In a few weeks, the world will have its eyes on Augusta, Georgia, for the annual Masters Tournament. Next to golf, Augusta National Golf Club is known for beautiful azaleas with blooms peaking during the Masters. But Augusta is about more than just golf, and you don’t have to walk the golf course to see beautiful flowers. Pendelton King Park has several gardens, including an azalea walk, and no tickets are required. Here are three more budget-friendly things to do in Augusta beyond golf.
Phinizy Swamp Nature Park: This free nature preserve spans 1,100 acres and includes 14 miles of biking and hiking trails. Spot a beaver on the Beaver Dam Trail or an alligator in the Clarification Pond. Some trails are even stroller and wheelchair accessible. Explore on your own, take a free-guided hike or pay a nominal fee for special hikes. Birders will enjoy Phinizy’s Birding Weekend April 22 – 24.
Augusta Canal National Heritage Area: The best way to learn about Augusta’s industrial past is at the hands-on Augusta Canal Interpretive Center. In addition to the museum, hikers and bikers like to walk or ride the flat towpath, which was once used by the mules that pulled the boats. For a special view of the area and a little history, take a Petersburg boat tour.
Heggie’s Rock Spring Preserve: Each spring and fall, Heggie’s Rock Preserve opens for guided tours, and it’s a site to behold. The Preserve covers 101 acres in Columbia County, outside of Augusta, and includes a 130-acre rock outcrop rising 70 feet above Benton Branch and Little Kiokee Creek. The exposed granite, lichen and moss-covered rock creates a beautiful backdrop for a walk through nature. Heggie’s Rock Preserve was named a National Natural Landmark in 1980. Spring tours are already booked, so mark your calendar to register for fall tours in June.
See Field Trips with Sue family travel blog for more Things to do in Augusta Beyond the Masters.