Welcome to Visit Augusta GA blog

More than Golf!

When I was a little kid I hated being cooped inside the house. I always wanted to be outside playing, and the same applies today. Luckily I live in Augusta, Ga. where outdoor recreation is just around the river bend…literally!

In the south, we are fortunate enough to have warmer temperatures during most of the year, which means we get to spend a lot of time outside! Here are some of the outdoor recreational opportunities Augusta offers. Be prepared to be surprised, and many places are free!



The Augusta Canal and Towpath

Built in 1845 to harness the water of the Savannah River and produce hydroelectricity to power mills, the Augusta Canal is still in use today. Its smooth waters make it an excellent place for a canoe or kayak adventure. Don’t have a kayak or canoe? There are retailers close by! And its 8.5 miles long towpath is ideal for walking or riding bikes. Pets are welcome.

J. Strom Thurmond LakeIt’s the largest man-made lake east of the Mississippi River. There are several parks and swimming beaches, hiking trails and camping areas. You can also rent boats and jet skis for the day. It is also home to the International Disc Golf Hall of Fame.

Lake Olmstead/Julian Smith ParkIt’s a lake front park which makes it perfect for boating, fishing and picnics. The Augusta GreenJackets, Augusta’s minor league baseball team play at Lake Olmstead Stadium during the season (April through September). Try your hand at one of several disc golf courses. One is located in the park. Disc golf is similar to ball golf, but you use discs/Frisbees and try to throw them into a basket to make par. Pretty simple concept. Fun and free if you own discs!

Phinizy Swamp Nature ParkLocated on 1100 acres and just minutes from downtown Augusta, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park offers visitors the chance to see blue heron, red-shouldered hawk, otter, alligator and the elusive bobcat in their natural settings. Participate in guided tours or venture out on your own. This park is also free.

Savannah River and Augusta Riverwalk

Personal  watercraft vehicles are available to rent. Also a great place for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. The Augusta Riverwalk runs parallel to the Savannah River. Its two-tiered paved trail runs for three blocks downtown. It features a children’s playground, picnic tables and various gardens.

Augusata Canal Boat Tour and Picnic

Need something unique to do while in town? Take a tour of the Augusta Canal on a Petersburg boat. You can learn about some of Augusta’s history along the canal while observing birds and wildlife. My favorite thing about this tour is that you can bring along your own picnic basket and beverages to enjoy on the boat. This is an attraction you do not want to miss while you are in Augusta.  Call the Canal Interpretive Center at (706)823-0440 to make your reservations today!

Cream of the Kroc

Have you been to the Kroc Center yet? If not, what the heck are you waiting for? It’s amazing! Tours are offered daily on the hour.

The Kroc Center has a very interesting story, for more information on how the Kroc Center operates please click on the link below and check out their informational video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4r2hTeb_pQ

When you first walk in you are greeted by the friendly staff at the reception desk. Tell them you’d like a tour. Whether you are interested in meeting space, aquatics, aerobics, arts and education, group fitness, performing arts or practically anything, the Kroc has something for you! Want to actually experience what the Kroc has to offer and not just tour it? No problem! The Kroc Center offers day passes for only $5 and children three and under are free! And of course, memberships are available.

If you’re looking for a gym that’s great for the entire family, you’ve found it here! Check out this fly through video of the facility! WARNING – prepare to be awed!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXp59d4J0Ok&feature=player_embedded

The Kroc Center has a fitness area that has state of the art aerobic and strength/weight training equipment.

They also offer a remarkable aquatics center which has lap lanes, a water slide, a lazy river, outdoor sun decks and more!


There are several options for meeting space in the Kroc Center, there’s a gymnasium, board/meeting rooms, a performing arts theatre, banquet hall, six acre green space that backs up to the Augusta Canal (for outdoor functions) and party rooms for the little ones’ birthday celebrations. The possibilities are endless. They also offer an in-house catering service, experiences technicians who can help manage all of your audio, video and lighting needs and business and marketing services are all offered.

Want more information about the Kroc Center? Give them a call at (706) 364-KROC or visit the facility for a tour at 1833 Broad Street  Augusta, GA 30904

The Kroc Center
Hours of Operation:
MON-FRI 5:00 am-10:00 pm
SAT 7:00 am-6:00 pm


SUN 1:00 pm-6:00 pm

Weekend Whirl

“Whirl (N): a rapid round of events, affairs, etc”

We all need a little mini-vacation sometimes and a weekend whirl to freshen things up is always fun. So whether your planning a weekend trip to visit Augusta or looking to show visiting friends and family a good time, this is a fun itinerary that has a few of my favorite things to do.

Friday Night

Get a taste of Augusta’s downtown dining scene. There’s something to please everyone’s taste buds. Feeling adventurous? Try Bees Knees – this tapas style restaurant adds Southern flair to international dishes.

