Due to its location inland on the Savannah River, Augusta was a city of major strategic importance by the end of the Civil War. It was spared most of the destruction of many other southern cities, so there are many old buildings and landmarks. There are some areas of town that the tourist might be advised to avoid, but they should be obvious upon inspection. There is a significant presence of military personnel who visit the city on personal business from nearby Fort Gordon. Augusta is also home of the Masters golf tournament.
Augusta is on I-20, between Atlanta and Columbia, South Carolina. I-520 circles the city. Car is usually the best way to get around town, given the sprawl in the city's organization. Traffic is heavy on major arteries and intersections during weekday rush hour. Traveling around the Augusta National Golf Course, especially Washington Road, during Masters Week is not advised.
Augusta Regional Airport (AGS) is serviced by Delta Connections with service to Atlanta (ATL), along with US Airways Express with service to Charlotte (CLT) and Washington, DC (DCA).
Augusta is serviced by Greyhound Bus Lines . The bus station is located at 1128 Greene St in Downtown.
Taxis are not often used and are fairly expensive because of the large distances between destinations in town. There is an often updated official list of taxi services on the Augusta Regional Airport website .
Augusta Public Transit, a public bus system, is available and services many popular destinations. However, it may be easier to rent a car to access areas not served by the bus system. Information on Augusta Public Transit can be found here http://augustaga.gov/index.aspx?NID=232.
Augusta Canal Authority, 1450 Greene Street (Interpretive Center), ☎ 706-823-044 (email@example.com). Tours, seasonal events, hiking, biking, canoeing, and kayaking are available. There are several locations to access the canal area.$6 adult admission.
The Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson, 418 Seventh St (at Telfair St), ☎ +1 706-722-9828, . 10AM - 4PM Tu-Sa. Georgia's oldest Presidential home where Woodrow Wilson and his family lived during the Civil War. See fourteen rooms furnished to the 1860s Victorian period, service building with kitchen, and carriage house. The house museum contains thirteen original pieces of furniture used by Woodrow Wilson and his family, as well as other period pieces.$5 Adults $4 Seniors $3 Students (K-12).
Lake Olmstead Park, Milledge Road. Park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead includes a lake for fishing and sports, a disc golf course, and facilities for events. Beautiful place for a picnic or afternoon stroll. Directly across the street from Lake Olmstead Stadium, the home of the Augusta Greenjackets. Area east of the park can be dangerous.
Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 1301 Greene Street, . Former Catholic Church which was converted to a cultural center after the community banded together to save it. One of the most architecturally beautiful buildings in Augusta. Open to visitors, unless closed for a private event
Springfield Baptist Church, 114 12th Street, . Oldest African American Southern Baptist Church in the world. Built in 1801, its architecture is a great example.
Augusta Museum of History, 560 Reynolds Street, ☎ 706-722-8454, . The historical, archaeological, and ethnographic museum for the region. The area on transportation history is especially nice. Great place to take the kids.
Morris Museum of Art, 1 Tenth Street, . Augusta's premier art museum, featuring Southern artists.
James Brown Statue and Augusta Common, Broad Street. Statue of James Brown that people congregate around and leave flowers. In the median of Broad Street across from the Augusta Common, a downtown park that holds events throughout the year.
Enterprise and Sibley Mills, 1450 Greene Street, 1717 Goodrich Street. These are historical textile mills located on the Augusta Canal were built in the late 1800s. They are beautiful examples of industrial architecture of the period.
Butt Memorial Bridge, 15th Street, . Historical bridge dedicated to Major Archibald Butt, a resident of the city who died in the Titanic disaster. The bridge had been slated for destruction, and was saved by community intervention in the "Save Our Butt" campaign.
Lamar Building, Broad Street, . Tallest building in Augusta and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A strange architectural combination between 1913 architecture and a penthouse added in the 1970s designed by architect I.M. Pei.
Old Government House, 432 Telfair Street, . Former courthouse and government building for Augusta, built in 1801.
Mockingbird Hill, Central Avenue. A miniature town located behind Daniel Village shopping center, next to the Dairy Queen on the Water Authority property. Originally built in the 1950s and maintained by a local firehouse, it was restored when the new water treatment facility was built. Wonderful little place to get an ice cream and sit.
Old Medical College of Georgia, 598 Telfair Street, . This Greek Revival structure is a National Historic Landmark built in 1835 to house the Medical College of Georgia.
