Historical past doesn’t must be boring. Learning numbers and dates and names of essential folks is boring. However strolling throughout the campus of the primary state-chartered college, touring the oldest home in a city, and standing on a 1,000-year-old basis is something however boring.
Earlier than Sherman marched throughout Georgia, earlier than railroads related the cities, earlier than Atlanta was the capital – and even earlier than it was based – Georgia’s frontier stretched between Athens and Macon. The inhabitants shifted west after the state was based following the Revolutionary Conflict. A lot of the inhabitants shifted that in 1807 a brand new capital metropolis was constructed on the frontier.
This 135-mile history-themed highway journey highlights the historic elements of these frontier cities, home museums, and guided excursions but in addition contains the place to eat and sleep alongside the best way.
It’s going to solely take three hours to drive the 135-mile route between Athens and Perry. However what’s the enjoyable in that? There are a number of methods to strategy this highway journey, starting from a weekend getaway to a full-blown historical past, buying, and eating tour.
Listed below are three beneficial itineraries to your highway journey journey:
Possibility No. 1 – The Weekend Getaway
Day #1 – Athens, Madison, and Eatonton (Keep in Milledgeville)
Day #2 – Milledgeville, Macon, Warner Robins, and Perry
Possibility No. 2 – The Vacation Weekend Getaway
Day #1 – Athens and Madison (Keep in Madison)
Day #2 – Eatonton, Milledgeville, and Macon (Keep in Macon)
Day #3 – Macon, Warner Robins, and Perry
Possibility No. 3 – The Final Getaway
Day #1 – Athens (Keep in Athens)
Day #2 – Athens (Keep in Athens)
Day #3 – Madison (Keep in Madison)
Day #4 – Eatonton and Milledgeville (Keep in Milledgeville)
Day #5 – Milledgeville (Keep in Macon)
Day #6 – Macon (Keep in Macon)
Day #7 – Warner Robins and Perry
Which of those itineraries is most interesting to you? Depart me a remark beneath and let me know!
Cease No. 1
Athens is a metropolis of firsts. In 1785, the College of Georgia was the primary state-chartered college within the nation – though the varsity didn’t start admitting college students till 1801, two years after the state-chartered College of North Carolina. In 1801, the primary gardening membership in America was based within the dwelling of Mrs. E.Ok. Lumpkin. In 1907, Ben Epps grew to become the primary southern aviator when he flew a airplane for the primary time in Georgia. And in 1910, Ida Mae Hiram was the primary African-American in Georgia to cross the Georgia Dental Board exams.
Start exploring Athens with a go to to the Historic Athens Welcome Middle. Take the guided tour of the Church-Waddel-Brumby Home Museum, decide up brochures and customer guides, and e-book the Historic Athens Heritage Tour, a 90-minute guided tour on a shuttle bus. Dig deeper into Athens’ historical past with a tour on the Taylor Grady Home and T.R.R. Cobb Home, go to the Georgia Museum of Pure Historical past, and discover the Georgia Museum of Artwork.
The College of Georgia is a giant draw for guests to Athens. Hundreds flood the streets and fill the seats at Sanford Stadium to cheer on the Bulldogs. Outdated School, inbuilt 1806, is the oldest remaining constructing on campus, situated only a ten-minute stroll from Broad Avenue. A few fifteen-minute drive from downtown, the State Botanical Backyard of Georgia is operated by the college – with free admission, guests can discover dozens of flower gardens alongside simple paths.
Spend a night exploring the half dozen breweries all through Athens – Athentic Brewing Firm and Southern Brewing Firm function out of doors seating, whereas Akademia Brewing Firm provides a full menu for lunch or dinner. Trappeze Pub and Dawg Gone Good BBQ are nice locations for downtown eating, and Creature Comforts Brewing Firm is simply across the nook. Only a few minutes from downtown, Cali N Tito’s, serving made-to-order Latin meals, is without doubt one of the quirkiest locations to eat on the town.
The place to Keep
Inns are unfold all through Athens however primarily situated alongside US Freeway 78 – Broadway Avenue. It’s simple to entry to get backwards and forwards if spending an evening or two within the metropolis.
The one price range choice in Athens is the Wingate by Wyndham. It’s a pleasant lodge with an indoor swimming pool, a big breakfast space, and a cavernous foyer. Rooms function two queen beds or a king mattress.
The Vacation Inn Specific sits on the fringe of downtown, about two blocks away – strolling distance, however an extended stroll. The lodge options an out of doors swimming pool and free on-site parking. Rooms embody two queen beds or a king mattress.
