Guide to north Macon attractions

Many Mercer University students tend to stay within the “Mercer Bubble” as some students, professors and local residents call the school’s campus. These students are unaware of what the rest of Macon has to offer because of their refusal to venture too far away, except for perhaps trolley rides downtown. What they do not realize is that there are plenty of places to shop, dine and be entertained in North Macon.

Food:

Mandarin Chinese Restaurant – Located on Riverside Drive, Mandarin is one of the best places to get Chinese food in Macon in a formal dining setting. The prices are low enough for those on a budget to enjoy as a treat, but with lunch menu prices that should appeal to any college student. Add in some great chicken wings, steak, vegetables and rice, and you have a great place for anyone who loves Chinese cuisine.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries – Although part of a franchise, there is a reason why Five Guys Burgers and Fries is one of the fastest growing burger joints in America. The burgers are fresh and made-to-order with some of the best fries you will ever taste and perhaps more than you can handle by yourself. Five Guys is a great place to go with friends to share an order of fries and enjoy a few burgers. It is not too far from campus either, located just off of Riverside Drive. A word of warning to those with peanut allergies however, Five Guys uses peanut oil to cook their food and fills the restaurant with peanuts for customers to munch on while the food is being prepared.

Bonefish Grill – A much pricier option than those listed above, Bonefish Grill is still a great place for well cooked food in a lovely atmosphere. While they have great seafood options, they also have plenty of choices for those who prefer steak or are vegetarian. While not ideal as an everyday eatery, Bonefish Grill makes a great place to take someone for a special occasion. Bonefish Grill is located in Rivers Crossing which has quickly become a central location for shopping and dining.

Entertainment:

AmStar 16 – The closest mainstream movie theater in Macon, AmStar 16 features an IMAX cinema with 3-D capabilities and digital sound. It has become more expensive to go to the movies in recent years, so AmStar 16 offers free refills on large popcorns and sodas. AmStar 16 is also where Mercer hosts Midnight Movie. Free refills and a movie ticket for $2 during Midnight Movie is a deal that is very hard to beat.

Macon Little Theatre – Macon has a bustling theater community thanks to the Mercer University Players, Middle Georgia State College Theatre and Theatre Macon. North Macon also contributes to that community with the Macon Little Theatre. Originally founded in 1934, Macon Little Theatre has served the community as a local playhouse for almost 80 years. The current location on Forsyth road houses almost 400 seats. Their next show is “The Game’s Afoot”, a murder mystery directed by Weldon Ledbetter that opens Oct.11th.

Museum of Arts and Sciences – MAS is the largest art and science museum in the state of Georgia. Founded in 1956, the museum is visited by 70,000 people annually. The facility hosts changing exhibits, featuring a planetarium, live animal shows, classes and special events. Events starting in October include “Assemblages”, a found item art exhibit by Macon artist Timothy Hedden, a collection of animal related mixed media projects called “All Creatures Great and Small”, and the unveiling of MAS’s new telescope during “Sky Over Macon” on Oct. 11.

Shopping:

The Shoppes at River Crossing – North of Mercer on Riverside Drive is The Shoppes at River Crossing, a proverbial treasure trove of shopping options. If you want beauty supplies, clothing or accessories, stores like Ulta, Belk and DSW will have something for you. One can also find plenty of ways to be entertained, whether you want to find a new video game at GameStop or sit down with a book in the cafe at Barnes & Noble. If athletics is more your thing, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Foot Locker should be able to accommodate your needs. The Shoppes also holds special events, including a sidewalk chart art show currently going on to raise money for Jay’s Hope, a nonprofit organization that supports children with cancer and their families, and “The Pink Promise”, a fundraiser starting on Oct. 11 through Oct. 18 that will raise money in support of those with breast cancer.