If you’re getting ready to see your soon-to-be Soldier graduate from Fort Benning, it’s time to start your travel planning.
Your Soldier will likely get a day pass, which will allow them to go off base to explore the surrounding area with you. They’ll be limited to how far they can travel, so keep that in mind before you head off.
In all of your travel prep, you probably haven’t even thought about what to see and do near Fort Benning.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s our list of the top 7 things to do near Fort Benning:
If you plan to visit this Museum, schedule a solid half-day to be here as there are more than 70,000 artifacts from American military history to see. Self-guided and guided tours are available to see everything from the family gallery to the Hall of Valor. Be sure to explore the new national memorial to the Global War on Terrorism honoring all those who have served since 9/11. This museum will touch your heart, especially after seeing your own recruit graduate.
Cost: Suggested $5 donation
Address: 1775 Legacy Way, Columbus, Georgia 31903
2. Coca-Cola Space Science Center
If you’re a science lover, you’ll love exploring this educational center run by Columbus State University. Located along the Chattahoochee Riverwalk, the attraction is perfect for military families with kids who love learning about space. Commandeer a data center, pose in front of shuttle replicas, and enjoy a variety of interactive displays throughout the center.
Cost: Adults $6, Military/Seniors $5, Children (4-12) $4, CSU ID $3
Address: 701 Front Avenue, Columbus, Georgia 31901
3. Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center
Animal lovers will especially love this center with its live indoor and outdoor animal exhibits, stream habitat, and state-of-the-art instructional media. See gators, turtles, snakes, lizards, and other animals in their natural habitats. Check the website’s calendar for upcoming programs and events.
Cost: Suggested $5 donation
Address: 3535 S Lumpkin Road, Columbus, Georgia 31903
Overlooking the Chattahoochee River, this is the museum history buffs dream about. Here you’ll find the largest surviving Confederate warship known as the CSS Jackson, and the wreckage of the CSS Chattahoochee. Check out the flag collection, ship replicas, and other Civil War artifacts from the military event that split the country for a period of time.
Cost: Adults $7.50, Military(active)/Seniors $6.50, Students $6, Children under 6 (free)
Address: 1002 Victory Drive, Columbus, Georgia 31901
Whether you just like poking around antique stores or picking up items like costume jewelry, you’re bound to find some neat rarities here. Plus, the world famous lunchbox museum has those cool vintage metal lunch boxes with every design imaginable. Right off Veterans Parkway, this shopping gem isn’t too far from other attractions like Junque Yard Antiques, The Columbus Museum, and other local historical landmarks.
Address: 3218 Hamilton Road, Columbus, Georgia 31904
6. Flat Rock Park
Your basic training graduate may just want to be in the great outdoors and away from the crowds after graduation. Head over to this park for a picnic or any number of outdoor activities like jogging, walking, or biking. Expect gorgeous scenery with small waterfalls, hiking trails, and lush tree canopies.
Address: 6106 Warm Springs Road, Columbus, Georgia 31909
7. Chattahoochee RiverWalk
Enjoy this 15-mile linear park that runs alongside the beautiful Chattahoochee River. You’ll be able to see the Alabama border from where you stand along the RiverWalk, too. If you’re just looking to catch up with your Fort Benning graduate, this outdoor attraction is the perfect place for a long walk and talk. Since there’s no technical address, pop it into your GPS or ask a local about this favorite trail.
Enjoy Your Time With Your Graduate
Your time with your new Soldier is short, so make it sweet. Try your best to plan in advance with your trainee to see what they’d like to do after graduation. Don’t be surprised if they just want to sleep; it’s been a long couple of months for them.
Want more ideas of things to do near Fort Benning? Check out the Fort Benning MWR for discounted tickets, local events, and more.
What do you plan to do after your recruit’s Fort Benning graduation? Share with fellow readers in the comments below!