Augusta is the second-largest city in Georgia, located in the east-central part of the state, along the Savannah River. It is about 145 miles east of Atlanta and is known as the home of the Masters Golf Tournament. Beyond golf, there are plenty of fun things to do in Augusta if you are a visitor or a local!
The city has a rich history and is home to several historical sites and landmarks, including the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area, which is a historic waterway that runs through the city. At every corner historic houses, art museums, and fantastic restaurants.
Let’s dig into the best things to do in Augusta!
The Best Things to do in Augusta, Georgia
1. Check out the Ezekiel Harris House
- Address: 1822 Broad St, Augusta (GPS)
- Hours: Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
A visit to the Ezekiel Harris House will take you back several hundred years to the late 1700s when local tobacco farmer Ezekiel Harris lived and thrived in the house. Featuring beautiful Georgian architecture, the home was refurbished in the 1960s and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Many of the features of the home are original and it’s very similar to how it was when Mr. Harris lived there. If you want to walk through the house, you’ll need to make an appointment in advance unless you visit on a Saturday when it’s open to the public.
2. Spend a Day Outdoors at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park
- Address: 1858 Lock and Dam Rd, Augusta (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
You don’t have to travel very far to find somewhere to escape the crowds and noise of the city. Five minutes is all it takes to reach Phinizy Swamp Nature Park where you can enjoy a range of outdoor activities in a place that feels like you’re a world away from the rat race.
Within this 1100-acre wilderness area, you’ll find 14 miles of hiking trails including Beaver Dam Trail. Several board walked trails are also on site including one with an observation deck where you can watch for alligators, otters and various bird species.
Along these trails, you can also observe the various habitats that make up this nature area and the option to take a guided tour is available so you can learn more about what you’re seeing.
Fishing is a popular activity in the park with anglers casting their line into Mayor’s Fishing Hole, but be sure to get a Georgia fishing permit before you cast your line anywhere in the state! The park is open from sunup to sundown each day.
3. Shop till you Drop at the Augusta Mall
- Address: 3450 Wrightsboro Rd, Augusta (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11:00 am -7:00 pm, Friday – Saturday: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00pm -6:00 pm
As one of the biggest malls in the state, you’re sure to find everything you’re looking for at the Augusta Mall.
Whether you want something nice for your home, a gift for a loved one, or a special treat for yourself, there’s a wide variety of shops including clothing stores, gift shops and specialty shops such as Apple, Michael Kors and Pandora. There are over 20 eateries in the mall as well, so you won’t have to leave to grab your lunch!
4. Step Back in Time at the Augusta Museum of History
- Address: 560 Reynolds St, Augusta (GPS)
- Hours: Thursday – Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: Adults: $5, Seniors: $4, Child (6-18): $3, Child (6 & Under): Free
As the oldest museum of its type in Augusta, you can bet that the Augusta Museum of History goes back a long way when it comes to the city’s history.
In fact, it goes back 12,000 years! As you browse the exhibits, you’ll see artifacts, photos, documents and artworks from the most notable historical collection of items from the Central Savannah River region.
Some of the exhibits include healthcare in Augusta, local railroad history, local banking history, a model of a gas station from the 1930s and an exhibit all about golf in the area.
5. Go Birdwatching in Pendleton King Park
- Address: 1600 Troupe St, Augusta (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Saturday: 8:00 am -7:00 pm
Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher or just want to get outdoors and observe nature, Pendleton King Park is 64 acres of wilderness that’s home to many species of birds. While birdwatching is the most popular activity in this sanctuary, there are plenty of other things to do too.
On site, you’ll find a golf course, several playgrounds, a tennis court, picnic areas, a historic graveyard, and several hiking trails. The park opens at 8:00 AM and closes at dusk.
6. Visit the Sacred Heart Cultural Center
- Address: 1301 Greene St, Augusta (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Friday: 9:00 am -5:00 pm, Saturday – Sunday: Closed
- Cost of Admission:
The Sacred Heart Cultural Center was once a Catholic Church, but today, it’s a historic site listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a gallery and cultural center where the arts are on full display.