Hampton Inn is at all times a favourite lodge due to their stellar complimentary, scorching breakfast included with each room. The lodge is a couple of five-minute drive from downtown and options an out of doors swimming pool and free on-site parking. Rooms embody two full beds, one queen mattress, two queen beds, and a king mattress with a sleeper couch.
Lodge Indigo is a contemporary, attractive lodge inside strolling distance of downtown Athens. The lodge contains a spacious foyer, an unlimited eating space, and an on-site bar. The rooms are spacious and full of residential furnishings for a homey expertise. Rooms function two queen beds or a king mattress.
Graduate Athens was constructed inside a historic property, a former foundry, inside strolling distance of downtown and campus. The décor and furnishings extra carefully resemble a rental home than a lodge. The lodge options an out of doors swimming pool and free on-site parking. Rooms embody two queen beds, a king mattress, and suites with a mattress and sleeper couch.
Hyatt Place is essentially the most handy lodge to spend a couple of nights in Athens. The lodge is inside strolling distance to downtown, the College of Georgia campus, and 1000 Faces Espresso is subsequent door. The lodge options an on-site bar and complimentary breakfast included with rooms. The rooms embody two queen beds or a king mattress, and most rooms have a sleeper couch.
Cease No. 2
Leaving Athens behind on US Freeway 441, it doesn’t take lengthy to succeed in the countryside of Georgia’s Historic Heartland. Shortly after passing Watkinsville, the four-lane divided freeway narrows to 2 lanes because it winds by means of farmlands. The 30-minute drive into Madison is simple sufficient, a calming effort getting ready you for one more journey.
In 1809, forty-eight heaps have been drawn for a brand new city on the frontier in Georgia. Named in honor of President James Madison, the city was the hub of agriculture within the area and teemed with life. After a fireplace in 1869 destroyed a lot of the wooden body buildings, downtown companies have been rebuilt with brick – and lots of of these buildings are nonetheless in use at this time.
Start on the Madison Welcome Middle, the place you’ll find brochures, customer guides, and self-guided strolling excursions. Surrounding City Sq. on the metropolis’s heart, native outlets provide baked items, clothes, art work, and antiques. Go for a stroll alongside Washington Avenue to go to Madison City Park, a public park with a water fountain and amphitheater steadily showcasing performances through the summer season months.
Be taught extra in regards to the city’s historical past on the Madison-Morgan Cultural Middle, a former college was a two-story museum full of reveals and artifacts. At Heritage Corridor, a guided tour of the two-story antebellum dwelling contains fascinating tales of the homeowners and why the city was spared from burning throughout Sherman’s March to the Sea. The Morgan County African-American Museum is situated contained in the historic Moore Home and contains reveals on native historical past. The Rogers Home, inbuilt 1810, is the one remaining dwelling on its unique lot on the town. Beside it, Rose Cottage was inbuilt 1891 for former slave Adeline Rose.
Able to eat? Amici Madison provides savory Italian meals, City 220 Restaurant is ok eating with steak, seafood, and pasta, and at Hart & Crown Tavern you’ll discover British meals with a flare at snug cubicles surrounded by hardwood flooring. Take a brief drive out of city to go to Farmview Market – a grocery retailer, reward store, and restaurant. The cafeteria makes use of native substances for savory gadgets like pan-fried catfish and tacky hash brown casserole.
Get your morning began with a go to to Oconee Espresso Roasters. The enormous roasting machine occupies a nook of the small store. Get a contemporary espresso and head upstairs for a comfortable nook to take pleasure in your drink earlier than hitting the highway.
The place to Keep
The Interstate 20 exit options numerous motels, however solely two I’d advocate for spending an evening or two.
The Days Inn is a budget-friendly selection with reasonably snug rooms. The property is threadbare with no additional facilities. The motel’s rooms embody two queen beds or a king mattress.
Hampton Inn is a wonderful selection for a cushty place to spend an evening or two in Madison. The lodge options an out of doors swimming pool and savory scorching breakfast included with each room. The rooms embody two queen beds or a king mattress, and so they have a set with a mattress and sleeper couch.
Cease No. 3
The 30-minute drive from Madison to Eatonton is a pleasing journey alongside a two-lane highway by means of the countryside. The freeway widens right into a four-lane bypass earlier than getting into the city, however you’ll wish to drive into this small city for an hour or two.
