At a population of around just 75,000, Albany, Georgia, is a small city—however, there’s a lot more to Albany than meets the Eye. Not every downtown has a river flowing through it—especially one as scenic as the Flint River.
The nearly 350 mile long river (actual distance is 212 miles, but the river twists and turns) rises in central Georgia as groundwater seepage, flows under the runways of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on a course that washes over the red dirt of rural Georgia, with its waters eventually ending up in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Flint RiverQuarium provides a lot of information about the Flint River that flows through Albany, along with hundreds of species native to the area.
Alligators, several species of turtles and various other creatures enjoy the well developed natural habitat of water, plants and trees that viewers see through tall glass walls. The 175,000 gallon Blue Hole features more than 100 kinds of fish and creatures native to Southwest Georgia. Inside, displays provide information on the ecology and history of the Flint River and its waters.
Although Albany is a small city, their RiverQuarium is anything but small in either size or stature. One of the few open-air aquariums in the world, it’s a must-see in Georgia.
Next door to the Flint RiverQuarium is the Adventure Center, which houses the Imagination Theater. Gazing up at the screen, which is three stories tall and four stories wide, it’s easy to see where the theater got its name! The theater hosts a variety of shows, many of them nature based and often in 3D.
Even if you’re not a librarian–as I’ve been–you should take a few minutes to visit Albany’s Carnegie Library. The project began back in 1904, when locals petitioned the local government to institute an annual tax to pay for library services.
That fund, along with $10,000 donated by Andrew Carnegie, was enough to create the impressive building that’s still in use. On March 1, 1990, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The great thing is that it’s always free to get into a library!