What’s New in Augusta Since Last Year’s Masters?

Are you planning to visit Augusta soon for the Masters Golf Tournament? Welcome! If you’ve been here before, there are a few new things in store for you during your 2018 visit!

Dining

Just a stone’s throw away from the Augusta National Golf Club is a new restaurant operated by local restaurateur Jeff Freehof called Metro Diner. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers an extensive menu. Located in front of the Publix shopping center at 2820 Washington Road, it’s right in the heart of Masters fever.

If you choose to venture a little farther away from the course, there are several other new restaurants. Chipotle Mexican Grill has finally come to the Augusta market with two locations. One of them is located in one of Augusta’s busiest shopping districts—Augusta Exchange at 229 Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway. The other location is across the Savannah River in North Augusta Plaza, located at 362 East Martintown Road.

Not far away in downtown North Augusta, you’ll find Italian eatery Your Pie at 434 Georgia Avenue. Maybe take a stroll along North Augusta’s Greeneway or at Riverview Park before or after your meal.

Shopping

North Augusta also offers new retail stores. An old Kmart at North Augusta Plaza (located at the intersection of Martintown Road and Knox Avenue) went out of business, and in its place are now three new stores: Rack Room Shoes, Burkes Outlet, Ross Dress for Less, and PetSmart. Across the street, you’ll notice a new Lidl grocery store. But if you don’t want to venture over to North Augusta, and just need a few groceries, check out Augusta’s other Lidl location at 1096 Alexander Drive, close to the National.

Need clothing? Check out the area’s newest Belk department store, located at 4263 Washington Road in Evans. By next year’s Masters, more establishments are expected to pop up around Belk. Also new this year is a new location for Burlington. They’ve moved from Augusta West shopping center off Wrightsboro Road to Augusta Exchange on Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway. Augusta Exchange is also home to long-time Augusta retailers such as Target, Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, Hobby Lobby, Buy Buy Baby, and Old Navy.

Transportation

Since 2017, construction on River Watch Parkway (Georgia 104) from Interstate 20 to downtown Augusta has been completed. In addition, the extension of River Watch Parkway from Martinez to Evans has recently wrapped up, so if you’re staying in that part of Columbia County, you’ll have easier access to downtown and the course, or easy access from the course to the new Belk mentioned above.

[Related: An Idea to Honor the Legendary Arnold Palmer]

Other Projects

Augusta’s minor league baseball team, the Augusta GreenJackets are moving to a new hive this season! While the new stadium, known as SRP Park, won’t open until April 12, right after the Masters, take a look as you ride over into North Augusta via the 13th Street Bridge. You’ll notice the stadium and lots of other development going on around it, much of which will be open by Masters 2019.

On your way to SRP Park, you may notice a few new “high rises” in downtown Augusta. One of them is a Hyatt House hotel under construction on Broad Street. It is expected to open later this year and will be available for 2019 Masters patrons. It will be the first Hyatt House location in Georgia outside of metro Atlanta. A couple of blocks away along the river, two new buildings are under construction. They are part of the Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training, which will house Augusta University’s School of Computer and Cyber Sciences.

Also in downtown Augusta, the Miller Theater, which first opened in 1940 and closed in 1984, had its grand re-opening in January of this year. While there aren’t any performances scheduled during Masters week, the theater has held sold-out events just in its first two months back in business. As you stroll down Broad Street, the Miller is sure to catch your eye with its illuminated curved marquee.

To learn more about things to do in Augusta (other than watching the best golf tournament in the world), check out the Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

(Photo courtesy of Andy Hunter)

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