Antebellum plantation homes, high-rise office buildings, and myriad fountains mingle together at the edge of the Chattahoochee River, making Columbus, Georgia a riverfront city like no other. The fountains, which are scattered throughout the city, have given Columbus the nickname, “Fountain City.” But there’s more to Columbus that a riverfront location and gorgeous scenery. Columbus was founded in 1828 and is currently Georgia’s second-largest city. It is the county seat of Muscogee County, the location of Fort Benning, and it is home to Columbus State University.
Life here may seem like lazy summer days on the front porch, but Columbus is deceptively serene. Yes, there will be plenty of balmy afternoons sipping sweet iced tea on your new Columbus apartment balcony, but dig deeper and you’ll discover that Columbus is hip, urban, and forward-thinking.
Things to Do in Columbus:
Whether you are moving to Columbus to attend Columbus State University, are being relocated, or are just looking for a great Southern city to raise your family, there’s one place you have to visit as soon as you move to your new apartment in Columbus: the Chattahoochee Riverwalk! This park is part of what makes Columbus so special. It hugs the Chattahoochee River for 15 miles, providing a great place to walk, jog, or just admire the view.
Of course, the mighty Chattahoochee isn’t just pretty to look at – it is a wide, powerful river that is perfect for white water rafting. To experience what has been referred to as “wild as Colorado and as warm as Costa Rica,” head to the Whitewater Express! This whitewater rafting company provides the longest urban whitewater rafting in the world. The course has more than five 4+ rapids and 10 smaller rapids – the rapids are the largest south of Canada.
If you don’t want to actually be on the water, see it from above! Blue Heron Adventure has a dual zip-line that crosses the Chattahoochee River. It also offers the Blue Heron Aerial Course, a treetop obstacle course that ends in Phenix City, Alabama across the river.
After a day shooting down (or over) the rapids, you might be in the mood for more excitement in the form of nightlife. You’ll find a variety of bars, dance clubs, restaurants, and theaters in Columbus’ entertainment district, Uptown Columbus. Uptown is also the location of the farmer’s market, known simply as The Market. The Market features more than 150 local vendors selling organic produce, baked goods, home goods, arts and crafts, and more.
All of that excitement may leave you wanting a quiet day at the museum. The Columbus Museum is the second-largest museum in the state. Its exhibits provide a glimpse into the history of the Chattahoochee River Valley, featuring more than 14,000 artifacts. The museum also has an extensive fine art collection that includes paintings and sculptures. The museum also features several special exhibits and a hands-on gallery for children.
The National Civil War Naval Museum is another great location, especially for history and military buffs. This museum explores the history of soldiers and civilians during the Civil War and includes models of Civil War ships, rare artifacts, cannon firings, weapons demonstrations, and living history events.
On days when it’s just too nice to stay indoors, visit the Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center. This terrific park is the result of collaboration between Columbus State University, the City of Columbus, and Columbus Water Works. Walk the trails and you may just see native wildlife – or head inside the center and view snakes, turtles, fish, alligators, and more. The park also offers the TreeTop Canopy Trail, platforms suspended 35 feet above the ground and includes binocular rental.
The River Center for the Performing Arts is a terrific location to enjoy Broadway shows, the ballet, the symphony, pop and rock concerts, individual performers, and other events. The center is huge, covering 245,000 square feet, and it is beautiful – a modern glass and steel building surrounded by historic buildings in Uptown.
For sports events, concerts, wrestling events, and even fairs, the Columbus Civic Center is the place to be! The arena is part of the South Commons, which features a football stadium, softball complex, and a skateboard park. The Columbus Cottonmouths, an ice hockey team, call the civic center home, as do the Auburn University ice hockey team and the Columbus Lions arena football team.
Fine arts come alive at the Springer Opera House, a must-visit once you’ve moved to your new Columbus apartment. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and considered a National Historic Landmark, the Springer Opera House opened in 1871. This venue has hosted many famous performers, including John Phillip Sousa, Ethel Barrymore and Agnes de Mille.
What to Consider When Moving to Columbus:
The military plays an important role in Columbus, with Fort Benning located on the south side of the city. Fort Benning is a major Army installation with more than 120,000 active-duty military and their families as well as reserve soldiers, civilian employees, and retired military. Fort Benning was built in 1918.
Columbus State University is a public university that was established in 1958. This fast-growing university is located in Midtown and is considered one of the area’s major employers. The school is nationally recognized for its business school.
When looking at Columbus apartments, be sure to check out the various neighborhoods in the city. Uptown is an exciting destination, filled with a variety of pubs, restaurants, theaters, nightclubs, and museums. It also features the Columbus Historic Riverfront Industrial District and several historic buildings.
If you like to golf, then rent an apartment in East Columbus! This neighborhood is home to the largest golf course in Columbus, Bull Creek Golf Course. This neighborhood is also convenient to Fort Benning.
Shoppers should rent in Midtown, home to the premier shopping destination the Peachtree Mall. This area also features a variety of strip malls and shops as well as bars and nightclubs.
Just below Midtown, you’ll find South Columbus. This neighborhood is home to the National Infantry Museum and has a huge military population due to its proximity to Fort Benning.
North Columbus is considered suburban. It has the typical subdivisions you’d expect in a suburban area, many of them upscale. It also features an outdoor mall, Columbus Park Crossing.
Why Columbus Apartments Are Hot:
Columbus was listed as one of the top 100 best places to live. It is a small, Southern city filled with charm and beauty. The Fountain City features eight historic districts and plenty to see and do, with a gorgeous RiverWalk and plenty of exciting outdoor activities. Columbus contains more than 50 parks, including the newest Standing Boy Creek State Park, created in 2004 and covering 1,579 acres. There are seven golf courses in Columbus and several hiking trails. Columbus is home to Columbus State University, and neighboring Auburn is home to Auburn University. Fort Benning provides a strong military presence and is one of the area’s top employers. Columbus provides that Deep South lifestyle you want, complete with rocking chairs on wide verandas and friendly neighbors, but it also has that sleek sophistication of a hip, urban city.
Fort Benning, a US Army post, is a short distance from Columbus and a major area employer.
The Columbus Airport is the fourth busiest airport in the state of Georgia.
Columbus State University, established in 1958, is a major part of the community.
The highly-acclaimed CSU RiverPark, a fine and performing arts campus, hosts amazing performers from around the world.
Chattahoochee RiverWalk is a 22-mile walking and biking path along the Chattahoochee River, making Columbus one of the most biking-friendly cities in the nation.
Downtown’s landmarks include the Aflac Tower, SunTrust Plaza, and Total System Headquarters.