The National Civil War Naval Museum takes modern-day visitors through the little-traveled footsteps of the sailors who fought in the Civil War, telling the story of the country's deadliest war from a naval point of view. Exhibits detail the technology and commerce that soldiers encountered, and provide a human backdrop with stories about soldiers and slaves affected by Civil War navies. Guided tours feature uniformed sailors who interpret the history of everyday life aboard a Civil War vessel or tell the story of a ship that served in the war. For a spookier outing, nighttime tours explore paranormal anomalies and analyze evidence from ghost investigations that happened in the museum.
Chatt Glide Tours offers adventure-seekers a uniquely smooth way to tour downtown Columbus or the Chattahoochee River Walk. Tours include a mandatory 20-minute training session to ensure that segway steeds don't get away from greenhorns, though no special skills are required to learn how to tame one’s electric ride. River walk tours breeze along the picturesque Chattahoochee River, lined with wide sidewalks and bright lampposts, while tours through Columbus's vibrant downtown area take members zipping along the thrumming entertainment district and its beautiful storefronts, peppered by bronze statues of children reading, playing, and debating tax reform. Tours are offered weekday evenings and weekends and helmets are provided.
Whether wearing a horned Viking helmet—cheekily dubbed the official Wine-Making Hat—or working bareheaded, the team at Warm Springs Winery crafts an array of muscadine wines. The sweet red and off-dry varieties of muscadine are produced from grapes grown on the premises and purchased locally.
Near the end of the 18th century, Colonel Samuel Hugh Hawkins and the people of Americus decided a new train line was needed to ensure that their town would continue to grow and prosper. The resulting line, called the Savannah, Americus, and Montgomery, helped spur development throughout rural Georgia, and the historic SAM Shortline trains that now traverse its rails pay tribute to both the early line and its founder with the name. Vintage cars from 1949, transformed into comfortable, air-conditioned passenger liners, steer passengers through Georgia's landscape in five tours, with layovers encouraging riders to explore the towns of Plains, Americus, Leslie, and Cordele. A stop in Plains, the hometown of President Jimmy Carter, grants an up-close view of the stateman's boyhood home, campaign museum, and White House replica built entirely from peanuts. Between stops, a well-stocked commissary car lets rail-riders feast on à la carte items, including snacks, hot and cold beverages, and refreshing ice-cream treats.
Thronateeska Heritage Center provides an exploration of science and South Georgian history through an interactive science center and history museum, both of which are free to the public, as well as a planetarium. Wetherbee Planetarium’s SciDome hi-def projection system, 40-foot diameter dome, and surround-sound system is the first of its kind in the world, launching reclining stargazers into celestial vistas with a higher definition than the actual night sky. Get sucked into shows, including the Liam Neeson-narrated Black Holes: the Other Side of Infinity, a harrowing journey to the formation of the early universe, the birth and death of stars, and premium-boosting collisions of giant galaxies. Or bring your cosmic dowsing rod to Oasis in Space, a beautiful voyage through the universe on a quest to find liquid water, a key ingredient in the delicious recipe of life. Two more shows focus on the nature of molecules and the history of the telescope.