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Hot Days, Cold Drinks, and Fathers’ Day Gifts

Although June brings the first official day of summer – those of us in the South are already feeling the heat.

Since the easiest thing to do is grab a cold drink to keep the heat at bay – there’s nothing we love more than a delicious drink recipe. Our new favorite recipe is the Augusta Martini (honestly, with a name like that, why wouldn’t we love it?). It’s not too sweet, citrusy and refreshing.

Augusta Martini Recipe:

1 Part Fruitland Augusta Georgia Peach Vodka

2 Parts Orange Juice

Splash of Sour Mix

Dash of Grenadine

Shake well and pour over ice.

And speaking of ice – there’s nothing worse than making an awesome drink only to have it watered down in a matter of minutes. We found this Augusta golf-themed Tervis tumbler at the Augusta Visitor Center. Throw one of these in a bag with a bottle of Fruitland Augusta (you can find it at White Horse Wine & Spirits) and a recipe card and you’ve got a great Father’s Day gift!

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Cheers ya’ll!

4 Secret Shopping Spots in Augusta, Ga

Gift shops – the place most people go when

A.)  They’re in a hurry

B.)  They can’t think of a single good gift idea

C.)  They’re in a hurry AND can’t think of a single good gift idea

Luckily for us, the gift shops around town happen to be awesome. And most people don’t know they’re awesome. But we do. In the spirit of gift giving – we’re letting you in on our secret shopping spots. So put down that tacky shot glass. (I mean, come on, does Uncle Bill really need another one to add to his collection?) And let the fun begin. Need some inspiration? Check out our Augusta Gift Guide with gift ideas for under $100, $50 and $25.

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Morris Museum of Art: We can’t say enough about how cool the Morris Museum of Art store is. Inside you’ll find everything from handcrafted wooden bowls made by Augusta artist David Welter to super cute owl felt birdhouses. And did we mention jewelry? Affordable rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings by local artists sit alongside cufflinks and other items by Gogo Ferguson. Throughout the year, the Morris store also hosts trunk shows for various artists, providing the opportunity for visitors to meet the artist in person. The Morris Museum of Art is located at 2 Tenth Street in downtown Augusta – right off the Augusta Riverwalk.

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Sacred Heart Cultural Center: Hidden beneath the beautiful stained glass windows that characterize Sacred Heart Cultural Center, you’ll find their gift shop. Inside is a wide array of options, including pashminas, clutch bags, original art works and prints depicting the beautiful architecture of Sacred Heart and Southern cookbooks. Each year, Sacred Heart hosts the Garden Festival in April, providing the opportunity for visitors to purchase garden and home décor, and the Holiday Open House in early November, providing the opportunity for visitors to purchase holiday home décor and locally baked goods. Sacred Heart Cultural Center is located at 1301 Greene Street in downtown Augusta.

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Augusta Canal Discovery Center: The gift shop inside the Augusta Canal Discovery Center is as diverse as the Canal’s offerings. In addition to playful outdoor and yard décor like wind chimes and birdhouses, the gift shop also carries CDs with music by artists who perform live on board the Petersburg Boats during the seasonal Music Cruises. Gift certificates are also available for special Petersburg Boat and Music Cruises. The Augusta Canal Discovery Center is located at 1450 Greene Street inside the Enterprise Mill in Suite 400.

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Augusta Visitor Center: Although the Visitor Center has a great deal of information and brochures on Augusta area attractions, restaurants and hotels, it’s also a great source for clothing and other items with the Augusta, Georgia logo as well as golf themed gifts and regional food items like spiced pecans, barbeque sauce and Augusta’s signature cocktail mixer – The Azalea. If you’re hosting guests from out of town, Augusta or Georgia-themed gifts are perfect additions to welcome bags or baskets. The Augusta Visitor Center is located inside the Augusta Museum of History at 560 Reynolds Street in downtown Augusta, Ga.

Augusta Gift Guide

When trying to find the perfect gift, we all need a little help sometimes. When shopping we love local shops for their unique offerings.

Here are our 4 picks for gifts around $100, $50 and $25 at locally owned retail shops around Augusta. Click on the item links to purchase online (where available) or stop by Augusta’s local retail shops to find these and other unique items.

Around $100

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1) High Cotton MacIntosh Tartan Suspenders from Low Country Clothier – $125 – Buy Now

2) Tire City Potters Altered Centerpiece -$108 – Buy Now

3) Palm Frond Cuff Bracelet by Gogo Ferguson at the Morris Museum Store – $75

4) Men’s Augusta, Georgia Wind Jacket at the Augusta Visitor Center- $92

Around $50

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1) Tire City Potters Green Parafin Oil Lamp – $53 – Buy Now

2) Ronaldo Infinity Bracelet at The Swank Co. - $50

3) Blown Glass Votive Holder by Loretta Eby at Art on Broad - $32

4) Gourmet Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar set from High Country Olive Oils - $30 – $55 – Buy Now

Around $25

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1) Tire City Potters Faceted White Bowl – $28 – Buy Now

2) Fruitland Augusta Peach Tea Vodka at White Horse – $25

3) Stain Glass Peaches by Schweitzer Art Glass at the Augusta Visitor Center – $16

4) Jewelry by Popli Tin at Art on Broad – $15 – $26

Local Store Information:

Art on Broad – 1028 Broad Street, Augusta Ga – (706) 722-1028

Augusta Visitor Center – 560 Reynolds Street, Augusta Ga – (706) 724-4067

High Country Olive Oils – 343 Highland Avenue, Augusta Ga – (706) 854-0055

Low Country Clothier – 426 Furys Ferry Road, Augusta Ga – (706) 869-4230

Morris Museum of Art Store – 1 Tenth Street, Augusta Ga – (706) 724-7501

The Swank Co. – 391 Highland Avenue, Augusta Ga – (706) 364-3421

Tire City Potters – 210 Tenth Street, Augusta Ga – (706) 294-3871

White Horse Wine & Spirits – 497 Highland Avenue, Augusta Ga – (706) 733-2262

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.

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