Is Columbus, GA a good place to live? The ultimate guide 

We know what it’s like to want to escape stressful big city commutes without giving up your social life. To want a little extra padding in your wallet, without totally upending the lifestyle you have now.

That’s why we’re here to share what living in Columbus, Georgia is really like—whether you’re a young professional, a growing family, or somewhere in between. Because everyone deserves to live in a city that feels like home.

In this article:
  • Where is Columbus, Georgia?
  • What is it like to live in Columbus, Georgia?
  • Why we love living in Columbus, Georgia
  • Why young professionals are moving to Columbus, Georgia
  • Why families love living in Columbus, Georgia
  • The bottom line: Is Columbus, Georgia a good place to live?

Where is Columbus, Georgia?

Nestled alongside the Chattahoochee River and the western border of Georgia, Columbus is the second biggest city in the state. Also known as “The Fountain City,” Columbus is about 90 miles southwest of Atlanta (less than a 2-hour drive).

Columbus is also minutes from the Georgia-Alabama state line. If you drive south for about three and a half hours, you’ll reach the Gulf of Mexico where you can enjoy some of the US’ most beautiful beaches, like Florida’s Destin Beach.

What is it like to live in Columbus, Georgia?

Living in Columbus, Georgia means you can enjoy the perks of a larger city and the warmth and affordability of a smaller town. It’s a city that truly offers the best of both worlds.

It likely won’t take you longer than 20 minutes to commute from your doorstep to office chair —  in many neighborhoods, your kid’s school may be within walking distance from your house.

Columbus isn’t like most suburban cities: you can have a short commute and enjoy working in a cool office space in a walkable downtown center. Whether you want to enjoy a workday lunch at your favorite local spot or go on an afternoon coffee walk with a friend, you can balance it all in Columbus. (And don’t worry, there are plenty of exciting professional opportunities for you to choose from in Columbus—more on that soon.)

A typical weekend in Columbus, Georgia

What about when the work week is done? If you’re considering a move from a bigger city, you might be worried that you’ll sacrifice fun activities in a smaller town.

But our social scene is exactly what’s great about living in Columbus, Georgia: here, we never run out of things to do for our weekend warriors. We like to call our city a “big-small town,” because we have so many activities to choose from each weekend—but when we’re out and about, we still feel like we’re part of a warm, friendly, and tight-knit community.

To show you what that’s like, we asked some of our residents to share how they spend a typical weekend in Columbus.

Jessica has lived in Columbus for over a decade and grew up in neighboring Phenix City, Alabama. Her daughter is 7 years-old and the pair currently live in Midtown, which is only a 10-minute commute to her job in Uptown.

Jessica loves spending her Fridays in the Uptown area, one of Columbus’ many vibrant neighborhoods. On Friday nights during the spring and fall, a full block of Broadway  is closed for the district’s free concert series, allowing pedestrians to dance and enjoy live music.

On Saturdays, Jessica is usually up early to take her daughter to a soccer game. After cheering her on, they like to shop at Columbus’ vibrant Highside Market. Then, Jessica and her daughter will end the day enjoying more quality time outside at Midcity Yards. This historic glass factory turned mix-used lifestyle center is home to some of Jessica’s favorite local spots, including Moe’s Original Barbecue, Scofflaw Brewing Co. and Fetch Park.

Tabetha is another Columbus local. She has three children and lives in the Averett Woods neighborhood in Midtown. After she finishes her work week, she loves enjoying the great weather in Columbus by spending the weekend outdoors with her family.

With her water bottle and SPF 50 in tow, one of Tabetha’s favorite local hikes is Providence Canyon, affectionately known as the “Little Grand Canyon.” She loves cooling off with a cold beer at Nonic’s rooftop bar afterward.

Why we love living in Columbus, Georgia

It’s hard to narrow down all of the things that make Columbus a great place to live—our residents are passionate about the great places to eat, things to do, and abundant outdoor activities.

That said, here are the top three reasons why we absolutely love living here:

#1: We never run out of things to do

We know, we already said it—but it’s really true! If you’re looking for something fun to do in Columbus, you’ll always be able to find it.

From Uptown’s Spring Food Truck Festival, Market Days for fresh produce and local goods on Saturdays from April through November, and the Beer and Wine Festival in the fall, there’s no shortage of exciting events in our “big-small town.” Check out Riverfest or RushSouth music festival for a weekend of music, water, arts and revelry.

