Columbus : Georgia


What It Is Like to Retire in Columbus

Columbus, Georgia, is the second largest city in the state, and the county seat of Muscogee County, with a population of 202,824, (2013 census). It is located 100 miles southwest of Atlanta, and sits directly across the Chattahoochee River from Phenix City, Alabama. Columbus is a historical town, dating back to the Civil War, and is is one of the nation's leading destinations for military history. It is also home to Fort Benning, the U.S. Army Infantry School, and a major employer, and is home to Columbus State University which adds much to the city in both education and culture.

The Chattahoochee River draws thousands of recreationist to experience the town's 15-mile Riverwalk on foot or by bike. Due to the RiverWalk bike path, Columbus has been listed by the League of American Bicyclists as one of the forty most Bicycle Friendly Communities in the United States. But much more popular as a tourist destination is its new claim to fame, the world's longest urban whiter water rafting and kayaking venue, which has been ranked by USA Today as the best manmade whitewater course.

Picture of Columbus Historic Riverfront Industrial District and picture of The T.Y. Whitley Clock Tower on main campus of Columbus State University courtesy of Wikipedia (public domain).

Where to Retire in Columbus and Home Prices

The city is divided into five geographic areas which include the downtown district, historic districts, and suburban areas.  Zillow reports the median home value to be $104,901 in early 2020.


What Is Special about Columbus

Columbus is a historical town with a low cost of living, transportation, many health care facilities, museums, the arts, and is a college town.


What Is Not Special about Columbus

Columbus has a high crime rate,  summer temperatures can be in the 90's, and the nearest international airport is about 100 miles away.


Who Will Like Retirement in Columbus

Those who want to live in a college town that offers a lot of cultural opportunities would enjoy living here.  Walkers and bikers are drawn to the Riverwalk, and historians would love the many museums and historical sites, with many volunteer opportunities.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Manufacturing and construction are the most common industries;  Fort Benning is the largest employer with over 40,000 employees; Aflac and Carmike Cinemas are headquartered here.


Climate and Physical Environment

Columbus is considered to be a "natural snowline" of the southeastern United States with areas north of the city receiving snowfall annually, and those to the south receiving little or none.  The average January temperature is 49 degrees with July's average 80 degrees, although many summer days see temperatures in the 90's.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Columbus offers an array of cultural venues both as a historic town with its role during the Civil War, and as college town that offers a variety of arts along with Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center. It is home to eight historic districts and several museums including the Columbus Museum, the National Civil War Naval Museum, and the The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center.

Riverwalk is a 15 mile linear park that spans the riverfront with historic markers and monuments. Other visitor destinations include The Coca-Cola Space Science Center that houses four flight simulators and a planetarium; RiverCenter for the Performing Arts and Springer Opera House both host events and performances; Golden Park is a 5,000 seat baseball stadium that was the site for softball events during the 1996 Summer Olympics. Columbus offers all types of restaurants, and reviewers on recommend several including The Loft, Buckhead Grill, and the Cannnon Brew Pub.



The city has a high crime rate.


Medical Facilities

Columbus offers all types of medical facilities and several hospitals including Midtown Medical and Columbus Regional Health System.



METRA Transit System offers bus service throughout Columbus;  Columbus has a Metropolitan Airport, but the closest international airport is in Atlanta, about 100 miles away; the city is considered a bicycle friendly community; Riverwalk is a 15 mile stretch that links downtown Columbus to Fort Benning.


Valuable Links

Visit Columbus

City of Columbus


What people are saying about Columbus

Columbus is a great place to retire, particularly for the summer and fall. But somehow the previous comment seems to apply to Columbus, Indiana. That city is the most interesting place for architecture in the country. See
Posted by admin on May 12, 2021
Great architecture is nice
I know some people who put seeing this city on their bucket lists. Not sure what it would be like to live here, but must be wonderful if you are into architecture!
Posted by admin on November 03, 2011

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