Atlanta, as Georgia’s capital, attracts a fair share of visitors. Dealing with this on a regular basis can be extremely irritating and make you want to flee your hometown. Travel a little south, but a lot east, and you’ll find the wonderful city of Augusta. There’s a lot to do! And it’s only 2 hours and 15 minutes from Atlanta.
We recently spent a weekend in Augusta, Georgia, exploring the many things to do, and we had a GREAT TIME! If you enjoy many of the same things we do – great food, outdoor adventure, and a touch of history and the arts – then this is a city you must visit! Here’s how to go about it!
Augusta, Georgia, is known for its classic Southern charm, elegant antebellum mansions, one-of-a-kind wedding venues, and numerous gardens. Visiting Augusta entails taking a leisurely stroll down elegant tree-lined avenues, visiting great museums and galleries, and feasting on famous Southern cuisine. The city is also known as a biotechnology, medicine, and cyber security hotspot. Here are the top things to do in Augusta, Georgia for a weekend getaway or day trip.
Things to do in Augusta
Visit the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area and take a boat ride down the canal as well as a tour of the museum within the Discovery Center. If you’re feeling particularly daring, you can kayak the canal yourself! You can bike the canal trail or hike the Heritage Area at Savannah Rapids Park. Take a trolley tour and visit the Augusta Museum of History. During baseball season, you can catch an Augusta Greenjackets game at SRP Park.
I’ve searched high and low for some activities that you might not enjoy on the norm. Here is my list of awesome activities worth checking out to create a family vacation without the roadtrip!
I’ll start with our absolute FAVORITE thing to do…
KAYAKING Augusta Canal
Perfect during the summer because you get a nice slight breeze, spot a few swimming rodents along with plenty of turtles, and pack you small cooler for snacks and drinks. Hubby and I enjoy doing this on our own and our kiddos adore it also (when they get to come)! There is also this way cool thing to travel down the canal in aside from a kayak– A Tank! It holds 6 people and a cooler (awesomeness times infinity)! A great outing for some adult friends or you and your family.
- Cost: $20+
- Duration: 2-4 hours
Biking or walking down the Augusta Canal
I’ve noticed a lot of people haven’t or don’t take advantage of such a wonderful thing available to our area! Its time to dust off those bikes you bought (with good intentions of full usage) and get to pedaling or go for a long walk. Don’t have a bike? No problem! You can rent a bike right there at the canal– my husband and I normally rent the Tandem bike! If you are biking you could pack everyone up a light lunch and have a picnic at the area in between the canal path and the Savannah River. It’s a grassy spot with a couple of picnic tables and an extremely small sandy area to cool off in the icy river water! This spot is about 2 – 2 1/2 miles down from the entrance to the canal making it a total of 4 – 5 miles.
- Cost: Free!
- Bike Rentals: $15+
- Duration: Half day – Full day
The Riverwalk is a great place to go if you’re looking for free things to do in Augusta. This attraction, which is located along the captivating Savannah River, will reward you with some of the city’s best views. It also hosts a variety of fantastic events, such as the Candlelight Jazz Series.
The Augusta Riverwalk is unquestionably the best way to see the city, but it’s also a very romantic spot — ideal for a first date. Stop in and out of local restaurants and shops, and take a moment to admire the beautiful Savannah River as the sun sets.
Stroll along the Riverwalk and enjoy the cool, refreshing breeze. Similarly, you can have a picnic or sit on a beach and admire the river. On Saturdays, you can visit its market and savor a smorgasbord of delectable treats.
The facility boasts a gym (as in a basket ball gym), rock climbing wall, fitness area, indoor swimming pool with a BIG slide and an area for the small kiddos that can’t swim just yet– you can’t beat it! This is our go-to place in the summer! We LOVE it! The center also has many different sport programs, summer camps, activity classes for all ages and a de-lish restaurant– I can’t say enough wonderful things about the place! You have to be a member, but a family membership is only $53/month.
