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Inside Scoop for Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference

If you’re in town for the Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference this week, you’ll find plenty to do and lots of fun while you’re here.

Things to do while you’re here:

Got kids? On Wednesday mornings The Book Tavern hosts Super Awesome Story-Time. Take the kiddos for free cookies and a story while you browse and shop with your Augusta Current-C. For more information – check out The Book Tavern on Facebook!

Love music? Rock band Adelitas Way with special guests Starset and Refuge Lost will play at Sky City in downtown Augusta on Thursday, September 4th. Doors open at 8 p.m. Music starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door. Sky City accepts Augusta Current-C!

Love books? The Book Tavern will have a book signing on Thursday, September 4th. For more information – check out The Book Tavern on Facebook!

Love food? Veritas wine & tapas bar at La Maison on Telfair in downtown Augusta hosts a wine pairing on Thursday evening. Get 4 wines paired with 4 tapas for only $25. Also, all week long, get a free dessert (coupon here) to satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner at French Market Grille in Surrey Center. Both restaurants will be on the dine-around on Thursday evening and accept Augusta Current-C.

Love to shop? The conference may end on Friday, but your visit to Augusta doesn’t have to end yet! Stick around for another night and enjoy First Friday in downtown Augusta. The shops downtown stay open late. There’s live music and art. It’s awesome. And many of the downtown shops accept Augusta Current-C! Then, on Saturday, hit the Augusta Market for breakfast (you HAVE to try a Stuffed Puppy – it’s a giant hush puppy stuffed with grits, eggs, cheese and sausage) or go for a guided hike at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park.

Augusta Current-C

Attendees registered for the full conference – make sure to hang on to your Augusta Current-C! While you’re out downtown and at Surrey Center, look for the GTC Talk Bubble. Any business displaying it accepts Augusta Current-C.

Restaurants:

Augustino’s Bee’s Knees Boll Weevil Café Calvert’s
Craft and Vine Farmhaus Finch and Fifth French Market Grille
La Maison on Telfair Nacho Mama’s Oliviana’s Takosushi

Art Galleries / Shops:

Art on Broad Gallery on the Row
Vintage Ooollee
The Book Tavern
Oddfellows Gallery Zimmerman’s Gallery
Curvitude
Tire City Potters

Bars / Nightlife

O’Donovan’s Irish Pub
Sky City
The 5 Best Mountain Bike Trails Around Augusta

This blog is a repost from SingleTracks.com/Blog and was written by DGaddis. To see the original blog post, click here.

I’m proud to call the the Central Savannah River Area, or CSRA, my home.  The CSRA is the the area surrounding Augusta, GA and North Augusta, SC and it’s home to some of the best, least-expected mountain biking in the southeast.  I say least expected because we don’t have any mountains here.  We’ve got hills, but no mountains.  But boy oh boy do we have trails, about 150 miles of them actually, with more in the works.  We have many of these trails because of the local MTB club, SORBA-CSRA.  SORBA-CSRA has done such a good job in this area that in 2010 IMBAheld their biannual World Summit here.  So if you’re looking for a place to take a spring MTB trip, give the CSRA a look.  In this blog post you’ll find my five favorite trails in the area, in no particular order.

FATS: Forks Area Trail System (SC)

FATS, located in the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina, is the crown jewel of the CSRA mountain bike scene, and the only IMBA Epic in South Carolina.  It’s 37 miles of fast, swoopy, roller coaster like purpose built mountain bike trails.  There are six individual loops, each with a slightly different feel and the trails will satisfy both beginners and experienced riders alike.  There is very little technical terrain at FATS so anyone can ride here and likely clean every inch of trail.  What makes this trail fun is the speed – it’s easy to get, and easy to keep.  But you do have to be careful with all that speed: there’s a bunch whoop-de-doos that will throw you over the handlebars if you’re not careful.


Riders cruising through some whoop-de-doos on the Deep Step loop at FATS

Mistletoe State Park (GA)

Mistletoe is the anti-FATS.  It’s the most technical trail in the CSRA.  The trail was not built for mountain biking, even though bikes are allowed now.  There are lots of creek crossings – some are easy, some are not.  There’s some rocks, and some steep climbs.  The trails can be a little confusing your first time out so I suggest looking for a local to show you around.  The Rock Dam and Cliatt Creek Nature Trail are the most popular rides, and most locals link them together to form a loop around 6.5 miles long, with a lot of climbing for this area.  Mistletoe is the western most portion of the big Thurmond Epic route.


