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Best of Augusta 2011 - Leisure

Best of Augusta 2011 - Leisure

Place To Play Pool
We can easily describe the winner: beer, burgers, billiards. Need we go on? Downtown Augusta’s Sports Center next door to Luigi’s is a classic, and your favorite. Robbie’s Sports Bar racks up second; Metro Coffeehouse is third.

Park To Take Your Kids
The park at the Columbia County Library offers the dual benefit of physical education with a side of mental exercise too. No wonder it gets your top spot. Pendleton King Park takes the silver slide and the Brookfield Bronze goes, unexpectedly, to Brookfield Park.

Best Tourist Attraction
Looking for something to do with all your extra Masters Tournament badges? We’ve got an idea: Invite friends and family from out of town to attend the Best Tourist Attraction in our fair city. While they’re here, you might as well show them the other finalists: Woodrow Wilson’s home back when he was just one of the boyz in the hood; and the crystal blue waters of Clarks Hill Lake. Then send them packing.

Best Performing Arts Group
You could live in a city that doesn’t have a symphony orchestra—Millen probably doesn’t have one, for instance —but you’re fortunate enough to live in Augusta and you chose Symphony Orchestra Augusta (SOA) as the top performing arts organization. Awaiting their cue just offstage: the Augusta Players. the Augusta Ballet pirouettes into third.

Local Festival
As you probably realize already, without art Earth would be just “eh.” Not too exciting. But every year, Arts in the Heart of Augusta spices up life around here with a savory blend of visual, performing and culinary arts from all over the aforementioned Earth. The Westobou Festival takes the well-deserved silver medal; you awarded the Greek Festival the coveted Bronze Baklava.

Best Place To Get Back To Nature
Assuming you ever left, the best place to get back to nature is Clarks Hill Lake. This is one splendid recreational area, yet one many of us often overlook. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Closer to town, the Augusta Canal is another great asset for everyone with a canoe, kayak, bicycle or two feet. Finally, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park will make you think you’re miles from nowhere. That’s your top three.

Best Place To Walk Your Dog
Let’s face it. We all could stand to walk a little more. It may take an extra effort to extricate yourself from the couch, but one thing is guaranteed: Fido is ready to walk. Why not take a tip from the ballots and head to the Augusta Canal. The Bark Park at Pendleton King Park wins runner-up and the North Augusta Greeneway gets third.

Cheap Date
So when you think “stimulus package” you’re not thinking money? Fair enough. For maximum bang for minimum buck, readers suggest the two of you take in a second-run movie at Masters Cinema. With the money you save you can afford to smuggle in popcorn from home. A GreenJackets game takes second base. Events at the Columbia County Amphitheater take third.

Best Place To Propose Marriage
Voters propose Riverwalk as the best place for such proposals. Hey, and if it doesn’t work out, next time try Savannah Rapids. And if you need a third time, readers say Calvert’s is the charm. (Uh, so maybe start there in the first place?)

Best Special Events Facility
What you’re looking for here is a facility that will make an ordinary event special and a special event even specialer. Readers say search no further than Sacred Heart Cultural Center. Now that is a special events facility. There’s not another like it in all the world. The River Room and Savannah Rapids Pavilion score the silver and the bronze medals.

Best Place To Break Off a Relationship
Let’s say you decide to switch plumbers. Or boyfriends. Or fiancées. Whatever the relationship, readers suggest a clean break over the phone. Slightly impersonal, but not too bad. Way better than texting, that’s for sure. Oddly enough, “church” and “Starbucks” round out the top three. Go figure.
Day Trip
Once the immortal James Brown (who has since died) told us he and his band went to Japan. For the day. Fly there. Do a two-hour show. Fly home. For mere mortals, Columbia is more our speed. Great museums, fine restaurants, good shopping. And a piece of cake to get there and back. Historic Savannah and Charleston win second and third.

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