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14 Food Trails Worthy of Packing an Extra Pair of Comfortable Pants (March 2019)

Exploring Algiers Point, New Orleans' Second Oldest Neighborhood (January 2019)

Postcard from Bristol Tennessee/Virginia (January 2019)

21 "Spirited" Stays Throughout The South (October 2018)

Checking In for the Night: Nine Bed-and-Breakfasts Throughout the South (October 2018)

Rhythm is Deep during Cumberland Caverns Live at Cumberland Caverns (September 2018)

Postcard from Panama City, Florida (August 2018)

Take a Tour of The Lewis Ranch (July 2018)

Reservations, Please! New and Upcoming Properties in the South (July 2018)

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Four Very Different Museum in One Place on the Mississippi State University Campus (July 2018)

Explore Revolutionary War Sites in the South (July 2018)

So Cool, It's Hot: Southern Summer Bucket List (June 2018)

"It's Ours!" Tennessee Town Reclaims Long Island Iced Tea (June 2018)

In a Travel Slump? Find Some Getaway Inspiration with These Four Destinations (June 2018)

Remember and Honor: Seven Military Museums to Visit Year Round (May 2018)

Postcard from Tupelo, Mississippi (May 2018)

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Seven Museums (and a Bonus) Not to Miss in New Orleans' French Quarter (May 2018)

Relax, Recharge and Refresh at Coldwater Gardens in Milton, Florida (April 2018)

Let's Go! Reconnect and Create Memories at These Seven Family Fun Destinations (March 2018)

So Many Reasons to Visit Nashville, Tennessee (February 2018)

Gowns, Costumes and History: 11 Museums (and a Bonus) That Highlight Mardi Gras (January 2018)

Take a Retro U.S. Road Trip with "Addicted to Americana" (January 2018)

Experience Valhalla Resort Hotel in Helen, Georgia (December 2017)

Shop Local: Nine Places to Find Distinctive Gifts (November 2017)

Pose, Snap, Post at Any of These Top Seven Instagrammable Georgia State Parks and Historic Site Locations (November 2017)

A Quick Peek Inside the Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta (November 2017)

It's Coming! Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange, Georgia to Open at the end of May 2018 (October 2017)

Take the Scenic Route: Three Drives not to Miss in the South (October 2017)

Postcard from Winston-Salem, North Carolina (September 2017)

Go, See, Do, Stay: Exploring Three Destinations in the Ozark Mountains (August 2017)

Edgar Degas and the Degas House in New Orleans (August 2017)

Find Unique Experiences in the South (and America) with "100 Things to Do in America Before You Die" (July 2017)

Dive in Gulf County, Florida with Daly's Watersports' "Discover Scuba Diving" (June 2017)

Unpacking the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama (June 2017)

Get Out(side) and Explore Seven of North Alabama's Natural Attractions (May 2017)

10 Things Not to Miss When Visiting Dollywood (May 2017)

Let the Concierge be Your Guide for Adventure in Gulf County, Florida (April 2017)

Discover Farmview Market in Madison, Georgia (October 2016)

Postcard from Natchitoches, Louisiana (October 2016)

Discover the Essence of the Florida Panhandle at State Parks (October 2016)

Experience Fayetteville, North Carolina (October 2016)

Nine Fun Ways to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Georgia (October 2016)

Postcard from Lexington, Kentucky (September 2016)

Get Out and Explore: Six States, 16 State Parks (September 2016)

Checking In...The Henderson in Destin, Florida (September 2016)

What to Do in Blowing Rock, North Carolina (September 2016)

Postcard from Baton Rouge, Louisiana (June 2016)

From Alligators to Whale Sharks: 10 Aquariums in the South to Explore (May 2016)

Postcard from LaGrange, Georgia (April 2016)

Nine Experiences to Enjoy in Bowling Green, Kentucky (March 2016)

Postcard from Middleburg, Virginia (February 2016)

Go, See, Do: Six Getaway-Worthy Southern Destinations (January 2016)

16 Things to Do in the South in 2016 (January 2016)

Rider or Not, There are Many Reasons to Visit Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson (October 2015)

The Great Georgia Escape: Discovering (and Enjoying) Big Canoe (September 2015)

Quick Glimpse into Birmingham, Alabama's Growing Culinary Scene (August 2015)

Discover the Vast Musical Side of the South with the Americana Music Triangle (June 2015)

Take Grilling to the Next Level with Grillocracy.com (June 2015)

True Cajun Experience Found at Crawfish Haven/Mrs. Rose's Bed and Breakfast (May 2015)

Experience Acre in Auburn, Alabama (May 2015)

Experience the Mississippi Delta with These Four Destinations (January 2015)

Four Days, Three Destinations: Exploring Columbia County and Augusta, Ga., and Aiken, S.C. (January 2015)

