First things first. There are a few things you should do soon after you arrive to help you feel right at home here at Fort Benning. You’ll want to attend a Newcomers Orientation as soon as possible. Army Community Service hosts them at 9 a.m. every Wednesday at Building 7 on Baltzell Avenue. These are free, and though Soldiers are typically required to attend, spouses can attend at their leisure, with or without their Soldier.
We host a free bus tour the third Thursday of every month for Soldiers and family members 18 and older. Child care is free and so is lunch. The tour starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Benning Club and ends at about 2 p.m. Space is limited, so be sure to register by calling 706-545-4468 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, be sure to register for weekly email updates at benning.armymwr.com. We’ll make sure you know about events, special offers and discounts, concerts, travel opportunities and more.
Welcome to Fort Benning. We’re glad you’re here, and we think you will be, too.
The Benning Club periodically hosts Sunday brunches for special occasions, such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and Christmas. These popular events feature traditional breakfast and lunch favorites, a classic assortment of entrees, carving stations, unlimited desserts and pastries, a chocolate fountain and so much more. Be sure to try the most popular items on the menu: the bread pudding, eggs Benedict, and macaroni and cheese. (You’ve never had mac and cheese quite this good.) Reservations are required, as space is limited. Reserve your table at benning.armymwr.com.
Dinglewood Pharmacy in Columbus serves up the South’s original scrambled dog, a hot dog smothered in onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard, oyster crackers and the secret-recipe chili that sets it apart from the various imitations served across the Southeast. Eat it with a fork or spoon, and wash it down with a Cherry Coke. This is the real deal, invented in Columbus and served at the same lunch counter where folks have been ordering it for half a century. Dinglewood Pharmacy, 1939 Wynnton Road, was established in 1918, making it the oldest eating establishment in town. Half-hour wait times at lunch are not unusual. Be patient; it’s worth it.
Four Winds Restaurant in Cusseta is often mistakenly referred to as the “Ranger Burger” for its signature sandwich, a massive double bacon cheeseburger with all the fixings. Though every sandwich on the menu pays homage to a military unit or MOS, it’s the Ranger Burger that put Four Winds on the map. Few can finish it off. A trip to Four Winds is customary for newly tabbed Rangers, and it’s a favorite among the Soldiers of the 4th Ranger Training Battalion, who travel back and forth from Camp Rogers to Camp Darby on Highway 26. For more information on Four Winds, call 706-989-3401.
Java Cafe serves a flatbread pizza that is flat-out delicious. Let’s face it, military families have traveled the world and often have strong opinions about what qualifies as quality pizza. New York style with thin crust, or deep dish a la Chicago? And nothing compares to a legit Pizza Margherita served in that oh-so-darling bistro right outside the gates of Army Base Vicenza. But our readers continually vote the Java’s flatbread pizza the best in the Chattahoochee Valley.
In the recent past, fried pickles were a Southern novelty, but these days you’ll find them all across the country. Nowhere will they compare to the fried pickles at the Cannon Brew Pub, at 1041 Broadway in Columbus, though Four Winds gives them a run for their money. You’ll find a lot to love about the Cannon Brew — the food, the nightlife, the brew — but don’t miss the fried pickles.
Being as the military has made the Chattahoochee Valley a melting pot of cultures and tastes, there are no clear-cut winners when it comes to barbecue. But there are definitely no losers. Among the top contenders, you’ll find Country’s, Clearview, 13th Street, Macon Road and Mike & Eds. With the exception of Country’s three Columbus locations, most of these restaurants lack any semblance of ambiance, but they make up for it in taste. Southern barbecue is an experience, so don’t miss it while you’re here. Give them all a try — pace yourself — and pick your personal favorite.
It’s the facility, not the food, that sets Wynnton Road Burger King apart from every other fast-food restaurant in the Chattahoochee Valley. Located at 2033 Wynnton Road in midtown Columbus, this BK took up residence in 1982 in a Tudor revival-style house built in 1924 without destroying the beauty of the interior. Each room is filled with photos chronicling Columbus history. With a sandwich in one hand and a drink in the other, take yourself on a historic walking tour from room to room.