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.  

 

Play

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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Events Calendar

  • Free Oral Health Screenings

    Apr 11, 2019
    8:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Sandfly Family Dental

     In recognition of April being Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah and Premier Dental Designs in Rincon will offer free...

  • "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...

  • "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...

  • "Rembrandt and the Jewish Experience" at Telfair Museums

    Mar 15, 2019
    12:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    This exhibition contains 21 etchings by Rembrandt and one drawing by Rembrandt’s teacher Pieter Lastman (Dutch, 1583-1633). These works highlight...

  • “Jaume Plensa Talking Continents” Exhibition at Telfair Museums

    Mar 01, 2019
    12:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Jaume Plensa (Spanish, b. 1955) is one of the world’s foremost living sculptors. He is widely known for large-scale public artworks and more...

  • Rembrandt Exhibit

    Mar 15, 2019
    All Day @ Jepson Center

    Rembrandt lived and worked in Amsterdam during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century. Although most residents of Amsterdam during...

  • Make Savannah Spring Roundtable

    Apr 25, 2019
    5:30 AM - 7:00 PM @ Savannah Bee Company

      Make plans now to join us for our Spring roundtable hosted by Make Savannah members, Savannah Bee Company! You’ll learn how...

  • Marjorie Young to Speak at Buy Local Savannah April Meeting

    Apr 25, 2019
    11:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ Cohen Retreat

    Buy Local Savannah will host Marjorie Young at their monthly luncheon on Thursday, April 25. Young, an experienced public relations consultant and...

  • Telfair Museums Presents An Afternoon With Martha Stewart

    Apr 25, 2019
    12:00 PM - 3:30 PM @ Historic Savannah Theatre

    Telfair Museums presents lifestyle expert, garden guru, and author Martha Stewart to Savannah on April 25th at 2:30pm at the Savannah Theatre....

  • Remembering the Chinese Railroad Workers

    Apr 25, 2019
    4:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Bull Street Library

    Trace the footsteps of history through the journey of the Chinese railroad workers who constructed the First Transcontinental Railroad. Presented...

  • SCAD BACK40 VIP Reception

    Apr 25, 2019
    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

    Join SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace for a private tour of the university's eight-hive bee colony and all-seasons garden, which gives...

  • Lean Ensemble Theater presents Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon

    Apr 25, 2019
    7:30 PM - 9:30 PM @ HHPS Main Street Theatre

    Paul and Corie Bratter are newlyweds in every sense of the word. After a six-day honeymoon, they get a surprise visit from Corie's loopy mother and...

  • 10th Annual Bid for PAL Online Auction

    Apr 25, 2019
    All Day @ www.PALauction.org

    Shop the Lowcountry and beyond from the comfort of your couch! With the "Bid for PAL" Online Auction you can splurge on a golf package, a spa...

  • SCAD40 CELEBRATION AND THE PREMIERE OF SCADSTORY

    Apr 26, 2019
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Poetter Hall

    Enjoy a private gathering of SCAD friends and VIPs for dinner, live music and the first look at 360-degree immersive exprience, SCADstory, created...

  • SCAD40 Block Party

    Apr 26, 2019
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Bull Street at Madison Square

    Fête this milestone anniversary with entertainment and art installations where is all began.

  • 2019 Tybee Wine Festival

    Apr 26, 2019
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    Sip international wines and sample fresh coastal seafood and other culinary delights at the Tybee Wine Festival. Now in its 11th year, the Tybee...

  • BBQ Cook Off on BBQ Road

    Apr 26, 2019
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Silver Coast Winery

    Think you have what it takes to be the King of the grill? Come to the 3rd annual BBQ Cookoff on BBQ Road. There will be a free wing competition on...

  • NOGS Tour of Hidden Gardens

    Apr 26, 2019
    All Day @ Savannah

    The 44rd Anniversary of NOGS (North of Gwinnett Street) is the perfect time to visit Savannah, Georgia, the largest urban landmark Historic...

