12 Things to Know About Living in Columbus, GA

12 Things to Know About Living in Columbus, GA

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By Vince Mancuso, Storage.com

Looking for a great place to live? The city of Columbus is right on the Chattahoochee River in Georgia and offers plenty of opportunities for its residents to live, work, and play! From historic neighborhoods and nationally-recognized companies to entertainment for young adults, families, and retirees, “The Fountain City” has something for everybody. Here are 12 things to know about living in Columbus.

1. A RICH SOUTHERN HISTORY.

Columbus, GA Post Office
Photo by Peter

Columbus’s history goes back to 1828, when the city was founded as a connection point for the cotton industry along the Chattahoochee. After the arrival of the railroad and textile industries in the 1850s, Columbus became a major hub in the South, earning the nickname “the Lowell of the South” (after the Massachusetts industrial city that’s also on a river). Much of this history can still be seen in the buildings and roads of the city’s eight historic districts: Bibb City Historic, Columbus Historic, Columbus Historic Riverfront Industrial, Dinglewood, Peacock Woods-Dimon Circle Historic, Weracoba-St. Elmo Historic, Wynn’s Hill-Overlook-Oak Circle Historic, and Wynnton Village Historic.

2. UPTOWN FUNK YOU UP.

Traffic heading into Uptown Columbus, GA
Photo by Ken Lund

You may get the terms “Downtown” and “Uptown” confused with Columbus, and that’s because Downtown Columbus is Uptown Columbus to its residents. Locals often “go down” to Uptown for free concerts, shows, and festivals. While you’re there, be sure to check out Minnie’s Uptown Restaurant, a cafeteria-style southern food joint. You have to try Minnie’s fried chicken, as well as the sweet potatoes and corn muffins. And if you’re a vegetarian, Minnie’s cooks all of its vegetables separate from its meat, so you can still enjoy this must-have Columbus experience!

3. FORT BENNING.

Fort Benning in Columbus, GA
Photo by Ashley Cross

Just outside of Columbus sits Fort Benning, one of the largest U.S. military installations in the world and largest employer in Columbus (providing roughly 40,000 jobs). Established in 1918 to provide basic training to World War I units, this 182,000-acre base is home to more than 107,000 individuals and has the ability to deploy combat-ready troops at the drop of a hat. Fort Benning also hosts the United States Army Armor School, which trains soldiers in strategies and tactics using armored equipment, such as battle tanks.

Military personnel often use self storage while stationed in Columbus, GA. Learn about the benefits of Military Storage.

4. WHAT’S THE NAME OF THAT INSURANCE?

Aflac based in Columbus, GA
Photo by frankieleon

Have you ever heard of the American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus? Perhaps you know it better as the insurance-industry giant Aflac. Fortune Magazine ranked Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America in 2014, and it’s been listed there for 16 consecutive years. Aflac employs around 4,750 people inside the United States, the majority of which work in Columbus. In addition to being one of the largest employers in the area, it’s also been recognized by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the 40 Best Companies for Diversity for the ninth time.

5. GET YOUR COLLEGE ON.

Columbus State in Columbus, GA
Photo by BurnAway

Columbus State University has risen from a humble beginning to gaining national recognition for its programs. Originally founded as Columbus College in 1958 after nearly a decade of fundraising by local residents, the first 15 faculty members and 300 students met at the renovated Shannon Hosiery Mill. Now known as Columbus State University, the college has since relocated and enrolls more than 8,200 students. While the school offers 46 undergraduate and 42 graduate degree programs, it was recognized by U.S. News & World Report in 2014 for having best online programs in graduate business and education.

