A soft mist rose from the Savanah River, as I looked out from the Partridge Inn veranda. A warm sweet day lay before me. Such it was on my low and slow trip to Augusta.

Augusta is famous for one week a year, The Masters, but remains a working town the rest of the year. A perfect stop on what I have grown to favor, small Cities around a couple hundred thousand population. Ones not spoiled by a manufactured persona. Places with little traffic, the patina of old architecture, local shops, genuinely good cuisine, welcoming people and lots of simple wandering.

You don’t have to fly or take freeways to these place. You can take slow back roads instead. Through towns like Chester (the town on the hill), Carlisle (where the trains cross), Newberry (the town Sherman could not bear to burn) and Saluda (the town of river fame). 

Broad Street is the heart of Augusta’s historic district. A crossing train might interrupt your walk but you won’t mind. Here are bookstores, a 100 year old men’s and women’s furnishing shop, a great art museum (Morrison), southern dishes to savor and if your lucky, a tune once played by James Brown.

By evening, gentle Georgia rain began to fall. We enjoyed a seared NY strip and a blackened Ostrich with red wine at the Inn’s restaurant. The city lights hung in the air like some unchained neckless left from a day of play. I found myself already dreaming of when I would return.

David Young