Finding the Perfect Southern Destination for Your Next Getaway (January 2015)

So Many Fun Ways to Spend Your Holiday Gift Cash in the South (December 2014)

Behind the Scenes: The Personal Collection (and Memories) at the Gone With the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square (December 2014)

Spending a Day or Weekend in Bardstown, Kentucky (September 2014)

"Celebrate" Your Getaway to The Pearl on Rosemary Beach (September 2014)

College Football Hall of Fame Debuts in Atlanta (August 2014)

Discover Alabama's Varied Culinary Side during Alabama Restaurant Week (August 2014)

Get Out and Enjoy Scallop Season (and Scallops) on St. Joseph Bay in Gulf County, Florida (August 2014)

Bringing the Past and Present Together in Rock Hill, S.C. with "75 Years, Still One Gear" (July 2014)

Four Reasons to Plan a Getaway to Sunny Isles Beach, Florida (July 2014)

So Many Ways in the South to Make This Summer One to Remember (June 2014)

Amp Up Your Doughnut Making (and Eating) Experience with Sublime Doughnuts' Kamal Grant's Cookbook (May 2014)

Streamsong Resort: A Golfing Resort Beyond the Ordinary in Florida (April 2014)

In the Kitchen with Chef Douglas Olsen (March 2014)

Celebrating Farmers and Farm Life with the Farm Star Living Website and App (March 2014)

In the Kitchen with Chef Sam Lodovico, The Resort at Glade Springs (February 2014)

Checking Out Charleston's Culinary Scene with Charleston Culinary Tours (February 2014)

Discovering Downtown Birmingham, Ala. with Alabama Road Trips (January 2014)

Season Two of "Emeril's Florida" Highlights Culinary Gems of South Walton (January 2014)

Chatting with Barbecue Champion and Restaurateur Melissa Cookston (November 2013)

"Cast Iron Chef" Competition to Heat Up the 3rd annual Brooks County Skillet Festival (October 2013)

Crowd Pleasing Recipes to Amp Up Tailgating (September 2013)

Discovering Georgia's Lake Oconee Area (July 2013)

Honoring the Man in Black: Johnny Cash Museum (June 2013)

Experience Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island (June 2013)

Build Your Own Memorable Experience in Columbus, Georgia (May 2013)

South Walton’s Art Culture: People Behind the Creations (May 2013)

Louisville, Kentucky Beyond the Derby (May 2013)

City Insider: Mark Wyant, owner, The Saint Hotel in New Orleans (February 2013)

Dining Out at Osteria Tulia (January 2013)

Discover Florida's Charm with Emeril's Florida (January 2013)

Taste Nostalgia (and Fun) with Pure Sodaworks (December 2012)

Find Serenity (and More) at Red Horse Inn (December 2012)

In Tall Cotton: Chef Cory Bahr and Restaurant Cotton (November 2012)

Under the Grand Chapiteau with Cirque du Soleil’s Totem (November 2012)

Feelin’ Presidential: Presidential Sites Throughout the South (October 2012)

Eight Cool Southern College Towns (September 2012)

Mark Your Calendar... Fabulous Southern Fall Music Festivals (September 2012)

In the Kitchen with Chef Eric Fulkerson (August 2012)

Visiting The Inn at Magnolia Oaks (August 2012)

Journey to New Orleans Plantation Country (August 2012)

Turn Your Vacation into an Experience at the Plantation on Crystal River (July 2012)

Dazzle Your Summer with Fata Morgana (July 2012)

Coming Home to Hightower Creek Vineyards (July 2012)

Exploring I-95 in the South with Barbara Barnes, Author of What’s Great About I-95: Maine to Florida (July 2012)

Timeless Experiences Await You at High Hampton Inn (June 2012)

Discover Cummins Falls, Tennessee's Newest State Park (June 2012)

See Savannah on a Segway Tour (June 2012)

Newest Addition to Biloxi, Mississippi - Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant (May 2012)

Coming Home: Chef David Guas set for New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (May 2012)

Experience Southern Sweetness with South Carolina's Firefly Distillery (May 2012)

The Running of the 71st Iroquois Steeplechase (May 2012)

100 Years and Counting: Riding the African Queen (May 2012)

Get Into the Wild with Safari Wilderness Ranch (May 2012)

Discover Another Side of Spartanburg with the Underground Guide to Spartanburg (April 2012)

Get Out and Explore National Parks During National Park Week (April 2012)

Glide Through Downtown Memphis on the Segway Experience of Memphis Tour (April 2012)

Congratulations to Our "Adventure Time Getaway" Winner (April 2012)

The Tennessee Aquarium, 20 Years Later and Still Going Strong (March 2012)

Fashion Weeks Show Off Stylish South (March 2012)

