72 Hours in Columbus, Georgia

Columbus, GA has long been known as a military town resting beside Fort Benning, America’s Home of the Infantry. With about 200,000 residents, this historical city has stepped into the spotlight with a thriving downtown art, theatre, and music scene, and sumptuous farm-to-table restaurants just blocks from the Chattahoochee River.


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downtown columbus, ga

Rich in culture, Columbus is home to such notable artists as the “Mother of Blues,” Ma Rainey, and American novelist Carson McCullers, as well as what once was deemed, “the grandest theatre between New York and New Orleans.” We spent 72 hours in Columbus to give our readers inside tips on how to do Columbus in style.  

 

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THEATER: Every theatergoer must see the Springer Opera House, an 1871 playhouse that features such performances as “The Who’s Tommy,” “Grease,” and “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” Pre-theatre dinner may be had at Meritage, a European/Korean/New Orleans- influenced tapas bar across the street from the playhouse. The Springer also features a house-made dinner that can be booked to have at the theatre itself. Blocks from the Springer is the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, another vital cultural hub. This modern performance space has hosted such international luminaries as Yo-Yo Ma, the Moscow Boys Choir, and David Copperfield.

ADVENTURE: Enjoy whitewater rafting down the Chattahoochee in what USA Today dubbed, “The Top 12 Man-Made Adventures in the World.” Local company Whitewater Express also features a zip line that takes adventure-seekers from Georgia into Alabama across the river (polish off the trip with a two-level rope course when you land in Alabama).  

COMEDY: For those who love comedy, local hotspot The Loft hosts comedy nights every Thursday featuring comedians from across the nation. Tickets can be bought at the door.

ART: The Columbus Museum presents a well-rounded history of Columbus, as well as modern and contemporary art. Take a stroll the museum’s Historic Bradley Olmsted Garden, where nature trails lead to a pool house, grotto, and natural spring ravine.

HISTORY: Carson McCullers and Ma Rainey’s homes are both open to the public for tours to see where these two Columbus-natives lived and worked. 

 

Eat

11th and bay columbus, ga

11th and Bay opened in 2014 and is one of Columbus’s best restaurants. Located next to the river with outdoor and indoor seating, 11th and Bay is a southern farm-to-table restaurant with impeccable lighting, fresh, creative fare, and the perfect spot to watch the sunset (it’s also tucked away from the crowds of downtown). Be sure to try Chef de Cuisine Phil McCoy’s Chicken and Waffles, Southern Caprese, and the Soul Food Burger.

Epic is perhaps Columbus’s most elegant restaurant. With a whimsical ambience and menu, Epic creates an intimate space for dinner with an innovative twist on upscale American dishes.

Situated in an old bank, Iron Bank Coffee Co. serves up Columbus’s best coffee, with a range of a dozen types of lattes. Iron Bank Coffee Co. also features paninis to order and delectable baked goods, and is a fun spot to stop in for lunch and downtown people watch. 

 

Shop

Local artist and Columbus native Garry Pound has his artist’s studio in an old synagogue in the beautiful and scenic Columbus Historic District. While the lofty, light-filled space is one to be seen, Pound’s art, mainly fine oil portraits, has been described as possessing “a breathtaking sensitivity to the nuances of the human form.” It is advised to call ahead for studio visits and commissioned works. The studio number is 706.327.3024.

Every Saturday, Columbus hosts its own farmer’s market with local vendors selling food, drinks, and handmade items and art. The market has about 200 vendors and is held on Broadway. 

 

Stay

Pound House Inn Columbua

An oasis in the middle of Columbus’s Historic District, the Rothschild-Pound House is an 1870s bed-and-breakfast owned by husband and wife team Garry and Mamie. The lovely couple together serve daily homemade breakfasts in the inn’s dining room, which can also be delivered to one’s suite, upon request. Many of the inn’s suites feature a porch, balcony, or whirlpool bathtub, and the inn has plenty of reading material in its library. With a wraparound porch, rocking chairs, and a porch swing, the inn is set amongst 1800s homes and is less than half a mile’s walking distance to the downtown scene.

 

Now is the best time to take a visit to one of our favorite West Georgia cities. For more information on the city and it's events, head to visitcolumbusga.com.

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Greatest Chefs 2019

Chefs are invisible artists. They keep us salivating, our minds fixated on the last time we ate at our favorite restaurant, and when the next time we plan on going. Nominate your favorite chef now!

Greatest Pets 2019

Man's Best Friend can be South's Greatest Pet with the right amount of love. Enter your pet and get those votes! Limited to southeast Georgia and the Lowcountry. Voting begins June 10 and ends July 1.
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Events Calendar

  • FYZICAL® Savannah Celebrates Anniversary with Open House on June 26

    Jun 26, 2019
    5:00 AM - 6:30 PM @ FYZICAL Savannah

    FYZICAL® Savannah, a local center providing balance therapy and fall prevention treatment, will hold a community open house Wednesday, June 26,...

