Berry Picking Season

There’s nothing quite like wandering a farm under a warm sun,
filling a basket with a berries fresh from the vine. Looking for a
nearby “you pick ‘em” place? Here are a few options.

Gurosick Berry Plantation
This North Augusta farm allows
you to pick strawberries and hybrid blackberries through July 4.
www.gurosiksberryplantation.com   

Blue House Farm
Located on Old Blythe Road in
Harlem. Pick blueberries, blackberries and muscadines.
www.facebook.com/bluehousefarmgeorgia

Bynes Blueberries
Blueberry picking in June and July only. Located in Waynesboro.
www.byneblueberries.com   

Sweetwater Creek Farm
North Augusta farm that offers blueberry picking.
www.facebook.com/Sweetwater-Creek-Farm-Blueberries-U-Pick

Herb n Berries U Pick Blueberry Farm
Montmorenci, South Carolina blueberry farm.
www.herbnberries.com   

      

LYFT

Lyft Vs. Uber

There’s a new ride in town. Those who have been “Ubering” may want to consider adding an additional ride-sharing app to their phone: Lyft. Lyft came to Augusta in February So what’s the difference between the two services? In terms of pricing, both cost about the same, (about $.75 a mile) both offer fare estimates, and both have larger vehicles available if you’re traveling in a group. But here’s where they vary:

Vibe:

Uber emphasizes a more formal demeanor in their drivers, whereas Lyft encourages a  looser attitude. It brands itself as “your friend with a car” and even encourages passengers to sit up front with the driver. Some Lyft drivers also offer fun, themed rides.

Covered area:

Unlike Uber, as of press time, Lyft isn’t crossing the bridge into South Carolina. But they will go as far as Thomson and Wrens in Georgia.

Tipping:

Not required for either service but Lyft allows you to tip the driver with the app and even gives you a reminder. With Uber you’ll need cash to tip the driver, and they emphasis that tipping isn’t necessary.

    

 

GETAWAYS:

Chattanooga

The New York Times named it one of the top 45 places to go in the world, and it’s the only town to be named best town twice by Outside magazine. Chattanooga is one of those rare destinations that seems to have a little something for everyone.

What to Do: Anyone who’s traveled in the Southeast in the last few decades has spotted a  Ruby Falls or Rock City sign, but those iconic attractions are just one of the many places to visit in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The city is also home to the Tennessee Aquarium, where you’ll come eye-to-eye with a giant catfish or have the opportunity to pet a sturgeon. Or if you prefer fur to fins, catch some face time with a chimpanzee at the Chattanooga Zoo.

Craving a culture fix? Visit the Bluffview Arts District, a historic haven perched on stone cliffs overlooking the Tennessee River that specializes in the visual, culinary and landscape arts. Stroll through a sculpture garden, browse the River Gallery or watch local artisans bake bread.

If you’re the adventurous type, explore the caves of Raccoon Mountain, paddleboard the Tennessee River or stroll down Chattanooga’s beautiful thirteen-mile Riverpark.

Where to Eat: Feeling carnivorous? The Beast and Barrel, a gastropub, serves up everything from pork shanks to roasted bone marrow to duck burgers, but its must-try menu item is the Big Katz, a monster of a pastrami sandwich, marinated for 36 hours. If you crave a river view with your cuisine, try the Back Inn Cafe. Sample the scallops in a lobster vanilla cream sauce or the braised pork belly paired with waffles. Family friendly fare can be found at the Urban Stack, which has fun food options like bologna sliders and burgers topped with fried-green tomatoes.

Where to Stay:  Chattanooga is famous for its Choo-Choo so why not stay in a beautifully restored authentic sleeper cars? www.choochoo.com/accommodations If you want to be in the heart of the downtown action, book a room at the Historic Read House Hotel, which has hosted everyone from Winston Churchill to Al Capone. Those who are fond of funky retro boutique hotels will feel at home at The Dwell Hotel. www.thedwellhotel.com

Chattanooga is 247 miles from Augusta or 4 hours and 23 minutes away by car

                                                                                                 

 


 

Augusta Rocks!

If you stumble across a pretty painted rock, thank Augusta Rocks, a Facebook page with almost 9,000 members. The group’s purpose is to spread joy via painted rocks, and the idea caught on so quickly, there’s now Facebook rock groups in Evans, Aiken and North Augusta.  Members purchase their rocks from Earth Tech South, paint them with acrylics, protect them from the elements with a spray sealer and hide them. The group also hosts swaps and other events. 

For more info, visit Facebook and search for Augusta Rocks or visit www.facebook.com/groups/1334135719954758 

www.tasteofthemasterchefs.com

 

 


 

Bestselling Low Country Author Mary Alice Monroe to Visit Augusta

Every canvas beach bag begs for a beach book, and author Mary Alice Monroe’s latest, Beach House for Rent makes for ideal summer reading. Isle of Palms is the setting for Monroe’s latest tale about two women reluctantly becoming roomies in Primrose Cottage, a beach house. Heather, a young anxiety-prone artist, craves solitude to paint shore birds and tend to her pet canaries. Cara is recovering from a devastating loss. An arrangement that begins as a hindrance eventually turns into an exercise in healing.

