Sunday, December 9, 2007
GETTING THERE: Delta offers connecting service to Macon from BWI, Washington Dulles and Reagan National starting at $223 round trip, including taxes.
GETTING AROUND: Downtown Macon is easy to drive and park in; most of the attractions, restaurants and clubs are within a few blocks of each other. The Convention and Visitors Bureau (see below) offers trolley tours that visit historic homes and museums.
WHERE TO STAY: The 1842 Inn (353 College St., 800-336-1842, http://www.1842inn.com) is charming, comfortable and centrally located. Doubles begin at $170 a night, including breakfast. The Ramada Plaza Hotel (108 First St., 800-272-6232, http://www.ramada.com) also is close to downtown; doubles begin at $109.
WHERE TO EAT: Market City Cafe (502 Cherry St., 478-257-6612) has soups, salads, sandwiches, blue-plate specials and desserts to die for, most for less than $10. H & H Restaurant (807 Forsyth St., 478-742-9810, http://www.mamalouise.com) has a blue-collar ambiance and well-filled plates for $7.80 a pop. S & S Cafeteria (various locations, including 2626 Riverside Dr., 478-746-9406, http://www.sscafeterias.com) offers soul food and other fare a la carte in a no-frills dining room. Fincher's Bar-B-Q (various locations, including 891 Gray Hwy., 478-743-5866) has ribs, chicken and pork platters at around $5. Nu-Way Weiners (various locations, including 430 Cotton Ave., 478-743-1368, http://www.nu-wayweiners.com) serves up hamburgers, hot dogs and more from $1.44 to $5.39. The Tic Toc Room (408 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 478-744-0123) features a full bar, wine list, steaks and seafood, with entrees from $14 to $21.
WHERE TO PARTY: Try the Jazz Plex (518 Cherry St.), the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom (430 Cherry St., http://www.hummingbirdstageandtaproom.com) and 550 Blues (550 Riverside Dr.). All charged a $5 cover the night I visited; Jazz Plex featured a quartet with a '40s sound, and the other two served up full-tilt earbleed rock-and-roll.
WHAT TO DO: This year is the 40th anniversary of the death of soul singer Otis Redding, who died in a plane crash at the age of 26. There will be a full calendar of commemorative events in Macon through Sept. 10, highlighted by a year-long Hall of Fame exhibit called "I've Got Dreams to Remember" after one of the singer's hits.
The show includes many items never displayed before, such as posters, personal photos and handwritten lyric sheets donated by the Redding family. Details: Georgia Music Hall of Fame, http://www.georgiamusic.org/events.php.
* Georgia Music Hall of Fame, 200 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 888-427-6257, http://www.georgiamusic.org. Admission $8.
* Ocmulgee National Monument, 1207 Emery Hwy., 478-752-8257, http://www.nps.gov/ocmu. Free.
* Rosehill Cemetery, 1071 Riverside Dr., 478-751-9119, http://rosehillcemetery.org. Free.
* Tubman African American Museum, 340 Walnut St., 478-743-8544, http://www.tubmanmuseum.com. Admission $5.
RECOMMENDED READING: "Georgia: An Explorer's Guide," by Carol Thalimer and Dan Thalimer (Countryman Press, $21.95), is a comprehensive guide to Macon and the rest of the state.
For a sense of what the city was like in the days before rock-and-roll, there's "The Life and Times of Little Richard" by Charles White (Omnibus Press, $19.95).
INFORMATION: Macon-Bibb County Convention & Visitors Bureau,800-768-3401, http://www.maconga.org.