by Adam Hurly
1. Macon, Georgia
Humble Macon, one hour southeast of Atlanta, rings in its bicentennial in 2023 with a long period of revitalization that has readied the city for an influx of tourists. Its downtown thrives with more than 50 restaurants, five historic theaters, over 30 bars and music venues, and two new boutique hotels to top it off: Hotel Forty Five and The Woodward. Meanwhile, a new 10,000-seat amphitheater is underway and should open its doors in the calendar year. Just to the city’s east is Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic Park, the former Muscogee Nation grounds, that tells the peoples’ history through both a guided walking path and a 2,000-artifact museum—chronicling the rich history of 17,000-plus years of human existence along the Ocmulgee River.