Downtown Augusta: Where Art, History, and Community Thrive

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    Downtown Augusta

    Downtown Augusta, Georgia, is a testament to the city’s rich history, vibrant culture, and innovative spirit. Nestled along the banks of the Savannah River, this urban hub seamlessly marries its historic roots with contemporary trends, offering residents and visitors diverse experiences. From its historic landmarks and eclectic dining scene to its lively arts and entertainment options, Downtown Augusta is a destination that appeals to people from all walks of life.

    One of Augusta’s liveliest neighborhoods is the downtown district. Every year, it draws hundreds of visitors and people from all over the CSRA, particularly in April when the Masters Tournament is held at the Augusta National Golf Club. 

     The Augusta downtown historic district is located along the banks of the Savannah River.

     Miller Theater:

    The Miller Theater could be included in the Arts & Culture AND History sections! Originally opened in 1940, the theatre was one of Augusta’s most prominent entertainment venues until it fell into disrepair in the 1980’s. 

    However, the Miller reopened its doors in 2018. This was due to the vision and generosity of Augusta businessman and philanthropist Peter Knox IV. 

    An ambitious capital campaign was also to raise the remaining funds needed for total renovation.

    Once again, the Miller Theater is a top destination to enjoy a variety of types of entertainment.

    Sacred Heart Cultural Center:

    SThe Miller Theater could be included in the Arts & Culture AND History sections! Initially opened in 1940, the theatre was one of Augusta’s most prominent entertainment venues until it fell into disrepair in the 1980’s. 

    However, the Miller reopened its doors in 2018. This was due to the vision and generosity of Augusta businessman and philanthropist Peter Knox IV. 

    An ambitious capital campaign was also to raise the remaining funds needed for total renovation.

    Once again, the Miller Theater is a top destination to enjoy a variety of types of entertainment.

    Morris Museum of Art:

    The Morris Museum of Art is truly a gem in downtown Augusta. They are proud to be the oldest museum in the country, specifically devoted to the art and artists of the American South.

    More than just a museum, The Morris regularly hosts artist talks, live music, film screenings, and other events. There are even events for participants to create their art.

    The museum offers group tours tailored to fit your group’s interests.

    Augusta Entertainment Complex:

    The Augusta Entertainment Complex comprises the Bell Auditorium (BA) and the James Brown Arena (JBA).

    These are two of the largest venues in the CSRA, attracting the most significant acts and performers that come into Augusta! Past performers include Elton John, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the Harlem Globetrotters, and Celtic Women. Traveling Broadway shows have also come to this complex as well.

    The JBA hosts Augusta Beerfest in late summer every year and the Kicks 99 Guitar Pull later in the fall. This concert draws some country music’s hottest artists to the Augusta area to raise money for the United Way of the CSRA.

    ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX

    Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History:

    Lucy Craft Laney was a renowned African-American educator from the Augusta community. 

    In the 1980’s, the Augusta chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority purchased her home from Ms. Laney’s family to serve as a place to meet and also as a museum to honor her accomplishments as well as those of other outstanding African Americans from Augusta.

    Permanent exhibitions include the Lucy Craft Laney Exhibition, the Pilgrim Health and Life Insurance Exhibition, the Alice Davis Collection, and the Augusta Ebony Legacy Collection.

    Ezekiel Harris House:

    The Smithsonian Guide to Historic America called the Ezekiel Harris House the finest eighteenth-century house surviving in Georgia. It was built in 1797 by a prominent tobacco merchant and was fully restored in 1964. It was initially a part of Harrisburg, a city that competed with Augusta for the tobacco trade.

    The home is included on the National Register of Historic Places due to its Federal-style architecture.

     The Augusta Museum of History runs it.

    Augusta Canal National Heritage Area:

    In 1845, the construction of the Augusta Canal brought electricity, water, and an additional mode of transportation to the Augusta region.

    The canal and its industrial mills are on the National Register of Historic Places and are considered a National Historic Landmark.

    The Augusta Canal National Heritage Area offers guided boat tours along the canal. Boat rides feature live music, a Civil War tour, and a history and nature tour.

    The Canal Discovery Center allows guests to learn about the canal and its history through interactive exhibits, videos, and models.

    Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson:

    The Boyhood Home of Woodrow Wilson is a National Historic Landmark. The President lived here as a child during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

    It is now a museum that illustrates his life during that time. Visitors also learn what the city itself was like during that period. 

