Columbus, Georgia, an All-American Adventure

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Get in on the Army’s battlefield action, set for sea with Confederate sailors aboard the CSS Jackson and explore early American culture in Columbus, Georgia

Patriotism fills the warm air in Columbus, Georgia. About an hour south of Atlanta via I-85 and I-185, Columbus is the second largest city in the Peach State and offers American-sized fun making it an ideal getaway for President’s Day, February 20. With Fort Benning at its helm, this military town is a natural setting for national pride and a memory-making history lesson that is entertaining for all.

With thousands of artifacts, monuments, interactive exhibits and video presentations on display, the National Infantry Museum is one of the nation’s top military history destinations. This 190,000-square-foot facility opened in 2009 and has one guiding mission: to honor the legacy and valor of the U.S. Army Infantryman. Beginning with the Revolutionary War, experience 240+ years of American battles that put you in the fight for the Last 100 Yards. The immersive simulators are next to none. Take a shot at the rifle range–the same combat simulator used by the U.S. Army. Or, climb aboard the Humvee and participate in a rescue mission seen on surrounding screens. Guests can also take in the action by viewing a military documentary in the Giant Screen Theater. The National Infantry Museum shows guests what it takes to be a U.S. Army Soldier and is a reminder of why freedom isn’t free. Visitors of all ages can experience firsthand the American Infantryman’s journey to defeat tyranny around the globe. The National Infantry Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free, but a $5 donation is suggested. Group tours are available.

The National Civil War Naval Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to telling the complete Naval story of the American Civil War. This prized establishment is home to the largest surviving Confederate warship, the CSS Jackson, as well as the wreckage of the CSS Chattahoochee. Climb aboard a full-scale replica of the USS Water Witch and a replica of the USS Hartford with its berth deck, wardroom and captain’s cabin. Among the many artifacts, the museum also has the largest collection of Civil War Naval-related flags on display in the country. Guests will feel as if they have set sail with the timeline exhibit, which takes you month by month through the war displaying every naval battle. Get up close to the museum’s rarest artifacts, such as the uniform coat of Captain Catesby Jones and Admiral Farragut’s two-star hat insignia. Learn the stories of the sailors, soldiers and civilians, both free and enslaved at Port Columbus. The museum is open Sunday and Monday from 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. and Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.50, with discounted rates for military, seniors and students; children are free. Group tours are available Monday-Friday.

For over 60 years, the Columbus Museum has dazzled guests with its unique American art and regional historical collections. Being one of the largest museums in the Southeast, the Columbus Museum’s artistic and historical treasures are displayed in its permanent collection, temporary exhibitions and educational programs. The Columbus Museum’s collection of fine and decorative art is a record of the changing artistic tastes of American culture from Colonial times to present day. It includes portraits, still lifes, women’s fashion from 1850-1930, as well as period furniture. Its history collection galleries tell the 10,000-year history of Columbus and the surrounding area, particularly focusing on the impact of the Chattahoochee River. Dive into the earliest colonization, remember the Trail of Tears, learn about the area’s complex slave history and get a lesson on Columbus’ first public schools.

The tale of freedom resounds in this all-American town. Visitors are sure to leave Columbus, Georgia, with new knowledge, fresh inspiration and a renewed sense of gratitude.

Travelling in a group? Columbus, Georgia, has plenty of options for your trip. Get outdoors on the world’s longest urban whitewater run. Whitewater Express earned the title of “Top 12 Man-Made Adventures” in the U.S. by USA Today. Or take flight on the Blue Heron Adventure. Crossing the Chattahoochee River, experience the only dual-zip line that connects two states reaching speeds up to 40 mph. Your crew will be highly entertained at The Blue Heron Aerial Course. This treetop experience will meet you in Phenix City, Alabama, with a total of 10 obstacles. These outdoor excursions are open year-round; call 1-800-676-7238 to book reservations. Or kick back and catch a show-stopping Broadway performance at the Springer Opera House. Just steps away from Uptown Columbus, the Opera House offers discounted group rates at 706-256-0943.