Need to get out of Augusta? Visit these unique spots for cheap, easy day trips

Need to get out of Augusta? Visit these unique spots for cheap, easy day trips
Need to get out of Augusta? Visit these unique spots for cheap, easy day trips

The second week of April will have a lot going on for the Augusta area. The Masters Tournament will bring in thousands of guests from around the world, and it will also be spring break for many families.

For both of these reasons, a lot of people will probably want to take the opportunity to get out of town, even for just a day. However, trips can get expensive, with high gas prices and many tourist stops selling tickets for $30 or more per person.

Here are some low-cost day-trip options for Augusta-area families that won’t require a full tank of gas:

Give yourself a beach day

Augusta-area residents can have all of the fun of a beach day without spending the time and gas money getting to Myrtle Beach or Savannah. Here are some popular parks within a 50-mile radius that offer lake-side beaches and other fun in the sun:

West Dam Recreation Area in Appling on the end of Sparrow Lane off Clarks Hill Road. It’s open 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. all week. There is a boat launch and plenty of picnic areas around the beach, including charcoal grills and a sheltered spot offering shade and protection from rain. The entrance fee is $5.

Mistletoe State Park in Appling at 3725 Mistletoe Rd. It’s open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. all week. There is a playground, 10 fully equipped cottages on the lake (five of which are log cabins), seven camp sites, three boat ramps, and five picnic shelters. Parking is $5.

Elijah Clark State Park in Lincolnton at 2959 McCormick Hwy. It’s open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. all week. There are boat ramps and a fishing pier as well as rental cottages on the lake’s edge and a campground in the nearby forest. The park is named for a frontiersman and Georgia war hero who led pioneers during the Revolutionary War. A log cabin replica of Clark’s home with vintage furniture, utensils and tools is open on weekends. Visitors can also view the graves of Clark and his wife. The Daily ParkPass is $5.

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Visit an animal house

While there aren’t any zoos in the Augusta area, you don’t have to travel to Atlanta or Columbia or pay zoo prices to see exotic animals.

Feathered Friends Forever is a rescue and sanctuary that has rehomed more than 1,000 birds of various species over the last 22 years. There is also a Honey Bee House, a butterfly garden, and more. Feathered Friends is located about 20 miles outside Augusta in Harlem at 612 Byrd Rd. It’s open to the public every  Saturdayand Sundayfrom 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 per person. For more info, go to featheredfriendsforever.org.

Eudora Farms Safari Park is home to more than 200 creatures, and there are plenty of opportunities to engage with the animals and even feed them. One of the park’s most distinctive features is a drive-thru safari, a 3-mile trail for families to slowly cruise along in their own vehicles while meeting some of the animals. Eudora is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. It’s located about 58 miles outside of Augusta in Salley at 219 Salem Ln. Tickets are up to $50 for everyone in a vehicle. For more info, go to eudorafarms.net.

Drive up to a drive-in

While there aren’t nearly as many as there used to be, some drive-in movie theaters are still open and are within driving distance of the Augusta area.

Monetta Drive-In Theatre has three separate screens offering two different movies at each screen for a total of six movies offered Friday-Sunday. One of the more unique features of the 25-year-old “Big Mo” is the large, peach-shaped projector house attached to the concessions stand on the main field. It’s also a great spot for stargazing when there are clear skies.

It’s located about 42 miles outside of Augusta in Monetta at 5822 Columbia Hwy. N. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. with the first movies starting at dusk (about 7:45-8 p.m.). Admission gets you access to both of a screen’s movies. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for ages 4-11, and free for younger kids. For more info including the latest showings, go to thebigmo.com.

The 25 Drive-In also has three screens with two different movies at each screen which are open Friday-Saturday. It’s a historic site with films being presented at the theatre for more than 70 years. There’s plenty to eat from the concessions like BBQ tenderloin, ribeye sandwiches, salads, as well as mac and cheese bites.

It’s located about 53 miles outside of Augusta in Greenwood at 3109 Hwy. 25 S. Gates open at 7 p.m. with the first movies starting at 8 p.m. Admission offers access to both of a screen’s movies. Tickets are $10 for ages 12 and older, $5 for younger children. For more info including the latest showings, go to 25drivein.com.

Source: augustachronicle.com

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