Happy day, dear reader!
Masters’ Week is upon us. The tourists will be arriving, although not in the droves to which we are accustomed. The Masters’ flags are flying out front of many a house. The azaleas are in bloom, and all the yellow pollen has been washed off the outdoor furniture. We spruce it up here for our visitors, even if we aren’t having any! The best thing about living in Augusta? You always know the any road work will be complete by the first full week of April! Thank you to the workers upgrading the pavement and drainage all along Wheeler and Aumond Roads. What an improvement!
It seems appropriate to share with our visitors some places Augustans hang out… Not that I’m actually an Augustan. We’ve only lived here since 2007. When we moved here I asked someone how long you need to live here before you might be considered an Augustan. I was told, You’re from here if your grandmama is buried here, honey. I’ll never be from here, then!
Since many locals (and residents) fly the coop, or have the common sense to hunker down at home for the week, we won’t be taking up room at our favorite haunts, so you are welcome to them! I also know that not everyone is here for the golf. (As hard as that is for non-golfers to believe.) If you are looking for some shopping or browsing for those not-on-the-course-days, I’m sharing some of the places that we who live here year ’round like to play… (Get it? Round? Play? #sorrynotsorry) If you’re a regular Augusta visitor, you already know the old standards; that’s why for this post I am including some smaller, and less well known places in to broaden the horizon!
Note: None of these recommendations or links are sponsored. I’m sharing the love because I love these locally owned and operated businesses!
Jonesing for Java?
Branch out past Starbucks friends! For a great cup of coffee…
On the Hill: Slip down to Buona Caffe; they have AMAZING pecan pound cake if you get there early enough! Their cookies and scones are no slouch either, but I hold out for the coffee cake.
West Side: Drop in at the Inner Bean Cafe for not only coffee, but great lunches and delish desserts! Their peanut butter pie is my husband’s favorite… And he tries it everywhere! While you are there, pick up a treat for your favorite ballerina at Tutus and Dance Shoes next door.
If shopping is what you are looking for, and you aren’t buying for the Masters logo we have lots of local places once you get off Washington Road! Let’s break this out by neighborhood…
If you are near the National, Surrey Center is your closest mini-mecca. Try Soho for clothes and shoes, Swank for all kinds of goodies, but especially accessories, Charleston Street for gorgeous home goods and gifts, Angevine’s for silver and charms, and Shoes at Surrey for gorgeous shoes you won’t see on everyone else’s feet! There are plenty of good eats at Surrey Center, too!
If the Hill is your neighborhood of choice, putter the shops across from St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church. Peek into the windows at Days Gone By and Petals and Plumes and enjoy the luxury at Wesley Cadle. Want a casual lunch that you know the kids will love? Get thee to Arsenal Tap Room. There’s beer for the grown ups, and a menu full of grilled cheese sandwiches and ‘tots. If the weather is nice, sit outside. There are other more “adult” food choices as well, but let me sing of the grilled cheese… Please? If you’ve left the children at home, then head over to the Queen (the Indian Queen) for adult beverages, especially a nice cocktail. Ahhhhh.
A short hop away, grab a snack at Two Moms Cookies (You can get not only amazing cookies and cakes, but casseroles to go!) My favorite cookie? The Ginger. Or maybe the Oatmeal Craisin Toffee. Or…
Are you in need of a cut, trim or color? Salon Sano is your place. They won’t be open this week, but plan to come early next year (or stay late). Hope makes magic with curly hair! She’s worth the extra stay… Speaking of staying:
Staying in West Augusta? For some truly gorgeous and unique women’s clothing, check out Capsule at Walton’s Corner. Next door at The Verandah, get your snack fix on at What-A-Nut (Their roasted Rosemary Pecans are TDF), and grab a delish dessert (or dinner) at the Pie Hole! You might need to order your pie (sweet or savory) in advance… Mmmmmmm. Pie. Another women’s retailer to check out (Maybe after that coffee at Inner Bean?) is Brittany Boutique.
If your Masters’ neighborhood is Martinez/Evans: Fury’s Ferry Road, stop in some of the strip centers on your way home. (I know strip center sounds scary, but here in our part of the South, they are full of lovely surprises!) Grab some healthy to take home at Paleo Num Yums. If bagging some clothing or accessories is more your style, try Charm House Boutique, or Swank (Yes, they have two locations.) in the Publix plaza on Fury’s Ferry Road. Stop at Toast and take home Happy Hour! For the man in your life, Low Country Clothiers will set him up in Southern style. Bowties are a specialty! We here in the South DO bowties… What separates the men from the boys? Self-tie, people.
How About You?
And you, reader dear? Are you an Augusta native? Or a local? Have you ever visited? Are you a golf aficionado? If you ever wondered about the white belts, read this! Do you do sport tourism of any kind? What sport floats your boat? Do tell! I’ll just be hunkered down here Chez Closet Play while the traffic flows past…