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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.

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.

PI Bar and Grill

It was such a busy and fun filled weekend that when Sunday rolled around no one felt like cooking . The solution to this problem? The prestigious Partridge Inn’s PI Bar and Grill’s Sunday Brunch! It has been voted Best Brunch in Augusta by its residents for several years and held onto its title in 2010. It’s both  impressive and delicious!

The atmosphere of the Partridge Inn is incomparable to any other place in Augusta. It is located in the beautiful and historic Summerville neighborhood and sits on a hill, which offers a stunning view of Downtown Augusta.

It offers traditional breakfast  foods such as: bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy and grits.

There is even an omelet station where a chef will make your omelet any way you would like it!

Because the Partridge Inn is known for its southern cuisine, homemade macaroni and cheese and collard greens can be found on the buffet! And I must admit, these dishes rival my grandma’s collards and macaroni and cheese, and that  is not an easy feat in my opinion.

They also have fresh fruit  and various fresh salads.

Fresh shrimp and mussels are also on the buffet.

And also desserts! Try some cheesecake, pecan pie or various fruit cobblers.

 Not the mention the live entertainment created the perfect atmosphere.

The PI Bar and Grill not only offers a fabulous Sunday Brunch, but has several other specials during the week. Including live Jazz entertainment on Friday nights with free cover, martini Mondays, Wine Down Wednesdays and more. Not to mention it serves breakfast, lunch buffet and dinner daily.

The PI Bar and Grill
2110 Walton Way
(706) 396-2620
(706) 737-8888
http://www.partridgeinn.com/dining/bar_grill.cfm

Planning a Wedding in Augusta, Georgia

I recently got married in my hometown of Augusta, GA. While planning a wedding takes lots of time, and can be stressful-it was worth it in the end!

There are so many places to choose from to get married in Augusta. The city offers many churches, downtown venues, historic sites, hotels, and even an old firehouse. My family hosted my bridal brunch at the beautiful and historic Partridge Inn. This is a Southern hotel that dates back 100 years and is still the splendor of the South!

We decided to have our rehearsal dinner at Enterprise Mill, located downtown on the Augusta Canal. This was the perfect place to enjoy the historic mill, while also enjoying the sites of the canal.

We chose the church I grew up in, The Hill Baptist Church, located in Summerville, for the ceremony site. Last, we decided on The River Room located on the Savannah River in historic St Paul’s Church for our reception site. We wanted to incorporate as many features that Augusta has to offer.

There are also many wonderful vendors to choose from when deciding who to use for your caterer, cake, flowers, band/DJ, photographer/videographer, wedding dress/tux, gifts for your attendants and everything else! Also, here at the Augusta CVB we can help you with reserving hotel rooms for your out of town guests at a discounted rate, and help with locating a venue for any of your wedding events.

So, if you or someone you know is thinking about getting married here in Augusta, the opportunities are endless and I can assure you, you will be happy with any choice here in Augusta. Happy Wedding Planning!!!

May Survey's from Facebook Fans

Every Monday we survey our Facebook Fans. Here are some of the results of the surveys from this month.

Where can you get the best seafood in Augusta?

Island Seafood

Old McDonald’s Fish Camp

French Market Grille

Bonefish Grill (2 votes)

Rae’s Coastal Cafe (2 votes)

Sheehan’s Irish Pub (3 votes)

T’s Restaurant (4 votes)

And the winner is Rhinehart’s Oyster Bar with 6 votes.

Who serves the best Sunday brunch in Augusta?

Crums on Central

Manuel’s Bread Cafe

Casa Blanca Cafe

And the winner is The Partridge Inn with 3 votes.

What is your favorite thing to do in Augusta during the summer?

Attend events downtown

Hangout on the Riverwalk

Go to a GreenJackets baseball game (2 votes)

Augusta Canal Boat Tour (2 votes)

And the winner is Go to the lake with 10 votes.

100 Years of the Partridge Inn in Augusta

One of the most unique places to stay in Augusta is the Partridge Inn. Originally built as a private residence and eventually renovated to be the hotel that it is today, the Partridge Inn displays true Southern Hospitality.  Their Sunday brunch is raved about nearly as much as their attention to detail and feeling of ‘home away from home’ that they offer each and every guest.

Last week, we had the opportunity to take part in the 100 Year Celebration Luncheon of the Partridge Inn. It is amazing to think that this Augusta landmark has been around an entire century.  Everyone at our table was saying how much they wished the walls could talk, since there’s no telling what they have seen in 100 years including many Masters weeks and numerous weddings and celebrations.

Lunch was delicious! We enjoyed their famous fried chicken along with some sweet tea and bread pudding for dessert, which is always a treat. As a part of the celebration, various organizations in Augusta were invited to bring an item for the Partridge Inn time capsule to be opened after the next hundred years.  Each person who had something to put in the box explained what they were putting into the time capsule  was and told everyone their favorite Partridge Inn memory.  There were all sorts of items put into the box: a declaration from the Mayor, vintage photographs from the earlier days of the hotel, and  a copy of the April issue of Augusta Magazine, which always features the Masters Tournament.  The CVB decided to place a visitor guide and a few  other local brochures in the box.  Maybe in another 100 years the folks who open the box will be curious to see what tourists were interested in during 2010!

The 100 Year Celebration will be ongoing throughout all of 2010 at  the hotel. If you have never stayed at the Partridge Inn you are missing out.  Even if you are a local and aren’t looking for somewhere to spend the night, you should stop by for lunch or Jazz Night sometime-you won’t regret it!

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