Today’s post is a guest post by Rebecca Alwine. She shares the fun that can be had throughout the year. So if you are moving to Fort Gordon, Georgia in the future – save this list to enjoy exploring after the chaos that is the moving process.
Fort Gordon is one of the best locations in Georgia. You’re two hours from everything, but still have that small-town feel. Beach – two hours. Big city – two hours. Mountains – two hours. The weather is mild, there’s plenty of outdoor activities, and the restaurants can keep you well-fed for weeks.
After the unpacking is complete, you’ll find yourself ready to explore. Kind of. Sometimes we forget that while each new place comes with a sense of excitement and eagerness to explore, we also have to do life. School, work, sports activities, it all fills up the calendar and all of the sudden, you’ve lived someplace for a year and haven’t truly explored.
Here are some ideas, one per season, to help you realistically explore your new hometown during your first year living here. Oh, quick hint, this area is called the CSRA: Central Savannah River Area.
Augusta is usually a pretty slow-paced town, without a lot of traffic or fuss. All of that changes in April when the world arrives for the most prestigious golf tournament, ever. You’ll see many changes around town when Masters Week begins. We’re talking new menu items at the top restaurants, an exodus of locals, and more traffic on Washington Road than you though possible.
Here are a few tips for your first Masters Week while living near Fort Gordon. Make sure that you aren’t trying to PCS in or out this week. Hotels are impossible to find and unaffordable if you do. Check your lease – if renting off the installation – to make sure there isn’t a “Masters Clause” which puts you out of the house so the owners can rent it out. Also, Masters Week is when Spring Break is here, so if you buy a house, you could take a vacation that week and rent yours out – which is what most people do.
A Georgia summer is hot and sticky. But here in Augusta, you’ll have some great options for cooling off. Most neighborhoods have a pool, there are several lakes, including one on the installation, and there’s the gorgeous Savannah River. This river serves as the border between Georgia and South Carolina, and more specifically between Augusta and North Augusta.
Starting in spring you’ll see people kayaking and paddle boarding on the river and walking along the trail or Canal Walk. This is a very popular place for events, races, and in the evening, a great time to catch a baseball game. The Augusta Green Jackets, a minor league affiliate for the San Francisco Giants, play just across the river in North Augusta at SRP Park. It’s a beautiful place to watch a game, and in the summer, you’ll probably see some fireworks afterwards. If you’re heading down to the ball park, take I-20 all the way into South Carolina, and then double back. You’ll be closer to the parking area and avoid downtown construction and traffic.
Fall in Georgia is still pretty steamy. The weather can’t make up its mind and you’ll want to make sure to dress in layers. Always layers. If you’re looking for a good pumpkin patch experience without driving too far, visit Steeds Dairy. You can often find coupons for discounts at groceries stores or doctor’s offices and they also offer a military discount.
There’s a corn maze, a huge slide, a bouncy pillow, and a tractor ride. You can see animals, pick a pumpkin, and basically let the kids run wild. Spend a few hours or half a day – they do have food! A lot of kindergarten classes go on field trips here, so you may be able to check it out as a chaperone firsthand. This is a great place for a Sunday afternoon, as it’s a short drive and can be as quick or as long as you want it to be.
If you’re looking for snow, you’re going to be disappointed. While it can get cold here in the Fort Gordon area, it’s not going to be the winter wonderland you may have been hoping for. But, remember that there are a few good options within a day’s drive. If you want to head north, you could be in the mountains of Tennessee for a ski vacation.
Or you could drive two hours into Atlanta and experience Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park. The snowy section of the amusement park opens mid-November and has something for everyone. Snow tubing for littles under 3, a 400-foot snow-covered hill for tubing as a family, and the SnowZone is perfect for kids who want to build a snowman.
There’s much more to do in the Fort Gordon and Augusta areas. Get out there and explore!
Rebecca Alwine is an army wife, mother of three, and lover of her adorable pirate dog. Over the past 12 years, she’s discovered she enjoys coffee, lifting weights, and most of the menial tasks of motherhood. Her days consist of CrossFit workouts, listening to audiobooks, and pretending to cook while her Instant Pot does all the work. Her motto: work smarter, not harder.