Take a trip back to the Antebellum South in this city located under two hours from the major cities of Atlanta, Georgia, and Montgomery, Alabama.

Columbus’s charm is not its only draw — it’s also pretty cheap. The median sales price of homes is $129,000 and median rent is $950 a month. Homes range from modest ranch-style houses to million-dollar Mcmansions, and you might even find an historical gem.

Columbus is on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, which serves as a hub for the city — you’ll find plenty of runners and bikers along the Riverwalk, and it’s a fun spot for white water rafting. Another big influence in Columbus life is the military. Fort Benning, located just south of the city, is home to active-duty military personnel and members of the Reserve who live at The Villages of Benning. The Army base is a big employer in the area. Military presence is also felt in attractions like the National Infantry Museum, the National Civil War Naval Museum and annual Civil War reenactments.

Uptown is where you’ll find the action. It’s the city’s business district, where you’ll find places to shop, eat and check out art. On Saturdays, head to Market Days on Broadway to buy some local produce. When it comes to food, you’ll want to develop a taste for Southern comfort food (if you haven’t already). Also make sure to enjoy the city’s many fountains, the source of the city's nickname, “Fountain City.”

People in Columbus are adamant about one claim to fame: They say Coca-Cola was invented here. The inventor was John Pemberton, a pharmacist who worked in Atlanta (commonly thought of as the birthplace of Coke), but Columbus claims he really invented it where he lived for some time. Some connection is undeniable as Pemberton is buried in Columbus, which features a bottling plant and the Coca-Cola Space Science Center.