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

  • 7th Annual Red Hot Chili Pepper 5k

    Jul 20, 2019
    7:30 AM - 10:00 AM @ Jalapenos Mexican Grill

    For the seventhconsecutive year, Georgia Game Changers is hosting the Red Hot Chili Pepper 5K to benefit Family Promise of Bryan County. The...

  • Forsyth Farmer's Market

    Jun 29, 2019
    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ South end of Forsyth Park

    Outdoors, kid and pet friendly Local food and plant vendors

  • Love Your Hair at Bluemercury!

    Jul 18, 2019
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM @ Bluemercury

    Beginning July 18th, your local neighborhood beauty expert Bluemercury will kick off ‘Love Your Hair’ Events in stores – and on...

  • 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...

  • Girl Scout QuestFest 2019

    Jul 18, 2019
    12:00 PM - 3:00 PM @ Savannah Historic District

      Join us for our Third Annual Girl Scout QuestFest. Return to the place where Girl Scouts began to not only see the history and enjoy a...

  • WhasSUP Yogis? Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga with Biza Mabry

    Jul 20, 2019
    1:00 PM - 2:15 PM @ Wymberly Dock, Isle of Hope

    Come practice yoga on a stand up paddleboard. This may be the most fun you have had since you were a kid!   No paddle experience is required,...

  • Cruise In “On The Square”

    May 18, 2019
    4:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Downtown on the Square

    Join the Blairsville Cruisers every 3rd Saturday of each month to enjoy cruiser contests like the best interior, best engine, best custom and more!...

  • 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...

  • “No Guts, No Glory” A Southern Rock Tribute to STEVE HOLLAND

    Jul 20, 2019
    7:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Coach's Corner

    Coach’s Corner is excited to host “No Guts, No Glory” A Southern Rock Tribute to STEVE HOLLAND, The Last Surviving Original...

  • Arthouse Cinema: Apollo 11

    Jul 20, 2019
    7:00 PM - 9:00 AM @ Lucas Theatre for the Arts

    Join the Lucas Theatre in a special Arthouse Cinema screening of APOLLO 11 on the 50th anniversary of what many consider to be one of the greatest...

  • Golden Girls Gone Wild!

    Jul 19, 2019
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    Picture it! Miami, 1980s. A lovely suburban home shared by four fiesty older women. Now, picture this!  Kansas City’s Late Night Theatre...

  • 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...

  • Harper's Desserts Birthday Party

    Jul 21, 2019
    1:00 PM - 4:00 PM @ harper's desserts

    Come help us celebrate the 2nd Birthday of Harper’s Desserts! Join us for family friendly fun with guest appearances from Harper and Ralph,...

  • Disney Summer Classics: The Aristocats

    Jul 21, 2019
    3:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Lucas Theatre for the Arts

    Have you ever wished (upon a star) that you could get the chance to experience again the magic of the Disney animated classics on the big screen?...

  • Oak Island Farmers and Artisans' Market

    Jul 15, 2019
    8:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ Middleton Park, Oak Island

    At the Oak Island Farmers and Artisans’ Market,  discover fresh local produce, homemade jams, cakes and diverse homemade goods ranging...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • FREE Info Session: Costa Rica Yoga Camp 2020

    Jul 22, 2019
    7:30 PM - 8:30 PM @ Savannah Power Yoga

    Each year, we offer a week-long immersion in yoga called Yoga Camp. We offered it in Costa Rica for 2019, and we're doing it again in...


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Scenes of the South

Bohemian Hotel 10th Anniversary

Stonewall50 - A Legendary Block Party

The Stonewall 50 block party, held on June 28th outside the LGBTQ Center on Bull Street, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Protest — one of the most important moments in LGBTQ history and the catalyst for the gay rights movement.

Pelindaba Lavender Savannah Grand Opening

Pelindaba Lavender Grand Opening was this past Thursday, June 28th! This fun night included ribbon cutting, product sampling, lavender refreshments and special prizes! During this festive evening 10% of sales benefitted the good work of Coastal Pet Rescue. Stop by the store at 112 E Broughton St, Savannah, Ga to see the many products they offer!

Sonja Griffin Evans Gullah Art Exhibit

The Sonja Griffin Evans Gullah Art Event in Hilton Head displayed several paintings featuring the culture and heritage of the African-American Lowcountry. Sonja Griffin Evans paints with bright vibrant colors — while also incorporating materials such as tin and wood — to emphasize the traditional Gullah style, evoking an emotional response by bringing to life historical and cultural events.

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.