Augusta is known for many things, including its history as the second oldest city in Georgia, its gardens as the “Garden City of the South,”; its green jackets as the home to the prestigious golf tournament, the Masters, to name a few. While guests may be flocking in for the pimento cheese sandwiches and legendary golf tournament, Augusta offers guests more than manicured lawns and azaleas, but a destination steeped in tradition with a fresh new vibe.
SOMETHING FOR THE EXPLORER
Guests seeking serenity and a place to stretch their legs can stroll along Augusta’s Riverwalk that winds along the Savannah River. The Riverwalk is lined with stunning greenery and historical monuments with views of architectural masterpieces across the way. The Riverwalk is only a skip and a hop away from several culinary retreats where guests can indulge after a long trek or walk off a savory meal.
Hike & Bike
Other popular routes to discovering the city are by foot and bike. Multiple trails with various difficulty levels are located throughout the city for hikers and bikers to find. For those who want a relaxing experience, the vast, level towpath of the Augusta Canal Heritage Area, once used by mules to pull canal boats to the head gates, is a popular recreational trail for hikers, cyclists, and runners. For those who want to experience nature and catch glimpses of wildlife, the Phinizy Swamp Nature Park boasts boardwalks and trails for guests to spot blue herons, otters, and alligators in their natural settings. The Forks Area Trail System (FATS) is a unique 20+ mile system for the more advanced riders. FATS consists of six trails: Deep Step, Great Wall, Skinny, Brown Wave, Big Rock, and Tower, and it even offers trail riding at night.
SOMETHING FOR THE SOUL
Considering Augusta played such a huge role in James Brown’s life, it is only fitting that the artist is remembered throughout the city. At the Augusta Museum of History, the one-of-a-kind James Brown Exhibit features rare memorable and personal artifacts that vividly tell the story of The Godfather of Soul’s life. In downtown Augusta, a life-size bronze statue of James Brown serves as a reminder of his legacy to fans and visitors of the city.
Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art
The region’s only non-profit contemporary gallery and visual arts school, the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, offers a rich calendar of nearly 30 exhibitions by regional and national artists. The Institute also encourages visitors to try their artistic hand and offers onsite art classes ranging from painting to stained glass lessons.
Morris Museum of Art
Located on the Riverwalk in downtown Augusta, The Morris Museum of Art is the first museum dedicated to the art and artists of the American South. The collection includes holdings of nearly 5,000 paintings, works on paper, photographs, and sculptures dating from the late-eighteenth century to the present.
SOMETHING FOR THE HISTORIAN
Walk back in time and tour Summerville, one of Augusta’s seven historic districts, which began as a summer resort for wealthy Augustans who sought refuge from the heat and mosquitoes near the Savannah River. Summerville, now known as the “crown jewel” of Augusta’s neighborhoods, boasts impressive examples of revival styles of architecture-Greek, Gothic, Italianate, Spanish, and Colonial, to name a few.
Boyhood Home of Woodrow Wilson
Walk the halls of the home where President Woodrow Wilson lived as a boy in Augusta, GA., and hear how some of his childhood experiences helped shape the Nation’s 28th Presidency. The home is a National Historic Landmark and serves as a house museum depicting the life of the 28th President as a boy growing up in Georgia during the Civil War and Reconstruction. As the oldest Presidential residence in the state, it serves as an educational facility and a historic attraction for the City of Augusta, the State of Georgia, and the Nation.
Petersburg Boat Tours
With various tour options, the Petersburg boat tours on the Augusta canal highlight historical sites and stories. The tours also offer live music performances on the boat during select times throughout the year and sunset cruises where guests are encouraged to bring their picnics and libations while they float through time.
SOMETHING FOR THE FOODIE
This musical barbeque mecca is a fusion between comforting tastes and sounds. Southbound Smokehouse barbeque joint boasts live music from acoustic to southern rock while offering up authentically prepared southern eats.
For home-cooked southern fare, stop in at Café 209 in downtown Augusta. The locally owned restaurant offers a plethora of southern staples alongside delectable desserts, which change frequently. For a scenic view and Riverwalk icon, dine at the Boll Weevil Café, where good intentions are left at the door. With soulful dishes and indulgent desserts, Boil Weevil is an eatery that cannot be overlooked.
As the sun sets, start at Finch & 5th with a charcuterie plate and crafted cocktails to recap the day with a lively atmosphere and chic interior. Head over to Abel Brown for oysters of every design and dishes equally as intricate in flavor. For some late-night mingling, head over to Bee’s Knees for some light bites made using local, seasonal, & sustainable ingredients. This sustainably sourced eatery is also known for its carefully designed cocktails alongside its tapas treats. For a more intimate setting, head to Craft & Vine, tucked away in downtown Augusta, featuring hand-crafted cocktails, an elegant wine selection, and low lights bouncing off art deco and leather.
River Watch Brewery
Situated in a restored warehouse on the Farmer’s Market and owned/operated by the only mother-daughter brew team in the Nation, River Watch Brewery is the first brewery to return to Garden City since Prohibition. The brewery has four core brews and often offers experimental and seasonal brews for guests.
Carolina Moon Distellery
Carolina Moon Distillery offers an array of small-batch spirits steeped in the South’s moonshine tradition. Each spirit is distilled, bottled, and packaged by hand and onsite using local ingredients, and each product retains a personal touch. Guests can visit the artisan distillery’s taste room and sample some of Carolina’s Moon staple batches, such as Ole Tom Whiskey or moonshine.