    Wilson’s childhood home is across the street from First Presbyterian Church and down the road from Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Attendees of these church services pass by the house weekly!

    Historic Augusta Inc. bought the house in 1991, restored it, and converted it into the museum it is today. 

    Archaeological experts and historians were hired to evaluate the home, determine how best to utilize it, and settle on a museum.

    It features 13 pieces of furniture in the home while Wilson lived there. 

    Tours are available Wednesday through Saturday with discounted prices for seniors, students, military, and children.

    Craft & Vine:

    CRAFT AND VINE

    The team at Craft & Vine, a member of Frog Hollow Hospitality Group, is known in Augusta for their theme events, during which they transform the restaurant and create a special themed menu with elaborate decor. For example, during “Summer Camp,” they convert each table into a tent, complete with a lantern inside.

    The staff has the most fun costumes that align with the theme and play a big part in helping make these such a success. They are very knowledgeable about the special menus and always make great recommendations!

    Check them out on social media to see what theme is next! 

    A Glimpse into History:

    • From Cotton to Commerce: Tracing Augusta’s Roots.
    • Preserving the Past: Historic Landmarks and Architecture.

    The early 18th century saw the establishment of Downtown Augusta as a trading post. The cotton industry drove the city’s growth, which propelled it into prosperity.Today, you can see remnants of this history in the architecture that graces the streets, with structures blending elements of the past with the present in a beautiful manner.Preserving historical sites like the Woodrow Wilson childhood house and the Augusta Museum of History offers a peek into the city’s colorful history.

    Downtown Augusta

    Culinary Delights:

    • A Fusion of Flavors: Downtown Augusta’s Culinary Scene.
    • Farm-to-Table Freshness: Embracing Local Ingredients.

    For food enthusiasts, Downtown Augusta is a paradise of tastes and flavors. The culinary scene reflects the city’s diversity, offering a range of dining experiences from upscale restaurants to cozy cafes. Downtown boasts various restaurants serving anything from foreign cuisine to creative fusion meals to Southern comfort food. 

    The farm-to-table movement is strong here, with many establishments sourcing their ingredients locally, ensuring a fresh and sustainable dining experience.

    Art and Culture:

    • Inspiring Creativity: Augusta’s Art Galleries and Studios.
    • The Stage is Set: Performing Arts and Cultural Events.

    Art and culture thrive in the Heart of Augusta. The downtown area is dotted with art galleries and studios showcasing works from local and regional artists. The art scene reflects the city’s eclectic spirit, from traditional paintings to contemporary sculptures. Additionally, performing arts take center stage, with theaters hosting plays, musicals, and concerts. The annual Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival welcomes guests from near and far to celebrate variety through cuisine, music, and art.

    Riverfront Recreation:

    • Along the Savannah: Exploring the Riverwalk.
    • Sporting Spirit: Golf and Outdoor Activities.

    The Savannah River is a defining feature of Downtown Augusta, offering a picturesque backdrop for leisure and recreation. The Riverwalk, a pedestrian path along the water’s edge, provides an ideal relaxing stroll or jog setting. For sports enthusiasts, Augusta is synonymous with golf, being home to the renowned Augusta National Golf Club, host of the Masters Tournament. Beyond golf, the city offers outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing, and cycling opportunities.

    Community and Connectivity:

    • A Gathering Place: Community Events and Festivals.
    • Living in the Heart of it All: Downtown Residences.

    Downtown Augusta isn’t just a place; it’s a community. The city hosts many events and festivals annually that unite residents and visitors. From the Riverwalk Revival to the Westobou Festival, celebrating arts and ideas, these events foster a sense of unity and belonging. Living in the Heart of downtown provides a unique urban experience, with historic homes, modern apartments, and condos allowing residents to be at the center of the action.

    Conclusion:

    DOWNTOWN

    Downtown Augusta, Georgia, is a testament to the city’s ability to embrace its past while looking toward the future. Its historic charm, diverse culinary scene, flourishing arts and culture, and scenic riverfront make it a destination worth exploring. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, an art enthusiast, or simply someone looking to immerse themselves in a vibrant community, Downtown Augusta has something to offer. So, whether you’re a local or a visitor, take advantage of the opportunity to experience the unique blend of history and modernity that makes Downtown Augusta special.

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