From our gothic cathedral to monumental neoclassical architecture to antebellum homes to inviting parks, you'll discover centuries of history right here in Macon!
Sidney Lanier Cottage
Saint Joseph’s Church
Macon City Auditorium
The Cannonball House
The Hay House
The Woodruff House
McCaw-Massee (Crisco) House
Federated Garden Club
Tattnall Square Park
Begin your journey at the Sidney Lanier Cottage House Museum, the birthplace of noted poet, musician, and soldier, Sidney Lanier (1842-1881). With nearly 175 years of rich history, The Sidney Lanier Cottage House Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated a Landmark of American Music and a Landmark of American Poetry.
The next stop on this tour is Saint Joseph’s Church. This lovely old Romanesque, Neo-Gothic church was the realization of an earlier dream of 50 Catholic parishioners and their first priest, Father James Graham. The foundation of the church was laid in August, 1889. Fourteen years after work on St. Joseph’s Church had been started; the edifice was dedicated on November 11, 1903. There are over 60 stained glass windows with their many symbols and pictures of the angels and saints and scenes from the Bible. Almost all are from the Mayer workshops in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.
Next stop: City Hall. On July 30, 2011, the voters approved the creation of a new, consolidated government that serves all citizens living in Bibb County. The new government is called Macon+Bibb County and serves as both the municipal and county government. The mission of Macon-Bibb County is to provide the essential infrastructure, services, and programs, creating a vibrant economic and cultural climate, enabling individuals, families, and businesses to prosper.
From City Hall ride to the Macon City Auditorium. This building was designed by New York architect Egerton Swartwout. Completed in 1925, the Macon City Auditorium is nestled in the historic district of downtown Macon and is a landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Its monumental assembly hall seats 2,700 and its unique copper dome is reportedly the largest in the world!
The Cannonball House is the next destination on the tour. Named for damage sustained during the War Between the States, The Cannonball House was built in 1853 as a planter’s townhouse. The Cannonball House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is an example of authentic Greek Revival architecture containing fine period furnishings. The house is also the repository for the Founders’ parlors of the Adelphean (ΑΔΙΙ) and Philomathean (ΦΜ) societies, recreated from Wesleyan College, where they began in 1851 and 1852.
The Hay House is one of Georgia’s most historic houses and distinguished structures, and its the next stop on this historical tour. The Johnston-Felton-Hay House in Macon was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974. Construction began in 1855 and continued into 1859. The House was built in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, a marked contrast to the Greek Revival architecture of the antebellum period.
The next stop is Woodruff House, an 1836 Greek Revival home built by noted Macon architect Elam Alexander for railroad entrepreneur Jerry Cowles.
The Beaux-Arts-style McCaw-Massee House at 619 College Street is the next stop oon the tour. The home is called, "the house that Crisco built." It was constructed in 1901 by Wallace McCaw, who invented a process for hydrogenating cottonseed oil that he manufactured in Macon under the name “Plantene.” His formula was purchased by Proctor and Gamble, who changed the name of the product to Crisco.
Next up is the Neel House, headquarters of The Federated Garden Clubs of Macon, Inc., is an English Tudor Revival house commissioned in 1910 by Macon businessman Joseph N. Neel as his family home. This historic home was designed by noted Georgia architect and Macon resident Neel Reid.
The final stop on this tour is Tattnall Square Park. Situated on an entire city block across from Mercer University, this park offers picnic space, a playground, a picnic pavilion available for private party rental, and shady spaces under the massive tree canopy. Once only local livestock grazed here, but today Tattnall Square Park is still a favorite watering hole and social gathering place.
The Best of Macon Tour was developed by Visit Macon and MCB. "Some say 'soul' lives in Macon, Ga. We say the 'soul' of Macon, Ga. lives within us all." You can feel Macon’s soul throughout the city. Walk down Cherry St. in Downtown Macon and experience southern hospitality as friendly store owners help you shop local products. Follow your nose and dine at one of our delicious restaurants. Stop by one of our art galleries and find unique pieces created by local artists. Learn about African American art, history, and culture at the 8,500 square foot Tubman Museum. Walk through the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and see over 3,000 artifacts highlighting some of the best athletes from the state.View the Interactive Tour