Get a shot of Augusta’s downtown nightlife. While you’re out and about, enjoy live Indie bands, bar bands, and drink specials downtown. A few of my favorite hot spots are Sky City, Soul Bar, Metro Pub and Stillwater Taproom.

   If you’re in town the first Friday of the month, go and enjoy the First Friday festival in the Augusta Commons area. It’s one of my favorite things to do on a Friday night. You’ll find live performances, music, art, vintage cars, fair food and more. Many of the downtown businesses host special First Friday events as well.

Saturday

Get a look at the local market. Take advantage of the cool morning weather and stroll down to the Saturday Market on the River. Grab a freshly roasted and brewed cup of coffee and some locally grown fruit to snack on for a light breakfast while you peruse the work of local artists and are serenaded by local jazz musicians.

Get some grub. Since you had a light breakfast, grab a good lunch—there are lots of cafes and restaurants to choose from. One of my favorite lunch spots is New Moon Café. They offer a good variety of soups, sandwiches and Panini’s that are made with fresh, and mostly local, ingredients.

Get on a trolley. Hop on the Lady Liberty trolley for the Saturday Historic Trolley Tour. Hear the legend of the Haunted Pillar and Civil War stories. Learn about the bones in the Old Medical College basement and a rambunctious boy who grew up in Augusta and became a U.S. President. Tour historic downtown and get a feel for all the unique shops and restaurants that you want to visit and more! Sound like fun? Make sure you call ahead  (706-724-4067) and make reservations at least 24 hours in advance.

Get a glimpse of nature. Rent a canoe, pontoon boat, or jetski from the Riverwalk Marina before setting off for a self-guided nature cruise down the beautiful Savannah River. If you prefer to hand over the captain’s hat, try an Augusta Canal Cruise so you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Get some seafood. Before you head out for a night on the town, stop by Rinehart’s Oyster Bar for a “beyond casual” experience and enjoy fresh, simple seafood. My favorite thing on the menu is their fresh oysters, of course!

Get your groove on. A short drive down the road from Rinehart’s, you’ll find the Country Club Dance Hall and Saloon. Grab a friend and hit the dance floor. If you’re feelin’ lucky, go try and grab a balloon during the balloon drop and see if you’ve won a prize!

Sunday

Get to sleep late. After a late night, if you’re like me, you’ll want to sleep in a little. But don’t worry, you can still make it in time to enjoy “Augusta’s Best Sunday Brunch” at the Partridge Inn. Cheesy grits, bacon, biscuits and gravy, omelets, muffins, fresh fruit…you name it, they’ve got it!

Get a piece of Southern art. Take some time to explore the Morris Museum of Art. It’s the first museum that is dedicated to Southern art and works of Southern artists. Admission into the Morris is free on Sundays.

Get something to take home with you. I never leave someplace without doing a little shopping first. Augusta has tons of cool shops for you to check out. Downtown you can hit Artists Row—a group of galleries and studios that sell local art and hand-made jewelry, The Book Tavern—a little bookstore packed full of new, used and rare books, Vintage Ooollee—a vintage clothing and accessories boutique, and any of the quirky antique shops—my favorite thing about antique shops is you never know what you’ll find!  

Looking for someplace to stay? Check out our hotel listings to see which Augusta hotel best fits your style and budget.

Augusta, Georgia in St. Augustine.

It was a recent trip back from visiting my family in Florida when we discovered Augusta in St. Augustine, Florida. We stopped at the Castillo de San Marcos in downtown St. Augustine. The fort was built to protect and defend Spain’s claims in the New World.

 Today it is a National Park and a great place for kids to run around and learn hands-on about history. The Castillo still stands today – undefeated after 330 years of colonial warfare and intrigue. The reason could be because of the 16th century technology centered on black powder. I tell you all this because Augusta, Georgia is where they got their black powder or gunpowder during the Civil War.

The fort has plenty of ammunition and weapons on display – cannons, cannonballs and rifles. But in a special case downstairs is a small bag of ammunition stamped “Augusta, Georgia.” It was a great discovery.

The history of the Augusta Confederate Powder Works thanks to the National Parks Service: At the beginning of the Civil War gunpowder supplies for the Confederate armies were insufficient.

In 1861 Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, charged Colonel George Washington Rains with solving this issue by creating a local supply of gunpowder. Rains chose the flat lands by the Augusta Canal as the most suitable site for making the much needed gunpowder. He named Major Charles Shaler Smith as architect to design the Confederate Powder Works. The Confederate Powder Works, the only permanent edifice constructed by the Confederate States of America, was in operation until April 1865. During its lifetime, the facility produced approximately 7,000 pounds of gunpowder per day for a final total of 2,750,000 pounds. The Augusta Powder Works produced enough gunpowder to fully meet the needs of the Confederate armies and still retained a surplus of 70,000 pounds at the end of the war.

Click here for more information:
http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/augusta/sibleymill.html

There is a lot to learn in Augusta about the Civil War even though a battle was never fought in Augusta. And apparently there is a little something to learn about Augusta in St. Augustine, Florida.

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