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November 2013 Weekend Whirl

We all need a little weekend getaway to keep things fun and to relax a little. November in Augusta, Ga brings cooler weather and bright fall colors along the Augusta Riverwalk and the Canal. Start planning your weekend whirl for November 8 – 10, 2013. Click here to see which hotels are available for the weekend.

What to do: Whether you want to learn about Augusta’s past, explore outside or celebrate culture, Augusta has lots of new experiences to offer.

Learn about the role Augusta played during the Civil War. Dr. Stephen Berry, associate professor of history and Gregory Chair in the Civil War Era at the University of Georgia presents: Lincolns and Todds: A House Divided on Friday evening.  The program continues on Saturday at the Morris Museum with a series of lectures and performances by noted historians.  View a special exhibition of Civil War themed artworks in the education gallery. Advanced registration required for Saturday.

Enjoy the fifty shades of autumn along the Augusta Canal. Sid Mullis, UGA Extension service for Richmond County, and Judy Gordon, Ph.D., botanist at GRU, lead a walk along the canal that celebrates the fall season. Augusta’s autumn colors often peak in early to mid-November. Falling leaves reveal species you might not otherwise notice. Admission is $2. Visit AugustaCanal.com for more information.

Immerse yourself in Native American culture. Phinizy Swamp Nature Park will host the Oka’ Chaffa Indian Festival and celebrate Native American culture with live Native American dances and songs, storytellers, wildlife displays, live buffalo, arts and crafts, and a Living Tipi Village. Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children (ages 6-12). For more info, visit NaturalSciencesAcademy.org.

Where to shop: You won’t have to worry that someone at a holiday party has the same necklace as you. You won’t have to give your dad another tie as a gift either – when you shop at Augusta’s local boutiques and stores.

Get swanky home swag with Southern charm. Capture a bit of Southern sass for your home with fun picture frames, quirky wall art and lots of cute accessories and stocking stuffers at The Swank Co.

Build a better library. Spend a little time chatting with the friendly folks at The Book Tavern about your favorite authors or books and let them make suggestions for what to read next! Or browse through their selection of new, used and rare books on your own to see what you discover. We promise it’s not your average chain book store experience!

Get an Augusta hoodie to take home. Cooler weather means it’s time to break out the hoodies! You’ll have plenty to choose from along with men’s polos, hats, sunglasses and lots more Augusta themed gifts at the Augusta Visitor Center located inside the Augusta Museum of History.

What to eat: The local food scene in Augusta makes it hard to choose – but here are a few suggestions. You can always come back another weekend and try more!

Fish & Chips. Augusta’s local English-style pub – Boar’s Head Public House – serves up a mean fish & chips dish along with other English pub food like bangers & mash and Sheppard’s Pie. After dinner, stick around and play darts or chess with an imperial pint of British ale.

Soul Food & Sweet Tea. The Cotton Patch takes comfort food seriously. Classics like fried pork chops and macaroni & cheese are served up on big plates with generous portions. They also believe sweet tea is an art – you won’t find a better brew anywhere around town.

Spaghetti & Meatballs. Luigi’s has been a downtown establishment since 1949. Take a bite of their spaghetti & meatballs with garlic bread and you’ll know why. Don’t make any plans after dinner. You’ll leave happy and full – the perfect combination for a nap!

Want more info? Visit www.AugustaGa.org for a full calendar of events and list of restaurants and attractions.

Check off your Fall Bucket List in Augusta

I don’t know about you, but Fall makes me want to walk among the changing leaves, listen to ghost tales and warm up with a hot cup of coffee or hot cider. With that in mind, I made my Fall Bucket list with lots of fun ways to celebrate the changing of the season in Augusta! Below, you’ll find helpful links so that you can start planning your Augusta adventure too!

1. Make a Forever Pumpkin at Tire City Potters: https://www.facebook.com/tcpotters

2. Admire the changing colors along the Riverwalk: http://www.augustaga.org/Things-to-Do/Attractions/Augusta-Riverwalk

3. Go on a spooky adventure with the Augusta Ghost Trolley: https://www.facebook.com/AugustaGhostTrolley

4. Take a moonlight hike through Phinizy Swamp: http://naturalsciencesacademy.org/calendar/

5. Eat pumpkin muffins from New Moon Cafe: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-New-Moon-Cafe/461891810716

6. Drink hot coffee from Buona Caffe: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Buona-Caffe-Artisan-Roasted-Coffee/419877860272

7. Visit The Maize at Steed’s Dairy: http://www.steedsdairy.com/projects.html

See you soon!

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.

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.

Swamp Boys

It was a perfect Saturday for a bug hunt. The boys were getting tired of the typical backyard bugs. So we loaded up and in 15 minutes were at the Swamp. Located 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.

But today we were here in search of the summer dragonflies. With net and hat in place – we were off on the Cattail Trial to search for dragonfly. Once we hit the trail, the bugs were everywhere and the kids could not have been happier. I enjoyed the change in scenery as well.

It is sometimes hard to believe this fantastic preserve is just down the street. As much net swiping was going on, we had not caught anything. No one seemed too upset. We were sitting in the shade in one of the outdoor classrooms when a dragonfly came up to William. He was so excited. It was a beautiful green dragonfly, we had also seen a few blue ones. I was pretty sure this was all about the hunt and not so much about the capture. That was fine with me since at the swamp does not want to you bother any of the creatures at the park anyway. When it came down to it, my bug hunters were only interested in looking at the bugs and not the least bit interested in capturing or touching them.

We also saw lots of beautiful vegetation along the paths – magnolia, some raspberries and other unidentified plants. The trails are really great with lots of information along the way. There are several good spots for picnics. We only explored two trails on this day. There are so many different trials to take. Some are good for bikes, some are good for running and of course some are good for bug safaris with two little boys.

Natural Sciences Academy Phinizy Swamp Nature Park

1858 Lock & Dam Road
Augusta-Richmond County, Ga 30901

Open Dawn to dusk: Every Day Free to public

706-828-2109

www.naturalsciencesacademy.org

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