If you want to enjoy the great outdoors, you can take a short drive to gorgeous Flat-Rock Park. You can bike the Chattahoochee Riverwalk on the 15-mile linear park, which spans the riverfront from the Lake Oliver city marina south to the National Infantry Museum.

Columbus’ Dragonfly Trail is a 32-mile multi-use bike and pedestrian trail that weaves through the city. The trail is a great way to explore the city since it follows former rail lines that wind through Columbus – and it has plenty of rest stops along the way!

We also love rooting for our hometown sports teams, like the Columbus Rapids soccer team, the Columbus Lions professional indoor football team, and our Columbus River Dragons hockey team. Plus, the Mississippi Braves (an affiliate of the Atlanta Braves) are moving to Columbus—so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy weekends at the ballpark.

#2: The weather is great year-round

The best part of always having fun things to do? The weather in Columbus enables you to enjoy outdoor activities and sunshine all year round, whether it’s a walk around your neighborhood or a weekend hike.

If you like sweater weather in the winter, you’ll appreciate that Columbus still experiences all four seasons—the temperatures are just a lot milder than you’d experience up north. Winter temperatures rarely drop below 39℉ and summers top out at around 90℉ on the hottest days.

If you’re ready to enjoy the seasons without scraping ice off of your car in the winter, it might be time to move to Columbus, Georgia. Here, your biggest weather-related problems will be filling your pitchers of sweet tea in the summer and choosing which soup to make in the winter.

#3: It’s a big-small town

We’ve said it a few times already, and we’re here to emphasize it again: Columbus is truly a big-small town. So what do we really mean by that?

We have a unique balance of big-city opportunity with close-knit, accessible community!

On an average day in Columbus, you could run into the CEO of Aflac (one of Columbus’ top employers) while you’re eating lunch in Uptown. Or, you might bump into a new startup founder at Iron Bank Coffee Co, a popular coffee shop in a renovated bank.

You could say hello, chat about local news (did you hear the Mississippi Braves are coming to town?) and move on with your day.

In Columbus, you’ll know your neighbors and build professional and personal relationships that last a lifetime. And as we described above, you can do it all without sacrificing an urban lifestyle and vibrant social life. That’s why we truly love living here.

Why young professionals are moving to Columbus, Georgia

For those looking to invest in and grow their career, it’s hard to beat the culture and cost of living in Columbus, Georgia.

You’ll find that life is affordable in Columbus, which is pretty surprising for such a buzzing city. In fact, the cost of living in Columbus is 9% cheaper than the national average. Whether you’re hoping to get more bang for your buck or save money for your long-term goals, you can do it in Columbus.

The average salary is around $59,000 here, which will take you far considering that the average rent is $1,100 (compared to $1,800 in nearby cities like Atlanta). In Columbus, you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to grow your career with top employers Aflac, Synovus, TSYS, and Fort Moore (formerly Fort Benning).

You might even find that Columbus offers more professional opportunities than bigger cities. If you put yourself out there, you’ll quickly be able to grow your network and meet other professionals who can help take your career to the next level.

For example, one of our residents, Tabetha, told us about a young professionals program she joined that helped her land a pivotal career opportunity. After one of the program’s events, Tabetha connected with the speaker (who just happened to be the CEO of Goodwill) and this relationship helped her land her dream job.

Why families love living in Columbus, Georgia

Columbus has something to offer every member of the family. Whether your ideal day involves exploring at the Columbus Botanical Garden, competing at the Cooper Creek Tennis Center, unwinding at the Cannon Brewpub, or shopping at the Highside Market, everyone can find their place here.

Thanks to short commutes and little traffic, parents never have to worry about missing their kid’s baseball game after work. They might even be able to sneak in a quick round of golf at Bull Creek Golf Course before the game—or on the weekend after their other kiddo’s soccer game.

Our Columbus parents also love how easy it is to build relationships with the other parents in their children’s classes. Here, you can find the community support you need to help you and your family thrive.

Plus, your kid’s education will always be taken seriously in Columbus. The Muscogee County School District is recognized as one the best school districts in the Central Georgia Region, serving 32,000 students with 32 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, nine high schools, and four centers and programs. One of those schools, Columbus High School, is ranked #2 in all of Georgia.

The bottom line: Is Columbus, Georgia a good place to live?

Whether you’re looking for a more affordable cost of living or an amazing place to raise a family, Columbus could be the perfect place to call home. With a thriving job market, plenty of recreational activities, a strong sense of community, and short commutes, Columbus makes it easy to fit in more of what makes life meaningful.

Connect with us

If you’re ready to learn more about living in Columbus, feel free to contact us here. Our team is here to help!