One of the deeper creek crossings at Mistletoe State Park

Modoc (aka Stevens Creek) (SC)

Modoc is another technical trail, for the CSRA at least.  Located in Sumter National Forest, the Modoc trail roughly follows Steven’s Creek and has some nice scenic views.  Several ditch and creek crossings keep you on your toes on this 6-mile out and back trail.  Between the technical bits Modoc is pretty fast and smooth.  There is plenty of really nice bench cut singletrack that has been in place for decades and it’s a lot of fun to ride.  Locals link Modoc to the Turkey and Wine Creek trails for longer routes.


Only 1/4 mile from the parking lot is one of Modoc’s most memorable creek crossings.  Photo: brianW

Bartram (GA)

The Bartram trail is one of the least technical trails in the area, but it’s also one of the longest.  The trail is an out and back stretching from the West Dam Recreational Area west all the way to Washington Road, and it’s 22.5 miles one way!  The trail runs right through the Petersburg Campground, making Petersburg a great place to stay if you’re planning a visit to the CSRA to ride.

East of Petersburg is known as “old Bartram” to the locals and it is the least challenging side.  It is very flat, smooth, and very fast if you want it to be; a great place to take the kids riding.  West of Petersburg, or “new Bartram” is a little tougher, with some climbing, whoop-de-doos, and a few technical challenges.  The entire trail hugs the shores of Lake Thurmond and has lots of nice views.  Bartram is the biggest chunk of the Thurmond Epic route.


There’s something special about lakeside singletrack.  Photo: brianW

Canal Trail (GA)

This is probably going to a controversial pick as a Top Five trail but hey, it’s my list and I love thecanal trail!  It’s a very short 2.8 mile loop inside the city limits of Augusta.  This is the only trail in the area that’s within easy riding distance from a large population area.  It sits on a small piece of land between the Savannah River and the Augusta Canal.  To make the best use of the land the trail is very tight and twisty, making it a great place to work on your cornering skills.  There aren’t any big climbs, but there are a few short steep rooty grunts that can test your skills.  It’s a little trail, but it is big on fun!


That’s me, playing hookie from work and enjoying the canal trail on a sunny Friday afternoon in the spring.  Don’t tell my boss.

This blog is a repost from SingleTracks.com/Blog and was written by DGaddis. To see the original blog post, click here.

5 Free Things to Do This Weekend in Augusta

Christmas Tree Lighting (Photo Courtesy of the Augusta Chronicle)

1. December 6th is First Friday: Oh what fun it is to play downtown on First Friday! Check out our First Friday faves here.

2. December 7th is the Bank of America Holiday Open House: Get free admission into the Morris Museum of Art, Augusta Museum of History, Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson and Arts & Heritage Center of North Augusta. In addition to free admission, there will be holiday decorations, crafts and games!

3. December 7th is Swamp Saturday: Take a guided tour of Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. Get a glimpse of birds and other wildlife and enjoy the last of the fall foliage.

4. December 7th is Christmas for the Birds: Bring your family to the Living History Park and create edible Christmas decorations for the birds!

5. December 7th is Augusta’s Christmas Extravaganza: Shop at the Holiday Market, enjoy the Fantasy Parade, listen to the 12 Bands of Christmas and stay for the lighting of the Christmas Tree and fireworks show! Get details for each event’s time and location on our calendar of events.

The A List: November 2013

Top 5 things to get excited about in Augusta, Ga this November

Oka’Chaffa Indian Festival: November 9 -10, 2013

Two days full of Native American art, crafts, dances, music, food, games and a tribal drum competition – all in the beautiful Phinizy Swamp. For more info, visit NaturalSciencesAcademy.org.

Sacred Heart Holiday Open House: November 14, 2013

Last year we got a loaf of Cinnamon Apple Pecan Bread and we’ve been talking about it ever since! Get freshly baked goodies along the halls downstairs or stop by the gift shop to see what kind of holiday décor and gifts they have for the season. For more info, visit SacredHeartAugusta.org.

Christmas Made in the South: November 15 – 17, 2013

Hundreds of local and regional artisans bring their hand-crafted products to one place for your shopping pleasure. Find hand-made toys, refinished antiques, home and outdoor decoration, ornaments and lots more. For more info, visit AugustaEntertainmentComplex.com.

