Awaken in Macon, the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World

Updated 2021. Ah, spring. I welcome you with open arms and an eagerness to awaken from my lethargic slumber. Every year I grow restless waiting for the season of growth and invigoration. Ditch dreary and drab for the pinkest party on earth at the Macon Cherry Blossom Festival! With more than 300,000 trees, Macon has been named the cherry blossom capital of the world.

The small town of Macon is located smack dab in the middle of the state so it is often referred to as the “heart of Georgia.” It is usually a quiet town with the exception of a few weeks in March when they celebrate the extravagant display of blooming cherry blossoms.

Macon, Georgia Cherry Blossoms
Downtown at Cherry Blossom Row

International Cherry Blossom Festival

In mid-March, Macon kicks off the cherry blossom season with a festival that includes a pageant, parade, running races, food truck frenzy weekend, lantern lighting, music, and food. The festival began in 1982 and has been going strong ever since.

2021 Cherry Blossom Festival Dates: March 19th – March 28th.

Macon, Georgia Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossom Branch

Self Guided Cherry Blossom Driving Tour

Macon, Georgia Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossom Trail
Macon, Georgia Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossom Trail

The scenic driving tour through the neighborhoods of Macon was the highlight of our trip. We were enraptured by the magnificent display of delicate pink. The blooming trees formed a blush-colored canopy over the paths and roads. It is the perfect place to welcome the arrival of spring.

Stop in the Visitors Center to watch a short introduction video to Macon and to pick up a current Cherry Blossom Driving Trail map which includes all the primary stops and concentrated areas.

Macon Visitors Center

450 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
478-743-1074 or 800-768-3401

Open Daily during the festival: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm

Macon, Georgia Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossom Trail

Cherry Blossom Beginnings

William A. Fickling, a Macon local resident, had a tree in his backyard and each spring he admired its elegant flowers. He had no idea what the tree was called and could find no one else in town who knew. In 1952, on a trip to our nation’s capital, he came to the realization it was a cherry blossom tree.

He began handing out trees to friends and neighbors. Unbeknownst to him, he would eventually be putting the sleepy town of Macon on the map as the cherry blossom capital of the world!

Macon, Georgia Cherry Blossoms
Ahh the smell of springtime

Other Things to Do In and Around Macon, Georgia

Walk around and enjoy the charming antebellum architecture. Macon boasts of 6,000 historic structures and 14 historic districts. The town was lucky to be bypassed by General Sherman’s March to the Sea from Savannah to Atlanta.

Macon, Georgia Cherry Blossoms

Tour the Cannonball House, a Greek Revival style home built in 1853. Its name comes from the immense cannonball damage sustained during the Civil War.

The Hay House, an Italian Renaissance Revival mansion, was finished in 1859. It has been called the “The Palace of the South” and served as a private residence for 102 years.

Stop in The Rookery for a local craft beer, Fried Green Tomato BLT or a hand-spun milkshake.

Macon, Georgia Cherry Blossoms
Downtown Macon

Visit the Allman Brothers Band Museum, where the group lived and created music in the band’s primitive years. Their album, At Fillmore East is considered by most critics to be the best live album ever made. It ranks #49 on Rolling Stone’s list of the best albums of all time.

Wander the grounds of Rose Hill Cemetery to find eerie headstones, more cherry blossoms, and two Allman Brothers graves.

Eat a hot dog at Nu-Way, the second oldest hot dog stand in the United States. It opened in 1916, right behind Nathan’s Famous in New York. Nu-Way has been misspelling the word wiener ever since 1937 when a sign-maker made the mishap.

Macon, Georgia Cherry Blossoms
I thought something didn’t look right W-I-E-N-E-R

Learn about prehistoric Native American history at Ocmulgee National Monument, one of the most impressive archeological sights in the South.

Macon, Georgia Cherry Blossoms

What is your favorite thing to do to celebrate the beginning of spring?

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Macon, Georgia Cherry Blossoms

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Angela E. is a travel writer from the Chicagoland area who has visited all 50 states in the US and has traveled extensively around the world. She is passionate about exploring the great outdoors and hiking in particular. Her love for nature has taken her to some of the most beautiful locations on the planet. She has written extensively about her travels on her own website, Dang Travelers, and has been published in collaboration with other travel websites and multiple visitor bureaus around the country.

18 Responses

    • Dang Travelers

      The drive was spectacular. There were so many streets lined with cherry blossom trees!

  1. Chris Travels

    What a great post! I love your creative writing style as you “take me there” and it makes me want to visit each and every place you write about. Also loved all the lush pictures with such beautiful colors!

    • Dang Travelers

      Thank you so much Chris! Macon was a fun overnight from Atlanta. We love tracking down beautiful flowers and unique things to do.

  2. Lizzy

    How beautiful! A perfect way to welcome springtime 🙂
    I love the fact that it was all started by a man who liked his tree! Haha how lovely. Maybe I should start handing out cherry blossom trees!

    • Dang Travelers

      Lol I know, right? Just goes to show how an act of kindness can turn into something wonderful.

  3. Travelog with Jem

    Hail, Sir William Fickling! I would that a thousand more souls would do the same as you did. Or perhaps, I should start doing the same. Love the Spring blossoms. I always take my camera out and spend time in the parks near my house.

    • Dang Travelers

      What a spectacular idea from an innovative man. We thought the same thing. Imagine how beautiful our world would be if just one person out of every town or city did something like this.

  4. Dom

    Macon sounds like a unique place, and the blossoms make it very pretty. The Ocmulgee National Monument sounds like it could be right up my street, i love history!

    • Dang Travelers

      Macon was an enjoyable side trip from Atlanta. We loved walking through the small town and seeing the stately antebellum homes and learning about its history.

  5. travelling chingrita

    The sights you have captured beautifully, but I’m curious to have a nice long deep breath at each stop. The charm of a town and even a city, is brought to life by the greenery and blossoms. Thanks for the post!

  6. Kerri McConnel

    Interesting to read about another Macon. I visited Macon in France recently. The photos of the cherry blossoms are absolutely gorgeous. I especially loved the photo of downtown Macon with the hot pink (fuschia ?) coloured doorways. I also love the antebellum homes, which I saw a few of in Louisiana (near New Orleans).

  7. Dan Vineberg

    Incredible shots! The one of the trail winding through the cherry blossoms deserves to be on a post card.

  8. Natasha

    Wow I would have thought that Japan was named the cherry blossom festival of the world. Little did I know it was right in my own country! Lovely photos!

    • Dang Travelers

      Before I found out about Macon, we thought it was either Japan or DC because we hear so much about them and nothing about Macon. Probably because it’s a small town outside a big city versus being the big city itself. Either way, it was a unique experience and we enjoyed it. If you ever get a chance you should head out there one spring.

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