Exploring Macon: a guide

Jonathan Popham

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Greetings Mercerians, new and old! Welcome to Macon! With a new year upon us, now is a time for discovery— local discovery. Whether you’ve been an undergrad for seven days or seven years, everyone can find something new in this ever-changing city.

For starters, don’t be scared of Downtown. Only a mile and a half from Mercer’s main campus, downtown Macon has much to offer. The Hummingbird Stage and Taproom is perfect for Friday  night outings, as are other clubs like Element and Bottom’s Up. Check out the great weekly farmer’s market on Mulberry Street every Wednesday, featuring produce from local farms and vendors from local businesses. As far as restaurants go, you can’t go wrong with Dolce Vita for a light bite or the best deep dish pizza in town. I also must suggest the Rookery for a killer burger made with grass-fed beef. For something a little classier, try the Tic-Toc room or Luigi’s. But for my personal favorite guilty pleasure, keep an eye out on Friday nights, when the stars align to bring the always glorious food trucks, sent by Zeus himself to round out your First Friday.

As far as navigating the College Hill Corridor — the area stretching between Mercer and Downtown — the best way to travel is by bicycle. Sure, you can drive, but convenient parking is an issue. Ironically, you can spend a greater amount of time driving somewhere because of the time spent finding a parking space. The Corridor, as it is affectionately called, has strategically placed bike racks in some of the most commonly traveled areas. If you don’t have a bike, or you need to get your old bike serviced, there are three bike shops in town. There is Cherry St. Cycles which sells new and pre-owned bike next to Nu-Way on Cotton Avenue, Bike Tech, specializing in high-end racing bikes on Vineville Avenue, and the Bike Store, conveniently located next to campus. Trust me, paying for gas gets old quickly. Plus, it’s much easier to avoid the freshman 15 with a vehicle that runs on fat instead of cash.

As far as other attractions go, Macon has many unique places to visit, such as the Hay House, a seven floor Italian Renaissance home built in the 19th century and Terminal Station, designed by the same architect who planned New York’s Grand Central Terminal. If architecture isn’t your thing, be sure to check out Washington Square Park off of Magnolia Street for something a little more peaceful. There is always something new to go see in Macon, especially on campus. The Backdoor Theatre features multiple stage productions per year, and the School of Music constantly has something brewing from Opera’s to classical string recitals. There’s also a new IMAX theatre located off of Zebulon Road.

As there are so many wonderful and exciting things to find, I cannot list them all here. The most important thing I can suggest, above all else, is to explore. By searching for new things during your time here, you can become the engine that drives this city.  Our home here is always changing. It has so much to offer, but it still has room for improvement. Above all, it needs people. Young people. People who wander. Those people keep the city alive. You can make it better by being part of it. We want you here. We want you to succeed here. We want you know us, and we want to know you. Come join us, and you won’t regret it.

 

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