  • Camp Buddy Effingham

    Jun 24, 2019
    8:30 AM - 3:00 PM @ Blandford Elementary School

    Camp Buddy offers programs to prepare children for the upcoming school year with the goal of promoting information retention from the previous...

  • Summer Sea Camp

    May 27, 2019
    9:30 AM - 4:00 PM @ Tybee Island Marine Science Center

    Kids 6 to 11 years old * Morning and/or Afternoon Modules * After Care * Curbside Drop-off/Pick-up   Summer FUN for the kids…designed to fit...

  • SS Savannah (1819-2019)

    May 23, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Ships of the Sea Museum

    2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the SS Savannah's groundbreaking trans-Atlantic crossing.  In recognition of this monumental achievement,...

  • "The Prints of Dame Laura Knight" Exhibition at Telfair Museums

    Jan 19, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Telfair Museums' Jepson Center

    Telfair Museums exhibits nine prints by Dame Laura Knight (British, 1877-1970), together for the first time since they were acquired by the museum...

  • Ready. Set. Summer. at Bluemercury!

    May 13, 2019
    10:00 AM - 8:00 PM @ Bluemercury

    Summer is quickly approaching – stop into your local neighborhood beauty store Bluemercury for all the essentials you need to refresh your...

  • Summer Reading Program

    Jun 01, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:15 PM @ Live Oak Public Libraries

    Reach for the stars with Summer Reading Program at Live Oak Public Libraries! Explore "A Universe of Stories" from June 1 through July 31...

  • "Keita Takahashi: Zooming Out" Exhibition at Telfair Musuems

    Jan 24, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Telfair Museums hosts the first museum survey of the work of visionary videogame designer Keita Takahashi (Japanese, b. 1975). Takahashi is noted...

  • "Mary Poppins Returns"

    Jun 25, 2019
    3:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    This critically acclaimed reimagining of the timeless classic, Mary Poppins, features Emily Blunt In the lead role. The new storyline, set in...

  • cSpot @ Ghost Coast Distillery

    Jun 26, 2019
    5:30 PM - 7:30 PM @ Ghost Coast Distillery

    Come mix & mingle with locals over unique craft spirits and signature cocktails made in Savannah’s first distillery since just before...

  • French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950

    Jun 15, 2019
    All Day @ Consumer Museum of Art and Garden

    The biggest names in French art such as, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir will be showcased...

  • Coastal Heritage Society Summer Camps

    Jun 03, 2019
    All Day @ Tricentennial Park

    Each week-long camp: “STEAM Studio Camp,” “Jr. Chef Camp” and “Jr. Engineer Train Camp” will take place in June...

  • Pet Adoption Happy Hours

    Jun 27, 2019
    5:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Green Fire Pizza

    On Thursday, 6/27, between 5 & 7 PM, Green Fire Pizza will be hosting Coastal Pet Rescue's Pet Adoption Event.  A portion of all...

  • Yacht Hop 2019

    Jun 27, 2019
    5:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Savannah Yacht Club

    Join us for the 2019 Leukemia Cup Regatta Yacht Hop! Help us kick off the 2019 Leukemia Cup Regatta Series of Events! While you tour beautiful...

  • MAGNUM OPUS - 2019 ARTS ON THE COAST ANNUAL EXHIBIT

    Jun 27, 2019
    5:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Deep South Photopoint

    The Arts on the Coast (AOC) is proud to present its 2019 Annual Exhibit hosted by the Photopoint Gallery and Elmgren's Garden Center in...

  • Pelindaba Lavender Grand Opening

    Jun 27, 2019
    5:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Pelindaba Lavender

    Join us to celebrate all things lavender in Savannah - ribbon cutting, product sampling, lavender refreshments and special prizes! During this...

  • Let's Talk Community Discussion Series: Mental Illness and the LGBT+ Community

    Jun 27, 2019
    6:30 PM - 8:30 PM @ Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church

    The fifth event in The ELLA Foundation’s Let’s Talk Community Discussion Series will feature a panel of local experts and will be...

  • "Rocketman"

    Jun 27, 2019
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    The epic musical story of Elton John, his breakthrough years and his transformation from shy piano prodigy to international superstar. Set to his...

  • Courtland & Co. Sample Sale

    Jun 28, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Courtland & Co

    Savannah's beloved gift shop, Courtland & Co, is making room for some exciting surprises in store and as such, are hosting their first ever...