Monroe is known for her characters’ well-crafted emotional journeys and her abiding respect and concern for the fauna
of the Low Country.

The author is coming to Augusta as a part of

Augusta Author Series (www.facebook.com/augustaauthorseries) on June 27 at Abel
Brown for an author talk and luncheon,
which begins at 11:30a.m. For tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets.com    

Visit www.helmscontinuingeducation.com/saturday-chef.html


By the Light of the Moon

When the days heat up, cooler evenings become the best time for Augustans to get outside. Here’s some options for outdoor nighttime entertainment!

Augusta Canal Moonlight Cruises:
Every Friday in June at 7 p.m. enjoy live music and a 90-minute cruise.

Full Moon Walk at Phinizy Swamp:
Guided hike under the stars June 9th from 9 p.m.
to 11 p.m. $10
Visit www.phinizycenter.org                 

Candlelight Jazz:
Sundays at the Augusta Commons at
7:30 p.m. $6 admission. June 5
to August 28.

Visit www.facebook.com/candlelightjazz/                        


Meetup Augusta

If you’re new to town or looking for people with common interests, Meetup is the place to be. With over ninety different groups, you’re bound to find some kindred souls. A sampling of some  of the larger groups include action and adventure enthusiasts, hikers, hackers, day trippers, vegetarians, Women Helping Women and much more. Whether your interests are books, meditation, creative writing or investing, there’s bound to be a group for you.

www.meetup.com/cities/us/ga/augusta             


New Diner Coming to Augusta

When you think of salad do you think of prime rib and French fries? If not, you might change your mind once Metro Diner opens up this summer on Washington Road in the old Somewhere in Augusta location. The Jacksonville-based eatery was featured on the show Drive-Ins and Dives and host, Guy Fieri, declared that the restaurant’s Pittsburgh Steak Salad is “the new definition of salad.”

Metro Diner’s web site describes its fare as “comfort food with a flair” and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Other notable dishes include fried chicken and waffles, chicken pot pie, meatloaf and more.


FACES: Elizabeth Baird

Girl Friday

We all have that errand or chore we despise. Maybe it’s dragging the dog to the vet or cleaning up calcified salad dressing in the refrigerator or writing thank you notes until our eyes cross. Whatever it is, we’d rather be doing almost anything else. But now, thanks to Elizabeth Baird, and her business Errands Elite, instead of enduring drudgery, you can delegate.

Baird, mother of three, longed for a flexible work schedule that would allow her to attend her children’s swim meets and other extracurricular activities. She’d seen errand services operating in other towns, and came up with the idea of starting one in Augusta. She launched Errands Elite in January 2016, and it was a success from the onset. Likely it’s because Baird prides herself on helpfully going the extra mile. For instance, if she purchases groceries for you, she will also put them away.

“There’s no errand too small,” Baird said. “Once I had a customer ask me to pick up a bag of ice. That was it. Another time I delivered doughnuts at 6 a.m.”

A typical day for Baird is running around town, stopping at a host of stores, grabbing prescriptions, buying gifts and even helping to decorate a bedroom.

“I have a lot of energy,” said Baird. “One day last week I made twenty-seven stops. I enjoy variety, which is good, because every day is different.”

Baird will do most anything, from having a meal waiting for you when you get home—she calls this service “din in the fridge”—to picking up your children from school. If it’s something she can’t do herself—like hanging a door or unclogging a toilet—she’ll find a professional to do it for you.

“I’ve even hunted down chickens,” Baird said. “I have chickens of my own, and I know they rarely stray too far from the coop. These chicken were just over the fence.” 

Another unusual request she received was to purchase fifty copies of The Augusta Chronicle on the day of Arnold Palmer’s death and ship them to a client in Connecticut for resale as collectors’ items.

Baird has only failed in her mission once. Someone wanted her to locate Gold Toe socks from the seventies but she couldn’t find any in town. She’s still keeping an eye out, just in case.

Recently she’s expanded her hours to weekends and has a number of people working for her on call. Even when it’s time for Baird to relax, she’s on the go. Her family enjoys boating at the lake or splashing around in the water park at Great Wolf Hall or hitting the beach at Fripp Island.

When asked what errand Baird herself dreads, there was a long pause.

“I can’t think of anything,” she said. “I just love running errands.”

Finally she admits she doesn’t like cleaning her house, but that’s okay because she also has connections with a maid service.

“It’s gratifying, “Baird said. “I feel like I’m giving people the gift of time so they can do more things with their families.”

This article appears in the June/July 2017 issue of Augusta Magazine.

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