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ALG in the News

Is Augusta, GA a Good Place to Live? Pros and Cons of Living in The Garden City

December 15, 2023 by Julia Weaver

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Nestled along the banks of the Savannah River, Augusta, GA beckons with a blend of Southern charm and modern conveniences. From its incredible food scene and diverse neighborhoods to its history and culture, there’s no denying that Augusta holds an alluring charm.

Whether you’re enticed by the city’s cultural events or its warm sense of community, everyone will find something to love about this city. However, like any city, it comes with its share of trade-offs. Whether you’re considering a move into an apartment in Augusta, GA, or a house in the city, in this Redfin article we interviewed several locals about the major pros and cons of living in Augusta to help you decide if Augusta is a good place for you to call home. 

Pros of living in Augusta, GA

1. Affordable cost of living

Residents of Augusta benefit from a cost-conscious environment, where housing, utilities, and everyday expenses are notably reasonable. The city’s real estate market offers diverse options, ensuring that individuals and families can find housing solutions that align with their budgetary preferences. In fact, in October, the median sale price in Augusta was $187,400, nearly $230,000 below the national median. This affordability extends to other facets of daily life, contributing to a financial landscape where residents can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without the burden of higher prices.

2. The incredible food scene

“Augusta is bursting with cultural cuisine,” shares Greater Augusta Arts Council, a resource for the arts community that connects art lovers to local events and programs. “Each September we host the Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival, which has incredible food from cultural groups from around the world. Outside that, Hawaiian Style BBQ – which serves delicious Hawaiian delicacies great for lunch.”

“My favorite restaurants are Frog Hollow and Sole Augusta,” shares Jessica J. Wells, owner of Ms. Stugie’s Cookie Shoppe, a local bakery bringing custom-designed cookies and classic cookies to life. ”These restaurants are local in the Downtown Augusta area and they both have a unique vibe that is perfect for girls night or date night.”

“Top on my list has to be Pho Viet Augusta, Craft & Vine, Nacho Mama’s, and Humanitree,” says Candace Zeigler, owner of SoZiggie Photography, a local wedding and portrait photographer. “These spots hit so many of my cravings like no other. Pho Viet’s come through with the Banh Mi’s of different varieties and Pho broth is undefeated. Craft & Vine‘s rotation of unique culinary treats like duck confit pizza and poutine. Nacho Mama‘s Mahi mahi taco for the win and Humanitree vegan delights and juices are always refreshing.”

3. Outdoor activities

“Augusta is a great place to live with great places to eat and so many fun things to do,” shares Courtney Hatcher, director of admission and financial aid for Augusta Preparatory Day School. “The fantastic way of life with a manageable pace, welcoming people and affordable cost of living makes it the perfect place to live where nothing is too far away and traffic is very minimal. Near Augusta Prep, you can stop in for delicious fried chicken at Frog & The Hen, or scoot down Wheeler Road to meet family or a friend for an incredible coffee and brunch at Bodega at Surrey Center. Close by, the Augusta Canal Trail is a favorite for walking, running, and biking with incredible scenery, and parks like Evans Towne Center Park offer lots of fun and entertainment for everyone. “

Jenny Lynch, owner of Emma Gray Boutique, states that “Augusta might be known as the ‘Home Of The Masters’ but Augusta and its surrounding area have so much more to offer than just golf. When we aren’t hosting the most prestigious golf tournament on the planet, you can find just about anything that interests you to take part in. Most locals enjoy the proximity of the Savannah River and Lake Thurmond, and outdoor activities like boating and kayaking are very popular. We also have several performing arts theaters so there are always musicals, plays, and concerts going on throughout the year.” 

4. City amenities

Augusta mirrors the cultural and recreational offerings found in larger urban hubs, presenting residents with a wealth of opportunities to engage in cultural activities. The city proudly hosts the Greenjackets, an impressive minor league baseball team, and hosts a myriad of outdoor festivals year-round. With striking architecture, scenic lakes, and a vibrant theater community, Augusta encapsulates the essence of larger U.S. cities, all within the charm of a smaller population setting.

Living in Augusta is the perfect balance of city life and country living. Augusta Locally Grown farmers markets are a hidden gem of Downtown Augusta. They have multiple outdoor farmers markets, but their indoor farmers market and cooking classes have become the go-to destination for grocery shopping and spending free time.

5. History and culture

“Augusta exudes Southern hospitality, enveloping residents and visitors alike in a warm and welcoming atmosphere characterized by genuine friendliness and a strong sense of community,” explains Jessica J. Wells of Ms. Stugie’s Cookie Shoppe. “Augusta’s reputation is further enriched by its role as the host of the globally renowned Masters Golf Tournament, a prestigious event that not only draws visitors from around the world but also contributes significantly to the city’s distinctive cultural identity.”

“While I’m not from Augusta, I’ve made it my home for the last 20 years,” says Candace Zeigler of SoZiggie Photography. “The journey and sense of community have proven to be precisely what my homesick self yearned for. Augusta caters to diverse interests, offering meetups and groups that make finding your tribe remarkably straightforward. Whether you’re an artist, a baker, or a disc golf enthusiast, discovering kindred spirits in this welcoming community is a delightfully uncomplicated endeavor.”

