Introduction to Augusta, Georgia
The city of Augusta is located in the east-central part of the state of Georgia, right on the border with South Carolina. Nestled along the banks of the Savannah River, Augusta sits approximately 150 miles east of the state capital of Atlanta. Major thoroughfares servicing the city include Interstates I-20 and I-520; U.S. Routes 1, 25, 78, and 278; and Georgia State Highway 28.
Augusta's rich history dates back to 1736, when it was established as a settlement by British General James E. Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia. The city was named in honor of Augusta, Princess of Wales. A pivotal site during both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, Augusta served as Georgia's state capital from 1785 until 1795. The city later became the second largest inland cotton market in the world during the days of the cotton boom. For a time, Augusta served as a major winter resort, attracting wealthy northerners seeking to escape the bitter winters back home. Today, the city is a center for medicine and manufacturing, and is best known for its role in hosting the Masters golf tournament. For this reason, it is often referred to as the Masters City, although Augusta's official nickname is The Garden City of the South - chosen because of the city's many large private gardens.
Arts and Entertainment in Augusta
Augusta boasts a large variety of cultural, historic, and entertainment options for visitors and residents to enjoy. Some of the more prominent of these are the following:
- Augusta Museum of History: Features many exhibits and collections from Augusta's past, including a 1914 steam locomotive, memorabilia from the founding of Augusta in 1736, and a Civil War collection.
- Fort Discovery Science Center: Located in downtown Augusta, the Center includes over 250 exhibits in the areas of math, robotics, and communications.
- Augusta Civic Center: A downtown site which hosts numerous sporting events, concerts, and shows.
- Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art: Traces back to 1937 and houses major exhibitions of local and regional artists.
- The Morris Museum of Art: Offers a broad collection of Southern art, including Civil War art, Southern Impressionism, early 20th century painting, and the Black Presence in Southern art.
- Augusta Golf and Gardens: Home to the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.
- Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History: Dedicated to one of the state's most influential educational leaders.
- Imperial Theatre: An historic old theatre located in downtown Augusta.
- Sacred Heart Cultural Center: Built by Jesuit priests in 1897, the Center hosts many important cultural events including the Augusta Ballet, Choral Society, and the Children's Chorale.
- Confederate Powderworks
- Fort Gordon
The sports scene in Augusta is dominated by the annual Masters Tournament, an official money event on the PGA Tour and one of four major championships in professional golf. The Masters enjoys the distinction of being held every year at the same location, the Augusta National Golf Club. Golf is not the only pro sport in the city, however. Augusta is home to the Augusta GreenJackets, baseball's minor league Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. The GreenJackets play their South Atlantic League home games at the city's Lake Olmstead Stadium. Augusta is also home to the Augusta Lynx of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). The team is affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League and also the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League. Arena football fans can root for the Augusta Spartans, a professional indoor football team and charter member of the World Indoor Football League (WIFL).