Joel Chandler Harris was born in Eatonton in 1848. As a youngster, he apprenticed at a neighborhood plantation the place he discovered tales from African Individuals. Later in life, whereas working because the affiliate editor of The Atlanta Structure, Harris started writing a collection of fictional tales centered round Uncle Remus. Alice Walker was born within the small city in 1944. In 1982, she grew to become the primary African American lady to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for writing The Shade Purple.
Guests to the Georgia Author’s Museum can discover the historical past of Harris and Walker, amongst many different notable Georgia writers, with dozens of reveals, artifacts, and samples of their written work. On the Uncle Remus Museum, guests can discover the early historical past of Joel Chandler Harris, his contributions to literature, and look at dioramas depicting a few of his Uncle Remus characters.
In 1998, a gaggle of Eatonton residents took on the arduous job of restoring and renovating the 1916 Eatonton College. As soon as accomplished, The Plaza Arts Middle opened to the general public – a venue for performances starting from concert events to performs. Restoring 4 school rooms, the Outdated College Historical past Museum provides guided excursions of the varsity and reveals.
Cease No. 4
US Freeway 441 is a four-lane, divided freeway between Eatonton and Milledgeville. Journey is swift and foreshadows the transition from countryside to small metropolis. In 1804, the Georgia state legislature handed an act to construct a brand new capital metropolis. The state bought 3,240 acres, drew a city plan with heaps, and the proceeds from the land gross sales funded the brand new capitol constructing. In 1807, fifteen wagons left Louisville for Milledgeville, named in honor of then-governor John Milledge.
With virtually 7,000 full-time college students, Georgia School straddles the western fringe of downtown. Downtown eating places, bars, and outlets cater to the youthful crowd steadily noticed strolling the large sidewalks. It’s a hip city, a spot the place it’s cool to like historical past as a lot as antiquing and eating.
Start on the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Customer Middle on West Hancock Avenue. Recent lemonade is steadily out there, and the brochure racks are at all times stuffed full. Ebook a seat on the Historic Trolley Tour to be taught in regards to the city’s historical past or the Central State Hospital Campus Tour. Based in 1842, Central State Hospital was the most important psychological well being hospital within the nation through the Sixties, with 12,000 sufferers, 6,000 workers, and almost 8,000 acres of campus.
In 1805, building started on the brand new capitol constructing. Departing from the standard domed design of a capitol constructing, Georgia’s new legislative dwelling was a Gothic Revival-style constructing extra carefully resembling a fort. In 1879, eleven years after the capital moved to Atlanta, the newly created Georgia Navy School bought the Outdated Capitol Constructing.
In 1839, a grand mansion was accomplished for future governors. In 1889, the state offered the deserted mansion to the Georgia Regular & Industrial School, at this time referred to as Georgia School. Guided excursions of the renovated and restored four-story Outdated Governor’s Mansion are provided.
One other cherished historic web site owned by Georgia School, Andalusia Farm, was the house of creator Flannery O’Conner. In-built 1814 as a cotton plantation, O’Conner’s uncle purchased the property in 1931. After being recognized with Lupus, she lived in the home from 1951 till she died in 1964. Throughout that point, she wrote most of her physique of literature. Guided excursions are provided of the home.
Positioned at Lockerly Arboretum, Rose Hill is a three-story Greek Revival fashion home constructed for Daniel Reece Tucker in 1852. After passing by means of a number of homeowners, the arboretum bought the house in 1998 and opened it to the general public for guided excursions.
School cities are identified for his or her native eating places, and Milledgeville is not any exception. After exploring all of the historic websites, you’re more likely to be famished. Velvet Elvis Grill and Faucet provides baskets of fries with varied toppings, quesadillas and tacos, sandwiches, and burgers. At Georgia Bob’s BBQ, you’ll be able to order tender barbecue any manner you prefer it and revel in it with home made sauces. The Reel Grill provides a menu of steak and seafood, whereas Amici Italian Café, based in Madison, is the go-to place for pizza and wings.
Earlier than leaving city within the morning, head over to The Native Yokal Café for a savory made-to-order breakfast and seize a espresso to go at Blackbird Espresso. Get pleasure from a brief stroll by means of downtown – it’s a small space – whereas shopping the assorted outlets.
The place to Keep
In Milledgeville, all of the motels are situated alongside US Freeway 441 – North Columbia Avenue. It’s a busy freeway, however visitors lights make it simple to navigate to and from a lodge whereas spending an evening or two.
Consolation Suites is essentially the most budget-friendly choice, and it’s a very good choice. The lodge options an indoor swimming pool and spacious foyer. Rooms embody two queen beds or a king mattress.
