the complete guide to moving to & living in
COLUMBUS, GA 
The charming city of Columbus is located in western Georgia. Columbus has a bustling community, rich history, and plenty of fantastic amenities. The city's diverse population has a wealth of cultures and lifestyles. There's something for everyone, regardless of their interests and hobbies, and living in Columbus can be quite affordable. Columbus residents have access to fantastic schools, outdoor activities, great careers, and much more. Here's the complete guide to moving to and living in Columbus, Georgia.
Columbus is located in the Muscogee County of Georgia. Situated close to the Alabama state line, Columbus sits in the west-central part of Georgia, around 90 miles southwest of Atlanta and 80 miles east of Montgomery, Alabama.
Columbus is known as the Fountain City, and you'll see why as soon as you visit. In the early 20th century, numerous fountains were installed around the city, giving way to this nickname. The city is also known for being the birthplace of Coca-Cola, at least the very early form of the now world famous soft drink.
Columbus is a growing economic powerhouse with plenty of potential. There are over 80,000 students who are pursuing post-secondary education, with a workforce size of 250,000 in a 60-mile radius, and almost 6,000 military members who are switching to the civilian workforce.
Over the last year, Columbus has seen an increase of 2.3% in the job market. The expected market growth is around 30% in the next decade.
The average income in Columbus is just over $23,000 per year, and the median household income is around $41,000. The sales tax rate is 8%, and the income tax rate is 6%.
Columbus, GA, schools are among the best in the state, and there are many great options for parents to choose from across the city. Between the excellent public and impressive private schools, regardless of the educational avenue you choose, you can feel confident in your child's education.
Columbus has something for everyone. With distinct communities that have their own charm and amenities, you're sure to find your dream home along with a lifestyle you love. Here are the best communities in Columbus.
Columbus has over 500 restaurants with varying cuisine, so if you like to eat, you're in the right place. These top restaurants to try in Columbus will never disappoint.
Minnie's Uptown Restaurant was named one of Georgia's 100 Plates Locals Love, and this incredible restaurant has all the comfort food you know and love. Dine in and devour soul food favorites like fried chicken, mac and cheese, and any other delicious creation at the buffet.
Banks Food Hall is a collective eatery that will please even the pickiest palates. The 12,000 square foot indoor and outdoor space has ten restaurants to enjoy, bars, and live music, and the venue can hold up to 250 people. It's next to the riverwalk, so you can have a fantastic dinner and then go for a leisurely walk along the river. It's also close to the Splash Pad and Whitewater Express, so it's a great place to stop before a day of fun and adventuring.
If you're looking for a fantastic meal to celebrate something special, Mabella's Italian Steakhouse delivers every time. Located inside a historic telephone switch building, the meals are incredible and will leave you full for hours. It's even the top-rated spot in Columbus on TripAdvisor.
The Cannon Brew Pub is a local favorite when you're in the mood for casual food and brews. They have fantastic burgers, sandwiches, wood-fired pizzas, pasta, and craft beer brewed on-site. Their sidewalk seating is dog friendly as well.
Coming in at number two on TripAdvisor's top Columbus restaurants is Buckhead Steak and Wine. This local steakhouse offers a "back to basics" approach to innovative meals, incredible cocktails, wine, and craft beer. For over 20 years, they've provided exceptional experiences for many Columbus patrons.
Speakeasy has some of the best pizzas around, and you won't be surprised that they've been a staple in the community since 1976. They have various food options, but their pizza is a true classic. Make sure you check out their desserts!
Since 1975, Country's Barbecue has been keeping Columbus residents and visitors fed with the best BBQ around. Everything is made in-house, and they use the best quality meats for all their menu items. This place is a real treat, so if you're a BBQ fan, it's a must-try in Columbus.
Epic Restaurant lives up to its name. If you're looking for an award-winning fine dining experience, Epic is the place to be. It's even been on many Top 40 lists nationwide and the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine. Once you try this incredible place, you'll realize what all the hype is about.
Southern Caprese at 11th and Bay is another top restaurant in Columbus, GA. The local favorite is just as much great food as it is experience. If you're looking for locally-sourced sustainable dishes with plenty of organic options, you've come to the right place. Many of the tables have views of the Chattahoochee River.
