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Welcome to the Columbus Meeting and Event Planning Guide, a city guide written with meeting planners in mind. As Georgia's third-largest city, Columbus bursts with historical charm, nationally acclaimed museums and untouched natural surroundings, serving as well as a fantastic destination for events both large and small. The pedestrian-friendly city hugs the Chattahoochee River and sits within 90 minutes of Atlanta, Macon and Montgomery. While in Columbus, meeting participants can walk amongst the Historic District's century-old homes, take in performances at the State Theatre of Georgia and access Uptown Columbus nightlife via the popular Chattahoochee RiverWalk, among many other activities. What's more, many of Columbus' most treasured attractions offer private event spaces that can be tailored for group gatherings.
The Columbus region is served by the Columbus Metropolitan Airport, which offers daily service to cities served by Delta Air Lines. Once in Columbus, visitors can ride the city's Metra bus system, which provides local service along nine routes that run Monday through Saturday. Thanks to Columbus' pedestrian-friendly setting, meeting participants can easily get to a number of attractions and sites from the 15-mile-long paved Chattahoochee RiverWalk, which snakes along the Chattahoochee River and provides access to many of the city's highlights.
One such destination, located along the Chattahoochee RiverWalk, is the sprawling Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center. The 182,000-square-foot center is housed in the historic Columbus Iron Works building, which still features brick walls, huge timbers and exposed ceilings after an extensive renovation and restoration. The Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center features a 22,000-square-foot ballroom and 55,000 square feet of exhibit space, as well as a full-service kitchen and 21 meeting rooms accommodating 20 to 500 guests. The center's Uptown Columbus location puts it within steps of museums, nightlife, restaurants and accommodations.
Many Columbus attractions set along the Chattahoochee RiverWalk offer private event spaces that can be rented for a range of group functions. The National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center emphasizes loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage in its collection of military artifacts and interactive exhibits designed to familiarize visitors with the infantryman journey. Visitors can reflect while exploring the Memorial Walk of Honor, take a step back in time at the World War II Company Street or even take in a movie at the museum's IMAX theater. Many of the museum's spaces, including its 13,500-square-foot Grand Hall and 6,500-square-foot Lobby, can be reserved for private events. Aside from the National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center, groups can take in a show or hold events at Uptown Columbus' historic Springer Opera House. Built in 1871 and one of seven producing National Historic Landmark in the country, the opera house serves as the State Theatre of Georgia and operates the largest theater academy in the Southeast. Springer Opera House offers its 700-seat Emily Woodruff Hall, meeting rooms, classrooms and other spaces for meetings and events.
Additional unique Columbus venues include the National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus. The only museum in the world dedicated to telling the complete naval story of the Civil War, the National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus allows visitors to experience 19th-century naval combat firsthand by stepping aboard a full-scale representation of the USS Water Witch—which can also accommodate events throughout its gallery spaces. The Columbus Museum houses a collection of American art and regional history pieces, as well as offers function or meeting space in its three-level galleria, community room and 298-seat theater. Located near the Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts serves as the city's arts and entertainment hub and offers rental opportunities for its three performance halls, including its 2,000-seat Bill Heard Theatre.
Once Georgia's last frontier post, Columbus now serves as the state's third-largest city and home to centers for fine and performing arts, acclaimed museums, family-friendly activities and unrivaled recreation. The city's fall line location places it within the rolling hills of the Piedmont plateau and flat terrain of the coastal plain, providing a beautiful backdrop for the Columbus cityscape. Columbus serves as the home of the Fort Benning Army Installation, as well as corporate headquarters for AFLAC Insurance, Carmike Cinemas, Char-Broil, Synovus, TSYS and Lance/Tom's Snack Foods.
Since the Georgia State Legislature set aside 1,200 acres to create Columbus in 1828, the city has depended on the Chattahoochee River for its commerce and stability. The Chattahoochee River still remains a key facet of Columbus' livelihood, thanks to the 15-mile Chattahoochee RiverWalk, which connects many of the city's attractions and welcomes visitors and residents to walk, jog, bike and skate throughout the year. In fact, the Chattahoochee River is the longest urban whitewater course in the world. The city has returned the Chattahoochee's natural flow with the breaching of the Eagle & Phenix and City Mills Dams.
Visitors looking for excitement along the river, but not necessarily on the river, can head to the Coca-Cola Space Science Center. Located in the heart of Uptown Columbus along the Chattahoochee RiverWalk, the science center houses the Challenger Learning Center, Omnisphere Theater and Mead Observatory, as well as seven flight simulators, all designed to allow visitors to interact with space science, physics and astronomy. Also located along the Chattahoochee RiverWalk, Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center promotes environmental awareness and citizen science with its animal encounters and tours of animal exhibits and gardens. Oxbow Meadows is home to the TreeTop Canopy Trail, a series of suspended walkways amongst tree-hugging platforms.
When it's time to hop down from the treetops and into a seat at the dinner table, Columbus offers a number of local-favorite restaurants serving everything from authentic barbecue to fresh seafood. Local-favorite Country's Barbecue serves its hickory and oak barbecue at three area locations, while Meritage specializes in global cuisine and signature cocktails. The Cannon Brew Pub serves award-winning handcrafted beer and traditional American fare. Nestled underneath The Loft music venue, Downstairs at the Loft serves down-home specialties in a comfortable, cozy setting.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Columbus experiences a humid subtropical climate, marked by warm to hot summers and mild to cold winters. The city's annual temperature hits an average high of 76°F and an average low of 55°. An average of 47 inches of rain falls each year, evenly distributed throughout the seasons; Columbus experiences an average of less than one inch of snow per year. The city's warmest month is July, which brings an average high of 92°F and an average low of 73°F, while January brings the city's coldest temperatures, with an average high of 57°F and an average low of 37°F.
Columbus, Georgia Convention & Trade Center
Perched along the banks of the Chattahoochee River and serving as a local landmark of the downtown area, the Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center offers a total of 182,000 square feet of usable floor space. The center is housed in the 1853-built historic Columbus Iron Works building, which today still displays the best of restored 19th-century craftsmanship from its brick walls, huge timbers and exposed ceilings. In the past, the building produced farming implements and mechanical gears used by local textile businesses, as well as Civil War firearms and machinery. Today, the Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center features a 22,000-square-foot ballroom and 55,000 square feet of exhibit space, as well as a full-service kitchen and 27 meeting rooms accommodating 21 to 500 guests. Guests can utilize the center's 426-car garage and surrounding ground level parking at no charge. The center is convenient to Uptown Columbus accommodations, restaurants and entertainment.
Columbus Airport (CSG)
Approximate taxi fare: $21 USD
Columbus' METRA public transit system operates 17 buses along nine local routes. Buses run Monday through Saturday from 4:30 AM to 8:30 PM, with some varying individual route hours. Regular bus fare is $1.30 for adults and $1 for students. Fare for children that are taller than the fare box is $1.30, while fare for children that are smaller than the fare box in the seat is $1. A seven-day pass costs $15.50, while a 14-day pass costs $28 and a 31-day pass costs $53.
The Columbus Greyhound station is located at 818 Vets Parkway. The station is open daily from 7:30 AM to 6 PM.
Columbus Metropolitan Airport houses car rental counters for Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and National.
Visitors traveling to Columbus via Columbus Metropolitan Airport should expect to pay approximately $15 in taxi fare.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons Author : Shark96z
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