6. THE HOME OF COCA-COLA.

Coke Bottles
Photo by Mike Mozart

Despite claims of Atlanta being the original Coca-Cola town, Colonel John Pemberton actually created his prototype for Coke in Eagle Drug and Chemical House, a drugstore in Columbus. While he began working on the formula in the 1860s, he registered his French Wine Coca in 1885 as an alcoholic tonic for the nerves. Of course, it eventually became the non-alcoholic cola enjoyed my millions today. Because the city has ties to Coca-Cola history, be sure to refer to soda (or pop, depending on where you previously lived) as “coke.” And don’t be surprised if a local asks what kind of coke you want!

7. ENJOY FOUNTAIN CITY COFFEE.

Latte
Photo by Susanne Nilsson

Though Columbus earned the nickname of Fountain City for its many fountains, there’s only one Fountain City Coffee. On the corner of Broadway and 10th in Uptown, locals love this hometown coffee shop where fresh coffee beans are imported from around the world. Regulars appreciate it for its strong—not too strong—cup of joe, as well as its quirky atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a place to meet with a friend or two or just sit with a good book and read, Fountain City Coffee is where you’ll want to be.

8. GET OUT OF TOWN TO VISIT HUNTER’S.

Hunter's Pub in Columbus, GA
Photo provided by Hunter’s Pub

One of Columbus’s best kept secrets is actually 30 minutes north of the city up I-185 in Hamilton, known as Hunter’s Pub. Don’t look for a sign—you’ll recognize it as the small building surrounded by cars. People say Hunter’s Pub has the best steak around, but there’s also amazing mashed potatoes and sweet potato fries. Don’t forget to order Fried Lobster Tail as an appetizer! It’s part of the experience.

9. LIFE ON THE CHATTAHOOCHEE.

Chattahoochee River Rafting in Columbus, GA
Photo by Todd

The lifeblood of Columbus flows in the Chattahoochee River, and residents just can’t get enough of that water. Head out to the 22-mile Chattahoochee RiverWalk, which starts at Lake Oliver in North Columbus and ends at Fort Benning. For those who enjoy actually getting in the water, Columbus boasts the largest urban whitewater rafting course in the world. You can also check out Uptown’s Dragon Boat Festival in early May, where locals team up to compete in a fun and festive race!

10. MUSEUMS GALORE.

Columbus GA Civil War Museum
Photo by The National Infantry Museum

Columbus is home to many museums that celebrate the history of the city and the country. History buffs can enjoy a day at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center and check out Civil War reenactments. Another interesting museum is the National Civil War Naval Museum, which includes the largest surviving Confederate warship: the CSS Jackson. For parents whose children enjoy a more hands-on experience, there’s the Coca-Cola Space Science Center. Located on and operated by Columbus State University, the center provides a number of interactive exhibits, simulators, and presentations for all ages.

11. EXPLORE LOCAL HAUNTS.

Springer Opera House in Columbus, GA
Photo by zx81basic

Because Columbus is historic, you’re bound to encounter a ghost or two. Such is the case with the Springer Opera House. Though the opera house now hosts Broadway shows and the Springer Theatre Academy, it’s rumored to be haunted due to its history, which goes back to the 1870s. The ghost of legendary performer Edwin Booth—brother to presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth—is known to play pranks on female members of casts and crews, especially in wardrobe and props rooms. For a more frightful experience, however, visit Crybaby Bridge on Whitesville Road. Legend has it that a World War II widow went mad and murdered her own children, dropping them off on the bridge. If you’re brave, you can stand on the bridge to feel an eerie presence or put baby powder on your car’s hood to see little footprints.

12. COLUMBUS COTTONMOUTHS.

Columbus Cottonmouths Hockey
Photo provided by the Columbus Cottonmouths

A hockey team that’s been around since 1996, the Snakes (a.k.a. Columbus Cottonmouths) call the Columbus Civic Center their home. Originally in the Central Hockey League as an expansion team, the Cottonmouths have consistently finished among the top teams, winning the President’s Cup twice in the South Professional Hockey League since joining in 2004.

Is there anything we’ve missed? Be sure to tell us what you think makes Columbus a great place to live!

