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Columbus is a surprisingly lively town on the southwest border of Georgia. The area is dripping with military history, great food, outdoor activities, and beautiful scenery capturing the age-old buildings and rushing Chattahoochee River. While you’re in town, take a moment to enjoy some of the top 10 things to do in Columbus.
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Tour the National Historic District
This quaint area is a full 28 blocks of Columbus history. Restored Victorian homes, lush Southern gardens, and other structures from way back when take visitors back in time. House museums in Heritage Corner can be toured, providing an even richer experience.
Blast Off at the Coca-Cola Space Science Center
Want to be an astronaut for the day? Columbus State University’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center packs a big punch in such a small building. Interactive exhibits like the Challenger Learning Center, mission and launch simulators, and the IMAX-style theater bring visitors as close to the real experience as you can get without jetting into space in a rocket. A space shuttle artifact collection valued at over $20 million allows kids and adults to reminisce about NASA’s awe-inspiring history.
Dinner and a Show at the Springer Opera House
Displaying the feel of traditional opera houses, The Springer Opera House is beautifully situated in historic downtown Columbus. Visitors praise each of the two stages for not having a single bad seat. The gorgeous architecture is classic, giving attendees a true experience. Since 1871, the theater has brought joy through a huge variety of shows, and was even named the State Theatre of Georgia by Gov. Jimmy Carter. Reserve a whole night at The Springer by enjoying its dinner and a show experience.
Zip Line Over the Chattahoochee
Get a bird’s eye-view of Columbus on the Blue Heron Adventure zip line. Travel from Georgia to Alabama on its 1,200-foot-long stretches of cables that extend over the Chattahoochee River. In fact, it’s the only zip line in America that connects two states. From the large towers and sky-high lines, you’ll get the best views of the city available. Fun obstacles like nets and wooden bridges also are incorporated into the adventure.
Shop the Saturday Market
Shop with the locals at Market Days on Broadway in downtown Columbus. More than 200 vendors are at your disposal every Saturday morning, year-round, from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. You’ll find authentic goods from local vendors including crafts, jewelry, organic produce, baked treats, and other things for the home you’ll only be able to find at Market Days.
Stroll the RiverWalk
This brick-paved walkway winds along the Chattahoochee, and it’s a great place to really capture the city. A playground with a summertime splash pad and stairs that guide you right to the water’s edge are big draws for families. Rent bikes to travel quickly along the route and you’ll get to see everything the RiverWalk offers. After dinner, many folks like to walk along the path to watch the sunset or hear live music.
To sample the best wine, cocktails, and small bites of the area, you need to take this foodie tour. The guides are very knowledgeable and not only take you to awesome places to eat, but they share historical knowledge and trivia too. Over the course of a couple of hours, you’ll delight your taste buds at local favorites like Country’s on Broad, 11th and Bay Southern Table, Momma Goldberg’s Deli, and Freeze Frame Yogurt Shoppe.
The National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center near the Fort Benning military base boasts one of the best collections of military artifacts in the world. This 190,000-square-foot history-laden attraction has seen millions of visitors since it opened in June 2009. The on-site theater is a certified Giant Screen Theater that plays documentaries and films in 3-D. Visitors also can immerse themselves in combat simulators for a virtual reality experience that puts you in the boots of a soldier for an authentic experience of what service members do every day.
Say Hello to Kadie the Cow
Kinnett Dairies produced ice cream and milk from the early 1900s and definitely left its mark on the city of Columbus before shutting down. An enormous cow, known as Kadie, was mounted in front of the building to draw attention. It worked, and astonishingly became a big attraction as well as a part of Columbus history. Kadie was adorned with an enormous wreath with a thousand lights at Christmas, and was a successful tourist draw. She’s become so adored, that she still remains in what is now a Best Buy parking lot. It may not be the most exciting thing to do, but it’s quite symbolic.