Albany, Georgia can teach us all a few things about living the good life. Inspiration oozes from every corner of the city, influencing its residents to make beautiful music. From Big Band trumpeters and country music stars to American Idol winners and even Ray Charles, Albany has blessed the world with more than its fair share of musical genius. But what is it about the city that's so inspirational? It could be the special small-town charm, or the natural beauty, or maybe even the city's dedication to preserving its culture and history. All of these things are part of what makes Albany "The Good Life City.” Experience the good life for yourself with this tour through Albany.
One of the gems of Albany is the gorgeous Chehaw Park. The center of the newly-built facility is the zoo, which features everything from rhinos and cheetahs to tarantulas and eagles. It brings out the best of a cypress swamp setting for the natural, outdoor habitats, and does lots of work to promote animal conservation. The park is more than just the zoo, though; it also has a great campground with cabins, pull-through and tent sites, a scenic train ride through the park, a BMX racing track, and mountain biking trails. There is something for anyone, whether your idea of a good day is getting your adrenaline pumping on a racetrack, or checking out adorable animals.
Gain a new sense of appreciation for the rivers around Albany with a trip to the impeccably curated Flint Riverquarium. You'll be mesmerized by the Blue Hole Spring, a 22-foot deep tank filled with 120 different species -- from turtles to fish to gators -- that peacefully coexist in the environment. There's also a River Gallery that shows off the different habitats and creatures that the river contains, an aviary, and even a fish hatchery, where you can learn about the little-known lives of creatures that live in the water.
And it isn't a day in the Good Life City without a little dose of culture! The Albany Museum of Art, located in an old hosiery mill, is an incredible little gem. Take some time to lose yourself among the collections, which include African masks and jewelry, Warhol prints, folk art masterpieces, photos, and tons more... and that's not even counting their ever-changing traveling exhibit galleries. It's free to visit, but leave a little donation to support their efforts!
Pay tribute to one of Albany's most famous sons: Ray Charles. The soul pioneer changed the course of music as we know it, and, as a blind man, was an inspiration. Just listening to his music provokes a visceral reaction that many artists seek to give from their songs, so it's no wonder that Albany has honored Charles with a bronze statue of him playing the piano. The details at the plaza are spot-on: a plaque that tells his story is also written in braille, and at night, the statue is lit up and music is played.
One of the most important attractions in town is the Albany Civil Rights Institute. From slavery, through the Civil War and Reconstruction, to the Jim Crow South and into today, the interactive exhibits here take you through the story of African Americans in the region. Exhibits cover famous leaders who came to Albany to help in the fight for equality, but also honor everyday citizens whose bravery and dedication to Civil Rights have also had an effect. The most famous exhibit? The front of the bus where Rosa Parks made her stand.
Soak up the beauty of Albany at the lush Radium Springs Gardens. Turtles and fish and herons live among the crystal clear, bright blue spring and beautifully landscaped grounds. Pavilions, gazebos, trails, and benches have been added to this historic treasure, which was once the site of a casino/resort. Now it's the ideal spot for a picnic below Spanish-moss draped trees. Life doesn't get any more good than that!
From Albany's beautiful parks to its cultural institutions, the city is a hidden gem of the South. The quiet allure and simple charm of the Good Life City show us that you don't need much to enjoy yourself. Find inspiration as you explore every nook and cranny of Albany, and take it home with you!
Discover Georgia’s scenic beauty from the Appalachian Mountains to the coastal islands. Along the way, stop into historic small towns, homegrown restaurants and unique local shops. Experience outdoor fun at Georgia’s state parks filled with breathtaking foliage, trails, waterfalls and much more.