Macon, Georgia

Our first real port of call: Macon (pronounced May-con). According to our guidebook (Frommer’s) “only Savannah tops Macon for its striking old buildings” and “the 1842 Inn is reason enough to come to Macon”. Probably right on both counts I would say. The Inn is elegant and comfortable – we had coffee on the verandah, breakfast in the courtyard and hors d’oeuvres in the parlour. The latter was an opportunity for guests to socialise and we met a lovely lady who had travelled from upstate New York to attend to her house in Macon. She had previously lived there and was now renting it out to students.

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Other highlights of our visit were the Hay House, an Italian Renaissance Revival home built c1855, and St Joseph’s Cathedral.

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We found good places to eat, notably Lemongrass, an award winning Thai restaurant whose cool and minimalist decor contrasted with the faded Southern charm elsewhere. The sad thing was that the place was really quiet – we felt we were almost the only tourists around. Macon deserves more visitors.