What to do and see in Columbus, United States: The Best Places and Tips

December 10, 2017 Matilde Konrad

This bustling riverfront town offers good old-fashioned Southern hospitality, old-world charm and a treasure trove of discoveries for Civil War buffs. To really get the feel of another era, stroll through the National Historic District, a 28-block stretch of restored Victorian homes, gardens and gazebos, and tour the house museums in Heritage Corner. Situated on the Chattahoochee River, Columbus offers a mixture of old and new with the lovely 12-mile Columbus Riverwalk, which includes the Chattahoochee Promenade, a walking tour of historical markers. A chief supplier for the Confederate Army, the town's Civil War history is on display in myriad museums and historic sites like Port Columbus Civil War Naval Center, which contains some of the Civil War's most important artifacts. But it's not all just war memorabilia: Columbus boasts a rich cultural side, with opera, symphony and a performing arts center. And for family fun, head to the Coca-Cola Space Museum for a simulated flight and a look at the first Coke machine used in outer space.
Restaurants in Columbus

1. National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center

1775 Legacy Way, Columbus, GA 31903-3674 +1 706-685-5800
Excellent
90%
Good
7%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center

The National Infantry Museum emphasizes the values that define the Infantryman, as well as the nation he protects: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. It preserves and displays one of the greatest collections of military artifacts in the world, but it is a museum of people, not things. As a visitor, you will meet the Infantryman face to face and join him on his journey. You will come to understand why an Infantryman does what he does, why he puts himself in harm’s way in defense of an idea and you will leave transformed, just as the Infantry transforms the man into the Soldier. The 190,000-square-foot museum opened in June 2009 on a 200-acre tract of hardwoods and pines just outside the gates of the Fort Benning Maneuver Center of Excellence.

Reviewed By Happytravel400 - Athens, Georgia

We had a great time with grandsons for the 100th anniversary of the fort. Many displays, re-enactments, copters and tanks to climb in. Many about-to-graduate OTC candidates dressed in period uniforms and served as guides through the displays. Great historical movie and well planned museum displays. Military contractors showed off latest electronic gadgets. Young teen and preteen grandsons had a wonderful time.

2. Columbus Riverwalk

Bay Avenue and 11th Street, Columbus, GA 39701
Excellent
64%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 872 reviews

Columbus Riverwalk

Reviewed By mike w - Columbus, Georgia

Whitewater rafting has become very popular along the river here. You can walk or bike along the riverwalk for several miles and it is very scenic, although parts of the trail may not be safe for walking or biking alone.

3. National Civil War Naval Museum

1002 Victory Drive, Columbus, GA 31901-3429 +1 706-327-9798
Excellent
59%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 399 reviews

National Civil War Naval Museum

By telling the stories of the navies of the Civil War, we connect people with the past; giving them a better sense of place and time. Located in Columbus, Georgia, the National Civil War Naval Museum overlooks the Chattahoochee River. We house the largest surviving Confederate warship, the CSS Jackson, as well as the wreckage of the CSS Chattahoochee. Other exhibits include a full scale ship replica of the USS Water Witch, a replica of the USS Hartford with its berth deck, ward room and captain’s cabin, an actual cutter or "ship's boat" from the USS Hartford, a full scale replica of the USS Monitor’s famous turret, and an immersive panoramic dockside exhibit recreating Plymouth, North Carolina, complete with an exterior and interior view of the CSS Albemarle. Among our many artifacts, we have the largest collection of Civil War Naval-related flags on display in the country. The collection includes various flags from ships and coastal forts, signal flags and Admirals’ pennants.

Reviewed By sicemdawgs77 - Columbus, Georgia

Although not as large as the Infantry Museum on Fort Benning, this is a really nice museum in its own right. It is set up nicely and user friendly to get information and learn about Civil War history.

4. Columbus Museum

1251 Wynnton Rd, Columbus, GA 31906-2899 +1 706-748-2562
Excellent
64%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
7%
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 140 reviews

Columbus Museum

The second largest art museum in Georgia offers room after room of fine and decorative American art, with a special emphasis on the Southeast and the Chattahoochee River Valley. With kids in tow, don't miss Transformations, the museum's interactive gallery where children can create their own masterpieces.

Reviewed By Lisa B - Texas

This is a historical museum of the region, an art museum, and an educational museum for children.

