Macon has a trolley tour of downtown and the Ga. Music Hall of Fame is very interesting. Just north of Macon outside of Forsyth is Jarrell Plantation- an old 1800's Ga. plantation. There is also the Ocomulgee ruins and Indian mounds in Macon. Macon is known for its famous hotdogs. Oprah Winfrey ate their-Nuway- when she was in Macon earlier this year.
It would seem that Madison would be a good bet for you.
Ticks all your boxes, with the quirky being a visit at the Steffen Thomas Museum, religious, the many fabulous churches, Southern, best small town in the U.S. and antiques galore.
try Lane's Packing in Fort Valley GA -- just south of macon (follow the billboards) tour the pecan/peach packing facilities, eat a good country meal --- get you some giant pecans ($3.99/lb) and peaches to take home, and buy you some peach or vidalia onion salsa or relishes. Featured in southern living magazine. Truly a unique stop. Also think about eating at Buckners Restaurant at the intersection of Hwy 36 and I-75 (Jackson GA, north of Macon) --- All you can eat country food, served at your table lazy susan style (near the Flying J truckstop to your left across the bridge and then immediate right on access rd from I-75 North).
Madison is nice visit to see older homes, but not on your way up I-75. I would also suggest Macon.
Definitely check out the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds. These are awesome and right in town. Can go inside rebuilt ceremonial mound, beautiful park. These are circa 1200s. Search for Ocmulgee on Trip Advisor to see a write up I did, or check my name link to see that and other posts about mid GA.
Jarrel Plantation is OK, but off in country a bit. Will take some extra time to get there. Would probably go to Forsyth and take road to Juliette, along Ocmulgee River (north of Macon). Juliette is where Whistle Stop cafe from Fried Green Tomatos was filmed.
Macon has a couple of museums, one of music is OK. Near the central city park for a picnic.
South of Perry, look for Montezuma. Road to Montezuma has Yoder's (Mennonite cooking). Worth a short side drive. Some of the best Roast Beef I have ever got outside of home. Excellent pies. Everything else pretty good. Can get crowded right at noon.
Buckners also good idea for food, about 30 miles North of Macon.
Indian Springs would be a good visit. It is the oldest state park in GA (pretty sure). It is site of where Chief John McIntosh signed away land rights of Creek Indians to much of central GA.
Also site of a "medicinal" spring used by American Indians and still used today by many. Water has sulphur smell, contains many other minerals (content is posted). Put is in container in refigerator for a few days and all smell and taste goes away, and then it is really good water, and good for you supposedly. Springhouse is located on left near rock pavilion as you enter park. Has a small museum, can play on rocks at creek, a few short trails.
Indian Springs has nice picnic areas, pretty lake with beach for swimming. No life guard and ropes keep you in less than 5 ft of water, but nice when few people there on weekdays. Has cabins that could be rented.
Not to far away (5 miles?) toward Jackson (through Flovilla) is Open Air BBQ. Around since the 1920s or 30s and staple for locals around here. Pulled pork sandwiches, tangy thin vinegary sauce. To me best I have ever had. Good stew (not tradition brunswick stew). You can get the package deal with 2lbs BBQ, stew, slaw, buns, etc (no chips) for reasonable then drive over to Indian Springs for picnic. Or just buy a pound and get buns at convenience store near Indian Springs.
High Falls is OK, but not as good as Indian Springs. Small pond, nice dam, good rapids/falls. Some short trails, pool (no lake swimming any more--I used to love the beach here).
Thanks so much! We followed the suggestions you all gave us and had a great day. I wouldn't have found many of these places another way.
Did you try the water at Indian Springs? What about the BBQ?
Glad was able to help. We are currently in Charleston, WV and used the helpful WV posters for lots of info.
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