Would I go back? Probably not. But they say patience is active waiting, so we made the most of our time there.
We stayed in Macon, GA from Sept. 7-16, 2017.
Things to Do in Macon
Ocmulgee National Monument, located within Macon city limits, recognizes the prehistoric American Indians who lived in the area. In addition to browsing exhibits and artifacts, you can go inside the Earth Lodge. The floor of the lodge is original and has been carbon-dated back to 1015 A.D.
Beyond the Earth Lodge, the other highlight for me was the Great Temple Mound. It’s quite something to climb the stairs to the top and look out for miles around you–realizing you’re standing on a massive hill created by human hands.
There are six miles of trails at Ocmulgee, allowing you to explore everything from Civil War earthworks to temple mounds to wetlands. You can walk or drive from the visitor center to the Great Temple Mound.
Fun fact: the largest archaeological dig in United States history occurred at Ocmulgee National Monument. Over 800 people uncovered three million artifacts. 😶
1207 Emery Hwy – Website
Between the weather from the hurricane and work commitments, we didn’t explore as much as normal. There wasn’t much that interested us in Macon, but we did take a couple of interesting day trips.
Day Trip to Andersonville and National POW Museum
Located in Andersonville, Georgia, Andersonville National Historic Site and co-located National POW Museum are literally in the middle of nowhere. You would never “drive by.” You would have to be going on purpose–and I highly recommend you do. We drove an hour southwest from Macon through beautiful country, to chilling ground.
The Camp Sumter military prison at Andersonville housed Union soldiers during the Civil War. Although it spanned 26.5 acres as one of the Confederates largest prisons, it was too small for the number of soldiers it held. In the 14 months the prison was active, leading up to the end of the war, 45,000 soldiers were imprisoned. Of those, 13,000 perished. The prison was only intended to house 10,000 men.
Today, the site honors all United States prisoners of war from all conflicts.
We didn’t have a full day, so unfortunately we had to rush through everything. After watching a film about Andersonville, we started through the gripping National Prisoner of War Museum. Exhibits recognize our POWs and their families with handwritten letters, audio files, and notable objects. The museum shares heartbreaking stories of those who didn’t come back, alongside tearfully joyful video footage of those who did.
Following the museum, we drove the loop around what used to be Camp Sumter military prison. Two sections of the stockade wall have been reconstructed. The rest of the 26.5 acres is outlined with white posts. There is a one-hour audio tour that can be checked out for free between 9 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Unfortunately we got there too late in the day to take advantage.
Not surprisingly, due to the site’s secluded location, there weren’t many visitors. This is such a shame, considering how important it is to honor our prisoners of war and teach our children about their sacrifice. Please mark Andersonville on your map and work it into one of your trips when you can.
496 Cemetery Road, Andersonville, GA – Website
Day Trip to Byron, GA
On another day, we drove 20 minutes south of Macon to Byron. Every once in a while, we get an urge to window shop for RVs. Right now we’re interested in the Tiffin Phaeton 40QKH, Allegro Red 38QBA, and Winnebago Forza 38W. They’re all bunkhouse models.
Big Peach Antiques Mall is right next to the RV lots. We may not have many antiques in Meriwether, but we sure do love to browse a good antique mall. Our find at Big Peach: vintage blocks for Caspian. We have way too many blocks now.
119 Peachtree Pkwy, Byron, GA – Website
Things to Eat in Macon
We didn’t eat out a lot in Macon. We did really enjoy an after-church lunch at the festive La Parrilla.
Taste & See Coffee Shop and Gallery in downtown Macon has a memorable ambiance, especially for those of us who like to work remotely (do RVers always work remotely?). When I visited, there were freaking gorgeous nature photographs on display. You’ll notice them if you visit the website.
Last but not least, I highly recommend Papa Buck’s BBQ in Metter, which is almost halfway between Savannah and Macon on I-16. Très yum.
Where We Camped in Macon
(Hover over the video above for the Play button.)
Our campground was the highlight of our stay in Macon. Claystone Park on Lake Tobesofkee is a county park with a butterfly garden, 18 holes of disc golf, playground, fishing, and a clean, spacious beach. Our site was one of the best in the campground, with a sublime view of the lake from our patio. Considering there isn’t a lot to do in Macon, I was grateful to stay somewhere I didn’t want to leave.
We took Caspian swimming at the beach twice. The water was an ideal temperature and quite calm.
6600 Moseley Dixon Road – Website
➡️ Keep reading: “Our Hurricane Irma Evacuation Saga”