<p>Ahhhh... Breathe in that fresh Georgia air. Albany is in Dougherty County in the southwestern part of Georgia. This is a beautiful city, steeped in history, rich with culture, and surrounded by a gorgeous landscape.</p>
If you are one of the lucky renters to find a pad downtown, some of your errands will be walkable, but for the majority of residents plan of having a car to get you around. There is public transit (called ATS) but it's operation hours are only between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. making it a less than ideal option.
<p>The Flint RiverQuarium is, appropriately enough, on the Flint River. At this intriguing place you can come face-to-face with creatures native to the River without ever getting wet. RiverQuarium educates and fascinates visitors with over 100 species of aquatic life. You'll be blown away by Blue Hole Spring, 175,000 gallons and 22-feet deep, where you can see over 120 different kinds of creatures including fish, turtles, and... alligators. RiverQuarium has many other impressive exhibits including interactive displays and a new aviary. They have special programs and performances including dive shows, alligator feedings, and animal presentations. Don't miss the intense Imagination Theater. The 3-story tall IMAX theater which shows 3D educational flicks to get your heart thumping. Those sharks look so big.</p>
<p>Ray Charles was born here and, as it should be, the city is proud to spread that news around. Head to the Ray Charles Plaza on the Flint River in downtown Albany for something special. The idea of the plaza is for visitors to get something similar to the experience of a Ray Charles performance. A bronze statue of Ray sitting at a baby grand piano (sculpted by Andy Davis) is the centerpiece of the plaza. Students from Georgia Academy for the Blind helped with the design. Water goes down the sides of the statue and Ray's music is piped through the park. There is also a miniature version of the sculpture in the plaza with markings in Braille on it.</p>
<p>The Albany Civil Rights Institute opened in 2008 with an aim to educate visitors on GeorgiaÕs rich history in the fight for Civil Rights. The museum is housed in Mount Zion which was a church built in 1906. Mount Zion is on the National Register of Historic Places and was one of the churches where people would go to hear Civil Rights leaders, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. Old Mount Zion is just one of the incredible artifacts visitors to the Institute can experience. Every second Saturday of each month the Albany Civil Rights Institute Freedom Singers perform.</p>