Throughout the summer, the Visit Augusta team has had the opportunity to have Ms. Julia Pruitt as an outstanding intern. Here, on her last day before she returns to her senior year as a graphic communications major at Clemson University, we ask her to chronicle her favorite spots in Augusta. 

"From growing up in an old house in historic Summerville to now still holding onto my Peach State pride at Clemson University, I believe there are so many top notch spots along with hidden gems that give Augusta so much character as a unique “small-city, big-town.”  

"Itʼs hard for me to narrow my favorite things down to just five, but when I think about where I always go when I come home from college, or where I love bragging about to my friends who are just dying to visit, these five places come to mind." 

Getting Outdoors

My first pick? The Augusta Canal. This man-made canal not only comes with a rich history as a major contributor in the foundation of the city, but it has my favorite outdoor activities in Augusta.

My recommendation for a full afternoon experience? Either hike or bike between the Lake Olmstead Trailhead and the “Love Locks” bridge at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion; taking a break in the shade at Aqueduct Park tucked just off of the beaten path, or rent kayaks from Savannah Rapids Kayak Rentals and leisurely paddle your way down the canal (both options are about 6 miles).

Romantic getaway idea? Take a picnic at the Augusta Canal and grab a lock to clip to the 'Love Locks.'

Caffeine for this College Girl 

A late lunch on the patio of Bodega Ultima with a sweet tea or iced coffee in hand and good company is my happy place. My favorite order? The Ham and Turkey Croissant and the Ultimate Kale Salad. 

I feel a little piece of home in Buona Caffe as it has been my favorite coffee shop for an afternoon of studying, a sweet friend catch-up, an early morning coffee date, or a latte-to-go. Today, it has even expanded into the Cyber Center, is sold in many local Augusta restaurants, and can be purchased by the bag. As an avid coffee drinker, I can honestly say that their locally-made artisan roasts make for the best cup of coffee.

Be sure to follow Buona Caffe & Bodega Ultima for mouth-watering and caffeinated inspo - @buonacaffe & @bodegaultima.

Shop Til You Drop 

Any time someone asks me where my cute top, earrings, or dress is from, the answer is almost always Swank. This casual yet trendy boutique is my go-to place for every day outfits, fun gifts, or just to browse around their beautiful two (soon to be three) storefronts. 

To the college girl living on a budget, this may be Augustaʼs best hidden secret. Final Cut is a discounted, overstock warehouse for slightly damaged or out of season clothes and furniture. This shopper's advice? Finding gems takes some digging so have FUN while making your way through each section. 

My go-to look book? Follow them on Instagram @shopswankco for inspiration and gift ideas. 

Yes, this is a shameless plug, but I just had to through this one in there. Not only do I love the people here that I have gotten to work with in this internship, but Augusta & Co. is the ideal one-stop-shop for everything Augusta from gifts, to golf, to sweets, to local art. I have loved shopping here for Christmas presents, a gift for an out-of-town friend, or just to take a piece of home with me back to college. You know I will be back every chance that I get for the shop and the people that have made this summer so special. 

We encourage our visitors and locals to practice safe social distancing while exploring our beautiful city, and to continue following recommendations for travel, sanitation, and safety given by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Effective July 10 through September 8, the Mayor of Augusta has issued an executive order requiring masks to be worn while participating in public activities. For more information, view our guidance on masks and social distancing.