As Garden and Gun Magazine mentioned, The Black Cow is home to some of the best burgers in the south. Grab some comfort food like meatloaf, steaks, and po'boys. Wash it down with a great cocktail or craft beer. It's the only oyster bar in Uptown Columbus.
Check out Hollywood Connection Family Fun Center for a fun-filled family adventure day. It has games, mini golf, laser tag, a skating center, and a 50s-style diner that the kids will enjoy.
When it comes to a night out on the town, Columbus doesn't disappoint. Uptown Columbus has an incredible local music scene that residents love to enjoy. Whether you're looking for a lounge, billiards, theater, or hookah bar, Uptown Columbus has plenty of options. Since the community is very walkable, it makes getting around to different venues easy and convenient. You can experience everything you want in one night.
Up at Smoke is a bar with a live DJ on the weekends and plenty of drink specials. Billiards on Broad has a number of pool tables and drink specials as well. There are so many fun things to do in Uptown Columbus.
Columbus is very easy to navigate by many forms of transportation and is incredibly well connected.
The vibrant city of Columbus is located in the heart of nature, which lends itself well to every kind of lifestyle. Whether you want to go shopping, eat some incredible food, spend time outdoors, or learn about the history of the military, you can do it here.
Considered to be one of the Top 12 Man-Made adventures in the world by USA Today, the Whitewater Express is a must-do experience when you're in Columbus. The rafting adventure isn't just for thrill seekers. People of all ages enjoy the excursion. The rapids range from a Class V to a Lazy River, so it can be a lot of fun.
The RiverWalk is a local favorite that everyone has to check out at least once. The 15-mile park features a linear walkway that hugs the banks of the Chattahoochee River, providing some beautiful scenery that's easy to fall in love with and admire.
The Dragonfly Trail is one of the most popular spots for a nice walk or bike ride. The multi-use bike and pedestrian trail spans 32 miles throughout the city, so you can visit all the communities and see the entirety of Columbus.
Uptown Columbus is home to all the excitement and nightlife. The community features an entertainment district, great shopping, excellent restaurants, and much more. The Market Days on Broadway event, farmers market, and free concert series are held in the community.
The city has events year-round, including sightseeing tours, historical galleries, golf tournaments, cooking classes, live music, and so much more.
If there is one thing that Columbus has in abundance, it's museums. History buffs will never get bored in the city. The National Infantry Museum is the only museum of its kind that is dedicated to the history of the US infantry. The exhibits range from America's founding to the present day and contain many artifacts.
The National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus is another great museum that features the naval history of the civil war, including a replica of the USS Hartford, the recreated CSS Albemarle, and the CSS Jackson.
The Columbus Museum features regional history and art history. It's the second largest museum in the state. The incredible exhibits help to paint the picture of the city and the region's rich past and features over 14,000 artifacts. It's a unique cultural center that is a must-see when in Columbus.
Historic Westville is a living museum that is like stepping back in time. The re-creation of a historic village of the past tells the story of southern experiences from all perspectives. Walk through exhibits, see live interpreters, have food, and make crafts.
The Coca-Cola Space Science Center is an experience with a space mission simulator, planetarium, artifacts, and exhibits and is an outstanding educational experience. The state-of-the-art facility is very cool for all ages.
The Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center is great for those who love to learn about nature and spend time outdoors. Since 1995, the center has been teaching visitors about the local biodiversity and embarking on nature trails so everyone can learn hands-on.
Columbus also features areas for theatre and the performing arts.
Since 1871, the Springer Opera House has been the place to watch live performances. It produces 11 shows annually and features some incredible talent. The Springer Theater Academy is the most extensive training program in the southeast.
The Columbus Symphony Orchestra is the second oldest orchestra in the nation, as it was formed in 1855. It's one of the premier musical ensembles, and if you get a chance to see them, you absolutely should.
RiverCenter for the Performing Arts is located in the city's arts district and is the centerpiece of the art community. The facility has welcomed Wynonna, Jessie Norman, Yo-Yo Ma, David Copperfield, and productions of Cats, Chicago, and Miss Saigon.