Friday, July 4, 2014

Enjoying Macon

When we went to Macon, GA, we had planned on seeing what the area had to offer and hike some trails.  Nearby hiking includes High Falls State Park, which is the site of an old town.  When the railroad didn't come to the town, it folded.  The short trails follow along the river below the falls to the old river-run power plant, to the foundations of the grist mill and through the trees and rocks to stones where other buildings once stood. The trails run along both sides of the river.  Another trail ambles through the woods in a loop.  The park has campsites, bathrooms and picnic areas and is close to I-75.

Fried Green Tomatoes is on the right in this photo of Juliette
We did drive to Juliette, the site of the movies "Fried Green Tomatoes" and "Hanging Angels".  Filmed in 1991, Fried Green Tomatoes started the old town's return to prosperity as a relaxing destination.  The restaurant where the movie took place is open from 11 am to 4 pm daily.  The town is situated next to the Ocmulgee River, and had the largest river-run grist mill in the southern states.  The mill closed in 1957.  East Juliette is across the bridge on the other side of the river and railroad, which is in a different county. The historic town is a photographers paradise with lots of cool, old rusty stuff and peeling paint on old buildings and interesting shops to capture with your iPhone (or your DSLR).
We saw signs to 2 plantations on the way to Juliette.  The Jarrell Plantation is open Thursdays through Saturdays.  This cotton plantation survived Sherman's March to the Sea and was in the same family over 140 years.  As a Georgia State Historic site, admission is $6.50.
Macon has the 11 mile Riverwalk, extending south from downtown along the Ocmulgee River, making for a nice stroll.  You can access the trail at either Rotary Park or Gateway Park, both on Riverside Drive.  There is also a walking tour of the historic downtown area with a guide you can print from the Internet.
The Hay House
The Hay House is another house to see, and is well worth the tour.  We took advantage of a free tour (available on some holidays) and freely roamed the unique mansion. Across the street is the old Mercer College building.
The Cannonball House was also a worthy tour, with period furnishings and Civil War memorabilia and interesting stories about the house owners.
The Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House
For you lovers of 1970's music, the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House is a treasure trove of the bands gold records, press photos, stage passes and instruments, and it is right on highway 41.  Open Thursday through Sunday, this is the home where the band lived from 1970 to 1973 and where they created many of the hits we still enjoy today.  They also have a Macon area tour map which will lead you to the sites of Duane Allmond's motorcycle crash and burial site, if you are so inclined.  Get your photo taken in the backyard by the amps and shipping crates just like on the Live at Fillmore album.
The list goes on with sites to see like Fort Benjamin Hawkins, the Douglass Theater, Grand Opera House, Sidney Lanier College, Tubman African American Museum, Rose Hill Cemetery, and what I wrote about in last week's blog, the Oculgee National Monument.  There is much more to see, take the time and enjoy yourself!

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