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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.

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

Art Goes Social

This year’s Social Canvas is coming! It will be held Sunday, May 6th on the Riverwalk in front of the Morris Museum of Art. Check out last year’s blog about Social Canvas:

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Last weekend the Morris Museum of Art held its third annual Social Canvas event. The first thing you need to know about Social Canvas is that it is AWESOME! The second thing you need to know about Social Canvas is that it is FREE!

So, WHAT IS SOCIAL CANVAS?

Sound like fun? It should! If you have kids, they will adore all the art projects that they can be a part of; including painting on the massive canvas that’s appropriately titled the “Social Canvas!”

WHAT DO YOU DO?

If you’re like me and going alone or with a friend, there’s plenty for you to enjoy. Artists. Live music. Breakdancing. The Artisan Market. Art Projects. Did I mention the live music and breakdancing?

At the Artisan Market you can find anything from hand sculpted ceramic bowls, vases and sculptures to handmade jewlery and accesories, local photography and even hand sewn clothing. After I made my rounds and spent my hard earned money on FABULOUS finds in the market, I headed over to one of the art projects and tried my (decidedly unartistic) hand at screen poster making.

          

For those of you who have never tried screening a poster, it’s a step by step process-NOT at all like what I’m used to, which is creating a digital file and hitting “print.” The result is a beautiful, layered print with lots of bright colors and TONS of personality.

While waiting on each layer of my poster to dry, I sat under a tree with a sweet tea and listened to The Favors. I’d never heard them play before, although I have seen where they are frequent guests at Sky City- a local bar and indie music venue. Two words to describe them…smooth and catchy!

At the end of the day, I felt….well, sunburned (next year I’ll bring sunscreen) but also incredibly satisfied. For a self-admitted NON-artist, I had created an awesome poster, watched as local artists created paintings inspired by the atmosphere, listened to great music, boosted the local economy and left with a bag full of one-of-a-kind jewelry and art.

I grabbed a free sticker on the way out that says “I Experienced Art at the Morris.” Until you do something like this, you don’t really appreciate that phrase, so GO! EXPERIENCE! The Morris puts on events all the time-ranging from independent films, workshops, readings,  even cooking demos! It is always reasonably priced or free and most definitely worth a visit!

Morris Museum of Art

1 Tenth St.

Augusta, GA 30901

Tire City Potters

Downtown Augusta has lots of little hidden gems, just waiting for you to stumble up on them. Tire City Potters, is one such gem!  Situated in an old garage, this pottery studio is a lot more than meets the eye.  If you’re enjoying a First Friday downtown or strolling down 10th Street after a delicious meal at the Rooster’s Beak or Bee’s Knees you might find yourself wandering into Tire City.

When the large garage doors are open, the studio is quite inviting.  Earlier this week, I was enjoying Taco Tuesday at the Rooster’s Beak across the street. Since the weather was so nice we sat outside while we ate and watched the crowd at the pottery studio.  Our out of town guests were quite curious, so after supper we decided to pop in and see what we could find.

These skull and crossbones mugs would make a perfect gift for even the most macho coffee aficionado!

There is quite a wide variety of pottery from vases and platters, to business card holders and tea kettles.

My favorite were these tiny pinch pots!  I bought a few for Christmas gifts, as they would be perfect finger bowls, salt keepers, or jewelry holders!

If you are downtown and the lights are on, stop by and check out Tire City, you might just find something amazing!

Tire City Potters
210 B 10th Street
Augusta, GA 30901
(706) 294-3871

Hispanic Festival

Note: This blog was written last year after the Hispanic Festival. The 2011 Hispanic Festival is this weekend – October 8th & 9th.

Augusta is home to many different festivals, celebrating all sorts of different things. Each year in the fall the Hispanic American Cultural Association in Augusta hosts a weekend-long festival celebrating Hispanic heritage in Augusta.  A couple of weeks ago I decided to check out the Hispanic Festival. I love festivals, especially all the food!  This year there were food vendors from fifteen different Spanish speaking countries.

Everything smelled so good that it was hard to choose what to eat!  There were also plenty of choices for refreshments like pina coladas and fresh squeezed lemonade from the lemon truck.

The Augusta Common is always really lively during festivals and events like First Friday. There were a ton of folks enjoying the day along with the fantastic food and music.  I also found a fantastic pair of earrings for $5 at one of the vendors’ tents!

I had such a great time that I’m looking forward to the Hispanic Festival again next year!

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