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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.

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. October in Augusta, Ga ushers in cool fall weather and plenty of ways to enjoy it. Downtown is in full swing with exhibits, concerts, performing arts and cultural festivals. So start planning your trip now for October 7th – 9th!

Friday Night

 untitled (indeciciveness)

What are you obsessed about? When you arrive on Friday evening, head over to the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art for the reception of contemporary artist, Sarah Hobbs. Hobbs’ work explores phobias and obsessive compulsive behaviors through large scale installations which she constructs and photographs.

 After you’ve studied and contemplated Hobbs’ work…

 

Obsess over Botanica. Internationally acclaimed ballet company MOMIX has performed in cultural meccas around the world. Now they bring an exciting contemporary ballet to the historic Imperial Theatre. Botanica brings to life the small miracles that occur every day around us in nature using magnificent choreography and stunning dance effects.

 Obsess over food. End the evening with a late dinner at Frog Hollow. You’ll be able to talk about the night over a glass of wine and perfectly crafted meal made with fresh regional ingredients!

Saturday

Sleep in a little and grab breakfast before heading to the historic Summerville neighborhood for the Tour of Homes.

Frankly, my dear, you’ll really love these houses. Spend the afternoon touring Augusta’s most historic and eclectic neighborhood and you’ll start to feel like you’ve stepped into a scene from “Gone with the Wind.” The Summerville Tour of Homes offers a glimpse into some of the grandest homes and buildings in the neighborhood.

Follow the Crums. Grab an early dinner at the trendy Crums on Central. Make sure you try the Bacon wrapped Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms or a fire grilled pizza!

May the force be with you. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, E.T., Jaws – John Williams’ iconic musical compositions have punctuated the film industry for decades.  Now watch as the Symphony Orchestra Augusta brings each piece to life during the John Williams Spectacular.

Sunday

Hola amigos! Treat your taste buds to authentic Hispanic food and enjoy live music and performances at the annual Augusta Hispanic Festival in downtown at the Commons.

Our big fat Greek festival. Indulge your sweet tooth with homemade Baklava, shop at the bazaar and learn traditional Greek dances at the Augusta Greek Festival in the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.

Do the Westobou for Free!

Westobou Festival starts this week! There is so much going on and so many awesome shows to see that I get a little worried about my wallet. Luckily there are tons of free events during Westobou that are just as fun. And who doesn’t love free stuff? So, here are 5 free events that you shouldn’t miss! These not your style? Go grab a program (they’re huge, so you can’t miss ‘em!) or visit the Westobou website.

Sarah Hobbs: Flight in Place (Sept 21 – Oct 8)   ::: Hobbs’ photography explores phobias and obsessive compulsive behavior in a large scale, eye catching a thought provoking exhibit at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art. This one, I’ve got to see.

Artists Row Community Sculpture (Sept 29 – Oct 6) ::: Help build ARTie, the Garden City Dragon! Participating artists and community members will help construct ARTie outside the Old Richmond Academy using recycled materials. The sketch of ARTie is huge! I can’t wait to see the end product.

Welcome Practicalonga (Sept 29) ::: It’s a Mini Tango Festival! I’m a sucker for anything dance – Footloose, Take the Lead, Dancing with the Stars. So I’m definitely not going to miss the chance to see the passion of the tango first hand! It’s being held at Casa Blanca Café, which means I get to eat awesome food too!

Chamber Series: French Modernism in Music & Art with Martin David Jones and Clara Park (Oct 4) ::: Off the top of my head, I have no idea what French Modernism is. But it sounds cool and I love music and art. So, what the heck – I’m going! St. John United Methodist Church is the perfect backdrop for something like this!

Social Canvas (Oct 4 – Oct 5) ::: I heart Social Canvas. The Parade Grounds at Old Richmond Academy will be full of people, live music, artists creating works inspired by the music, crafts to make on your own and art for sale…could you ask for anything more?

Celebrate Fall at Steed’s Dairy

On a fall Saturday, my husband and I, along with our neighborhood friends decided to check out Steed’s Dairy Farm.

This is the perfect place to bring the entire family for a fun filled day with lots of fun activities and sites to see!

Steed’s Dairy is a working farm, right in Augusta’s backyard.

This farm is complete with cows, cornfields, a five acre corn maze, petting zoo, hayrides, and plenty of activities for the kids. Just to name a few: slides, corn kernel sand box, face painting, jumping pillow, and much more! We enjoyed our time out there and I thoroughly enjoyed the delicious boiled peanuts-a fall favorite! They have a great concession stand that includes Chick -fil-a! You can enjoy your eats and treats under their pavilion picnic.

I recommend you make Steed’s Dairy your new fall family tradition, and don’t forget your camera!!!

Steed’s Dairy
4634 Wrightsboro Road
Grovetown, GA 30813
706-855-2948

Afternoon in the Living History Park

When the weather’s nice outside, one of my favorite things to do is grab a quick lunch and take it to the Living History Park. It’s right across the river in North Augusta and is about 5 minutes from downtown Augusta. It’s a public park that’s being transformed into a mini-settlement, complete with colonial style church, tavern and meeting place. Each year something new gets added.

I like to stroll around the park and look at the buildings or go sit in the garden and just enjoy the weather! What most people don’t realize is that there are monthly and annual events held at the park regularly. There’s “Last Saturday in the Park” which is the last Saturday of the month from January through November where parents can bring their kids for an interactive history experience. Or they’ve got events like “Spirits of Hallowed Eve” and “Colonial Times” each fall and “Christmas in the Backwoods” each winter. No matter when you come, it’s always like you stepped back in history!

So make time during your next visit to stop by and enjoy the Living History Park. And if you’re in town during one of thier events, make sure you go!

Living History Park

229 W. Spring Grove Ave, North Augusta

Park Open Dawn – Dusk

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