Augusta, Georgia

Masters City

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What's it like to live in Augusta?

What's it like living in Augusta?

When I first moved here over a decade ago I hated it (came here from Atlanta so there was a big adjustment), but now I'm settled in and raising a family here.

It has changed a lot and there are some really nice areas.

Low cost of living, but also access to plenty of parks, shopping, and good schools if you navigate it correctly. It only takes me about 12 minutes to get to work even though I am technically commuting into Augusta from the suburbs.

If you crave the bigger city action you can drive two hours and get your fix, then come back.

You can still buy a huge house here in a nice area for a fraction of the cost of the big cities and not sacrifice much.

As others have noted, the area is really growing, so I'm anticipating the good and also some of the bad that will come with it. Traffic is getting worse but it is still tolerable.

At this point in my life I can't see myself wanting to move to a bigger city at all.

What's it like living in Augusta?

I've lived in Augusta for almost 3 years and at first I really didn't like it but now it has grown on me. I think the key is to find a good friend group and be proactive in planning things to do. If you enjoy hiking/biking/kayaking and meeting up with friends for dinner/drinks/movies/games you will probably like it. If you like a fast paced lifestyle of clubbing, going to tons of concerts/festivals, trying a new restaurant every weekend, etc then you probably won't.

It's a slower pace of life and in my opinion a lot of things are a bit behind the times/not up to the standards I got used to living elsewhere. Also the metro is very spread out and not pedestrian friendly, so I get sick of how much driving I have to do.

But it is improving, they're adding new businesses and things to do all the time. And if you have a decent paying job you'll find that you can live a nice lifestyle here affordably.

What is it like to live in Augusta, GA?

There are some good and bad things, as there is when you live anywhere. I would say one of the best things about living here is the cost of living is simply great. You can buy a decent starter home for well under 100k. If you have a family, you can buy a nice family home in a decent neighborhood for under 150k and you can buy a great house, with a pool and 3 car garage, 3000 sq ft plus for 250k. And everything that goes with the cost of living is less here as well. Car insurance, gas, most groceries (although surprisingly some things don’t seem to change price, eggs, bread and milk seem to cost the same here as other places). If you get a job making 50k you can live comfortably without a roommate. You may not be putting much away, but you can take care of yourself. It’s nicely situated between three major cities in Atlanta, Savannah and Columbia, SC. So a couple of hours in three different directions takes you to three completely different places. Some of the negative aspects would be first; the weather. It’s hot, not just hot, stupid hot. I’ve been here since 96, you do get somewhat acclimated, but not really. 100 degrees and 95% humidity is just awful and that’s what the summer is, and summer goes from February to November. The wind never blows except about 5 minutes before it storms, and a lot of time it will rain and after the storm passes it will actually get hotter.

I work at a bar, get off work around 3 am, and it is not unusual at all for it to be in the 90’s at 3 am. The heat is horrible and you will find that you live in air conditioned houses and cars and businesses, rarely going outside to just enjoy being outside. When I moved here, I said it felt like I had moved 30 years into the past. It still feels this way. Augusta is what I call the biggest little town I’ve ever seen. They want to be a big city, they have enough corrupt politicians to rival Chicago, but they simply aren’t. There is a lot of good old boy mentality they goes with a lot of the government, and basically it’s all about who you know. That’s not necessarily horrible, but it helps if you know that coming in. It’s an easy place to live but definitely a weird hybrid of big city and small town living. I work in a bar, so I see a lot of the night life of the city. And people are all up in each other’s business just like a small town. Yet there are many amenities like a larger city. Unfortunately, local government has chased away most of the sports teams, so there is no hockey anymore, and the minor league baseball team is now across the River in North Augusta.

Another aspect of Augusta, is there is a down town, but not like what you would expect in a real city. There are no 20 or 30 story buildings, no real major metropolitan area, it’s more like one big endless suburban sprawl, which gives many options for living. You can live as far as 30 miles from the downtown area and still feel like you are part of the city. Hope this helps.

What is it like to live in Augusta, GA?

I like it. I will admit to a bit of cultural shock after moving down here from the Philadelphia area, but adjusted quickly. That's one of the benefits of being raised in a military family.

I have found people quite friendly. Infact, when I first came down here, I’d be driving down the road, and whenever a car or truck passed me going in the opposite direction they’d raise their fingers to me in a “Hi” motion. I’d always wave back, thinking that they must know me, but I couldn't remember how I knew them. Turned out, it's a greeting for anyone in general, especially on country roads.

When the Master’s is being played, most of us leave town, if not directly connected to it in some manner. If we don't leave town, we stay away from that side of town for the duration. The traffic and multitudes of visitors are overwhelming for an area that's used to less traffic and humanity the other 51 weeks of the year. But now with the Cyber Center, Cyber schools, and major companies staking their claim for a bit of the action, traffic and population is experiencing a steady growth. Yuck.

We live close enough to Atlanta and Columbia, SC to make day trips. Along the way are the aquariums, zoos, and museums, all pretty impressive. Savannah is a 2 to 2 1/2 hour drive, or so I’ve been told. When my youngest daughter was attending SCAD there, it would take me only an hour and a half. It's my car’s fault. He doesn't like to go under 65. Once down there a person can find so many things to keep them busy, from beaches to dusty old thrift stores, artists shops, awesome seafood…. Dang. Now I need to make a road trip down there!

Charleston is also about the same distance away. Taking the back roads not only get you there more quickly, you also get to enjoy quaint little towns like North, Pelion, and Denmark. Hilton Head isn't much farther.

In the area that I live, we all have large areas of land. Mine is one of the smaller ones at 4 acres, but that's plenty for me. We have privacy and quiet, but as you can see, access to more active areas when you feel the need.

Pros and Cons of Living in Augusta, GA | My Personal Story