“Augusta, GA, is an ever-growing city and stands as a testament to the power of arts and culture in shaping a city’s identity,” states Liz Bond of Liz Bond Photography, a family photographer in Augusta. “The downtown murals and festivals held here provide residents and visitors with immersive experiences that celebrate Augusta’s past, present, and future. As you explore the streets of downtown Augusta, you’ll discover a city that values creativity, diversity, and the transformative power of the arts.”

“One of the most captivating ways to explore the city’s unique character is through its vibrant mural walk, which tells the story of Augusta’s rich past and present,” explains Liz Bond. “Augusta’s downtown mural walk is a visual feast that brings the city’s history and culture to life through vivid and dynamic artwork. The murals range from fun and encouraging to telling stories about the area and its past. The mural walk not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the city but also serves as an outdoor art gallery, making art accessible to everyone. It is a journey through time, culture, and the collective spirit of Augusta’s residents.”

6. Augusta neighborhoods

“The Whispering Pines neighborhood in Augusta is truly remarkable,” states Vanessa Withers of Withers Photography, a newborn, maternity, and 1st birthday photographer. “From the stunning houses to the warm and inclusive culture, to the delightful holiday events, it embodies a unique sense of community. Since my move to Augusta in 2019, the welcoming embrace of this neighborhood has made it stand out, and I’ve never felt more embraced by a community. It’s the first time I’ve genuinely sensed the presence of ‘the village’ they talk about.”

Downtown Augusta is where the heart of the arts scene is,” shares Greater Augusta Arts Council. “It’s home to many restaurants, galleries, theatres, music venues and more. Olde Town, Summerville, Harrisburg and the Golden Blocks neighborhoods of Laney Walker and Bethlehem host many historic houses and sites and are close enough to Downtown Augusta to enjoy all the arts. Olde Town, my favorite, was rebuilt after a turn of the century fire. It has so much charm, with many craftsman style homes.”

“My favorite neighborhoods include North Augusta and Evans, both bustling with activities for everyone,” says SoZiggie Photography. “North Augusta, situated between two downtown shopping havens, offers a diverse array of local restaurants and bars. On the other hand, Evans stands out with its parks and year-round events that keep you entertained throughout the year.” 

“Belair Estates, National Hills, and Summerville stand as Augusta’s renowned neighborhoods, where Southern charm intertwines with modern allure,” says Stugie’s Cookies. “Belair Estates exudes classic elegance, National Hills offers a vibrant blend of tradition and contemporary living, and Summerville beckons with historic charm and stylish sophistication. Each neighborhood uniquely captures the essence of Augusta’s rich heritage while embracing the conveniences of modern life.”

7. Festivals and events

“In September, you can check out the Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival,” suggests Greater Augusta Arts Council. “The event features more than 120 Fine Arts and Craft Artists, five fully booked performance stages, cultural cuisines from around the globe, and more.”

Liz Bond delves into more detail about the event, saying “The three-day downtown celebration transforms Augusta into a vibrant hub of artistic expression, cultural exchange, and culinary delights. Attracting artists, performers, and visitors regionwide, it fosters a dynamic and inclusive atmosphere. The main stage features diverse performances, while the global village celebrates cultural diversity through authentic world cuisines. The festival also hosts a marketplace where local artisans showcase and sell handmade crafts, from clothes to jewelry and paintings, providing guests with unique souvenirs. Beyond shows and delicious cuisine, this event encapsulates a rich tapestry of creativity, community, and global flavor, making it a must-attend experience for all.

Jenny Lynch goes on to share, “The Lady A Park is always hosting amazing events and has really become the ‘hub’ for all the things in our area. They have everything from local vendor markets every Saturday, outdoor movie nights, food truck Fridays, to hosting the most spectacular fireworks show you will ever lay eyes on. There is always something fun going on and you can be guaranteed it will be safe and suitable for families. Most locals here have a strong sense of morals and family values so with that in mind, most anything in this county will be conducted with those values held as the standard.”

8. Nice weather

In Augusta, the irresistible draw to spend ample time outdoors is fueled by the consistently pleasant and warm climate the city experiences for the majority of the year. In comparison to some coastal cities in Georgia, Augusta experiences milder temperatures, offering respite from extreme heat. The city also stands out with more temperate winters compared to its northern Georgia counterparts, Rome and Atlanta. Additionally, the city sees 218 sunny days annually, surpassing the country’s average of 205 days.

Cons of living in Augusta, GA

A lot of insects

Encountering a swift invasion of gnats, mosquitoes, and other biting insects upon opening your front door in Augusta is a common occurrence. The most intense presence is typically felt during the spring and summer seasons, making it essential to equip yourself with ample insect repellent or opt for protective clothing to ensure a more comfortable outdoor experience.

An average walkability ranking

While Augusta enjoys pleasant weather, its urban layout poses challenges for pedestrians. Despite the convenience of public transportation, the city falls short in terms of walkability, earning a WalkScore of 22, meaning almost all errands require a car. The limited facilities for cyclists further contribute to transportation drawbacks, making bike travel difficult and unsafe in certain areas. Investing in a car is recommended for getting around in the city’s less pedestrian-friendly areas.

Is Augusta, GA a good place to live? Final thoughts

Augusta offers numerous appealing aspects for those considering a move, including an affordable cost of living, pleasant weather, and an incredible food scene. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind the drawbacks, such as the low walkability score and, well, insects. Prospective residents should carefully assess these factors to make an informed decision about whether Augusta aligns with their lifestyle and priorities.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

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