Best Things To Do In Albany (Georgia) – Albany is a city in southwest Georgia that is on both sides of the Flint River. Manufacturing, transportation, and retail commerce were the mainstays of its economy at first. The city grew as a result of military spending beginning in the mid-twentieth century. Creek Indians were the earliest settlers in Albany.
After the Indians were forcibly expelled, Nelson Tift initiated the wave of American settlement in the area in 1836. He was the one who gave the city its current name. A trip here is usually worthwhile due to the numerous attractions. The Flint River Aquarium has marine and avian life. Chehaw Park has a zoo and pathways.
Take a trip along the downtown Ray Charles Memorial to see a life-size statue of the famous singer who was born in Albany when you’re not enjoying nature.
A planetarium, science and history museum, and a rail car display are all part of the Thronateeska Heritage Center.
Continue reading to learn more about the best things to do in Albany (Georgia):
1. Albany Museum Of Art
The Albany Museum of Art, which opened in 1964, has six galleries, as well as an interactive children’s exhibit and an auditorium. Its permanent collection contains paintings, drawings, and sculpture by American and European artists, mostly from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Andy Warhol’s 10 hand-colored silk screen prints and works by US impressionist artist Edward Henry Potthast are among the museum’s most well-known pieces. The museum also houses one of the region’s largest collections of African tribal art, with masks, ceramics, and gold work spanning the continent.
2. Flint RiverQuarium
This 5,000-square-foot aquarium sits on the banks of the Flint River and uses a variety of tanks and displays to convey the tale of the river from its source to the sea, more than 340 miles (547.18 km) away.
Its largest tank, a 6.5-metre-deep open-air tank containing more than 600,000 liters of water and displaying the vast spectrum of lifeforms present in the river, is home to over 100 different species. In addition to aquarium tanks, the RiverQuarium has exhibits on the cave systems of the Flint River, an alligator cage, and an aviary with local species.
3. Thronateeska Heritage Center
The Thronateeska Heritage Center on Heritage Plaza is a series of buildings that make up Albany’s primary museum complex. It is located around the 1913 former Union Station rail depot.
The complex includes a history museum, science museum, train museum, and planetarium, and is named after the Creek Native American word for the Flint River.
The Wetherbee Planetarium is home to the world’s first 40-inch full dome high-definition system. The history museum concentrates on Albany’s past, with major exhibits both inside and out, whereas the scientific museum transitions from dinosaur fossils to twenty-first-century breakthroughs.
Locomotive 107, an outstanding steam engine that originally traveled the tracks to and from the city, is one of the rail exhibits.
4. Zoo at Chehaw Park
The Zoo at Chehaw Park is a living encyclopedia of world species, many of which are endangered or facing extinction in the wild, unlike the Flint RiverQuarium, which focuses on species endemic to the Albany area.
The African Veldt Ride takes visitors through the zoo’s largest area, which is home to seven African species that form natural herds. More than 70 species are on display, including black rhinos and cheetahs, as well as a cypress swamp typical of Georgia’s southwestern regions.
5. Civil Rights Institute
The Albany Civil Rights Institute, which is housed in the 1906 Old Mt Zion Baptist Church, is a museum that combines items, documents, and the stories of individual Georgians to help understand the civil rights movement.
In a mock-up of a bus stop, the battle against racial segregation is evocatively represented by the reconstruction of distinct waiting areas for different races. It includes everything from voter disfranchisement – a contentious method of limiting voters at polling places – to nonviolent protest and economic boycotts.
6. Riverfront Greenway Trail
If you want to see the river for yourself, walk along Albany’s Riverfront Greenway Trail, which is a wide paved path. From Riverfront Park in downtown Albany to Cox Landing Boat Ramp, it stretches along 3 miles (4.83 km) along the Flint River.
The route, which runs roughly north of Albany, may be rather busy with walkers, runners, and bikers, but it doesn’t make it any less special. The path is lined with benches and observation decks, particularly around the Oxford Environmental Park approximately halfway through, and is easy to follow thanks to mileage markings every half mile.
7. Radium Spring
Radium Springs, one of Georgia’s Seven Natural Wonders, is located on the outskirts of Albany, about 5 miles (8.05 km) or 10 minutes from the city center. Radium Springs is Georgia’s largest natural spring, with deep blue waters containing modest levels of naturally occurring radium, the radioactive element initially discovered by Marie Curie in 1898.
The spring discharges a whopping 265,000 liters of water per minute into the Flint River. Nearby, tourists will find the Radium Springs Country Club and Golf Course, which features hole constructed by famed architect John Law Kerr in 1927.
8. Old St. Teresa Church
The basic red brick structure of Old St. Teresa Church, located in the heart of the downtown district, is Albany’s oldest church building, as well as the state’s oldest Catholic Church currently in use for masses. It was established in 1859 on property given to the church by Nelson Tift, the man who founded Albany 20 years before.
It’s worth noting that the bricks used in its construction were manufactured by slaves in Newton. Even before its interior was finished, the church was utilized as a field hospital for Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War.
9. Ray Charles Plaza
Ray Charles Plaza, which is located on the left bank of the Flint River and is accessible from both downtown and the Riverfront Greenway Trail, is dominated by a life-size sculpture of the musician playing a baby grand piano in his unmistakable style.
The entire sculpture lies atop a spinning foundation, behind which waters trickle into a reflected pool, as if that wasn’t enough of a drawer. This is surrounded by benches that are intended to seem like black and white piano keys. Charles, a pioneer of soul music, was born in Albany in September 1930 and wrote Georgia on My Mind, the official state anthem.
10. Andersonville National Historic Site
Andersonville National Historic Site should be on the itinerary of anyone visiting Albany who is interested in history. Camp Sumter, a Civil War-era prison for captured troops, is located on the site. It housed 40,000 Union soldiers, of which an estimated 13,000 never returned home and are buried in the nearby national cemetery.
Andersonville, which is run by the US National Park Service, has also become a national monument and museum for US POWs, including Kurt Vonnegut, author of Slaughterhouse Five, and Senator and Presidential Candidate John McCain, among others.
11. Lake Chehaw
Lake Chehaw, despite being a man-made lake used to generate hydroelectric power, is nonetheless one of Albany’s best outdoor retreats. It is located at the junction of the Flint River with the Muckalee and Kinchafoonee Creeks and is a popular fishing and boating location.
The lake is around 550 hectares in size and is around a century old. This means that even on the busiest days, you can find a quiet spot to unwind by visiting the covered picnic area near the dam or paddling along the canoe trail.
12. Enjoy Fun Games at American Fun Park
American Fun Park is a great place to go for a day of fun and gaming. It’s an amusement park with a variety of games to choose from. One of the two miniature golf courses is available for play.
Go karting on the 0.25 mile (0.4 km) track or ride the max flight roller coaster simulator for a thrill. The 16-lane bowling alley is ideal for bowling with a group of pals. Laser tag, bumper cars, blaster boats, and video games are among the other games available. This is a fun location to spend your time.