- Cost: $16+
- Duration: All day!
Augusta Museum of History
The Augusta Museum of History is the city’s oldest historical museum. It was founded in 1937 with the goal of preserving and interpreting the city’s and region’s history. The museum houses the largest and most important historical collection in the Central Savannah River Area, and it serves as a valuable historical resource and research center for historians, students, the media, and others.
When was the last time you visited the Augusta Museum of History? While you are there hop on board the Trolley tours!
We met the trolley in front of the museum and boarded. On our journey, we saw dozens of historic homes with fascinating stories, learned about the secrets of the Medical College of Georgia, and visited Woodrow Wilson’s childhood home. There’s more; there’s even more! I’m not going to give it all away!
Tours are on Saturdays (need 24 hour reservation). You’ll get to tour around Historic Downtown Augusta while getting the scoop on the town’s most historic places! A must for any History buff! Want to take your time and take a leisurely stroll around Downtown? I’ve got just the thing! Keep reading below..
- Cost: $15/person (includes Museum admission)
- Duration: Half Day
Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Augusta
Ever been to Charleston, SC? My favorite part is touring the old homes around the city! Well, no need to do all that traveling! Augusta has quite a few Historic Homes to see of it’s own!
The Augusta Downtown Historic District, which has been beautifully preserved, transports you to 1801-1967. The historic commercial areas of Broad Street, as well as the industrial properties that line the Savannah riverbanks, can be found here. Greene Street, a tree-lined boulevard with a historic park-like center, is a must-see.
What is really neat is the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson. While you are there go ahead and plan the day to take a walking tour of downtown Augusta. You can go here and download your own walking tour guides of each block for Telfair St. and Greene St.! I was amazed by the history of every block and what still exists! They are still working on Broad St. and Reynolds St., so this will be a great thing to look out for next summer. We all admire the beauty driving downtown, but take a day and take it all in and see the history that lives here in our own city!
- Cost: FREE
- Duration: All Day
Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home
Augusta also has the childhood home of one of America’s most notable twentieth-century presidents. What’s remarkable about the Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home is how it demonstrates that greatness can emerge from such humble beginnings.
- Open for tours by appointment between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sundays.
- Adult admission is $5, $4 for seniors, and $3 for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
1797 Ezekiel Harris House Tobacco Plantation
My grandfather would tell me stories of his childhood when him and his friends would sneak into the 1797 Ezekiel Harris House after dark and hear ghostly noises from the Civil War soldiers! Not sure how much merit his story has (LOL), but you can always ask about the Civil War and the relation to the house on your visit. They are open Mon-Fri 10-5 and by appointments on Sat.
- Cost: $1-$2
Duration: 1 hour
Our family loves visiting this old mid-1800’s plantation home. The historic plantation includes a horse stable, slave quaters, the house, and a beautiful lane lined with Magnolia trees. — In fact we loved it so much, that we had our engagement pictures and bridal pictures taken here!
House tours are available for a small fee ($3-$5), but admission to the plantation is FREE. There is many walking trails to venture down (I’ve heard there is many old “shacks” on the grounds hidden with years of over growth– how fun!) and while you are there try your navigation skills out with Geocaching!
- Cost: Free
- Duration: 2 hours ++
Geocaching is a real live treasure hunt! You use GPS-enabled devices to navigate your way to a set of coordinates and then try to find the geocache hidden there. This is TONS of fun especially for the boys! My cousins and aunt have gotten way into it and are on the constant look-out for geocaches! You can make a whole day of it and it’s totally FREE! Perfect activity for the little Pirate’s in your life! 🙂 Stop and pick up a quick lunch at one of our many locally-owned eateries and get back to the treasure hunt.
- Cost: FREE
- Duration: As quick as you want or as long as you’d like!
Hope I’ve given you some great Stay Cation ideas for you and your family to enjoy this summer!