Some of the world's greatest golfers head to Augusta each year to play at the Augusta National Golf Club. The course has welcomed pros such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and others. An estimated 250,000 golf fans flock to the city each year to watch the many tournaments.
Augusta and the surrounding area offer a variety of activities that are suitable for virtually every interest. The very popular downtown park is a beautiful riverside park with a great view of the Savannah River. Other popular attractions in Augusta include Fort Discovery near the headquarters of the National Science Center and a variety of venues that offer outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, horseback riding, golf, and other activities for children and adults.
There is also the Augusta Museum of History and Historic Augusta, which won the Governor's Award for Humanities in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Founded in 1937, it covers the history of the region through almost 30 exhibitions that are held annually in two historic buildings, including the former Augusta mayor's house.
The Augusta Marriott Convention Center is ideally located for conferences and events and has a full-service restaurant and bar.
Augusta and Richmond County offer a variety of recreational activities, and the region's three largest employers include the University of Georgia, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Augusta State University.
Augusta residents enjoy a number of performing arts venues, the largest of which are the Imperial Theatre and Bell Auditorium. Augusta National is home to Augusta National Golf Club, one of the nation's best golf courses. There are courses for all levels — from beginner to advanced to professional and more.
The Augusta Mall has more than 140 shops, and the Augusta Exchange is the largest shopping center in the region, while the Surrey Centre offers a more upscale range of shops.
A few blocks south is the Bethlehem Historic District, created exclusively for African-Americans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The federal arsenal was in operation at Augusta until 1957, when the site became the headquarters of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Georgia National Guard.
In Augusta, populist voices were powerful: In 1866, delegates from across the state gathered there to organize the first national convention of the Georgia Democratic Party, the Augusta Convention. Thomas E. Watson repeatedly challenged Augusta for the Democratic leadership of the Tenth Congressional District during the 1890s.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Augusta-Richmond County balance covers a total area of 793.8 square miles. The area that covers the city limits of Augusta includes, as determined in the 2000 census, the towns of Hephzibah and Blythe, which have a separate government from Augusta.
Augusta, also known as Hill Summerville or Garden City, has been the largest city in the county.