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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.

Makin’ Faces at Tire City Potters

Have you ever heard of a face jug? I hadn’t. At least, not until the folks over at Tire City Potters taught my coworkers and I how to make one!

Shishir, Sydney and Harrison were so friendly and such good teachers!

Before and after of my face jug. It was inspired by a drawing that hung on the wall!

Everyone's jugs turned out very differently and really showed off our personalities.

Making the face jugs only took two(ish) hours for us. The total time pretty much depends on your group and how detailed you want to be! Afterwards, they glaze and fire the face jug for you and you get to keep it! The glaze/fire process takes a few days. So now it feels like the week before Christmas – I just can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Tire City Potters is right across the street from Rooster's Beak and The Bee's Knees on 10th Street downtown.

I’m already making plans to go back – TO SHOP! They’ve got lots of glazed pottery (think coffee mugs, bowls, vases, and vessels) along with local art for sale. I can think of a few of my friends and family who would LOVE to get locally made pottery as a gift, but I’ve gotta be honest – some of it will probably end up living at my house!

Tire City Potters

210-B 10th Street, Augusta GA 30901

(706) 294-3871

Hours:

Tue – Fri: 1:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Sat: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Cudos to you!

If you are looking for the perfect gift or home decor, you must check out Cudo’s! Cudo’s is the best gift store in town! They also have a florist located in their shop. At Cudo’s you will find gifts for everyone at any age. They carry name brands such as Vera Bradley, Waterford, Dept.56, etc., collegiate gifts, jewelry, holiday decorations, invitations, and much more! They also provide engraving and monogramming. Cudo’s has been voted the best gift store five years in a row! This is a must see shop that you do not want to miss. If nothing else, just stop in to check out their Christmas trees..they have many trees, all with a different theme! Anytime I need a gift for someone or even an idea for my home, Cudo’s is the first place I go!!

The A List

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

November 5

Just in time to see all the beautiful fall colors, take a hike through Phinizy Swamp this weekend for Swamp Saturday! A trained volunteer will guide you through an 2.5 mile hike through the trails at Phinizy. And best of all, it’s FREE! Make sure you bring your camera!

 

November 11 – 13

The clock has begun ticking down for the holidays and Christmas Made in the South is the perfect opportunity to get some early gift shopping done. All those hard to buy for friends and family will be happily surprised! One of our favorite things about Christmas Made in the South is the free samples – so your taste buds will be happy too!

 

November 11, 12, 18, 19 & December 2 – 3

 In the South, we take our annual Christmas pageants very seriously. Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre’s Christmas Belles takes an annual Christmas play, throws in three crazy sisters, a vengeful sheep, and a family secret to create one holiday show you won’t forget!

 

November 17

The holidays make us think of warm cookies, hot chocolate, fireplaces, beautiful decorations, caroling and family.  Savor the sounds, smells, and tastes of the season at Sacred Heart Cultural Center during the annual Holiday Open House.

 

November 26 – 28

 This Thanksgiving weekend, you can spend an evening with your family at the historic Imperial Theatre for a night of magic and sugar plum fairies during The Nutcracker. Dance Augusta’s grand production has become a local favorite and a holiday tradition in Augusta.

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.

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