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Things To Do In Columbus, Georgia

Are you looking for fun things to do in Columbus, GA? Columbus is Georgia’s second-largest city located on the Chattahoochee River. Venture through downtown Columbus, filled with restaurants, shops, and local landmarks, navigate through exciting outdoor adventures, Broadway-esc theatrical performances, delicious eateries, and locally brewed beer. You could say that Columbus, Georgia has something for everyone.

History Of Columbus, Georgia

Originally, Columbus was inhabited by the Creek Indians. The city of Columbus, GA was settled in 1828 and named after Christopher Columbus. In 1918 It was an important shipping port that became home to the U.S. Army's Camp Benning which is now called Fort Benning.

Situated along the Chattahoochee River and bordering Alabama, Columbus has developed into a popular spot for lovers of the outdoors. Columbus features the longest urban whitewater course in the world and features a zip line across the river.

Art, music, history, nature and amazing food, there is plenty for visitors to experience in Columbus, GA. Whether you’re into whitewater rafting, historical museums or artistic masterpieces, you are sure to have a memorable experience.

Our Top 10 Things To Do In Columbus GA

Whether you’re looking for fun things to do in Columbus, GA for couples, with the family or just to pass the time, we’ve provided our top ten favorite attractions and then some!

#1) Whitewater Express

White Water Rafting

Whitewater Express is one of the most exciting things to do in Columbus, GA.

When Whitewater Express opened In 2012, Columbus became one of the top rafting destinations. This is because they now offer the world’s longest urban whitewater course on the Chattahoochee River.

Visitors can choose from a variety of whitewater rafting courses that are available depending on their experience. They provide both beginner and advanced trips with an experienced river guide that will navigate the journey.

You can float down the river and enjoy the scenery, battle the Chattahoochee River rapids or try out Cutbait, one of the largest rapids on the east coast!

Whitewater Express understands that some people don't like the water and offers customers a variety of land-based experiences as well. Try out the Blue Heron Adventure Park and zipline that takes you across the Chattahoochee river and into Alabama. Then zip right back on over to Columbus. This is tons of fun for the whole family.

They also offer Bike rentals allowing visitors to bike the length of the RiverWalk around Whitewater Express.

#2) Coca-Cola Space Science Center

Located in the historic district of downtown Columbus, GA is the amazing Coca-Cola Space Science Center, is an extremely fun place to visit in Columbus Georgia.

Check out Georgia’s largest collection of NASA Space Shuttle artifacts along with a variety of interactive exhibits. Visitors can test their piloting skills, experience a simulated rocket launch, and even drive rovers on Mars.

Make sure to check out the Omnisphere Theater to enjoy a tour of the skies and an informative science-based film. There are always kid and adult-friendly options to accomodate all visitors that come to the Space Science Center.

#3) Chattahoochee RiverWalk

Providence Canyon State Park

Spanning a distance of 15 miles along the length of the city, the Chattahoochee RiverWalk is Columbus Georgia’s landmark attraction that showcases the Chattahoochee River. This beautiful attraction is a must see for anyone visiting Columbus.

Make sure to bring your bike to make the most of this 15 mile RiverWalk. You can start north at Lake Oliver making your way through downtown Columbus, and end your journey at Fort Benning.

The RiverWalk offers beautiful natural landscapes on the river. Couples could set up a picnic among a canopy of trees.

Visit the 14th Street Pedestrian Bridge which is one of the most beautiful covered Bridges in Georgia.

You’re sure to find lots of kid-friendly activities along the way with various playgrounds set up along the river, and easy trails to hike that keep kids entertained.

#4) Pasaquan

This is one of the most unique sites to see in America. Paraquan is the home of Eddie Owens Martin (also known as St. EOM). Pasaquan is his life’s work, he turned his entire home into a visual masterpiece for the world to enjoy.

Eddie Owens Martin was a self-taught southern artist. He traveled to New York City at fourteen to start a career as a fortune teller. After his mother passed away in 1957, Eddie returned to the old farmhouse in Columbus, Georgia. This is when he started restoring it into what would become Pasaquan.

He fused symbols and designs together to create environmental artwork over a span of 30 years.You will see mandala murals, 900 feet of painted masonry walls, and a variety of different ritual structures.

Pasaquan now holds a spot on the National Registry of Historic Places. The site has recently been restored by Columbus State University, bringing it back to original beauty for visitors to experience and enjoy!

#5) National Infantry Museum

The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Fort Benning is a great place to explore and it is perfect for all ages. It includes a variety of interactive galleries spanning our nation's history and wars. Visitors can browse artifacts from combat and from a soldier’s life that cannot be seen anywhere else.

They offer virtual reality combat simulators that allow visitors to choose from different simulations. These simulations include a non-combatant evacuation mission, a humvee mission or a mission in a Black Hawk helicopter. The simulator also lets guests experience what it's like shooting on the rifle range.

#6) National Civil War Naval Museum

If the National Infantry And Soldier Center wasn't enough military history for you. The National Civil War Naval Museum is dedicated to exploring the history of boats and ships used on American waters.

The National Civil War Naval Museum is one of the top things to do in Columbus, offering a variety of interactive exhibits and events. Visitors can check out the remains of the CSS Chattahoochee. This famous steam and sail-powered gunboat sank in 1865 near Columbus.

Visitors can also see the CSS Albemarle. This ship features a classic Confederate Naval design, which guests can explore in full entirety.

