Destination Spotlight: Augusta
February 04, 2015
There are a lot of signs of spring beyond longer and warmer days. For some, itís the first day of baseball season. For others, itís the return of music festivals, or maybe the first barbecue invite. But one of our favorite rites of the season is The Masters, one of golfís oldest and most prestigious tournaments. Each year, the planetís best golfers descend upon Augusta, Georgia for four days that could make or break a professional playerís career.
But while the biggest action may take place at the Augusta National Golf Club, the city and surrounding area has attractions for both golf aficionados and everyday travelers alike. At Mitch-Stuart, Inc., we pride ourselves on creating once-in-a-lifetime travel packages for non-profit fundraising auctions, so our trips to Augusta features day badges to either one or two days of The Masters. But those hours on the golf course arenít the only reasons to head to the city.
Thanks in part to Augustaís age, there are plenty of fascinating architectural elements to explore. The Lamar Building, in the cityís Downtown Historic District, was built a century ago, but its rooftop glass enclosure was designed in the 1970s by famed architect I.M. Pei (he designed the pyramid outside the Louvre in Paris). The entire district, in fact, is on the National Register of Historic Places, thanks in part to its diversity of building styles; everything from Art Deco pieces to Craftsman homes can be found by discerning eyes.
That type of range can also be seen in local cuisine, where southern comfort food can be found steps away from white-cloth, upscale restaurants. High-end eateries like Le Maison are in major demand during The Masters; reservations are often made months in advance and credit cards are used to hold spots. But down-home diners like Ruthís Family Restaurant have an appeal all their own, as well, with locals gossiping over biscuits and gravy during the breakfast rush.
But one of the best-kept secrets about the Augusta area is its natural beauty. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors (and maybe work up the appetite for those biscuits and gravy!) at local parks and other sights. Take a stroll along the Augusta Riverwalk, for instance, and stop and smell the flowers at its various gardens, along the Savannah River. Or rent a bike (or, for the more adventurous, a canoe) and explore the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area. Keep an eye on the boat tour schedule, too; the canalís Music Cruises are popular ways to both experience the scenery and local culture, with bluegrass and beauty in equal measure.
The 2015 Masters start April 9 Ė and weíve still got time to help you send a donor there! Contact a Mitch-Stuart, Inc. travel expert today.