Only a short two-hour drive from my home in Walterboro is a city full of African American history, beautiful architecture, great food and a riverfront view. All of these characteristics is what makes, Augusta, GA one of my favorite cities to do a weekend getaway or day trip. Whether it is antique store shopping or trying the newest restaurant or touring the historic district, this city never disappoints. Today we are sharing Augusta, GA Travel Guide: Drive To Not Through. This is your go-to guide for things to do in Augusta. Be sure to share your images from your travels with the hashtag #blacksouthernbelle and we can’t wait to see where your adventures take you and we hope Augusta is one of those adventures.
Augusta, GA Travel Guide: Drive To Not Through
Accommodations are plentiful in this historic lively city. For Southern charm and a sprinkle of antique flare, The Partridge Inn will create an unparalleled experience where gourmet food, an extensive cocktail and wine list and southern service that will impress any guest. The historic hotel has served as a gathering place for generations of Augustans as well as golf greats and celebrities like Curtis Strange, Paul Azinger, Gary Player, Reba McIntyre, James Brown and Bob Dylan. The Partridge Inn has recently undergone a multi-million-dollar renovation. Enjoy the hotels Southern features including beautiful verandahs and classic columns. The Partridge Inn’s signature restaurant, The P.I. Bar and Grill, offers fine dining, live music and the rooftop bar serves as a great spot to lounge with a cocktail in hand while enjoying views of the city.
Prefer modern features with a riverside view? The Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center is the ideal overnight accommodation for the traveler that enjoys a waterside stay. Centrally located along the cities Riverwalk, which is perfectly positioned along the beautiful Savannah River and other nearby and popular attractions which makes it easy to leave the car behind and traverse downtown by foot. Equipped with sleek new accommodations and large redesigned guest rooms, visitors can rest assured relaxation and exploration will remain at the forefront of this getaway.
A hidden gem with mass appeal and one of Augusta’s best kept secrets, Olde Towne Inn offers visitors an exclusive one-of-a-kind over-night experience. Located on the edge of downtown Augusta’s nightlife, restaurant, convention and entertainment district, this homey hideaway features hardwood floors, queen and king beds and period-furnishings. Below, guests can mix and mingle with other occupants at the Inn’s lively bar, The Fox Lair.
Start the morning off with a cup of thoughtfully curated organic coffee from Buona Café. This artisanal coffee shop is far removed from corporate chains, where brewing methods are an art form and steeped for four minutes in an hourglass vessel. Check out the café’s custom-made Harvest Blend which was selected to serve as the official coffee in the Governor’s Mansion. Inspired by the tapas-style dining in the Basque region of Spain, grab a light breakfast fromBodega Ultima, one of Augusta’s newest eateries. Bodega Ultima is perfectly located in Surrey Center, an upscale shopping destination where trendy finds await any day of the week.
For authentically Southern, home-cooked fare, stop in at Café 209 in downtown Augusta. The locally owned restaurant offers a plethora of Southern staples alongside delectable desserts which change frequently. For a scenic view, and Riverwalk icon, dine at the Boll Weevil Café where good intentions are left at the door. Frequently featured on Food Network for the tasty delights found here including soulful dishes and indulgent desserts, Boil Weevil is an eatery that cannot be overlooked.
As the sun starts setting, head to Finch & 5th with a charcuterie plate and crafted cocktails to recap the day with a lively atmosphere and chic interior. For dinner, head over to Abel Brown for oysters and delectable entrees that are equally as intricate. Try the Creekstone Farms Hanger Steak with goat cheese onion jam potato reosti, acorn squash puree, brussels, and balsamic for an Abel Brown masterpiece. For some late-night mingling, head over to Bee’s Knees for some light bites made using local, seasonal, & sustainable ingredients. This sustainably-sourced eatery is also known for its carefully designed cocktails alongside its tapas treats. For a more intimate setting, head to Craft & Vine, tucked away in downtown Augusta, this local favorite features hand-crafted cocktails and an elegant wine selection.
When the only lights left on are the ones lining the streets, head over to Soul Bar. Known as the institution that other dive bars aspire to be when they grow up, The Soul Bar is an eclectic establishment dedicated to the local music legend, James Brown. In line with the Father Soul, live music or a DJ can be heard on any given night and will take guests back to the days of funk.
Outdoor Fun: During the day, visitors can rent kayaks and paddleboards at the Savannah Rapids Park or embark on a tour to Betty’s Branch, a local favorite, with Cole Watkin Tours. Other activities include a visit to the Hippodrome Disc Golf Complex, an outdoor disc golf arena with various levels of difficulty, The Forks Area Trail System, a renowned biking trail with six different trails and the Phinizy Nature Swamp, an ecological gem sustained through preservation efforts. Guests can choose to turn it up or down a notch at one of two Augusta breweries – Savannah River Brewing Company or Riverwatch Brewing Company, which features the only mother-daughter brew team in the nation. New beers and flavors are released at both breweries on a regular basis, making no visit the same as the last.
Art & History: Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art remains the only non-profit contemporary gallery and visual arts school in the region. Offering a rich calendar of nearly 30 exhibitions by regional and national artists, the Institute also encourages visitors to try out their artistic hand in one of their art classes ranging from paint to stained glass lessons.
*For full schedule please visit: http://www.ghia.org/adult-classes
Downtown Augusta: First Fridays are a monthly celebration of Augusta’s fun and funky spirit with live music and performances, exhibition openings and more throughout downtown. From March through November, the Augusta Market brings local and regional tastemakers and artisans of all kinds to the 8th Street entrance to the Riverwalk.
Shop: Surrey Center has an upscale assortment of boutiques and restaurants. Take a piece of Augusta home with you and shop original works of local art, prints, and posters from Artists Row, a collection of galleries, studios and custom-frame shops on Broad Street.
Tour by Boat: Round-up your summer getaway crew for a Petersburg boat tour on the Augusta Canal to enjoy historical sites, stories and abundant wildlife. The tours also offer live music performances on the boat during select times throughout the year, as well as sunset cruises where guests are encouraged to bring their own picnics and libations. *For complete line-up and dates visit: http://augustacanal.com/boat-tours.php
Tour by Trolley: With such a rich and deep history, Augusta offers several tailored trolley tours that will take you, friends and family around town to see the makings of Georgia’s second oldest city. The most popular trolley tours are the Historic Trolley Tour of Augusta and the Black History Trolley Tour. This trolley tour of more than 25 black heritage sites and stories told through art, history and everyday lives is an enriching ride. After you hop off the trolley, enjoy a tour of the Augusta Museum of History where guests can peruse the only dedicated James Brown museum in the county and the museum’s Celebrating a Grand Tradition exhibit where visitors can soak up the rich history behind the iconic Masters® Tournament. Be sure to save the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History as a place to discover where you can learn more about the life story of Georgia’s first African-American educator.
Indulge: No summertime getaway is complete without a little pampering. For a completely authentic experience, block out some time for Augusta’s Cucumber & Mint, a boutique beauty oasis with rejuvenating facials, beautifying treatments and soothing massages.