The building itself is something to see with its stately twin spires, beautiful brickwork, marble alters and stunning stained-glass windows.
You can tour the building on your own or join one of the guided tours that are held on weekdays. Be sure to check out the event schedule to see if there are any concerts, exhibits, or plays taking place during your visit to Augusta.
7. Enjoy a Meal at Augustino’s Italian Eatery
Who doesn’t like Italian food? How about a mouth-watering steak? At Augustino’s Italian Eatery, you’ll enjoy a range of dishes at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant has an upscale atmosphere but not in a stuffy kind of way. Enjoy a relaxing meal indoors or on the outdoor patio.
The menu features pasta dishes, seafood dishes, certified Angus steaks, southern specialties and other traditional Italian dishes. Check out the extensive wine list where you’ll find the perfect one to complement your food. It’s recommended that you make reservations to dine at this eatery as it does fill up quickly!
8. Take a Stroll along the Riverwalk
- Address: 10th St, Augusta (GPS)
- Hours: 24 hrs
If there’s one attraction in Augusta that can be considered iconic, it’s the Riverwalk. This beautiful riverside gathering spot is a favorite place for locals and tourists to congregate and is a top attraction in the city.
Whether you want to go there to cool off by the water on a hot day, catch a sunset at dusk or take a relaxing stroll under the lights after the sun goes down, the Riverwalk is the place to be any time of day! As you walk along the river, you’ll find benches, fountains, picnic areas, a playground and beautiful old trees.
You’ll also see many of the city’s top attractions including The Japanese Gardens and Jessye Norman Amphitheater, where concerts are held from time to time. Various events are held in this area throughout the year including farmer’s markets and fireworks.
9. Check into The Partridge Inn Augusta
As far as top hotels go in Augusta, it doesn’t get much better than The Partridge Inn Augusta. First of all, the location is central, so you’ll have easy access to all of the city’s main attractions.
The hotel itself is a historic property but the amenities are modern and include an outdoor pool, restaurant, gym, and free Wi-Fi service. The guest rooms are comfy and well-equipped with tea and coffee facilities, cable television and iPod docking stations. Some suites also have balconies and kitchens.
10. Catch a Show at the Imperial Theatre
- Address: 749 Broad St, Augusta (GPS)
- Hours: Tuesday – Wednesday: 10:00 am -4:00 pm,
Thursday – Friday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: Per event ticket prices, check here.
Going back as far as the early 1800s, the Imperial Theater has come a long way over the last 200 or so years. Today, it’s a popular venue for concerts, theatrical performances and other live events that take place throughout the year.
Even if you don’t plan to catch a show, you can take a tour of the backstage area and learn more about the venue and the events that take place there.
11. Immerse in History at Meadow Garden
- Address: 1320 Independence Dr, Augusta (GPS)
- Hours: Monday -Friday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: Adults – $5.00, Seniors 62 and over – $4.00, Children 6-18 – $1.00, Military with ID – $4.00, Children under 5 – Free
Today, Meadow Garden is a Museum and National Historic Landmark, but it was once the home of George Walton who signed the Declaration of Independence for Georgia. The house was constructed in the early 1790s and had gone through extensive renovations before opening to the public.
Tour the home and see artifacts and other items related to the life and times of Mr. Walton and the events that transpired during the years that he lived there.
12. Explore the Augusta Downtown Historic District
One of the best things to do in Augusta is stroll the downtown area. Through historic buildings and traditional touches all around, the history of the downtown district of Augusta between the early 1800s and mid-1900s is on full display.
As you explore the district, you’ll see stately homes once owned by wealthy townspeople, churches and beautiful tree-lined streets.
The architecture varies and includes styles such as Greek Revival and Beaux Arts. Some of the historic buildings are open to the public so be sure to check them out so you don’t miss any of the treasures that are housed inside!
13. The Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson
- Address: 419 7th St, Augusta (GPS)
- Hours: Wednesday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Closed: Sunday -Tuesday
Former President of the United States Woodrow Wilson grew up in Augusta and during your visit to the city, you can visit the home where his childhood was spent. Constructed in 1859, the home is now a National Historic Landmark, and the inside is set much the same way as it would have been in the mid-1800s.
