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October Weekend Whirl

We all need a little weekend getaway to keep things fun and to relax a little. October in Augusta, Ga brings cooler weather and bright fall colors along the Augusta Riverwalk and the Canal. Start planning your weekend whirl for October 18 – 20, 2013. Click here to see which hotels are available for the weekend.

What to do: It’s all about enjoying the cool weather and exploring outside this month!

Take a Moonlight Music Cruise. Enjoy an early fall cruise down the Augusta Canal with live music on the Petersburg Boat by Brandon Cocker.  Food and drink is allowed on-board, so grab a bottle of wine or your favorite drink and a few snacks for the trip. Click here to reserve your seats online.

Weave your way through The Maize at Steed’s Dairy. Pick a pumpkin from the patch, wind your way through the corn maze, take a hay ride and enjoy candy apples and hot cider – it doesn’t get much more fall than this! $10 gets you into everything except the corn cannon (those are $1 per shot). Visit SteedsDairy.com for more information.

Experience what life was like during Colonial Times. North Augusta’s Living History Park brings the colonial period from 1735 – 1785 to life with demonstrations and living exhibits. Try your hand at colonial dances or see if you’re fit to join the militia. Since Colonial Times is free – you’ll have some extra cash to do a little shopping later! For more info, visit ColonialTimes.us.

Where to shop: Augusta has lots of unique shops where you can find one of a kind gifts, clothes and more!

Get your vintage fix. Vintage Ooollee is located in the heart of Downtown Augusta on Broad Street. You’ll find vintage clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women.

Get “the look” for less. Vignettes is a women and teen clothing boutique. The best part? Everything in the store is under $80! So grab everything you need to recreate your favorite fall look without breaking the bank.

Get an Augusta t-shirt to take home. Who doesn’t love t-shirts? 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. When you stop in to get your ticket for the Trolley Tour, make sure you take a look and take something home!

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!

Tacos & Beer. Sound good? Then try Nacho Mama’s – a quick-serve funky little local favorite serving up creative burritos, nachos, tacos and quesadillas along with cold beer. And don’t forget the cheese dip or fresh guacamole.

Burgers & Shakes. This classic combo just got a whole lot better than your average fast food joint can serve up. Farmhaus Burgers uses fresh, farm-to-table ingredients to make burgers loaded with flavor and lots of personality. Add to that a fresh, thick & creamy shake made with local ingredients and you’ve got a match made in burger paradise.

Cake & Coffee. Imagine a cake that’s a foot tall with lots of moist layers and sweet icing paired with the perfect cup of locally roasted coffee. Now open your eyes – you’re at the Boll Weevil! Cakes are baked fresh daily and the coffee is locally roasted in Augusta and is so smooth you won’t need sugar or creamer. You’ll leave on a cloud of sugar and caffeine – and that’s a promise!

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

See you soon!

Augusta Calendar of Events: 9/19 – 10/6

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.

I’m On A Boat!

We loaded up the boys this Sunday afternoon for a quick cruise along the Savannah River. And of course, once you commit to the boat ride it will rain. We had a cloud settle over us at the beginning of the trip, but hey who is scared of getting a little wet when riding in a boat.

It was a great ride, which took us through along downtown Augusta. We had a great view of the Jessye Norman Amphitheatre on the Augusta Riverwalk. You can also see the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center in the back ground.

Next it was the Augusta Marina with plenty of house boats.

By this time one rider had decided on a nap.

Jacob missed seeing the 5th Street Bridge with the marking of several different crew teams from across the East. The teams come down to do Spring Training along the Savannah River. They love the calm water and warmer temps.

There was plenty of activity on the river today. Several folk’s wakeboarding and knee boarding. William loved the kayakers.

And a few just taking in the beauty of the Savannah River – just like us on this Sunday afternoon.

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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