We enjoyed the historical museum. Wow! Very educational! Displays include information about the Indians, the river, textile development in the area, Ft. Benning, the war's impact on the area, and an amazing fifteen foot crocodile, etc.

The art museum section had some great art pieces, including rare photos of George and Martha Washington. The pieces of antique furnishings were stunningly beautiful! An amazing collection!

We didn't go to the children's educational section, but a peek inside told me it was similar to the Mayborn Museums in Texas. The gift store and restrooms were near the entrance to the museum.

A well thought out museum with some rare pieces placed throughout. Regional in nature, yet much larger in scope.

5. Georgia Visitor Information Center - Columbus

1751 Williams Rd, Columbus, GA 31904-1601 +1 706-649-7455
Excellent
78%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
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Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 101 reviews

Georgia Visitor Information Center - Columbus

Official source for information on everything there is to do and see around Georgia. Open 7 days a week.

Reviewed By Aviator172 - Sanbornton, New Hampshire

We were helped by Glenda Benstead, who helped us with our questions. She is a Columbus local. And is very insightful about whats happening in Georgia and particularly the Columbus area. Thank you!

6. Flat Rock Park

Warm Springs Road, Columbus, GA
Excellent
44%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 116 reviews

Flat Rock Park

Reviewed By Dan W - Pensacola, Florida

We found this park online on a list of things to do if you only have one day in Columbus. We went and love this park, with the water falls, the lakes and streams surrounded by awesome mountain bike trails and disk golf course. A little bit of something for everyone. Awesome park.

7. Coca-Cola Space Science Center

701 Front Ave, Columbus, GA 31901-2925 +1 706-649-1477
Excellent
42%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
21%
Poor
6%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 187 reviews

Coca-Cola Space Science Center

Columbus State University's Coca-Cola Space Science Center is located in the heart of uptown Columbus along the beautiful Chattahoochee Riverwalk and adjacent to the Columbus Historic District and the Iron Works Convention and Trade Center. Our state of the art facility houses a Challenger Learning Center, the Omnisphere Theater and the Mead Observatory. Visit our Plaza area for many interactive exhibits and displays. There's something for everyone so keep an eye on what's happening at the Space Center. Schedules subject to change. Call for more information on any of our activities or events.

Reviewed By TLB17 - Tallahassee, Florida

The Space Science Center is a good place to take kids. The parking was free and on-site. It seems to be geared towards a much younger audience for grade-school aged kids. Multiple interactive activities. Adults may not enjoy this. Very small building and tiny gift shop. Staff was friendly and informative and seem to really enjoy working at the center. They provided a short history lesson about the many pieces of space shuttle present in the viewing areas and information about the exhibits. I can tell they care much for science center.

8. Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center

3535 S Lumpkin Rd, Columbus State University, Columbus, GA 31903-4212 +1 706-507-8550
Excellent
61%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
5%
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 52 reviews

Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center

Opened in 1995 as a collaboration among Columbus State University, Columbus Water Works, and the City of Columbus, Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center provides exhibits, natural history displays, nature trails, and also offers formal and informal educational programs about the ecology and natural history of the region. Inside the center, visitors can view a variety of snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, turtles, tortoises, fish, alligators, invertebrates, and lots more. Visitors can take a walk down our trails to catch a glimpse of native wildlife, view our wetlands and ponds, or to explore our educational and fun Discovery Trail.

Reviewed By Kathy W

They had different animals and plants from the area. It was a great sight to see with young and old. It is free and a great example of life in the area

9. Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center

801 Front Ave, Columbus, GA 31901-2714 +1 706-327-4522
Excellent
61%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
3%
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 62 reviews

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Reviewed By pitterpat000 - Gainesville, Georgia

We had a conference here for a small group. It was a lovely building - I wish I'd had time to just walk around and look at the whole building. The staff here was especially nice - I really liked them. The food was pretty good for a convention center.

10. RiverCenter for the Performing Arts

900 Broadway, Columbus, GA 31901-2735 +1 706-256-3620
Excellent
88%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
3%
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 31 reviews

RiverCenter for the Performing Arts

Reviewed By GaGa158 - Columbus, Georgia

This is a beautiful venue and offers top rate entertainment for the area. Plays and concerts are presented for all ages and in all genres---and it is now the home of the Miss Georgia Pageant. The staff is friendly and helpful.

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