La Quinta has grow to be one in all my favourite moderately-priced lodge chains to spend a cushty evening. The lodge options an indoor swimming pool, an superior neighborhood space within the foyer, and glorious eating space for breakfast. Rooms embody two queen beds or a king mattress.
Vacation Inn Specific & Suites is a superb lodge when you’re solely on the lookout for a protected and cozy place to spend the evening. Rooms embody two queen beds or a king mattress.
Hampton Inn is at all times a favourite property to advocate with their glorious complimentary, scorching breakfast. The lodge options an out of doors swimming pool and spacious foyer. Rooms embody two queen beds, a king mattress, and a set with a king mattress and sleeper couch.
Fairfield Inn & Suites is the head of in a single day lodging in Milledgeville. The lodge options an indoor swimming pool with a scorching tub, a spacious foyer, and a cushty eating space for breakfast. Rooms embody two queen beds, a king mattress, or a set with a king mattress and sleeper couch.
Cease No. 5
The forty-five-minute drive from Milledgeville to Macon is essentially uneventful. The route begins on the two-lane County Freeway 22 into Grey, the place the four-lane divided US Freeway 441 continues into Macon.
The town “the place soul lives,” Macon was the house of well-known musical artists like Otis Redding, Little Richard, and the Allman Brothers. The Museum at Capricorn interprets the historical past of Capricorn Information, the place a lot of these well-known artists recorded their hit albums. Dig deep into the historical past and affect of the Allman Brothers at The Large Home Museum. Catch a dwell efficiency at The Grand Opera Home, the premier leisure venue in Macon since 1904.
The docents at The Cannonball Home Museum wish to inform the notorious story of the time the antebellum home was struck by a cannonball through the Civil Conflict. Close by, the Hay Home is without doubt one of the most attractive mansions in Macon, and thankfully, it’s open for guided excursions.
Take a stroll by means of the Georgia Sports activities Corridor of Fame to see reveals, sports activities gear, and replays of well-known athletes born within the Peach State. Throughout the road, discover African American artwork, historical past, and tradition on the Tubman Museum.
Throughout the river, Ocmulgee Mounds Nationwide Historic Park preserves a number of Native American mounds. Trails join the mounds and ascend the light slopes to the flat tops. On the Earth Lodge, only a five-minute stroll from the customer heart, step contained in the low entrance to see a 1,000-year-old basis of the unique mound.
Downtown Macon is huge, spanning over a dozen metropolis blocks. However it’s simple to discover beneath the shade of timber planted alongside the curb, angled parking simple to make use of, and large sidewalks in entrance of the companies. Alongside 3rd Avenue and Poplar Avenue, parks between the lanes of visitors provide a respite for weary explorers.
Whenever you’re prepared for dinner, Macon Beer Firm contains a craft brewery and full-service restaurant. Bearfoot Tavern options European and American pub-style meals and over 50 craft beers on faucet. The historical past of The Rookery dates to the times of The Allman Brothers recording at Capricorn Studios – the menu options scrumptious sandwiches and burgers named in honor of Georgia musicians and celebrities.
The place to Keep
Macon is a giant metropolis on the intersection of Interstates 16 and 75, which suggests there are many lodge choices. Just a few are situated downtown, however any lodge I like to recommend is not more than a 15-minute drive from the town’s heart. The very best place to discover a lodge is the cluster at Exit 169 on I-75.
Microtel Inn & Suites provides naked requirements, however the rooms are nonetheless snug. Positioned at Exit 172 on I-75, the lodge is barely a ten-minute drive to downtown Macon. Rooms function two queen beds or a king mattress.
The Finest Western on Riverside Drive is a budget-friendly choice with spacious rooms. The lodge options an out of doors swimming pool, a spacious foyer, and free on-site parking. Rooms embody two queen beds, a king mattress, or a king mattress with a sleeper couch.
The Purple Roof Inn on Riverside Drive doesn’t function the enduring purple roof – its a completely completely different sort of constructing. The towering six-story lodge options an out of doors swimming pool and spacious foyer. The rooms embody two queen beds, a king mattress, and the suites embody a king mattress and a sleeper couch.
Avid Inns is situated in a cluster of different motels at Exit 169 on I-75 a couple of ten-minute drive from downtown Macon. The lodge is a naked bones property, however protected and cozy. Rooms function two queen beds or a king mattress.
Vacation Inn at Exit 169 is without doubt one of the finest locations to spend a couple of nights in Macon. The lodge options free on-site parking, an on-site restaurant, and a stunning indoor swimming pool. Rooms embody two queen beds or a king mattress, and the King Suite features a king mattress and a sleeper couch.
