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    Must-See Attractions Near Fort Benning, Georgia

    Near any good old fashioned military base, like Fort Benning, Georgia, there's a unique twist of identities. The base and the cities that surround the base act as one entity, combining to offer plenty of opportunities for exploring and to appreciate the features that make the area special.

    For Fort Benning first-timers, you’ll find plenty of ways to spend your time, both on post and throughout your neighborhood cities like Columbus and Phenix City, Alabama. 

    Must-See Attractions Near Fort Benning (Especially if You're New!)

    Must-See Attractions Near Fort Benning Georgia

    Tours Near Fort Benning

    There’s really no easier way to get the lay of the land and take in the sights than from a guided tour, especially because you don’t have to keep eyes on the road while driving. There are myriad ways to jump into the local scene through a tour. Food, attraction, bus, and walking tours are all available for the picking. Local tours are especially helpful for understanding the dynamic of how the Chattahoochee River connects the populations in Columbus, Georgia, and Phenix City, Alabama.

    Fort Benning Bus Tour

    The Ft. Benning MWR is an often overlooked, but completely useful benefit to military service. Register for one of the free Fort Benning tours to learn all the details about where you’ll work and possibly live every day.

    Visit Columbus Georgia

    The city’s entity to attract visitors does a great job providing options to investigate Columbus, including tour options for walking and sightseeing, art-centric tours, historic cemeteries, and of course, foodie tours.


    Fort Benning Neighboring Attractions

    Fort Benning and its neighbor cities have attractions that are appealing to locals, military members, and tourists alike. Spending time at any of these options solidifies community relationships.

    Chattahoochee RiverWalk

    A hub of activity, the RiverWalk is a good way to spend a weekend afternoon. Shopping and dining are two attractions, but most people come just to enjoy the views and take a stroll--or a hike if you want to explore all 15 miles of the trail. Special events such as concerts are common and entertain plenty of visitors.  

    Chattahoochee Riverwalk near Fort BenningRiverwalk towards Eagle and Phenix dam from Synovous. Taken by Gary Deloach.

    Culture and Learning

    For a city on the smaller side, Columbus has plenty in the way of museums, learning, and performing arts. Add in Fort Benning museum opportunities, and you’ll find a multitude of ways to take in local culture.

    • National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center
    • National Civil War Naval Museum
    • Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center
    • Columbus Museum
    • RiverCenter for the Performing Arts

    National Infantry Museum in Columbus, GeorgiaNational Infantry Museum in Columbus, Georgia/Photo by Patrick Albright 

    Fort Benning Outdoor Adventures

    One of the best parts of Fort Benning is the ability to take advantage of outdoor recreation all year long. Favorable weather brings a multitude of festivals and plenty of ways to spend time out in nature.

    White Water Rafting

    Make no bones about it, in order to officially assimilate into Fort Benning life, you must take a trip down the Chattahoochee. In a raft. Holding on for dear life. Tours do vary in intensity and skill level, so don’t be afraid! If a summer PCS is in your future, cool off on one of these amazing river trips. You’ll want to entertain your family and friends with a little river cruising when they come to visit.

    White water rafting on ChattahoocheeImage via Ft. Benning MWR

    Markets and Festivals

    Market Days on Broadway

    The Uptown Columbus Market Days are open every Saturday of the year, which means there’s plenty of opportunity to try something new each time. The Market is home to 200 vendors that include local and organic produce, artisan crafts, personal gifts, and always the crowd favorite-plenty of baked goods.

    Are you a coffee fiend? The 5 Best Coffee Shops Near Fort Benning are here!


    Life in a military town is never complete without an annual Oktoberfest to try German brews. Both Fort Benning and Columbus offer a packed schedule of fun festivals to try; just pick a theme you prefer! Beer and wine, food trucks, and music in the park are all popular topics to schedule a festival around.

    Okt_9Oktoberfest via Ft. Benning Family and MWR

    There’s enough here to get a solid start to exploring Fort Benning, Columbus, and Phenix City. But, if you’re in the mood for the lighter style of exploring, take a trip to see Columbus’ beloved Kadie the Cow. She’s a hold over mascot statue from the days when Kinnet Dairies was in business. If Kadie doesn’t quench your thirst for nostalgia, head to the Lunch Box Museum in Columbus. About 3,000 lunch boxes await your inspection and resurfaced childhood memories.

    Hey newbie, are you ready to move to Fort Benning? Check out our free download below, just for you! 

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    Main image via Shawn Taylor

    Dawn M. Smith


    Dawn M. Smith

    Dawn is a real estate and military life writer who has a serious HGTV habit. When she is not writing, her teen daughter, Army husband, and golden retriever keep her busy through chauffeur duties, travel planning, and long dog walks. Dawn is pleased to share her experiences with MilitaryByOwner readers who are hoping to simplify military family journeys of all kinds. Follow Dawn on Pinterest for more ideas and resources and visit her site at Dawn M. Smith Custom Content Creation.

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