11 Must-Dos in Albany, Georgia

Ray Charles Plaza

Ray Charles Plaza

We didn’t know what we were in for when we packed our bags and headed down I-75 to Albany, Ga., but we were pretty sure that adventure loomed ahead. From paddling the waterways of the Flint River to donning a zookeeper’s hat at Chehaw Wild Animal and Adventure Park, our expectations were exceeded during an autumn visit to Ray Charles’ hometown. Don’t miss these Albany, Ga., must-sees!

  1. Go wild at Chehaw. Get up close with a baby wildebeest; say “hi” to Charlotte and Chloe, the zoo’s two new pygmy goats; and spend the day roaming Chehaw’s 700 acres of pristine, conservation land. Stay overnight at one of 44 RV sites.
  2. At the Thronateeska Heritage Center with Wetherbee Planetarium, walk through Albany’s historic Union Station complete with a steam locomotive and model railroad exhibit. Then, watch a live presentation beneath the brilliant stars of the Wetherbee Planetarium.
  3. Flint RiverQuariumGo down to the depths at the Flint RiverQuarium and Imagination Theatre, featuring a unique blue hole spring with more than 120 mysterious creatures. Don’t miss Moonshine the Albino alligator!
  4. Radium Springs Gardens, one of Georgia’s seven natural wonders, pours 70,000 gallons of water a minute into the nearby Flint River and wows with clear waters and a breathtaking landscape.
  5. At the newly renovated Albany Museum of Art, the AMAzing Space Gallery provides interactive learning through hands-on experiences for children of all ages, while the galleries showcase more than 2,100 original works of African, European and American art.
  6. Get a hands-on history lesson at the Albany Civil Rights Institute, which provides an interactive window into Albany, Ga.’s history of leadership in the fight for equality. Tip: Hear the Freedom Singers perform the second Saturday of every month.
  7. Walk the Greenways system and then picnic at Riverfront Park, featuring Turtle Grove Play Park and its Dino Dig, Tot Lot and fountain.
  8. Settle a bet on the 18-hole disc golf course at Albany’s Legacy Park.
  9. Bikers on RiverFront WalkStop by the Historic Bridge House/Albany Welcome Center and rent bikes to explore the area on two wheels.
  10. Hear Ray Charles play in the Plaza.
  11. Spend hours at the All American Fun Park with arcade, go-carts, bumper boats, miniature golf and cosmic bowling.

Albany satisfies with Southern dining at its best. Feast on local barbecue, have dinner and listen to music in one of Albany’s trendy downtown restaurants, dine elegantly in town or at a traditional quail hunting plantation. The icing on the cake: Albany has more than two dozen hotels, and many include complimentary breakfast and have the all-important swimming pool, among other amenities. www.VisitAlbanyGA.com

katieMom-on-the-go and Laurie Rowe Communications PR pro Katie Reeder graduated at the top of her class from the Calhoun Honors College at Clemson University with a degree in Communication Studies. Katie resides in Cumming, Georgia – between the beautiful mountains of North Georgia and the lights and action of nearby Atlanta.