The lack of coverage/knowledge of what’s going on in our neighboring, sister city, Phenix City, is impressive- so let’s roll out a “Top 5 To Do” to start:
- Museum of Wonder – The first “Drive-Thru Museum”, in the world, was founded off Highway 431, and nearby land is the home, that started in the 1970’s as Butch Anthony’s taxidermy shop and artifact room, of the Museum of Wonder. NPR, Roadside America, New York Post, Garden and Gun, have all payed a visit, along with visitors from around the world, to experience the unique art, artifacts, antiques, and some very strange, authentic items mostly from Alabama.
- East Alabama Motor Speedway– Following his NASCAR exploits, Jimmy Thomas returned home to his family and the world of dirt late model racing. His dream of building and promoting a race facility came to be when, in 1973, he built the East Alabama Motor Speedway from the ground up. East Alabama quickly became a weekly gathering place for much of the Southeast’s top dirt late model talent with its well-run programs and ripe purses, becoming one of the south’s most famous and longest running motor racing attractions. The track would also receive a NASCAR sanction in 1978, hold Robert Smawley’s inaugural NDRA event in 1978, and become home to one of dirt late model racing’s biggest annual events – the National 100 – held there each season since 1975.Today, the 3/8 mile high-banked clay oval is still viewed by many as one of the best dirt track facilities in the South and still ran by the Thomas family.
- Phenix City Amiptheater- The Phenix City Amphitheater is located along the banks of the beautiful Chattahoochee River and adjacent to the historic Dillingham Street Bridge. The Amphitheater is the perfect backdrop for special events such as concerts, weddings, graduations, and civic functions. It seats approximately 3,000 people, but still feels intimate and cozy. It is especially beautiful when the sun goes down and the reflection of the moon, stars, and lights from the bridge glimmer on the Chattahoochee River. It is truly a beautiful sight to see!
- Fort Mitchell: The Georgia Militia originally constructed Fort Mitchell in order to sustain a military presence in the area during the Creek War of 1813 to 1814. From 1817 to 1825, Fort Mitchell gradually emerged as a center of commerce for trade with Native Americans. In 1821, an Indian agency was created at Fort Mitchell, and Colonel John Crowell was appointed agent to the Creeks. Fort Mitchell became central to the protection of Native Americans as settlers consistently violated the Creek territory as defined under terms of the 1814 Treaty of Fort Jackson. In response to Native American protests, a new fort was constructed and occupied by the 4th U.S. Infantry in summer 1825, and it remained garrisoned almost continually through 1840. The second fort encompassed the first, and while much larger, was similar in design. In 1831, a group of white settlers invaded the Indian community of Ola Ufalal (now Eufaula), evicted the Creeks, burned their houses, and built their own settlement. Creek desperation reached a crisis point in spring 1836. Under the leadership of Chief Eneah-Mathla, an estimated 1,500 warriors attacked the settlements. General Winfield Scott was ordered to intervene and succeeded in overcoming the attack. By July 1836, an estimated 1,600 Creek people were concentrated at Fort Mitchell in preparation for a forced expulsion West. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 were eventually marched from Fort Mitchell to Montgomery, “shedding tears and making the most bitter wailings.” This route is known as the Trail of Tears.In late 1980s, the old post cemetery at Fort Mitchell was officially identified as the location for a national cemetery in Federal Region IV and was opened in May 1987.
- Whitewater rafting/ropes course/zip-line/Disc golf: This course consists of over 5 class 4+ rapids and 10 smaller rapids. It is one of the most exciting whitewater rafting rivers in the US! The biggest distinction between this river and other rivers is the volume of water which is in the river when it is rafted. Take flight on the Blue Heron Zipline Adventure from Columbus, Georgia! Crossing the Chattahoochee River, experience the only dual-zip line that connects two states reaching speeds up to 40mph. The fun doesn’t end there! The Blue Heron Aerial Course, a treetop experience will meet you in Russell County, Alabama with a total of 10 obstacles. You can also enjoy an 18-hole disc golf course along the beautiful river, too.