Located in western Georgia, Columbus has something for everyone. For example, if you’re after family entertainment in Columbus, GA, head to Oxbow Meadows, visit The Columbus Museum, or say hi to Kadie the Cow, which is one of the more weird things to do in Columbus, GA. On the other hand, there are plenty of things to do in Columbus, GA, for couples, like a romantic walk along the Columbus, GA, Riverwalk, or seeing a show at Springer Opera House.
When you need to do some shopping in Columbus, GA, or if you’re searching for the best restaurants in Columbus, GA, head directly to downtown Columbus, GA. Here are many more ideas for fun things to do in Columbus, GA.
1. The National Infantry Museum
The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center has repeatedly been voted both America’s most popular free museum and one of the world’s best military museums. Located just outside Fort Benning, it’s also the only museum in the country to honor U.S. Army Infantrymen. Inside, visitors will find world-class interactive exhibits and over 70,000 artifacts. This includes World War II Company Street, the Hall of Valor, the Vietnam Memorial Plaza, and the Global War on Terrorism Memorial.
3. Flat Rock Park
Flat Rock Park is a large scenic wooded area that’s home to the aptly-named Flatrock Creek and Lake. The best things to do in the park include fishing in the lake, having fun on the playground, and hiking and biking along its trails. The trails are made for mountain bikes, but people are welcome to walk along them as well. They range in length from two miles to nine miles for routes that go through the suburbs.
2. The Columbus Museum
Speaking of excellent museums, The Columbus Museum is the second-largest art museum in Georgia. It expertly focuses on both American fine art and Chattahoochee River Valley history. There are over 14,000 artifacts on display, as well as paintings and sculptures from renowned American artists. The museum also hosts up to 15 temporary exhibitions every year. So when you’re searching for things to do in Columbus, GA on a rainy day, check out the museum’s worthwhile exhibitions.
4. Columbus Botanical Garden
The Columbus Botanical Garden was a late addition to the cityscape, as it was only established in 1999. But better late than never, as this 22-acre property features an array of landscaped gardens, including the Sam M. Wellborn Camellia Garden with over 500 plants, and relatively new additions the Sally H. Adams Vegetable Garden and Our Mothers’ Rose Garden. The Botanical Garden also hosts regular events, and on weekends visitors can tour the historic 1890s Adams Farmhouse.
5. Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning
Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center provides access to the area’s rich flora and fauna through nature trails, educational programs, and hands-on exhibits both indoors and outdoors. The trails allow visitors to get up close to the wetlands and its wildlife, including birds, butterflies, reptiles and more. Oxbow Meadows is also home to environmental art displays, the Natural History Discovery Center, and the opportunity to picnic with tortoises. It’s one of the city’s most family-friendly attractions.
6. Georgia Visitor Information Center
Across the state, you’ll find 11 Georgia Visitor Information Centers, which welcome over 13 million guests every year. Of course, there’s one located in Columbus, where the welcoming and friendly staff are always happy to help you plan your trip to the city. They’ll load you up with brochures, insider travel tips, and route recommendations. Just don’t leave without taking the obligatory photo with the Visitor Information Center’s fun Georgia on My Mind Sign.
7. Columbus Riverwalk
If you’re looking for outdoorsy things to do in Columbus, GA, go for a scenic walk along the Columbus Riverwalk. Established in 2005, the paved and lit walking trail starts downtown at Main Street and then follows the Tennessee-Tombigbee River for 2.1 miles. Along the way, there are two pavilions, an amphitheater for outdoor concerts, and a butterfly garden. The Riverwalk also hosts special events throughout the year, including the Sounds of Summer and fundraising runs.
8. Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center
The Columbus Georgia Convention and Trade Center is located in the historic Columbus Ironworks building, which was built in 1853. Located on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, the building is a local landmark. During the Civil War, its factory workers built weapons for the confederate army, which you can learn more about in the internal displays. Today, the Convention and Trade Center hosts events like weddings and the popular Christmas in the South celebration.
9. Market Days
Uptown Columbus’ Market Days is a traditional farmers market that happens every Saturday (rain or shine) from 9 am to noon. It’s located on the 900 to the 1200 block on Broadway. With over 200 local vendors, you can expect to find a lot of homemade products for sale, including organic produce, baked goods, jewelry, and handmade arts and crafts. It’s one of the best things to do in Columbus, GA on Saturday morning.
10. Heritage Corner
Located in the Columbus Historic District on the corner of 7th and Broadway, Heritage Corner is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Established in 1988, it features five preserved homes that represent different time periods in Georgian history, including the Pemberton House, which once belonged to Coca-Cola inventor, Dr. John Pemberton. Other homes at Heritage Corner are a log cabin from the early 19th century, the Walker-Peters-Langdon House, the Woodruff farmhouse, and the 700 Broadway house.
11. Kadie the Cow of Columbus
One of the more unusual things to do in Columbus, GA is to pay a visit to Kadie the Cow. The 20-ft tall dairy cow replica is erected at 2925 Manchester Expressway, the former address of Kinnett Dairies. However, when the business left Kadie remained, and has been standing in the same spot for over 50 years. June 9 is officially Kadie the Cow Day, according to Columbus Council, so don’t miss taking a photo with a local icon.
12. Springer Opera House
Springer Opera House is a historic theater located in the city’s downtown district. Established in 1871, Governor Jimmy Carter named it the State Theater of Georgia on its 100th anniversary. Its interior features ornate details, including an extravagant main hall, curving double balconies, and tulip lights. To see inside, you can either attend a show or do a behind-the-scenes tour on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Springer Opera House hosts a range of theatrical and musical performances too.
13. Chattahoochee Riverwalk
Stretching for 11 miles from downtown Columbus to Psalmond Road in Midland, the Fall Line Trace is a rail-trail that opened in 2012. At its southern end, it connects to the 15-mile Chattahoochee Riverwalk. Attractions along the way include the aforementioned Flat Rock Park, Peachtree Mall, and the Country Club of Columbus. A walk or ride along the Fall Line Trace is one of the best things to do in Columbus, GA on a sunny day.
14. RiverCenter for the Performing Arts
RiverCenter – for the Performing Arts is a modern performing arts center in the city’s downtown district. Opening in 2002, RiverCenter has multiple spaces, including the Studio Theater, Legacy Hall, Bill Heard Theater, and an outdoor concert hall. The Legacy Hall is home to a $1 million Jordan concert organ, while the Bill Heard Theater has 2000 seats. RiverCenter has hosted many famous musicians and theatrical performances over the years, including Stomp and Miss Saigon.
15. Whitewater Express
Whitewater Express organizes the longest urban whitewater rafting adventure in the world down the Chattahoochee River. The rafting experience is described as being as wild as Colorado and as warm as Costa Rica and features a combination of class two to five rapids. Whitewater Express also offers other adventurous experiences in Columbus, including ziplining, kayak and stand-up paddleboard lessons, bike rentals (so you can enjoy the Columbus Riverwalk mentioned above), and guided fly fishing tours.
16. Columbus Ice Rink
A fun thing to do in Columbus in the summer is head over to the Columbus Ice Rink and enjoy a fun activity out of the heat. Billed as the “Coolest Place in Columbus”, you are sure to have a great time here with family or friends. It is definitely a great thing to do in Columbus with kids. In addition to the free skating sessions, you can also take figure skating lessons, or even join a hockey team.