Surfing Without An Ocean

Surfing Without An Ocean: Eating, Drinking, Seeing And Doing In Columbus, Georgia’s Cool Cat City

by: Mary Ann Anderson Contributor

Columbus, on the far western side of Georgia, isn’t near an ocean, a sea or even the Gulf of Mexico. So, then, you might think it odd to see a tanned surfer dude—or maybe a surfer chick—strolling around downtown with a surfboard under one arm and a wetsuit under the other.

That’s because Columbus, the second largest city in Georgia after Atlanta, is anchored by the Chattahoochee River, the dividing line between the Peach State and Alabama. Columbus is so close to Alabama that you can literally throw a rock across the river and hit a Crimson Tide or Auburn fan.

On the river you can actually go whitewater rafting and surfing right past downtown and all of its historic buildings. Yes, surfing, as in surf’s up. River surfing, it’s called. The Chattahoochee has the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world—you can shoot the ‘Hooch for about 2.5 miles—with a pocket of the rapids providing the perfect opportunity for pretty decent surfing.

While river surfing on the ‘Hooch may not quite be the caliber of, say, Oahu or Malibu, at least you don’t have to worry about a great white shark making you its ichthyological entrée.

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