What to do When You’re Not Breathing Baseball During Spring Training in Florida (March 2012)

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Congratulations to our Back To Nature Getaway Winner (November 2011)

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Festivals, Football, Foliage and Fun: The Many Reasons Fall is Great in the South (October 2011)

The New Must-Do’s in Raleigh, North Carolina (September 2011)

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Exploring Seaside with the Seaside Walking Tour (September 2011)

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Discover Southern Charm and Hospitality at Fairview Inn in Jackson, Mississippi (August 2011)

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Simply Southern...James Madison Inn in Madison, Ga. (June 2011)

Fun and Free (or Inexpensive) Ways to Celebrate Dad this Father's Day (June 2011)

Congratulations to Our Simply Delightful Getaway Winner (June 2011)

Discovering One of Florida’s Surprises: Paddling the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (April 2011)

Rediscovering old Florida at the Florida House Inn (March 2011)

Sip and Taste at the 26th annual Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival (March 2011)

Congratulations to our "Savannah's Best" Getaway Winner (March 2011)

Let’s Play Ball! Spring Training in Florida (February 2011)

Getting Back to Nature: Touring Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge (February 2011)

Spotting Winter Wildlife (and Possibly Whales) in Virginia Beach, Virginia (January 2011)

Congratulations to our “Let’s Just Go” Getaway Winner (January 2011)

Finding “Treasures” on Jekyll Island, Georgia (January 2011)

Yo, Ho Ho: Exploring the Life of Pirates at the Pirate and Treasure Museum (January 2011)

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Holidays are Hot at Hotels Across the South (December 2010)

It’s Nice on Ice–Where to Go Ice Skating in the South This Holiday Season (December 2010)

Congratulations to our Private Island Getaway Winner (December 2010)

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Discovering Nu Wray Inn in Burnsville North Carolina (December 2010)

Thanksgiving Day Chef Competition at Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation (November 2010)

Many Reasons to Celebrate the Holiday Season at Gaylord Opryland (November 2010)

Discover the Birdhouse Trail in Monroeville Alabama (November 2010)

Congratulations to Our Casino Giveaway Winner (November 2010)

Get Out This Saturday for VISIT FLORIDA’s Great Beach Walk (November 2010)

Nathan Beaver set to Return to Perform in Madison Georgia (November 2010)

Fall for Fishing Along North Carolina’s Coast (October 2010)

Savor the Flavor in Polk County, Florida One Bite at a Time (October 2010)

Congratulations to Our Beach Giveaway Winner! (September 2010)

Discovering Mississippi's Culinary Trail (August 2010)

Going Coastal…Now is the Perfect Time to Visit the Florida Panhandle (August 2010)

Ways You Can Support the Recovery Effort in the Gulf (June 2010)

Get Out and Go to Alabama’s Gulf Coast (June 2010)

Soak in the Sun (and Fun) Along Florida's West Coast Beaches (June 2010)

It's New - The Titanic Museum Attraction (June 2010)

Celebrate Dollywood and Dollywood's Splash Country in 2010 (June 2010)

Tell Orlando (and the World) Why the City Makes You Smile (June 2010)

Fun Awaits You Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast (June 2010)

Staying Current on the Oil Spill in the Gulf (May 2010)

Where to Go for the Latest on the Nashville Floods (May 2010)

Keeping Current with the Oil Spill (May 2010)

Published: January 2015
Four Days, Three Destinations: Exploring Columbia County and Augusta, Ga., and Aiken, S.C.  

If you have four days, then you have ample time to explore Columbia County and Augusta, Ga., and Aiken. S.C.

Pack your walking shoes, bring your sense of adventure and readiness to explore some of the best outdoors, cultural and food experiences all within a very easy driving distance of one another.

Day 1

LaurelandHardyMuseumHarlemGaBegin your visit to Columbia County in the small town of Harlem with a stop at their international attraction, the Laurel & Hardy Museum. While it might seem unusual to come across a museum like this in Georgia (and the only one in the U.S.), there is a reason for it. Harlem was the birthplace of Oliver Hardy. The museum pays homage to the duo with various artifacts and memorabilia collected from all over the world. There is even a room watch their movies.

Lunch suggestion: WifeSaver, and either dine in or enjoy a picnic at Wildwood Park in Grovetown.

Situated on Clarks Hill Lake, Wildwood Park offers fishing and boating opportunities as well as camping sites. It is also home to the National Disc Golf Association and Ed Headrick Memorial Museum. Headrick was the inventor of the Frisbee and disc golf. If you would like to play, there are three courses to choose from; and yes, there are water hazards and challenging tees.

Depending on the season, you can paddle down the Augusta Canal with Savannah Rapids Kayak Rental. Launching from the Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Martinez, they provide a pick up service at Lake Olmstead as well as a shuttle back to the pavilion.