  • Beatles Yoga with Maggie Cunningham

    Jun 28, 2019
    5:45 PM - 7:00 PM @ Savannah Power Yoga

    Here comes the sun salutations! In this heated, 75-minute workshop, we will flow through a power vinyasa sequence accompanied by the music of the...


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Scenes of the South

JCB MudRun 2019

Participants hit the ground running at this year's JCB Mud Fest, climbing through tough obstacles in either the 5k or the 5 mile run. At the end of the race was a long slide where, upon finishing, contestants found themselves in the Party Pit. Winners from various age groups were presented with trophies, and all the proceeds from the JCB Mud Fest benefited the Lady Bamford Center for Early Childhood Development.

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum's 200th Anniversary!

This past Wednesday, May 22, we celebrated with Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum for for the 200th anniversary of the SS Savannah's historic trans-Atlantic crossing — the WORLD'S FIRST oceanic voyage under steam! On this year's Maritime Day, Ships of the Sea celebrated the Savannah's 200th anniversary with a commemorative ceremony provided by the PROPELLER CLUB, where Robert Morris unveiled two eight-foot paintings. The evening also included an amazing performance by the Parris Island MARINE BAND, complimentary hors d'oeuvres and celebratory beverages!

Brews For A Cause at Top Deck

This past Tuesday, May 21 we celebrated another successful Brews for a Cause at Top Deck Bar! We joined up with Southern Eagle and a great group of like minded people to benefit Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire in their efforts to provide financial assistance to the surviving families of local law enforcement officers and firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty. It was another memorable night in the South filled with great people and even greater crafted beer! This month's Featured Craft Beer: Island Coastal Lager Sponsors: Island Coastal Lager, Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire, Southern Eagle, South Magazine

Brews for a Cause at Churchill's

This Thursday, Churchill's was pack as we celebrated another successful Brews for a Cause at Churchill's! We joined Southern Eagle and The Coastal Heritage Society. Southern Eagle provided great craft beer, Sista Rae Rae performed live, and the silent auction was a huge success. All the proceeds from the silent auction — including a diamond necklace from International Diamond — benefitted the Coastal Heritage Society.

Nine Line Foundation Dinner

On Friday, May 17, Nine Line hosted their Foundation Dinner that included special guests WWE Superstars Mark Calaway aka The Undertaker, Dustin Rhodes aka Goldust, John “Tig” Tiegen, hero of Benghazi portrayed in the movie “13 Hours,” Chad Prather, comedian and social media celebrity, and Graham Allen, social media celebrity. Guests mingled with the superstars and bid on auction items to raise money for the foundation. Matt Lyda put on a stellar performance as the MC of the event and kept the crowd entertained and bidding.

6th Annual Nine Line Run for the Wounded

The Nine Line Foundation and Nine Line Apparel celebrate Armed Forces Day for their 6th Annual 5K/10K Run for the Wounded in Savannah, Georgia. Proceeds from the race go directly towards their newest initiative: building a transitional community, a Veterans Village, for homeless veterans right here in Savannah, Georgia. With both 5K and 10K options available, this twilight run turned out to be another great success.

Nine Line Foundation Dinner

On Friday, May 17, Nine Line hosted their Foundation Dinner that included special guests WWE Superstars Mark Calaway Aka: the Undertaker, Dustin Rhodes aka: Goldust, John Tiegen "Tig" hero of Benghazi portrayed in the movie "13 Hours", Chad Prather, Comedian and Social Media Celebrity, and Graham Allen, Social Media Celebrity. Guests mingled with the superstars and bid on auction items to raise money for the foundation. Matt Lyda put on a stellar performance as the MC of the event and kept the crowd entertained and bidding.

SCAD40 Block Party

SCAD celebrated their 40th anniversary with a grand block party. Fellow alumni reconnected with university faculty and staff. ShopSCAD had live artist demonstrations, live music at the Gryphon, keepsakes and SCAD40 merchandise to purchase at the Art’s Café, SCAD food trucks with tasty treats and much more.

Kessler Collection’s Armstrong-Kessler Mansion Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Local hotelier Richard Kessler and his company The Kessler Collection officially cut the ribbon on his newly restored home in Savannah, the Armstrong-Kessler Mansion. This iconic home celebrates its 100th birthday this year, and his been meticulously restored to its former grandeur as one of the foremost examples of Italian Renaissance architecture and design in America. Congratulations to Richard Kessler and The Kessler Collection!

The Clyde

The Clyde Venue is Savannah’s newest, most modern, wedding venue located in the Historic Landmark District. The space has been completely renovated, and a work in progress for more than a year. The venue is 5,200 square feet and includes a grande room, large marble bar, catering prep area, and restrooms. It’s located at 223 Martin Luther King Boulevard.