Historic Downtown, (Broad St (GA-28/US-25 Bus.) any where between E. Boundary and 13th St.). Lots of old buildings, shops, and monuments.
Augusta GreenJackets, Lake Olmstead Stadium, . Augusta's minor league baseball team in the South Atlantic League and a Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
Augusta Riverwalk, Augusta, GA (just north of Reynolds street). a paved path along the riverfront
Garden City Candlelight Jazz, 8th Street & Riverwalk, Downtown Augusta, . Mar-May Sun 7pm, June-August, Sun 8pm. Rain or shine, Jazz on Riverwalk. Series lasts from March-August.$6.
Augusta Symphony Orchestra, 1301 Greene Street, . Local symphony orchestra puts on a traditional Symphony Series (Sept-April) along with a pops series known as Pops! At the Bell (Oct-March).
Fort Gordon Dinner Theater, . Community dinner theater shows (May-December), with new offerings opening every few months. Must go onto Fort Gordon to attend, so make sure to have ID and allow for time for them to check your car to enter the base.
Augusta Players, 1301 Greene Street, . Offers mainstage community theater plays and musicals. Season runs from September to May. Shows change every few months.
Annual festivals and events
Masters Golf Tournament, Augusta National Golf Club, Washington Road, . Major PGA golf tournament held annually during the first week of April. Badges for the tournament (as tickets are known) are difficult to acquire and allow admission for play Thurs-Sun. Practice round tickets which allow admission earlier in the week are easier to snag. The golf course is beautiful and the event is traditional. Overall, this is the crown jewel of golf tournaments and events in Augusta.
Arts in the Heart of Augusta, Augusta Common, Broad Street, . Held each fall for 32 years (2012: Sept 13-16), this is a multicultural arts festival which features food, music, and visual arts from groups in the region. Often voted festival of the year for the metro area.
Westobou Festival, 540 Telfair Street, Old Academy of Richmond County, . New annual arts and music festival (2012: Oct 3-7) which brings in international performance art acts.
Rock Fore! Dough, the First Tee of Augusta, . Annual rock music benefit concert held to coincide with the Masters Golf Tournament (2013: April 9th).
12 Bands of Christmas, Imperial Theater, Broad Street, . Annual benefit concert held each December where local bands cover Christmas favorites in their individual styles.
Augusta Southern Nationals, Savannah River, Downtown Augusta, . Annual drag boat racing event (2012: July 20-22), held on the Savannah River. Billed as the "World's Richest Drag Boat Race" it is an exhilarating and dangerous event full of excitement. A must see at least once!
ESI Ironman 70.3 Augusta, . Annual event (2012: Sept 30) is world's largest half-Ironman competition.
Boshears Skyfest, Daniel Field, 1775 Highland Avenue, . Annual air show (2012: Oct 20-21) featuring acrobat biplanes, racing jet semi-trucks, and a hot-air balloon race.
Georgia-Carolina State Fair, Fairgrounds, . M-F opens 5pm, Sat-Sun opens at noon. Great annual Southern state fair (2012: Oct 12-21), featuring rides, games, a concert, the crowning of Miss Fair, livestock judging competition, and Southern craft competitions.
Historic Downtown, (Broad St (GA-28/US-25 Bus.) Between 15th and 7th Streets on Broad, Telfair, and Greene Street). Shops and restaurants line Broad Street, including the Art Gallery District.
Augusta Mall, 3450 Wrightsboro Road (From I-20, exit onto I-520 East. At Wrightsboro Road (Exit 2), turn left towards Daniel Field. Augusta Mall will be visible on right.), . Augusta Mall is a super-regional mall anchored by Dillard's, JCPenney, Sears, Macy's, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Barnes & Noble.
Surrey Center, (From 1-20, take Washington Road exit (Exit 199) and head east (towards downtown Augusta) on Washington Road for one mile. Turn right onto Berckmans Road and go straight for 1.8 miles. Surrey Center will be on your right.), . Contains many specialty stores, restaurants, and nightclubs. Within walking distance of the Augusta National.
The Augusta Market, 15 Eighth Street, . Farmer's market held downtown each Saturday, March 24-Oct 27.
The Barnyard Flea Market, 1625 Doug Bernard Parkway, . Sat 7am-4:30pm, Sun 8am-4:30pm. After fire destroyed the former flea market, this became the main flea market for the Augusta area. Many vendors. Try the lemonade!
