Macon: a town to explore

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As a freshman at Mercer I was not interested in how many things there were to do in Macon. Let’s face it I was the girl who got extremely lost on the way to Target and who could not find Wal-Mart for the first month of school.
As a sophomore and junior I cared more about the downtown nightlife than I cared about the daytime activities Macon had to offer.
It was not until this, my final year at Mercer, that my eyes were opened to the many attractions Macon has to offer.
While this awareness came about mainly due to my internship at the Macon-Bib County Visitors Center and Convention Bureau, it is time that Mercer students know the extent that the city they have come to call home offers them.
Let’s start with the fact that Macon is the Cherry Blossom Capital of the world and has the international Cherry Blossom Festival every year in March.
Just these 10 days alone offer Mercer students a variety of free concerts, access to local vendors, shows and food that can keep you busy any day of the week.
Macon is also home to the largest selection of African American art, culture and heritage in the south, but this does not even come close to covering the vast amount of history that Macon has to offer.
We have a whole historic district with dozens of homes that truly show the heritage and culture of Macon.
Macon has the world’s largest collection of Allman Brothers memorabilia in the world at the group’s once home, the Big House. But the musical history does not stop there, from Little Richard and Otis Redding to Jason Aldean, Macon has a very rich musical history.
More than that Macon holds a treasure chest for the nature lover. The Ocmulgee National Monument and Heritage Trail gives access to the only reconstructed Native American earth lodge in North America, while also housing Civil War battlefields as well as ample picnic space and hiking trails.
Macon also is home to the Ocmulgee River and a beautiful river park that borders the river, a great place for a run or leisurely stroll. Hint, hint boys it is also a very romantic spot for a special picnic by the river.
Sports lovers will be in heaven at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the largest state sports hall in the United States. You can walk down the Hall of Fame and see major names like Jackie Robinson, Evander Holyfield, Nancy Lopez and John Smoltz.
That is not even half of what Macon has to offer. So I challenge you Mercer students to not fall into the trap I did.
Macon is too great a historical and cultural paradise to leave unexplored.
Do not be like me and be ignorant to what the city holds. There is more to life than dancing every night at Asylum, hanging out at The Hummingbird, or eating at Waffle House.
I used to think that there was nothing to do in Macon and that it was an extremely boring place, but it is in fact the opposite.
You might do a good job of hiding the attractions that Macon offers from yourself, but it would be doing yourself a big injustice if you left Macon without exploring what it has to offer.
So start early freshmen, or if you are getting a late start like myself know you still have a couple months to explore the city you have called home for the last three years.
It is never too late to go exploring. You might be surprised at what you find.

Comments or questions about this column can be sent to opinions@mercercluster.com