Columbus, Georgia, lies about 100 miles south of the state's capital, Atlanta. The city is perhaps best known for its proximity to the United States Army post Fort Benning, but there's something in Columbus for everyone - from its baseball and football stadiums to its opera house and space science center.
The Chattahoochee River runs through the city, which is populated by nearly 190,000 residents, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Columbus is known for its southern hospitality and, like many of Georgia's larger cities, it displays an impressive ability to maintain a small-town feel despite its size. Those looking for a blend of urbanity and old-fashioned southern charm would do well to search for Columbus apartments for rent.
Once the site of a Creek Indian village, Columbus was established as a trading post in 1828, and its predominant industry was textiles. Today, it takes up approximately 218 square miles.
Columbus comprises one-third of the Fall Line Cities, along with Augusta and Macon, meaning it lies along the geographic area where the Piedmont region meets the Atlantic Coastal Plain. In layman's terms, that means the north side of the city is hilly, while the south is made up of flat plains. In short, those living in North Columbus, where established homes commingle with up-and-coming subdivisions, have a different experience in contrast to the residents of South Columbus, who are mainly military thanks to the area's proximity to Fort Benning.
Those fond of shopping may be interested in Columbus apartments in the MidTown part of the city, the residential and commercial area that contains the Peachtree Mall. However, MidTown has a lot more going for it than that. Cyclists will likely be attracted to the area as well, given the fact that it's home to the four-loop Flat Rock Park Mountain Bike Course and the 14-mile multi-use Chattahoochee Riverwalk.
Columbus State University (CSU), which offers 46 undergraduate and 42 graduate degrees, is one of the largest educational institutions in the area, but by no means the only one. Those who are looking for Columbus rentals and are interested in further education may also consider Troy University and Columbus Technical College.
Then, of course, there's Fort Benning itself. An estimated 120,000 soldiers, military retirees, family members, contractors and civilians live, work and use services on the base, which is where the country's armor and infantry soldiers come to train. It is by far the area's largest employer, although payment processing corporation TSYS and the Muscogee County School District also have a significant presence.
U.S. Census Bureau figures put the median gross rent for apartments in Columbus at $758, although, as always, the cost varies significantly depending on location, size and condition. As of March 2012, the city's cost of living index was 84.2 - significantly lower than the national average of 100.
Columbus stays in touch with its heritage - in fact, there's a whole park dedicated to its industrial past. Heritage Park is a hub of historic houses and statues in an idyllic setting of greenery and fountains, which is especially apt given that Columbus is known as the Fountain City. For those with more modern interests, the Coca-Cola Space Science Center - which is just across the street from Heritage Park - is a must. The center, a division of CSU, boasts a state-of-the-art planetarium, as well as interactive lobby displays - including seven flight simulators.
Those interested in the arts will have no shortage of venues to frequent. Columbus is home to the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts and the Rankin Arts Center, and has its own symphony orchestra - the third oldest in the country.
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