As you go through the museum, you’ll learn about his life and the events that led up to him becoming one of the most notable presidents in history. Guided tours are available, but you’ll need to book an appointment in advance.
14. Reed Creek Nature Park & Interpretive Center
- Address: 3820 Park Ln, Martinez (GPS)
- Hours: Wednesday – Friday: 9:00 am-6:00 pm, Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday: 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Although it’s located within the city limits, the Reed Creek Nature Park and Interpretive Center feels like the middle of nowhere. The main purpose of this serene outdoor space is conservation but it’s also a place where locals and visitors alike head to when they want to get away from it all.
As you explore the park, you’ll find a boardwalk and nature trails that pass through a variety of habitats. Be sure to keep a watch out for deer, otters and many bird species.
15. Admire Local Art at the Morris Museum of Art
- Address: 1 10th St 2nd Floor, Augusta (GPS)
- Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm,
Sunday: 12:00 pm -5:00 pm, Monday: Closed
- Cost of Admission: Adults:$5, Youth (13-17):$3, Students, Military
and Seniors (65 and older):$3, Children (12 and younger): Free
If you’re interested in seeing local and regional artworks, the Morris Museum of Art showcases many works by artists from the southern United States. On display are more than 5,000 photos, paintings and sculptures from the 1700s to today. There are both permanent exhibits and temporary ones on site so there’s always something new to see.
16. Visit the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History
- Address: 1116 Phillips St, Augusta (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm, Closed: Sunday
Lucy Craft Laney was a well-known teacher in Augusta who is widely recognized for opening the first school for black children in the 1880s. That school started with only six students and went on to enroll over 800 students by the late 1920s. Her life and accomplishments are celebrated at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History.
The museum is housed in what was once her home and during a tour, you’ll learn about her legacy and the area’s black history. On-site exhibits feature artifacts, photos and artworks related to this history. Outside, there’s a lovely butterfly garden featuring local plants and a statue of Lucy.
17. Tee off at Forest Hills Golf Club
- Address: 1500 Comfort Rd, Augusta (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm,
First opened in 1926, Forest Hills Golf Club is now one of Augusta’s top public golf courses and a perfect one to tee off at no matter what your skill level is! This beautiful par 72, 18-hole course features wide-open fairways, rolling hills and a relaxing atmosphere. On site, you’ll also find a driving range, practice facilities and a restaurant and bar.
18. Head to the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area
- Address: 1450 Greene St #400, Augusta (GPS)
- Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 9:30-4:30 pm, Sunday – Monday: Closed
The most notable thing about the Augusta Canal is that it’s the only canal of its type that has been in continuous use since its construction in the mid-1800s. Today, it provides water and power to the city, but its history is so interesting that the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area was created so locals and visitors alike can learn more about it.
You’ll learn about how industry shaped the southern United States and have the chance to visit the Enterprise Mill building which houses the Augusta Canal National Heritage Discovery Center. There is much to explore on your own including several nature trails and canoe routes.
However, the best way to get the most out of a visit is to take some time to do the guided tour which includes a boat ride through the canal.
19. Visit the Savannah Rapids Visitor Center
- Address: 3300 Evans to Locks Rd, Martinez (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Sunday: Closed
Along the banks of the Savannah River, you’ll find the Savannah Rapids Visitor Center which is home to the lockkeeper and a museum showcasing artifacts related to the history of the area.
While you’re there, you can take a walk to the lock area and see how it works. At the visitor’s center, some knowledgeable locals are there to help visitors learn more about the area and plan the rest of their trip in the Augusta region.
20. Check out the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art
- Address: 506 Telfair St, Augusta (GPS)
Serving as both a school of art and a public gallery, the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art is a long-standing institution that provides artists with a space to learn and create and visitors with the chance to immerse in local and international art.
On site, there are five ever-changing galleries including galleries that showcase artistic talent from local high schools.