Hampton Inn is at all times a favourite selection with snug rooms and a very good complimentary scorching breakfast. The lodge options an indoor swimming pool and loads of free on-site parking. Rooms embody two queen beds or one king mattress, or a set with a king mattress and a sleeper couch.
The Marriott is hooked up to the Macon Coliseum throughout the Ocmulgee River from downtown. Not fairly strolling distance, however only some minutes to drive. The lodge options an indoor swimming pool, on-site restaurant and bar, and loads of free on-site parking. Rooms embody two queen beds or a king mattress.
Lodge Forty 5 is the head of in a single day lodging in Macon. Positioned at Cotton Avenue and Cherry Avenue, the lodge is inside strolling distance of downtown home museums, retail outlets, and eating places. The lodge options an on-site restaurant and personal parking at a further value. Rooms embody two queen beds or a king mattress.
Cease No. 6
The 30-minute drive from Macon into Warner Robins is simple sufficient alongside the four-lane divided US Freeway 129. As quickly as you see large hangars and uninteresting grey army plane to the left, you’ll know you might have arrived at Robins Air Power Base.
Warner Robins is without doubt one of the youngest cities in Georgia. The 1940 census revealed the neighborhood of Wellston to be populated largely by farmers and their households. After america entered World Conflict II, the Conflict Division wanted an air depot within the southeast. US Consultant Carl Vinson efficiently pushed for Wellston.
In 1942, Wellston Military Air Depot opened. The primary commander, Colonel Charles Thomas, wished to call the air depot after his mentor. However the Conflict Division replied that air depots have been named after the closest city. Wellston was renamed after Augustine Warner Robins, and in 1956 the rising neighborhood was included as a metropolis.
Make your first cease on the E.L. Greenway Welcome Middle situated inside an outdated prepare depot. In-built 1944, the depot was the second for the town alongside the Georgia Southern & Florida Railroad. Inside, you’ll discover racks of brochures and customer guides and a small reward store that includes the work of native artisans.
In 1984, the Museum of Aviation opened to the general public with 20 army plane on show in an open area. Since then, the museum’s assortment has grown to incorporate a whole bunch of plane, autos, and reveals, turning into the second largest United States Air Power museum within the nation. The Rockwell B-1 Lancer supersonic heavy bomber guards the doorway to the museum, leaving a formidable first impression. Discover two further hangars and almost two dozen plane in fields across the museum advanced.
Cease No. 7
The ultimate leg of this highway journey is a leisurely 25-minute drive alongside county roads into Perry. In 1824, Perry was included as a city and named after Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, a hero of the Conflict of 1812. Like many southern cities, the early economic system was pushed by cotton. However the city skilled a style of tourism when US Freeway 41 was paved within the Nineteen Forties, connecting the Michigan Peninsula to Miami, Florida.
The ten-day Georgia Nationwide Truthful brings hundreds of tourists into the small nation city every October. All through the remainder of the yr, the city is frequented by interstate vacationers from Atlanta on the lookout for a spot to stretch their legs, do some native buying, and get one thing to eat.
Within the Eighteen Eighties, Mayor Cox constructed a home on Carroll Avenue, the primary road by means of downtown Perry. In 2002, Mike and Kim Sheridan bought the home – it was expanded with further bedrooms and a wraparound porch within the 1900s – and so they established The Swanson restaurant. Connoisseur southern meals is served on white tableclothed tables throughout the coated porch.
In 2019, Evan Acres purchased a baking enterprise from his mom, Tonya Sadler. Evan and his spouse, Erika, expanded the retail store in North Macon and, in 2020, opened the doorways to a brand new location in Perry. After working below the identify Casserole Store for 22 years, the enterprise was renamed Acres & Oak Kitchen – it means “household desk.” The restaurant is open six days every week for a late breakfast, lunch, and dinner – most of it baked from scratch.
At Schultze’s Outdated Long-established Soda Store, guests can take pleasure in burgers and fries served in plastic baskets and floats made with soda, wine, or beer. The décor exudes the 60s diner period with brightly-colored benches and chairs, chrome particulars, and a jukebox within the nook.
Begin your day at Morning by Morning Espresso Firm. When Beth Cleveland found “she had a knack for roasting” espresso, she started promoting it by the bag. Transferring into an outdated gasoline station, Cleveland remodeled it into an area for the neighborhood to collect round their favourite caffeinated brew.