Why Macon, Georgia, for a weekend? Well, I'll tell you--it's about music, music, music. This town is the birthplace of some of the greatest sounds of the 20th century. And there's no better time to visit than in September, when all manner of artists belt out their songs here. You'll want to aim for September 19 through 21 for the best performances and concerts.
Start your toe tapping at the Brown Bag Boogie outdoor concert, which begins at noon on the 19th at the Music Hall of Fame. It's typically the best. Then get to Len Berg's before 2 p.m. for lunch. This meat-and-two eatery, which has been around since 1908, serves tasty comfort food, such as country-fried steak, salmon croquettes, and baked turkey along with fresh vegetables (from $5.60).
Afterward, check in to your lodging. For those travelers who enjoy elegant bed-and-breakfasts, we deem the 1842 Inn one of
the finest (478) 741-1842 or www.the1842inn.com; $109-$230). When you prefer a simple, more affordable motel, we recommend the airy Atrium La Quinta Inn & Suites (478) 475-0206
Spend the afternoon strolling on Cherry Street, where ladies can outfit themselves from head to toe. Hats and makeup take center stage at Joycine's Accessories-Art-Attitudes. Owner Barbara Barry keeps a fine selection of chapeaus, much as her mother did when she started the business in 1945. For those who can never have enough shoes and purses, Karla's Shoe Boutique feels heavenly. Owners Karla Redding Andrews and Zelma Redding also have a musical connection; they are Otis Redding's daughter and widow.
If you're in town on the 19th, dine early enough to catch Jammin' in the Street, an outdoor concert at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Indulge in a romantic Italian dinner tonight at Natalia's. This is a good place for a lighter meal. You can order from the antipasti menu ($4.50-$10) and ask for the pasta as an appetizer ($9 instead of $15-$17). We love the artichoke hearts served with steamed shrimp ($8.50) and the piroshki, a delicate pastry filled with beef and topped with béarnaise sauce ($7).
For a nightcap, drop in to Trio on Cherry Street. Live jazz and excellent martinis create beautiful dreams.