Georgia’s second oldest and second largest city, Augusta, has been welcoming guests with Southern hospitality for decades and continues to with its charm and easily accessible location along Interstate 20, 150 miles southeast of Atlanta. Steeped in history, culture, art, music and more, this is the place for nonstop fun that doesn’t break the bank.
Did you say “free?!”
1. Plan to visit Augusta during a free First Friday event, a family-friendly celebration in downtown Augusta held on the First Friday of each month from 5 until 9 p.m. Watch as local artists create masterpieces on the sidewalk, browse art galleries and watch live musical performances.
2. During the week Tuesday’s Music Live is America’s largest luncheon concert series. Held in the nave of Saint Paul’s Church, the concerts include musical styles ranging from classical to jazz. After the concert, eat a catered lunch in the River Room. The concert is free, but lunch is $10 and served at noon.
3. Take a hike! Well, maybe just a stroll. Walk along the Augusta Riverwalk, Augusta’s top attraction, featuring a children’s playground and various gardens. Two museums are located off the walkway along with the Jessye Norman Amphitheater and several restaurants. Great for families out for some fresh air along the Savannah River. This two-tiered park runs for three blocks.
4. Did you know? Sundays are free at the Morris Museum of Art. See the work of Southern artists and art of the South at the Morris Museum of Art. Look for Artrageous! Sunday activities for children are also free.
5. Have your picture taken anytime with the Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown. His life-size statue is located in downtown Augusta across from Augusta Common Park.
6. Do you dare? Tempt your fate at the Haunted Pillar, at the corner of 5th and Broad Streets. According to legend, an attempt to move or even touch it could result in death.
7. Visit the oldest independently formed black Christian church, Springfield Baptist Church, and then see the sculptures next door at the Springfield Village Park.
8. Sacred Heart Cultural Center, c. 1897, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features towering twin spires, graceful arches, 15 distinctive styles of brickwork, ninety-four stained glass windows, a barrel vaulted ceiling and intricately carved Italian marble altars. Free tours are available as well as a gift shop showcasing local artists, gifts and accessories.
Hungry for more? Try these almost free options:
Enjoy regular admission into any of the following Augusta museums and historic homes for less than $5: Augusta Museum of History, Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson, Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History and the Morris Museum of Art.
Get your fill-up at Nacho Mama’s in downtown Augusta where they “roll’em fat.” Enjoy unusually large portion sizes for unusually low prices. Don’t believe us? How about grubbing out on The Godfather – loaded with pulled pork, guacamole, black beans, their house-made spicy mango habanera salsa, piled high with cheese, lettuce, salsa and sour cream. Served with Spanish rice and pinto beans all for $8. We recommend grabbing a to-go box in advance.
Free fall fun!
Augusta is the destination for fall fun…sample these options without touching your savings during the annual Westobou festival, October 1-5.
1. Wander and wonder at art exhibits by Savannah College of Art and Design Alumni.
2.Take a ride on the Westobou Wheel, a Ferris wheel, set up on the Parade Grounds of the Old Richmond Academy, offiering a bird’s-eye view of Westobou, October 1-5.
3.Catch a screening of “The Goonies,” 6 p.m., October 4, at the Historic Parade Grounds at the Old Academy of Richmond County. Check out all of Westobou’s offerings.
Where to Stay?
With a convenient location just off Interstate-20, Augusta is just a short drive from many southeastern cities. Budget-friendly hotels and packages are available with rates ranging from $40-$139 a night. For more information about Augusta, please contact the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800.726.0243 or find them online at VisitAugusta.com.