Augusta and Atlanta
October 21, 2004 6:48 AM   Subscribe

I'm taking a four day trip to Augusta/Atlanta, GA. Is there anything that I absolutely must do while I'm there?
posted by graventy to Travel & Transportation around Atlanta, GA (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Graventry, what the *fuh* are you doing in Augusta, GA? That's my hometown however, so I'll try to help. I also spent the last three years in Atlanta, so I have tips in that direction as wel.

Must do in augusta:

1. Drive by the Augusta National. On Washington Road, you can get a view in through the front gates (across from the IHOP / Strip Mall Church) toward the clubhouse. If you're not the president of the United States or a friend of a member, you won't get on the grounds. Legally.

2. Eat Barbecue. "Sconyers BBQ" is so good that the owner, Larry Sconyers became the mayor. My real favorite BBQ joints are in South Carolina and are a bit of a hike to get to. They're great however, but it's probably not worth your time unless you're a true connoisseur.

3. Drive along "The Hill." Walton Way winds its way up from the flatter and hotter downtown to the tree-covered and lush burbs. This is call the Hill. There's a bunch of old and very nice old homes along it. There are also civil-war era homes in Old Towne.

4. See a performance at Davidson Fine Arts, if there's something going on. This is my alma mater dear and it's in a converted factory in Downtown.

[Note to self: Man is there nothing going on in my hometown!!? I just suggested to a complete stranger to go to my highschool for cultural activities!]

The restuarants in downtown (on Broad and Greene) and kinda ok and are not applebee's/friday's/olive garden. The are also a few ok bars (Soul Bar, Bees Knees, Squeaky's Tip Top) down there. And a river walk. Bit it's hard to recommend that.

5. Eat at Waffle House. Waffle House is a southern staple of cheap late night eats. The later it is, the better it gets. I prefer the one on Washington Rd., but they're all over. I see from your profile that you're from MN, so you probably haven't ever gotten such sweet scattered-smothered-covered-hashbrowney goodness in you're life.
posted by zpousman at 7:23 AM on October 21, 2004

When I get a chance to go to Atlanta, I'm hitting the Clermont Lounge - but I'm a big perv so YMMV.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:56 AM on October 21, 2004

"is there [anything] going on in my hometown!!?"

I've been stuck in Aiken for the last couple months, and the answer to your question is a definite "NO!!!" If anything, this area (CSRA) is even worse than it was when I lived here in the 80s. Even Riverwalk (or whatever it's called) was a huge disappointment.

graventy: bring a good book.
posted by mischief at 8:00 AM on October 21, 2004

As for Atlanta, search AskMe. We covered Atlanta just a few weeks ago.
posted by mischief at 8:05 AM on October 21, 2004

I currently live in Augusta. Between Mischief, myself, and you we could be well on our way to having a few beers or something. E-mail me if you're interested.

Also of interest, users near Augusta:
zztzed 29801
TedW 30809
raysmj 30901
russh 30907
untuckedshirts 30907
posted by yangwar at 8:40 AM on October 21, 2004

Thanks! I'm visiting my sister, who recently started working down there for I-R. I'm only going to be down there for a few days, and between friends and family, I probably won't have much extra time. Between you guys and her, I've pretty well maxed my list. AskMe truly does rock.
posted by graventy at 9:17 AM on October 21, 2004

Man, there's 14 Waffle Houses in Augusta! Damn! There's only 11 McDonaldses. Or...McDonald's.
posted by graventy at 9:20 AM on October 21, 2004

I said it before, and I'll say it again: the MLK house and the Ebeneezer Baptist Church are fine places to visit.

[& good GOD I miss Waffle House. Nothing in NYC even comes close.]
posted by lilboo at 10:05 AM on October 21, 2004

Yes, go to the MLK Visitor's Center and historic site. Go to Waffle House. (I'm with ya, lilboo.) And yes, the Clermont Lounge is the best place on earth.
posted by Vidiot at 10:41 AM on October 21, 2004

Yes, in Atlanta, the Clermont Lounge is a must-see. Just don't expect the ladies to be too foxy. Pay Blondie to crush a beer can for you and you will have a memory and a souvenir (and possibly a communicable disease) that you'll treasure for life.

Otherwise, as far as 'must see' in Atlanta.... that's a toughy. If you like dive bars and rock clubs, head to East Atlanta or Little 5 Points. For something a little more upscale, but not too snooty, try Virginia Highlands. If you saw the movie 'Coyote Ugly' and said to yourself, "that's for me!" then by all means, ignore all of my previous advice and get thee to Buckhead.

For late night grub or AM breakfast, hit The Majestic -- just a stone's throw from the Clermont. For world-class grease, hit The Varsity for a chili-dog or two. Pick up a 'Creative Loafing' for further advice on things to eat and entertainment-type things to do. Good restaurant info is also available from John Kessler of the daily paper -- you can probably search some of it at in advance, or just buy the paper when you get here.

As far as museums and stuff, well, we've got 'em, but they are a little less than amazing. Still, the High Museum of Art is worthwhile, as is their folk art annex downtown. The Center for Puppetry Arts is suprisingly cool. Fernbank natural history museum borders on lame, but is not totally worthless. There's a walking tour of the MLK historical district that I'm ashamed to say I've never done. There's also the Jimmy Carter library which is actually pretty cool, and I think they have an exhibit running now related to 9/11. The zoo is decent, but expensive for what it is. Unless you are particularly fond of monkeys and pandas. You can also tour CNN, which I hear is kind of a cool thing to do.

As for typical tourist stuff that will get crammed down your throat, here's the real deal: Underground Atlanta is just a shopping mall, and a really bad one at that. The World of Coke is just a bunch of advertisements, and you have to wait in line and pay money to see them. Centennial Park is nice if there's an event there, but otherwise its just like a big parking lot that someone covered with grass. Which come to think of it, is exactly what it is. You can miss all three, and be happy that you did.

Oh, and if you like beer, we currently have two microbreweries that are still in business and actually quite good: Sweetwater and Atlanta Brewing Company. Sample both of their wares. Both breweries offer tours with free beer too, on Friday's I think.

Google will be able to help you out with more details on any or all of this stuff. Have fun!
posted by spilon at 7:13 PM on October 21, 2004

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