Annual Holiday Gingerbread Village: November 21 – December 1, 2013

Creative locals build iconic Augusta landmarks from gingerbread, icing and all manner of sugary snacks and put them on display in the Augusta Museum of History. Browse the sweet collection surrounded by a life-sized winter town in the Augusta Museum rotunda.  For more info, visit AugustaMuseum.org.

Image courtesy of the Augusta Chronicle.

Christmas in the Backcountry: November 30, 2013

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the light displays and gift giving. Get a glimpse of how early colonists and their slaves observed Christmas. The Living History Park will be bustling with live exhibits to show the simple celebrations that gave meaning to the holiday season for the early settlers. For more info, visit ColonialTimes.us.

For more information on attractions, restaurants, hotels and events in Augusta, Ga visit AugustaGa.org.

November 2013 Weekend Whirl

We all need a little weekend getaway to keep things fun and to relax a little. November in Augusta, Ga brings cooler weather and bright fall colors along the Augusta Riverwalk and the Canal. Start planning your weekend whirl for November 8 – 10, 2013. Click here to see which hotels are available for the weekend.

What to do: Whether you want to learn about Augusta’s past, explore outside or celebrate culture, Augusta has lots of new experiences to offer.

Learn about the role Augusta played during the Civil War. Dr. Stephen Berry, associate professor of history and Gregory Chair in the Civil War Era at the University of Georgia presents: Lincolns and Todds: A House Divided on Friday evening.  The program continues on Saturday at the Morris Museum with a series of lectures and performances by noted historians.  View a special exhibition of Civil War themed artworks in the education gallery. Advanced registration required for Saturday.

Enjoy the fifty shades of autumn along the Augusta Canal. Sid Mullis, UGA Extension service for Richmond County, and Judy Gordon, Ph.D., botanist at GRU, lead a walk along the canal that celebrates the fall season. Augusta’s autumn colors often peak in early to mid-November. Falling leaves reveal species you might not otherwise notice. Admission is $2. Visit AugustaCanal.com for more information.

Immerse yourself in Native American culture. Phinizy Swamp Nature Park will host the Oka’ Chaffa Indian Festival and celebrate Native American culture with live Native American dances and songs, storytellers, wildlife displays, live buffalo, arts and crafts, and a Living Tipi Village. Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children (ages 6-12). For more info, visit NaturalSciencesAcademy.org.

Where to shop: You won’t have to worry that someone at a holiday party has the same necklace as you. You won’t have to give your dad another tie as a gift either – when you shop at Augusta’s local boutiques and stores.

Get swanky home swag with Southern charm. Capture a bit of Southern sass for your home with fun picture frames, quirky wall art and lots of cute accessories and stocking stuffers at The Swank Co.

Build a better library. Spend a little time chatting with the friendly folks at The Book Tavern about your favorite authors or books and let them make suggestions for what to read next! Or browse through their selection of new, used and rare books on your own to see what you discover. We promise it’s not your average chain book store experience!

Get an Augusta hoodie to take home. Cooler weather means it’s time to break out the hoodies! You’ll have plenty to choose from along with men’s polos, hats, sunglasses and lots more Augusta themed gifts at the Augusta Visitor Center located inside the Augusta Museum of History.

What to eat: The local food scene in Augusta makes it hard to choose – but here are a few suggestions. You can always come back another weekend and try more!

Fish & Chips. Augusta’s local English-style pub – Boar’s Head Public House – serves up a mean fish & chips dish along with other English pub food like bangers & mash and Sheppard’s Pie. After dinner, stick around and play darts or chess with an imperial pint of British ale.

Soul Food & Sweet Tea. The Cotton Patch takes comfort food seriously. Classics like fried pork chops and macaroni & cheese are served up on big plates with generous portions. They also believe sweet tea is an art – you won’t find a better brew anywhere around town.

Spaghetti & Meatballs. Luigi’s has been a downtown establishment since 1949. Take a bite of their spaghetti & meatballs with garlic bread and you’ll know why. Don’t make any plans after dinner. You’ll leave happy and full – the perfect combination for a nap!

Want more info? Visit www.AugustaGa.org for a full calendar of events and list of restaurants and attractions.

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