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Southwest Georgia is the land of peach orchards, pecan groves, and Jimmy Carter. It's also a land of giant textile mills, pulp and paper plants, and manufacturing centers for automobiles, metal, chemicals, and furniture that bear the definite stamp of the New South.
Macon, the cherry tree capital of Georgia, is only 84 miles southeast of Atlanta and might easily be your gateway to the state's southwest. Home of rock legend Little Richard and birthplace of Southern poet Sidney Lanier, Macon is filled with white-columned antebellum buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
After visiting the historic heartland of Georgia, you can cut southwest through two very different tourist districts, which Georgia dubs "Presidential Pathways" and "Plantation Trace." The first honors two presidents: Franklin Roosevelt, who sometimes lived at Warm Springs, and Plains's own Jimmy Carter. Steeped in history, this land is one of rolling hills and green forests. It also encompasses Pine Mountain, the gateway to the 2,500-acre Callaway Gardens -- the most beautiful natural setting in Georgia. Along Plantation Trace, Native Americans and frontier soldiers have given way to farmers and timber barons. Its pocket of posh is Thomasville, which in the 1880s became the center for winter sunshine for the wealthy from the North.
Find American Airlines flights to Columbus, Georgia, and dive into this historically significant city. From Civil War museums and the Columbus Historic District to Springer Opera House and the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, it's not hard to find fascinating things to do in Columbus.
If you're a history buff, then your first stop should be the National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus. It's one of the most popular activities in Columbus, perhaps because it's the only museum in the country dedicated to the naval strategies and history of the Civil War. Located on the Chattahoochee Intra-Coastal Waterway in the city's historic section, this museum features raised and restored original Civil War vessels, weaponry, uniforms and artifacts. You'll also find an ironclad simulator that puts you right smack in the heat of combat.
Next up on our list of things to do in Columbus is a visit to the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, located along the Chattahoochee RiverWalk in uptown. It features a Challenger Learning Center, the Mead Observatory and the Omnisphere Theater along with multiple interactive exhibits and displays. It's an especially fun stop for kids (don't tell them they're learning while they're here) and there are nighttime sessions at the Mead Observatory for visitors of all ages. Can't come in the evening? Be sure to check out the Solar Observatory during the day and study the sun.
Since you'll be near the Historic District, it's your next natural stop. Stroll along its brick streets and admire ancient oaks and genteel, century-old homes. Also make time to explore the Chattahoochee RiverWalk, another of our favorite activities in Columbus. This 15-mile long park along the water has preserved the city's heritage and a bike path makes it easy to navigate on two wheels. Along the way you'll see the site of the Battle of Columbus, the National Infantry Museum and a statue of Christopher Columbus among other interesting features.
Be sure to visit the Springer Opera House before you leave town. Appreciating its historical charms while watching a modern production is one of the most captivating things to do in Columbus. Built in 1871, this European-style theater features an Edwardian grand lobby and architectural touches such as curved double balconies, tulip lights and a high proscenium arch. Its stage has been graced by legends including John Phillip Sousa, Edwin Booth, Will Rogers and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
History, science and the arts continue to flourish in this picturesque Georgia destination. Let American Airlines help you fly to Columbus so you can experience its many charms for yourself. Browse flights and book your trip now.
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