In a few short weeks, the world will be watching as the best golfers descend on Augusta, Georgia for The Masters golf tournament. If you’ve never been, it’s an experience worth the trip, but tickets, even for the practice round days, are hard to come by. So, why not take in the many other attractions this Southern city has to offer. Here are five to get you started.
1. The Augusta Canal National Heritage Area – Built in 1845 to harness the power of the Savannah River, the canal has a historic past that comes to life in an award winning, hands-on, Interpretive Center. A section on child labor lets kids, and adults, test their skill at refilling spools on the manufacturing line. After the museum, take a ride down the canal in an electric powered Petersburg boat. Be nice to the driver, he normally has bread for youngsters to feed the many waterfowl along the route.
2. Morris Museum of Art – The museum is located along the Augusta Riverwalk, and is dedicated to the collection, exhibition, and interpretation of the art of the American South. Sundays are always free and feature Artregeous! a program specifically for kids. The event is different each week, but has featured art projects, musical performances, storytellers and more.
3. Fort Discovery – This science center is also located along the Augusta Riverwalk and a delightful walk from the Morris Museum of Art. The Center has 250 hands-on exhibits including: a human gyro that allows visitors to experience weighlessness; a 22 foot tall, spaced-themed playground; and a special area designed for those 7 years-old and younger. The museum offers half-priced admission after 3 pm and reciprocal membership with more than 250 science centers worldwide, including the new Tellus Museum in Cartersville, GA.
4. President Woodrow Wilson’s Boyhood Home – President Wilson was 4 years-old when he moved to Augusta. He left at the age of 14. During that time, he saw train loads of wounded Civil War soldiers arrive at the hospital less than 1/2 mile from his house. When the hospital overflowed, the wounded were taken to the church where “Tommy’s” father was a minister. When that space was full, the wounded overtook the Catholic Church on the other side of his boyhood home. I’m sure this experience had a profound impact on this future wartime president and creator of the League of Nations. A fun treasure hunt while you’re there: find the “Tom” etched in the window.
5. The Augusta Museum of History- Chronicling 12,000 years of history, this museum covers a lot of ground. There are hands-on exhibits (see if you can carry a Civil War backpack and gun) to full sized locomotives. A new James Brown exhibit lets visitors practice their dance moves with the Godfather of Soul. Of course no history of Augusta would be complete without golf and the newly opened Celebrating a Grand Tradition, The Sport of Golf gives a good history of the sport in the city.
For more pictures and video of Augusta, go to the Field Trips with Sue Facebook page.
Disclosure: Although the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau provided a complimentary room and admission to these attractions for the purpose of reviewing them (as is common in the travel industry), we only recommend places we would stay and products we would use.