Along the banks of the Chattahoochee River in west central Georgia, you’ll find Columbus, one of the last planned cities of the original 13 colonies.The city served as a major supply point during the Civil War and in fact, one of the last battles of the Civil War was fought in Columbus in 1865, a week after the war ended. Needless to say, Columbus is steeped in history.
Civil War Naval Museum
Let your students experience a part of this history with a visit to the National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus.The only museum of its kind in the country, Port Columbus is dedicated to taking a comprehensive look at this fascinating aspect of the war.They’ll be swept away with stories of powder monkeys, and even see how the navies used submarines and torpedoes! A new addition to the facility is a full-scale ship representation of the USS Waterwitch that was recently constructed on the grounds of the Museum. Stretching 160 feet long, with two 90-foot high masts and two huge paddle wheels, this structure now serves as a platform for new education programs and special events. The USS Waterwitch served the U.S. Navy from the time of her first mission in 1853 until her capture in 1864 at the hands of a daring Confederate commando raid.
National Infantry Museum
Earlier this year, history was made once again in Columbus with the opening of the new National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Patriot Park, honoring the 233-year legacy of valor and sacrifice of the American Infantryman.This facility serves to educate, honor and preserve the legacy of the oldest branch of the United States Armed Forces.
Inside the Museum, students can traverse the “Last100Yards Ramp,”where battles from each of the infantry’s major conflicts over the years are depicted in striking realism, then amble through interactive galleries tracing infantry history
from colonial times to the present and the training of today’s soldier.You will come to understand why infantrymen do what they do, why they put themselves in harm’s way in defense of a belief.
Heritage Corner Tour
Do you know the real history of Coca-Cola? We’ll quench your students’ thirst to learn with a little background on Dr. John Pemberton and his invention called “FrenchWine of Cocoa” thateventually became known as Coca-Cola! During the Heritage Corner Tour, find out more about Dr. Pemberton, explore a fur trader’s log cabin, and take a look into the oldest house in Columbus — complete with a kitchen under the house.
Springer Opera House
Students who love the limelight will enjoy stepping on the stage at the Springer Opera House, the State Theatre of Georgia.This 138-year old theatre has been restored to its original grandeur and hosts a full season of productions from September to May. There are also stories of many ghosts of past performers still wandering the halls of this Victorian-style theatre!
Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center is a must for the nature lover, future biologist, forest ranger, or environmentalist.This nature discovery center offers two trails that allow you to view native flora and fauna up-close. Animals such as large and small reptiles, including venomous snakes from the region, are on display. Oxbow Meadows has expanded their horizons with a forest canopy trail that is among the nation’s most unique.The 192-feet long, 35-feet high Treetop Trail walkway provides an unparalleled view from high in the trees.
Coca-Cola Space Science Center.
More than a quarter million students and teachers across the United States, Canada, and England will experience the excitement of space exploration as part of the Challenger Learning Center programs at the Coca-Cola Space Science Center. Merging the power of a child’s imagination with the excitement of discovery, students become engineers and scientists as they Voyage to Mars, Rendezvous with a Comet, Return to the Moon, or Encounter Earth. Students work in teams in mission control and aboard a space station as they test their decision-making skills, solve problems and communicate by alternative means during this innovative space-themed science and math lesson. Teachers prepare students with pre-and post-flight activities that integrate the experience into traditional classroom instruction.
Think all museums are alike? Wait until you see the Columbus Museum that sets itself apart from the rest as it encompasses not only art, but history from the area as well.This second largest art museum in Georgia houses 15 permanent galleries, including Transformations, a hands-on gallery that kids of all ages will enjoy!
The staff of the Columbus CVB is eager to help you plan your expedition and to show you ”what progress has preserved.”