Nestled in the valley of the Chattahoochee River, Columbus, Georgia, is that rare city with a rich history, and a vibrancy and hipness all its own. Just 100 miles southwest of Atlanta, Columbus is home to many museums and tourist attractions. Where rolling hills and beautiful plainlands meet, Columbus has something for everyone, from fine dining and coffee shops to the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world. Enjoy the almost 50 parks and recreation centers, the historic district, and fitness trails. The more you learn about this city, the more you’ll want to book an RV in Columbus, Georgia.
Sites and Scenery
Although a modern city, Columbus offers great hiking and outdoor recreation opportunities, right in the city limits. The Chattahoochee RiverWalk is a 15-mile long walking and bicycling trail that connects Downtown Columbus to the South Columbus district, and to the northern border of Fort Benning. The Columbus Fall Line Trace is 11 miles of fitness trail fun that starts in Uptown and leads to the northeastern part of town. Black Heritage Trail, a National Recreation Trail, features historic and cultural insights, and doubles as a walking trail.
One of the most unique and exciting outdoor activities available in the city is the world’s largest urban whitewater rafting course. The Chattahoochee River Whitewater Park opened in 2012, with restored natural water flow conditions. This 2.5-mile course is ideal for kayaks or canoes, and is considered one of the best whitewater courses in the world. Attached to the course is the Blue Heron Adventure zip-line, connecting you from the Georgia side of the Chattahoochee River to the Alabama side, and back.
Drive just an hour west with the Columbus rental RV to find yourself in the gorgeous Tuskegee National Forest in Alabama. This 10,000-acre gem features rich forest land for hiking, fishing, camping and biking. There are also great trails for horseback rides, and a shooting range for even more fun. A favorite trail here is the Bartram National Recreation Trail, the first in Alabama. This 8.5-mile path takes you through different types of forest habitat, and hikers can see a vast variety of wildflowers and trees, including flowering varieties like dogwood and magnolia. Deer, turkey and other wildlife are abundant here.
A much larger national forest, also in adjacent Alabama, is the Talladega National Forest, near Birmingham, AL. Spread out over almost 300,000 acres, this forest is a vast recreation area, providing almost limitless opportunities for the outdoors enthusiast. Fishing, camping, hunting (including big game), hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking are just some of the favorite activities. Camping is available, as in most national forests, with primitive campgrounds available, some including with hookups and water for your Columbus, GA rental camper.
If you’re yearning for some ocean adventures, head three hours south in your Columbus rental RV and you’ll find yourself in Panama City, Florida. On the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, here you can enjoy beach hikes and horseback riding, deep sea fishing charters, kayaking, boating activities, windsurfing, and much more. Make sure to check out the St. Andrews State Aquatic Preserve, a beautiful sanctuary with stunning beaches, nature trails and camping, plus Shell Island boat tours.
Columbus has a great regional cultural niche and vibrant energy, all in a mix of modern and historic architecture and neighborhoods. Columbus State University has downtown locations for arts and drama, bringing a youthfulness to the downtown scene as well. Historic preservation is prioritized in Columbus, including brick facades and the famous 1966 Olympic softball competition complex, A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium.
There’s much to see and do in Columbus, including family favorites like the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and the hands-on science center at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), a world-class exhibit with more than 300 interactive displays. This center includes the new American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery.
For a nice family picnic spot, and to see the one-of-a-kind glass artwork of Dale Chihuly, make sure to visit the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Bicentennial Park is the home of concerts on summer weekends, and a huge collection of fountains that transform into fun children play areas. The trail leading south from Bicentennial Plaza takes you to the Scioto Audubon Metropark, a charming birding area with nature center, and a large, free climbing wall.
Other museums and attractions of note include the Columbus Museum featuring regional history and American Art. Columbus is also home to the National Civil War Naval Museum. Highlights include two Civil War military vessels, and uniforms, weapons and equipment used by soldiers from both sides of the battle. The planetarium at the Coca-Cola Science Space Center also features four flight simulators.
Shopping is a popular activity, and there are several urban and suburban shopping malls including Peachtree Mall, and Columbus Park Crossing. The historic downtown shopping district is a great place to spend the day. Here you’ll find lots of shops to explore, and a variety of casual and fine dining options, all in a fantastic historic setting. Make sure to visit Columbus’ historic districts, including the Columbus Historic Riverfront Industrial District.
Where to Park It
Columbus is a thriving metropolitan area, with surrounding parks and facilities, including national forests and state parks, so you will have no problem finding a place to park your Columbus rental RV. In addition to RV parks and resorts, primitive camping is available very near the city. When you branch out with the Columbus rental motorhome, you can camp near the Gulf of Mexico, or stick close and set up camp in the deep, green forests of the area. There are a dozen Walmart Supercenters in the area, including six right in Columbus and nearby Bibb City.
When you rent an RV in Columbus, you’ll be in the midst of one of the best food scenes in the area, with innovative eateries, artisan food producers, and creative chefs who delight their customers with meals that are divine. Nationally acclaimed distilleries, micro-breweries and local coffee roasters complement high-end cocktail bars.You’ll find soul and southern food here, as well as international flavors and American steak houses and burger joints. Don’t miss the seasonal farmers market in nearby Midland, GA, open Saturday mornings.
Columbus, GA is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Columbus. Outdoorsy's Columbus RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.