After your half day (or day) exploring Columbia County, it’s time to move on to Augusta.

Head to downtown Augusta, park your car and explore Artists Row on Broad Street. Featuring around seven art galleries and shops, each one is notably different from the other. Never know what you might find to take home. If shopping isn’t your thing, you can always take a stroll along the Riverwalk.

Dinner suggestion: Go tapas-style at Bee’s Knees. Accommodation suggestions: Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center on the Riverwalk or Partridge Inn (re-opening in March 2015.)

Day 2

There is coffee, and then there is coffee at Buona Caffe. Discover the art of savoring a cup (or two) of coffee at this warm, intimate coffee house. Inspired by both national and international coffee houses owners Pat and John Curry visited during their travels, they took the best experiences from each and replicated them in their own style to create Buona Caffe. Compliment the coffee with a locally-made treat.

Time to learn the history of the second largest and second oldest city in Georgia. Best way to begin is with a guided canal tour. AugustaCanalAugustaGaDeparting from the Canal Discover Center, also home to the Augusta Canal Interpretive Center, board the replica Petersburg boat and journey down one of America's oldest continuously operating industrial canals. It was because of this canal, a designated National Heritage Area, which allowed Augusta to be the site of many firsts in the South. It was the first southern city to have electric street lights and electric trolleys. It was also the first southern city in the South to have a night baseball game, which was between the two textile mills.

Over at the Augusta Museum of History, the museum details the city's as well as the region's rich history through collections and exhibits. Everything is covered from the Civil War era to James Brown and much more, including The Sport of Golf, which details golfing in Augusta. One of the more interesting aspects of the museum is their "Curiosity Corner.” These display cases, located on stairway landing is filled with items that don't quite fit in with collections or exhibits, but are unusual/unique enough to be displayed. One of them happens to include a black hood and rope from Georgia's last hanging which occurred in Augusta in 1913.

Enjoy a satisfying lunch at Nacho Mama’s.

After lunch, take a self- guided tour of Sacred Heart Cultural Center. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the church was built in 1897, and was the second Catholic Church in the city. The first mass was held in 1900, with the last one held in 1971. In the mid-1980s, it was purchased, renovated and reopened as a cultural center. Guided tours are also available by appointment.

MorrisArtMuseumAugustaGAFinish your afternoon of exploration with a tour Morris Museum of Art. Opened to the public in September 1992, it holds the distinction of being the first museum in the country dedicated to the art and arts of the American South. In addition to the museum's permanent collection galleries, they host over 20 special exhibitions yearly.

Return to your hotel, or if you don’t want to rest, check out such places like Tire City Potters and find a fun piece to purchase.

Dinner suggestion: Veritas Wine and Tapas Bar located in La Maison on Telfair.

Day 3

Enjoy breakfast at New Moon Cafe.

Many aren’t aware that President Woodrow Wilson lived Augusta until he was nearly 14 years old. His father served as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church, which is still active today and is located across from the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson. Tour the home site and see such artifacts like the dining room table used by the family.

Drive to Aiken, and head to Betsy’s On the Corner  for lunch.

Learn the lay of the land on a Historic Aiken Tour with Marty Bailey of Tailored Tours of Aiken. On the two-and-a-half hour tour, see everything from the state's oldest serving farmer's market to Charleston-style homes, learn the difference between a "cottage" and a "mansion" and hear fascinating anecdotes about the wealthy families who wintered in them.

Spend some time outdoors in places like the 14-acre Hopeland Gardens, complete with a dollhouse. Located in the gardens’HopelandGardensAikenSC 1900s carriage house is the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. Learn about the 39 champion thoroughbreds have trained at Aiken Training Track as well as view photographs, trophies, and racing and equestrian memorabilia.

The 2,100-acres Hitchcock Woods is one of the largest urban forests in the nation. Open from dusk to dawn, it offers 70 miles of trail, perfect for joggers and hikers. Don't be surprised if you see equestrians on the trail as well.

Dinner suggestion: Prime Steakhouse.  Accommodation suggestions: The Willcox Inn or Carriage House Inn.

Day 4

Enjoy breakfast at your accommodations.

Aiken is home to the biggest collection of oaks in the nation as all species of pines in the southeast is represented here. Along Colleton Avenue is where you can find around 100 different types of trees.  Pick up a brochure at phase one of the tree trail, or dial the cell number on the plaque in front of them for a more in-depth information.

Stop in the Aiken County Historical Museum. Housed in one of Aiken’s “winter colony” cottages, the museum highlights everything Aiken.

Before you settle down for lunch, explore downtown. Be sure to swing by the Aiken Center for the Arts to find a one-of-kind hand-crafted gift to remember your trip to Aiken.

Wrap up your visit (and your four-day adventure) with lunch at Malia’s.