Built along the banks of the Savannah River, Augusta, Georgia, is the state's oldest city and second largest metropolitan area. Most out-of-towners recognize Augusta as the home of the Masters golf tournament, but those who live here know there's much more to the area than fairways and bunkers.
Founded in the early 1700s, Augusta played a crucial role in the Revolutionary and Civil wars. Augusta even spent a decade as the state capital in the late 18th century, and more recently, Augusta was the childhood home of James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul." But the metro area isn't stuck in the past. Today, Augusta is home to a thriving culinary scene, and residents show a deep appreciation for the arts and the outdoors.
Augusta is also becoming a destination for retirees who want warm weather and a low cost of living. Plus, suburbs in nearby towns North Augusta, Evans, Martinez and Grovetown are go-to places for families to settle and commute into the downtown area.
U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.
Augusta, Georgia is ranked:
- #72 in Best Places to Live
- #40 in Best Places to Retire
Augusta is the principal city of the Augusta metropolitan area, situated in both Georgia and South Carolina on both sides of the Savannah River. In 2017 it had an estimated population of 600,151, making it the second-largest metro area in the state. It is the 93rd largest metropolitan area in the United States.
Augusta is approximately 150 miles east of Atlanta on Interstate 20 in east central Georgia at the South Carolina border. Augusta is centrally located just two and a half hours from the beach and the mountains.
Augusta is home to the United States Army Signal Center Fort Gordon, the state's Medical College Augusta University. The city is also recognized for its state-of-the-art medical facilities and growing business and manufacturing sectors.
Once a year during the first full week of April the eyes of the world are focused on Augusta when the world's greatest golfers gather at the Augusta National Golf Club for the Masters Tournament.
Augusta was once the capital of Georgia and has a large number of historically significant homes and facilities. The Cotton Exchange, established in 1872, supplied local businessmen with cattle and grain quotations from Chicago, stock averages from New York and daily market prices for cotton. In addition, Augusta is home to Woodrow Wilson's (28th president of the United States) child hood home; the Ezekiel Harris House; George Walton's (signer of the Declaration of Independence) home and many more historical places of interest.
Augusta is the birthplace of the late godfather of soul, James Brown, as well as Amy Grant, Laurence Fishburne, Jessye Norman, Terri Gibbs, Danny Glover, Joe Penney, boxer Ray Mercer, novelist Frank Yerby, professional wrestler Hulk Hogan and pro golfer Larry Mize. Ty Cobb, a great baseball player of his time, also made his home in Augusta.
Augusta reflects the historic charm of the classic South with its tree-lined streets and majestic antebellum mansions. There are dozens of shops and restaurants, cultural and historic attractions in Augusta.
With an average temperature of 62.7 degrees, Augustans spend much of the year outside taking advantage of many parks and recreational facilities.