"With a growing skyline yet plenty of peaceful, friendly neighborhoods and an affordable
cost of living,
Augusta combines small-town atmosphere with big-city resources."
Augusta is the second-largest city in Georgia, a growing and thriving destination with a metro-area population of around 400,000. Recently ranked the second most favorable place to live in Georgia, its location on the south bank of the Savannah River, just over the South Carolina border, provides plenty of recreational opportunities and scenic water views. It’s often referred to as the Garden City, due to the blankets of azaleas that carpet the city each spring, and the thousands of evergreens that emblazon the area with color season after season.
Known internationally for hosting the prestigious Masters golf tournament each spring, and for being the hometown of funk/soul singer James Brown, Augusta is fast becoming a center of medicine, biotechnology and the military. A leading healthcare center of the Southeast, the area has nine hospitals. The city’s medical district alone, including Georgia Health Sciences University, employs more than 25,000 people.
Augusta is a central hub for and the largest city in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA), which encompasses 18 counties and more than half a million people.
Founded in 1736 by General James E. Oglethorpe (who named the city after his wife, Augusta, Princess of Wales), Augusta is Georgia’s second oldest city, and boasts neighborhoods of restored Antebellum and Victorian homes. The 1845 Augusta Canal has recreational paths and is lined with handsome, turn-of-the-century mills, many which have been instrumental in the city’s redevelopment. The canal paths are a favorite with runners and bikers, who also find options in a variety of nearby trails, including the Forks Area Trail System.
With a growing skyline yet plenty of peaceful, friendly neighborhoods and an affordable cost of living, Augusta combines small-town atmosphere with big-city resources. Residents stroll along the independently owned shops and cafes of the historic downtown area, and along the nearby Riverwalk, a scenic and well-maintained path that curves along the Savannah River. Popular with boaters, the Riverwalk is the site of many water activities including the Augusta Invitation Regatta (a national collegiate rowing event) and the Augusta Southern Nationals, dubbed the World’s Richest Drag Boat Race.
The downtown art and antiques district hosts special events including the monthly First Friday art walks, and the ten-day Westobou Festival, a celebration of the fine and performing arts. Performing and visual arts are alive and well in community associations including the Fort Gordon Dinner Theater, Augusta Opera Association (the only resident opera company in Georgia), Augusta Ballet, Augusta Players, Augusta Children’s Theatre, Augusta Symphony and the Augusta Art Association. Nearly 9,000 people gather regularly for concerts, sporting events and other entertainment in the James Brown Arena. Bell Auditorium seats 2,690 and features smaller concerts, plays and stage shows.
Athlete or spectator, you’ll find the sporting life is vibrant year-round here, well beyond the seasonal green jacket of the famous Masters tournament at Augusta National. Residents enjoy 11 additional golf courses. There are also professional baseball, arena football and ice hockey teams, and the annual Augusta Futurity, the largest cutting-horse futurity in the eastern United States. Polo tournaments and equestrian events abound in nearby equestrian communities, too. A short drive from Augusta is the huge Lake Thurmond Reservoir, with a 1,200-mile shoreline that offers outdoor activities such as water-skiing, swimming, boating and camping.
Kid-friendly sites include the Funsville Amusement Park and the Augusta Iceforum, an ice-skating rink. Attractions that promise both fun and enlightenment include the Morris Museum of Art, the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, the Augusta Cotton Exchange Welcome Center and Museum and the Augusta Museum of History.
Augusta is perfectly situated for weekend and vacation getaways, too. Located midway between the Great Smokey Mountains and the Atlantic coast, it’s within a three-hour drive of Atlanta, the University of Georgia and Athens, Charleston and the Atlantic Ocean.