Reduce your carbon footprint by skipping the plane ticket abroad in exchange for a backyard adventure in Augusta, Ga., a city steeped in tradition with a fresh new vibe. Augusta’s River Region is a bustling hub for outdoor enthusiasts who prefer the riverside to the mountainsides with various outdoor activities for visitors to dive into. Whether you are looking to cruise down the Savannah River by boat, kayak or paddleboard or navigate miles of trails by bike or foot, this summer Augusta is showing visitors that the grass is just as green outside the golf courses.
The Augusta Canal National Heritage Area is an outdoor enthusiast’s mecca, with several activities centralized on and around the Savannah River. During the day, visitors can rent kayaks and paddleboards at the Savannah Rapids Park or embark on a tour with Cole Watkin Tours and rentals. Another local favorite, Betty’s Branch, is a tributary to the Savannah River with a particularly challenging route around Germany Island, which is abundant in wildlife. While a challenge, this 3.5-hour journey offers perks outside its cardio-burning but also passes a small sandbar that is perfect for a mid-voyage picnic. Shake off river-legs by exploring the conveniently accessible nature trails that surround the heritage area by foot or bike. Additionally, guests can unwind on a Petersburg boat tour and lazily cruise through time on these gentle river giants. Additionally, visitors are encouraged to stroll along Augusta’s Riverwalk and absorb the views of stunning greenery, historical monuments and architectural masterpieces that line the river.
Phinizy Swamp is an ecological gem for those who want to experience nature and catch glimpses of wildlife such as blue herons, otters and alligators in their natural setting. Additionally, in the charming mystique of the swamp, over 14 miles of trails can be traversed in solace. The park also offers monthly activities such as yoga gatherings, art programs and organized group hikes.
For bicycle enthusiasts and top-performing cyclists, Augusta offers world-class biking trails at every level. For a casual ride, visitors can choose between the Greeneway Trail, a 7 mile out-and-back paved trail or the Augusta Canal Trail a 10.9 mile trail, both replete with views of the river. For an adrenaline-filled challenge, mountain-bikers can traverse the 37-mile, renowned Forks Area Trails System.
Get the competitive juices brewing at Augusta’s Hippodrome Disc Golf Complex, a fun alternative to traditional golf, where guests attempt to successfully float a disc into a suspended basket. While a frisbee can be thrown around in a park anywhere, Hippodrome offers various courses that test different skill levels and takes disc-golfers through various landscapes, from open-air fields to the wooded greens.
To round out the outdoor adventures, explore Augusta’s River Region beverages. Cool down with a ‘Nanas Puddin’ boozy milkshake from Farmhaus Burgers, a customized burger joint that uses locally-sourced ingredients and has prime real estate in downtown Augusta. For the craft beer connoisseur, check out Augusta’s recently opened breweries Riverwatch Brewery and Savannah River Brewing which are family-friendly. For visitors who want to truly taste a bit of Augusta, several establishments throughout the city are proud pourers of Augusta’s Fruitland Peach Vodka, the only peach vodka made with real Georgia peaches, and have taken on their own variations that are refreshingly light.
Augusta offers several overnight accommodations from Southern classics to chic modern stays. Stay the night in an Augusta icon, the recently renovated Partridge Inn, Curio Collection by Hilton has upgraded feature but has retained its antebellum charm. For a prime location in downtown Augusta with sleek features, guests can book their stay at Augusta Marriot, perfectly positioned for overviews of the Savannah River.
If you are looking for a quick weekend getaway or planning a vacation for your family, Augusta is the perfect hidden jewel in Georgia just waiting to be discovered by you!