This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
$20 to $35
Augusta has many of the national chain restaurants found in other cities, however the city has many excellent local eateries including:
Bee's Knees Tapas, 211 Tenth St, ☎ (706) 828-3600, . Tue-Thurs 5PM-11PM, Fri - Sun 5PM-12AM, Bar open until. A hip restaurant in Downtown Augusta with a fusion-style multi-cultural menu. Other features include a bar with a wide range of drinks and a selection of many vegetarian-friendly dishes. This is an ideal location for a date and may not a good choice for small children.Mid-range.
La Maison on Telfair, 404 Telfair St, ☎ (706) 722-4805, . 6:00PM - 10:00PM, Wine Bar & Tapas Lounge 5:00PM-Till. A rather expensive but classical French restaurant in the heart of downtown Augusta. Expect to pay beyond 60$ per person for a normal dinner, and far beyond that for a good night out.Splurge.
Tako Sushi, 437 Highland Ave, ☎ (706) 736-9191. 2-11 p.m. Mon-Sat. A fusion restaurant offering a mix of Sushi and Mexican-inspired dishes. This combination is actually very successful and keeps the small restaurant constantly busy.Mid-range or higher.
Manuel's Bread Cafe, 505 Railroad Ave (take 13th street bridge into SC take left on buena vista, then take 3rd left on crystal lake dr. Follow into Hammond's Ferry), ☎ 803-308-1323, . Tue-Fri 9AM-10PM SAT 8AM-10PM Sunday Brunch 11:30-3:00PM. The menu features breads and pastries, sandwiches, French Mediterranean dishes, vegetables and grilled meats. Chef Verney-Carron uses vegetables grown at Hammond's Ferry's organic Blue Clay Farm which is steps from the restaurant.
Luigi's, 509 Broad Street, ☎ 706-722-4056, . M-Sa 5pm-10pm, F 11:30am-2pm. Italian restaurant and locally-owned landmark, opened in 1949. Located across from the Augusta Museum of History on the far end of Downtown's restaurant district. Also has Greek cuisine, including the best baklava in town.Mid-range.
Sconyers Bar-B-Que, 2250 Sconyers Way, ☎ 706-790-5411, . Th, Fri, Sat 10am-10pm. Located in South Augusta, this is the best BBQ joint in town and has been listed by People Magazine as one of the best BBQ restaurants in the United States. The portions are large and the sauces are made in-house. The Plantation Platter gives you a taste of everything, and should feed around four comfortably. Pork is their specialty, but they also serve smoked turkey and beef BBQ. If you're vegan, forget about it (unless you really like potato salad and cole slaw). Mid-range.
Rhinehart's Oyster Bar, 3051 Washington Road, . After 5pm, those under 21 must be with a parent or guardian. Seafood with a beach-shack atmosphere. Food is great and atmosphere is relaxed. It gets packed on Friday and Saturday nights. There is no list to get in, so you have to hover around the tables and grab one when it frees up.Mid-range.
French Market Grille, 425 Highland Avenue, ☎ 706-737-4865, . M-Th 11:30am-10pm, Fri and Sat 11:30am-11pm. New Orleans-style seafood and other dishes. Great service and rich food. Try the jambalya and the lamb, they are especially good. Good place to go celebrate a special occasion! Located in Surrey Center. Splurge.
Wife Saver Restaurants, various, . Locally-owned chain of fast food restaurants. Serves Southern cooking and soul food. Along with the usual suspects like fried chicken and fish, local specialties like fried okra, livers, and gizzards are also featured on the menu. Great biscuits and hush puppies. A good place for a locally-inspired lunch!Budget.
Sunshine Bakery, 1209 Broad Street, ☎ 706-724-2302. Traditional Southern deli and lunch spot downtown that serves sandwiches. Decor and atmosphere is very dated like any "local" deli. Sunshine tea is a must-have if you go (basically an Arnold Palmer).Budget.
Partridge Inn Bar & Grill, 2110 Walton Way, . Traditional Southern food. The fried chicken is great. On nice days, you can sit on the verandah overlooking Walton Way, the Bon Air hotel, and Downtown Augusta in the distance. Great for Sunday brunch (Sun 11am-2pm) or lunch buffet. Live jazz on Fridays from 9pm- 12:30am. Live band Saturday from 9pm- 1am.Mid-range.
The Village Deli Sub & Pub, 2803 Wrightsboro Road, . M-Th, Sa 11am-9pm, Fri 11am-10pm. Locally-owned southern deli and pub favored by the local Summerville population. Found in Daniel Village shopping center across from Daniel Field. Mid-range.
