For classic southern charm and a culture that’s rooted in the tradition of old school hospitality and seeping with heritage and elegance, Augusta is the place to go.
Located on the border between Georgia and South Carolina in the Deep South of the USA, Augusta is a charming little town that just so happens to house one of the most prestigious golfing tournaments in the world: the US Masters.
Before it was a golfer’s heaven though, it was a quaint village on the fall line of the Savannah River that became a holiday destination of resort hotels for the wealthy. Soon people realized that the moderate climate and verdant lands would be optimal for a golf course and it became the ‘winter golf capital of America’. This is also the home of soul singer James Brown, pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and acclaimed actor Laurence Fishburne.
If you’re spending some time here around the US Masters, there are some gems in the surrounding area that are worth seeing and doing. Here’s your insider’s guide to a memorable stay in the south. If nothing else, be sure to indulge in the famous Fruitland Augusta peach vodka.
The must-see sights:
Ezekiel Harris House
To see a typical example of 18th century architecture and take a leap back in time, you can visit this restored 1797 house.
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 10am-5pm. Admission: $2 for adults, $1 for children. Appointment only!
Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History
This revolutionary lady founded the first school for black children and was a renowned educator. You can wander through this museum and learn about the less charming side of the history of the south as well as the people who fought for freedom.
Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-4pm. Admission: $4 for adults, $3 for children
Pendleton King Park
A 64-acre bird sanctuary where amusements abound. You can play an 18-hole disc golf course, you can hike or cycle for hours, you can take the kids to one of the many playgrounds and you can go on trails discovering the wide variety of flora in the area.
Opening hours: 7 days a week, 8am-dusk
The Imperial Theatre
From the opening of its doors in 1918, this theatre has played host to countless famous talents over the decades including Charlie Chaplin. Nowadays you can see everything from bikini & bodybuilding competitions to musicals to soul music performances to ballets.
Box Office opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am-4pm.
Take a picturesque walk along the Savannah River, where there are various sites including a Japanese garden, as well as play parks for kids and vantage points for photos.
Augusta Museum of History
Learn about the past of this sultry piece of land at the history museum. Here there are various exhibitions including James Brown, The Golf Tradition, Local Legends and 150 year of Transportation featuring an old farm wagon as well as a steam locomotive.
Opening hours: During Master’s week (4-10 April), they are open every day from 10am-5pm.
Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre
For something a little different you can head out to Fort Gordon, the US Army Camp outside Augusta, where the MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation Services) puts on a theatre performance while you chow down on a buffet dinner.