  • 2019 Komen Savannah Race for the Cure

    Apr 27, 2019
    6:00 AM @ Ellis Square

    6:00 a.m. Packet Pickup and Registration 7:15 a.m. Welcoming Remarks 7:45 a.m. Survivor Processional 8:30 a.m. 5K Start

  • 2019 Sand Gnat Challenge

    Apr 27, 2019
    7:30 AM @ 17 South Rod and Gun Club

    Our 3rd year with the Sand Gnat Challenge IDPA match! Back Up Gun Compact Carry Pistol


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Scenes of the South

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.

The Fire Ball

IAFF Savannah Firefighters gathered together at Savannah Station March 15th to celebrate with friends and family. They welcomed their newest members, honored those that recently retired and acknowledged departments joining from around the world! The event was a blast. From 6pm-10pm guests danced to live music, sampled premium foods and even played with local puppies up for adoption.

Savannah's Newest Hot Spot Opens

SEED Eco Lounge, Barrelhouse South and Rogue Water welcomes a new addition to the family. Vice is located on Broughton at Saya's former location. Few pursuits tap into the pleasures of nightlife more than music. Giving yourself over to the rhythms, the lights, and the energy is a total release. Amazing DJs get the crowds moving, and other patrons ensure that there's plenty to see and socialize with. This sleek and sexy underground spot is sure to be one of the best spots for Savannah's night life.

The Royal Flush Casino Night Presented by Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah

Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah hosted “The Royal Flush Casino Night” on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Savannah Station, with all of the proceeds going to benefit families at the Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire. The casino-themed party will feature heavy hors-d’oeuvres, an open bar, live music, dancing and complimentary casino.

The Telfair Ball

The 39th annual Telfair Ball celebrated the 200th anniversary of the remarkable architecture of Telfair Museums historic buildings and the pioneering legacy of Mary Telfair. This year the Ball was held in Forsyth Park among a myriad of carnival performers and fanciful nymphs. Hundreds of Savannah locals and many visitors came together to celebrate a love of art and South Eastern heritage. The ball supports the future of the Telfair Academy, the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters, and the Jepson Center. Proceeds directly fund the museum's educational outreach, exhibitions, and release activities, bring the benefits of art to over 190,000 people each year.

Hearts for Healing Gala

The Faith Equestrian's Annual Hearts for Healing Gala at Tybee Wedding Chapel on Friday evening started out with a bang as the Free Spirit Orchestra' violin twins played their rendition of some of the greatest musical hits. The attendees were reminded what the event was all about as the founder Bonnie Rachael was recognized after story after story was shared to a room of teary eyed party-goers. Congrats to event director Bonnie Karr and her amazing team for a job well done!

Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association's 22nd Annual Southern Heart Ball took place on February 2, 2019 and celebrated all the life-saving advances made so far while raising funds to continue to further AHA's mission. The black-tie gala brought together more than 400 guests to enjoy a night of dining, dancing, live entertainment and both live and silent auctions. Those in attendance got to hear the story of Lily Cochran, who was born with several congenital heart defects. Her father, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, also had a heart disease and was honored at the event.

PUTTING Away Crime

On Saturday, January 12, 2019 Savannah helped McGruff the Crime Dog take a bite out of crime at the Crimestoppers Savannah's 3rd Annual Putt Putt Mini Golf Tournament held at Island Miniature Golf and Game on Wilmington Island. Proceeds went to helping fund rewards for the Crimestopper's anonymous crime tip line.

Dining in the Dark

On Saturday, January 12, 2019, the 3rd Annual Dining in the Dark event presented by The Charles C. Taylor and Samir Nikocevic Charitable Foundation benefitting the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision, was held at the Embassy Suites/Downtown Savannah.

Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2018

Savannah's 39 Rue De Jean celebrated Beaujolais Nouveau Day, the official end of this year’s growing season. Harvest is complete and vintners—especially in France—are ready to celebrate the completion of the harvest. Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine that is annually released on the third Thursday in November. Nouveau wine undergoes a very short fermentation process, and yields an extremely fresh and fruity wine.