Beamie's at the River, 865 Reynolds Street, ☎ 706-724-6593. M-Th 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun noon-10pm. Seafood joint with indoor and outdoor seating at the Savannah River. Very popular amongst locals.Mid-range.
Bee's Knees Tapas, 211 Tenth St, ☎ (706) 828-3600, . Tue-Thurs 5PM-11PM, Fri - Sun 5PM-12AM, Bar open until. A restaurant with a large bar area and a wide range of drinks and small dishes.Mid-range.
Cotton Patch Bar, 816 Cotton Lane (just off the river walk, off 8th St.), ☎ 706-724-4511, . Located next to the River Walk, live music on weekends.$5-$10.
Metro Coffee House, 1054 Broad St. A coffee shop by day, but it becomes a bar at night. Live jazz on Saturday nights.$5-$10.
Ramada Hotel and Convention Center Augusta, 640 Broad Street, ☎ 866-790-8512, .
Ramada Augusta, 2650 Center West Parkway, ☎ 866-790-8512, .
Ramada Limited Augusta Fort Gordon Area, 2154 Gordon Hwy, ☎ 866-790-8512, .
Fairfield Inn & Suites - Augusta, 2175 Gordon Highway, Augusta, GA 30909, ☎ 706-733-2121, . The newly opened Fairfield Inn & Suites Augusta hotel is a great Augusta lodging option. The hotel has 82 beautiful guest rooms and the fresh cleanliness you would expect from a brand new property. Guest of the hotel can enjoy a complimentary breakfast daily as well as an indoor pool, high-speed Internet and free on-site parking.
Holiday Inn - Augusta, 2155 Gordon Highway, Augusta, GA 30909, ☎ 706-732-2300, . The Holiday Inn - Augusta, Georgia hotel features 150 comfortable guest rooms with a convenient location to all that Augusta has to offer. The hotel is only three miles from the main gate of the Fort Gordon Army base and only one mile from the Augusta Mall. Guests can enjoy a free full breakfast buffet, an outdoor swimming pool, shuttle service and complimentary on-site parking.
Courtyard Augusta, 1045 Stevens Creek, Augusta, GA 30907, ☎ 706-737-3737, . Set in the "Garden City of the South," the Courtyard Augusta is located minutes from the revered Augusta National Golf Club, by I-20 in the heart of golf country, near a wealth of historic downtown landmarks, fine dining, scenic Riverwalk and museums.
Partridge Inn, 2110 Walton Way, ☎ 706-737-8888, . Traditional Southern accomodations. The Partridge Inn is a large hotel remaining from Augusta's historic days as a springtime playground of the elite. It is perched on the Hill, overlooking Downtown Augusta in the distance and lies across the street from the former Bon Air hotel.
The area code for the city is 706. All local numbers require 10-digit dialing, including the area code.
Every branch of the public library system has internet access, but a library card is required to use it. There is also a free Wi-Fi hot spot area provided by the city in the Augusta Commons on Broad Street. Many local restaurants and coffee shops also provide free wireless internet access, especially those localed on Broad Street.
Clarks Hill Lake (also known as Strom Thrumond Reservoir)- large dammed lake located just northwest of Augusta in Columbia and McDuffie Counties. Known as "the Lake" in town, it is ringed by mostly Army Corps of Engineering land, who provides public access to the water. There are many marinas, public "beaches," and pavilion facilities for enjoyment just for the day. Camping is fairly cheap at many of the sites, and those at Amityville and Modoc are especially nice. Fishing is great, as are other water sports. Make sure to ask locals about the lake levels, as during drought years, the lake may be difficult to navigate or unpleasant to swim in as you get further away from the Dam.
Modoc Speedway- located in the suburb of Grovetown, this is a 1/4 mile dirt-track raceway which holds events most weekends throughout the summer. Races last a few hours, but are individually short in duration. Many racers are local amateurs, but the faster semi-professionals also race. Great for people watching and getting a taste of racing culture in the South. The track often changes ownership, making events somewhat unpredictable in timing. Check their website or call ahead to make sure.
Carolina Dragway- located across the Savannah River in Aiken, SC, this is a drag racing venue that holds events every Sunday in the summer.
Kackleberry Farm- located south of Augusta in Louisville, GA, this is a farm open for field trips and visits to the pumpkin patch and corn maze. Allows for kids to experience a farm. Great in the fall.
Steeds Dairy- located in the suburb of Grovetown, this educational working dairy farm is open Sept-Nov to the public.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!