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If you’re moving to Columbus and need storage space to help with the transition, view Storage.com’s directory of storage units in Columbus, Georgia.

All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons

  • Will T.

    Iron Bank Coffee in the old cast iron bank building on Broadway and 11th beats Fountain City coffee hands down any day!! Great coffee and food and live music most weekends.

    • blurby

      youve bumped your head. fountain city actually roasted their own beans from scratch!

    • yourmom

      Nah. Iron bank just had a lot of money to spend on their building. It’s the quality of the coffee that counts the most. So if you want to drink some muddy water in a trendy environment, yeah, definitely.

How Self Storage Helps with Living Downtown

How Self Storage Helps with Living Downtown

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By Graci Woodworth, Storage.com

Finding your place in this world can be pretty difficult, not to mention how hard it can be to move there. Storage.com is here to help with the moving process, either by providing storage or helping you find the ideal place to call home.

An apartment or loft right above the hustle and bustle of downtown is ideal for many young professionals today—and for good reason. The proximity to local hot spots, job opportunities, and vibrant cultural atmosphere are a few of the reasons why people are drawn to life in the heart of downtown areas.

Unfortunately, there’s a trade-off for living downtown. Apartments and lofts are pricey in urban areas. To put things in perspective, the median price for a one-bedroom apartment in Lincoln Park, Chicago would cost you somewhere near $1,540 per month. Add another bedroom to that equation, and your price per month jumps up to around $2,295 on average. Move to a coastal city like San Francisco, and the median rent for a one-bedroom downtown apartment is $3,400 per month with the two-bedroom coming in at a whopping $4,580 per month. So your options are either ditch downtown or get used to being cramped.

That said, you do have another option, one that will make it easy to get both the cool downtown apartment or loft you’ve always wanted and enough space for all of your things. That option is self storage.

Storage

Save Serious Cash

While it’s logical to go with the smaller space that lines up with your budget, you don’t have to sacrifice space altogether—you can gain roughly the same amount of space as an extra bedroom with a 5×5 or 5×10 storage unit. With prices starting as low as $39 in Chicago and $49 in San Francisco, you can get more space for all of your belongings. Start searching for storage units in your city now!

RESERVE A CHEAP STORAGE UNIT NEAR YOU
CALL 866-432-8525 TODAY!

Safer Spots for Your Valuables

If your living space comes without a place to keep things locked up, let a storage unit do the safekeeping for you. In a city with so many people, a secure unit nearby is an easy way to keep your mind at ease when storing valuable items (or even just the things you want out of your roommate’s reach). When searching for downtown storage units, look for storage facilities that offer security features like gated access, alarmed units, on-site management, or video surveillance to better protect your belongings.

A Short Walk Away

Storing your belongings at a downtown storage facility that’s not too far from your living space is extremely convenient—especially if you’re a walker or rely on public transportation to get around. Many facilities are open 24/7 and offer a free or discounted moving truck with initial rentals, so be sure to inquire about those options to help make your visits for drop-off and pick-up as convenient as possible.

loft_living

Before you pour an entire paycheck into one month’s rent for more room in your downtown living space, find a storage unit! That way, you can have the best of both worlds: a great pad downtown and a unit nearby to keep any valuables, seasonal clothing, recreational gear, or extra furniture safe and out of the way.

FIND FOR SELF STORAGE NEAR YOU

  • http://www.livecolumbusga.com Samantha Radloff

    Great article about the lovely Columbus, Ga! If anyone out there is moving to Columbus or Harris County, visit http://www.livecolumbusga.com to see homes for sale! Stunning new craftsman homes and build/design your own home solutions.

  • Shawn Letaro

    Thanks for the great post. I just bought a home in San Antonio http://www.drhorton.com/Texas/San-Antonio/San-Antonio/Riposa-Vita-Express.aspx and its perfect for me, i love the area and the general vibe that i get in Texas. But i have been in a search for the best places to visit, restaurant and attractions. I really appreciate your list.