restaurant with the classic meat and three formula . It is only open for breakfast and lunch, located at 807 Forsyth Street.
Tic Toc Room - I did not try it personally because it is quite stylish and I did not have the required dress code (but I looked at the menu is not very nice considering the fine cuisine) but I have recommended it to at least a couple of locals like one of the best restaurants in the area . And then it's a historic place where Little Richard, Otis Redding and James Brown (408 Martin Luther King Boulevard) played in the past.
Rookery - is located on Cherry Street, one of the main streets of the historic district. It is a brewery with many local craft beers (Georgia and neighboring states) and also make handmade milkshakes and gourmet burgers with fresh ingredients, all with the names of local celebrities. And both the salad and the Allman burger I liked a lot.