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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.


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!


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.

Elduets Treasures of the World

One of my favorite shops in downtown Augusta is Elduets Treasures of the World. I sort of stumbled upon it one weekend when I had friends from out of town visiting and I was showing them around downtown. Little did I know, I’d find a few discoveries of my own that day!  The shop was immediately intriguing to me, since they had all sorts of things in the shop window and who doesn’t love ‘treasures’?  When we first walked in, I didn’t really know where to start. It’s not overwhelming, there are just so many different things to look at.  They have everything from sculptures and recycled artwork to candles and organic, fair trade coffees and teas.  I found some great handmade jewelry there recently for a birthday gift and the earrings were a hit!    

Elduets is located between the 11th and 12th Street block on Broad Street and is open Monday through Friday from Noon to 5:30 and 10 a.m. to 5:30 on Saturdays. They also stay open late on First Fridays! If you’re into rare gifts and treats, you should definitely check it out. It really is a unique place in Downtown Augusta.

Fresh finds at the Saturday Market

Saturday was a beautiful, warm and sunny day in Augusta. My mom and I decided to take advantage of this weather and visit Augusta’s Saturday Market on the River. The market is located at the Riverwalk entrance on 8th Street at Reynolds Street and is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. from April through October.

The market was filled with people who came out to see dozens of local vendors, farmers and artisans all gathered in one location selling their treasures. All products sold are locally grown or locally made. This is fantastic because I was able to ask the vendors exactly where the fruits and vegetables I was about to buy came from. Can you get this kind of information or freshness at Wal-Mart? I think not. 

I bought several fresh strawberries and peaches, two of my favorites! But the fresh squash and zucchini looked just as delish! My mom bought some red, juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes.

There are also vendors selling several different species of plants, annual and perennial flowers, ornamental grasses and shrubs, ferns, vines and even trees. I purchased a couple of trailing Lantanas, which look pretty in my back yard! Knowing absolutely nothing about gardening, I found the people at Griffin’s Nursery very helpful when I asked about caring for my Lantanas.

There are also artisan and artistic vendors. You can find hand-crafted and hand-painted birdhouses, handmade jewelry, hand sewn children’s clothes, accessories and more!

With so much to do and see at the Saturday Market by the River you are bound to work-up an appetite. No worries! Food vendors are there to serve you. You can sample homemade pastries and breads, grilled chicken, boiled or roasted peanuts and even cupcakes! The bacon and spinach quiche I had from Lily’s Bakery was to die for!

We had a great time at Saturday Market by the River and I plan on going each and every Saturday to see what is new. Hope to see you there!

Saturday Market on the River

Riverwalk at 8th Street & Reynolds


Artists’ Row – Downtown Augusta

Guest Blog Submission by Lori Cogan, Bristol, VA

I am an artist at heart. If I could quit my marketing job tomorrow, I’d grow out my gray hair, put it in a bun on top of my head, don a smock, and turn my home office into a studio. Ah, well, that will have to wait another decade or so. In the meantime, I enjoy the artistic endeavors of others. And if it’s really good, I just revel in it.

Such was the case when I ventured through Artist’s Row shops and studios in downtown Augusta last week. 

Artists’ Row was started in 1994 as part of Augusta’s revitalization project in the historic buildings along Broad Street. According to their website, www.augustaartistsrow, Galleries, working art studios, specialty shops, restaurants and coffee houses have flourished in the beautiful historic district. There are close to a dozen shops that are part of this destination shopping experience.


A couple truly stood out for me. A quiet walk through Gallery on the Row admiring the original jewelry, paintings and handcrafts turned into a party when we got to the display of Margaret Ann Smith’s work. My colleague Melissa and I literally started jumping up and down clapping at what hung on the wall before us. It was a riot of color—and the style was part Dali, part Escher, part Van Gough—yet all Margaret Ann Smith. What was most delightful was that her artwork depicted historic, architectural and happy scenes all around Augusta. The gallery manager was happy to tell us all about the artist, which gave us a deeper appreciation for the work. Our favorite was titled, “Round Midnight at the Clock, ” but we loved them all. We promptly bought a set of all the images printed on note cards.

I also enjoyed every moment I spent in Art on Broad, especially talking with owner. It’s evident she loves her artists and their work brings her daily joy. She gushed right along with me about some of the pieces I was admiring out loud. And I could tell she wasn’t just being polite.

There were little pieces of art easy to buy—great tiny finds—like button rings for $2 and beautifully textured clay magnets 3 for $12. When I picked a couple of rings as fun gifts to bring home to friends, the owner insisted on boxing and bagging them beautifully with tissue as if they cost 20 times as much.

On the other end of the investment scale were gorgeous painted canvases, unique copper bricks covered with graphics and inspirational messages, whimsical colorful pottery…and so much more. There were items priced in-between, as well, of course. Melissa purchased a beeswax honey pot candleholder for her mother. A quirky clock insisted I take it home. It now hangs in my office, a reminder that someday it will hang in my own art studio. And that makes me smile.


I highly recommend a trip to Artist’s Row. It’s just the right place to find something that will make you smile. And when you do…take it home. It will be time and money so very well spent.

Artists’ Row
Broad Street – Downtown Augusta, Georgia


My ‘Holiday’ Saturday in Downtown Augusta

It was another beautiful Saturday in Augusta, so I decided to phone a friend and see if she wanted to head to Downtown Augusta with me for the  bi-monthly Saturday market. She said yes, so off we went!

The Augusta Common was filled with several unique local vendors. There were homemade baked goods by Lily’s Bakery & Cafe located in Evans, handmade pottery made right here in Augusta by Tire City Potters, an array of salads such as cucumber salad and pasta salads prepared by Paulette’s Best Foods Inc. in Waynesboro, several handmade jewelry and apparel booths and stunning college, golf and historic Augusta art painted by Scott McPherson & Associates Art Distributors.

The event was fun for adults and children alike. There were several activities especially for the little ones, such as, a clown who could make balloon animals and writing and mailing letters to Santa. My friend’s daughter had just as much fun as we did!

This Saturday in Downtown Augusta was filled with so much excitement, because this particular day there was also the Miss Augusta Fantasy Parade and the Christmas Light Up Spectacular. The parade featured many friendly faces that everyone in the Augusta area knows and loves and our area school bands. Immediately following the parade there were even more family fun activities and entertainment in the Augusta Commons.

An excellent conclusion to this fabulous Saturday was the lighting of Downtown Augusta by Mayor Deke Copenhaver once the sun went down.  It was a great time had by all who were in attendance

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