But that’s not all, visitors can explore the USS Hartford as well. This was the flagship of the navy’s first admiral. Guests get a firsthand look at the function of the boat in battle and a look into life on board through fully restored living quarters.

#7) Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center

Oxbow Meadows is a great place for nature lovers to explore. There are a large variety of creatures to see including snakes, turtles and even alligators!

Created in 1995, Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center was created to help preserve the local landscape and ecology of the area while educating visitors. Enjoy exploring various nature trails and local wildlife or sign up for one of Oxbow’s interactive educational programs that are held throughout the year.

#8) Columbus Botanical Garden

Situated within 36 acres of undeveloped land in north Columbus, the Columbus Botanical Garden is one of the most beautiful sites to explore while you are in Columbus, Georgia.

Upon entering you will step through the Cottage Garden, Terraced Garden, and Vegetable. Then visitors can make their way to the forested JoAnn Holt Walking Trail. The trail will bring you through their Rose Garden and Camellia Garden that resides in a secluded and extremely peaceful area. The trail is walkable, not too difficult and is accessible to all visitors.

#9) Columbus Museum

The city of Columbus celebrates the arts, and the Columbus Museum does just that.

The Columbus Museum is one of the largest art museums in the Southeast. It is dedicated to showcasing the vibrant history of the Columbus area.

Get a historic look at life in the area beginning at the time of the native Creek peoples to present time. Visitors will get to see a variety of historical artifacts and learn what life was like for residents of Columbus, Georgia throughout the ages.

Visitors can also explore the art galleries showcasing many works of modern, contemporary, and classical artists. The Columbus museum hosts a variety of amazing works by celebrated local artists.

The museum hosts a variety of exciting rotating exhibits throughout the year, so make sure to check the schedule to see what is being offered.

#10) Providence Canyon State Park

Providence Canyon State Park

Also known as Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon,” Providence Canyon State Park is a must see. The distinctive canyon landscape developed from poor farming practices in the 1800’s, but now the wondrous canyon is a tourist attraction that visitors travel from all over to experience.

Visitors can hike the canyon by choosing from a variety of trails. This is a fairly easy hike for non-experienced hikers and kids. Make sure to explore the waterways and meander through the amazing rock formations.

Visitors are able to backpack along the trail and stay overnight in the backcountry trail.

But Wait There's Even More!

We said we were going to give you our top ten but we couldn't resist. There's just so many amazing things to do in Columbus Georgia. These are a few more recommendations that we think you’ll enjoy during your time in Columbus.

The Springer Opera House in Columbus Georgia

The Springer Opera House is a fully restored and completely operational theatrical gem in Columbus.

The Springer was initially opened in 1871 and typically performs Broadway-style musicals but sometimes it features original plays by local writers. They offer a robust Children’s Theater program that has plays throughout the year for children of all ages.

Aside from its theatrical successes, It is also said to be one of the most haunted theaters in America. So if you are a fan of the paranormal, this may be right up your alley.

Ma Rainey House and Blues Museum

Tour the home of Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Mother of the Blues and musical pioneer.

It’s believed that she coined the term “blues”. She was a mentor and collaborated with a variety of famous musicians in the area including Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, and Blind Blake.

Ma Rainey retired in 1935 and settled into her house on Fifth Avenue in Columbus until the day she died. The Ma Rainey House features exhibits on the blues sound and its impact on music in the region. This is an amazing opportunity and experience for any music lover.

Historic Westville

Historic Westville is an immersive history museum recreating a local village in the 19th century.

There are seventeen historic buildings on the property. Guests are able to fully immerse themselves in what life was like in the Chattahoochee Valley back then.

You will learn about the native Lower Muskogee Creek peoples. When entering the village, you’ll discover trade-based shops, historic homes, and places of worship.

Guests can talk with the village “residents'' who will answer questions. They will also demonstrate popular trades & skills needed during the 1800’s. This includes blacksmithing, quilting, carpentry & lots more.

Museum of Wonder

The Museum of Wonder was created by world-renowned folk artist Butch Anthony during the 1970s. Butch is a local Columbus artist whose work has been featured in museum exhibits across the United States and Europe.

The Museum of Wonder is a drive-thru museum where guests can explore art, artifacts, and strange artistic creations. This gem is completely drive-thru and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that travelers can always get a sneak peek into Butch’s amazing artistic work and findings.

As Butch became a well-known artist in the area, Often times people would stop by his home to see what he was working on. This is how the idea for a drive through museum came about. To make time for work without interruption, he put all of his wonders on display for anyone and everyone to see at any time.

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1855, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra was the second orchestra founded in the United States. Considered to be one of the south's premier musical ensembles and is a must-see for any visitors.

The Lunchbox Museum

Explore the largest lunchbox collection in the world. With over 3,000 metal lunch boxes dating back to 1951, there is a lot of history to cover. This is a unique spot and is definitely a must see for avid collectors and lovers of history.

Uptown Columbus

Located on the Chattahoochee River, Uptown Columbus is where visitors can find loads of entertainment. If you’re interested in pubs, dining, large markets, shopping, art and entertainment, Uptown Columbus has something for everyone.

In Conclusion

Columbus, Georgia offers so much to see and do. Whether you appreciate the arts, enjoy history, like exploring nature, learning about music, or experiencing delicious foods. There is definitely something for everyone to get excited about when visiting this city. A Trip to Columbus, Georgia will be remembered for a lifetime.

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