There’s no shortage of things to do in Columbus, Georgia. What I discovered was that all the things to do in Columbus make it one of those places that should get far more love than it does. Atlanta’s not the only game in town, folks!
A special thanks to Visit Columbus Georgia CVB and local partners. Some of these activities and places we visited were part of an organized media trip. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Our trip consisted of a three-day tour of the best of the best things to see and do in Columbus. It was a living, breathing highlight reel, and it was probably one of the most adventurous trips we’ve ever been on here locally in our home state of Georgia.
The city is beautiful, with the natural beauty of the Chattahoochee River on its west side and a combination of old and new school architecture that makes a wonderful backdrop to anything you decide to do there.
Activities In Columbus
The following activities are just SOME of the many, many things to do in Columbus, Georgia. Consider this the highlight reel. Once you’re actually in the city, wander around and enjoy the exploration.
1. White Water Rafting with White Water Express
If you’re a thrill-seeker, check out White Water Express. These guys have 35 years in white water experience, and even if you’ve never been, they can get you set up. After a few exercises and some training, you’ll be able to experience the best white water rafting that the Chattahoochee River have to offer.
2. Go Ziplining with Blue Heron Ziplines
Looking for the perfect blend of adventure and safety? Then zip-lining is for you. Just like white water adventures, White Water Express also provides visitors with amazing zip-lining adventures, as well. Their Blue Heron zip-line features two different courses.
The Zips course is for ages 10 and up and features speeds of up to 40 mph an a view that takes zipliners through both Georgia and Alabama.
The Blue Heron Aerial Course for ages 5 and up is just as exciting but a little less intense. Rather than a zipline, it offers sky-high obstacles, hanging ropes, and more.
3. Bike the City with Ride on Bikes
One of the most fun things to do in Columbus is taking a tour of the city on a bicycle. It’s convenient, fast, and easier on your feet than hoofing it. We explored Broadway and Uptown Columbus on Conference Bikes courtesy of Ride on Bikes. They even offer various types of bikes for daily rental if you’re interested in riding outside the city proper.
Museums To Visit In Columbus
4. Coca-Cola Space Science Center
For some educational fun for the kids, take them over to the Coca-Cola Space Science Center located on the Columbus State University Campus. It offers families a chance to see some of the best in space with various educational shows that bring outer space right to its visitors.
Get an up close and personal look at the weapons of war on the water at the National Civil War Naval Museum. Explore all things nautical from the civil war at this museum including actual ships from the era including the famous USS Monitor, a ship that featured an armored rotating turret house for its cannons!
Admission prices are Adults $7.50, Military/Seniors $6.50, Students $6.00, and Children 6 and under Free.
6. National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center
Visit the National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center, with over 70,000 artifacts. Home to World War II Company Street, Vietnam Memorial Plaza – featuring the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall – and the future site of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial. The museums mission is honor the legacy and valor of the U.S. Army Infantryman. This museum is wonderful for educational field trips. They also offer guided tours. Admission is free.
7. Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center
Whether traveling with kids or going solo, you need to check out Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center. This collaboration between Columbus State University, Columbus Water Works, and the City of Columbus features exhibits, natural history displays, nature trails, and educational programs – all of which focus squarely on the Columbus region.
8. Columbus Museum
My children were delighted when we visited the Columbus Museum of Arts. The Museum offers a wide variety of educational programs, which includes art and history displayed in a beautiful gallery. This museum is perfect for homeschool families, as well as school field trips. The best part, admission is always free.
Dining in Columbus
Like the activities listed above, these dining establishments are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dining in the area. Half the fun is stopping into random restaurants for a little taste!
9. 11th and Bay
Fine dining with a laid back atmosphere is the name of the game at 11th and Bay.
The restaurant is actually a converted barn, featuring a huge open dining area with brick walls, thick timber pillars and, of course, a barn door! The food is beyond amazing, using only the freshest ingredients and offering everything from fried green tomatoes to shrimp and grits to steaks and chops.
10. Plucked Up
One of the best things to do in Columbus, Georgia is enjoying some delicious southern-style breakfast options at Plucked up.
They’re old school all the way, focusing on the food and family atmosphere. In fact, they don’t even have a website. That’s okay. Their biscuits and gravy, fluffy scrambled eggs, and fried chicken biscuit sandwiches make them known far and wide anyway!
11. Country’s Barbecue
A staple of Columbus since 1975, and what use to be an old Greyhound Bus Station. You can even dine inside an old bus!
Country’s BBQ has three locations to help you satisfy your Georgia barbecue cravings.
Of course, you’ll find down-home barbecue and made from scratch Brunswick stew, but you’ll also find healthy alternatives like barbecue chicken, grilled chicken fingers, and more.
12. The Black Cow
Enjoy some of the best counry food you’ll ever have in one of the most laid back restaurants you’ll ever find. With wood everywhere and lamps for lighting at every table, The Black Cow offers the best dining experience around.
The Black Cows is famous for their Bacon Pimento Cheeseburger and known for “Best Burgers In The South” by Garden & Gun Readers.
Choose from options like chicken and waffles, fried grouper po’ boy, steak sandwiches, fried green tomatoes, and more.
13. My Boulange
Oui, oui, y’all! You might be in the heart of Dixie, but when you step into My Boulange, you’ll feel like you stepped into France.
This French bakery features amazing French pastries, coffees, and more, and it’s all in a wonderful bistro atmosphere!
14. Midtown Coffee House
Sack out on the couch at Midtown Coffee House while you enjoy a panini or grilled cheese and nice, hot cup of Joe.
This coffee house is all about making meals fun and delicious,and you can feel it when you walk in. Muffins, cakes, sandwiches, bagels, and more are all waiting for you along with some of the best coffee you’ll find in Columbus.
So Many More Things to do in Columbus, Georgia
These activities and dining options are only the tippy-top tip of the iceberg when it comes to things to do in Columbus, Georgia. These activities and dining options were chosen for us on our Columbus trip by the CVB as the best of the best in the area. But after all, “best of the best” means that there are other “bests” out there.
So if you’re planning a trip to the area, be sure to add some of these to your list of things to do in Columbus, but also get ready to get out there and explore the city. After all, some of the most fun you’ll have is just finding random spots to explore!
tammy s says
There is so much to do! Looks like a place to look into with the kids!
JANIS OTTERSON says
What a beauty of a place to visit. So much to see!
Deb R. says
That Greyhound bus — I think I rode on it, lol. Well, at last one just like it. As a kid, mom would put me on the bus in Baltimore and my aunt would meet me at the other in Ocean City, MD. Such a different world it is today.
I would love to visit. It looks like there is so much to do. My kids would love it!
Sandra McFadden says
I would love to go ziplining it lookslike so much fun. I am not sure about kayaking but rafting would be something I would try.
Marissa Clark says
River rafting looks fun! I’ll have to try that when my girls are older.
tammy smith says
Thank you for the great tips.
Cynthia Ansel says
what a gorgeous place to visit!
Amber C says
My mother in law lives in GA, this would be a great trip for us to take the kids and visit her!
Lydia Lay says
Wow, I’m an Atlanta native and I didn’t realize there was this much to do in Columbus! My family and I are going to have to check this out!!!