In 1735, two years after James Oglethorpe founded Savannah, he sent a detachment of troops, led by Noble Jones, to create a new settlement as a first line of defense against the Spanish and French. Oglethorpe named the town Augusta, to honor Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, daughter-in-law of King George II, mother of King George III. Augusta was the state capital of Georgia from 1785 until 1795.
The city’s famous golf course, the Augusta National Golf Club, hosts the first major golf tournament each year. The Masters is one of the most prestigious events in the sport, drawing the world's best professional and amateur golfers each April.
This is not Atlanta, and gay people in Augusta are well aware of the generally more conservative social mores of this region. But with the launch of a pride parade and festival in 2010 people, particularly local young people, are more open lately. There are not a lot of bars, or specifically gay cafes, but as in other such smaller scenes people hang together. The Parliament House Resort, an all-male hotel, giant swimming pool, and sauna is 18-plus, with the Filling Station bar right next door. Club Argos is another gay bar not far away. Le Chat Noir is a theater and cabaret cocktail lounge that mixes everyone together. For locals with a yen for brighter lights and a big-city gay scene, Atlanta is under 2-1/2 hours drive away.
Getting here, getting around
The Augusta Regional Airport has flight connections with 29 major US cities all across the country from American Airlines, Delta and US Airways. A taxi into town costs around $20 for 1-2 people. For info on the city's nine public transportation bus lines, see the website of the Augusta Public Transit Office.
The Augusta Pride website has info about the parade and festival June 25, 2011 to be held at Augusta Commons, downtown Augusta, between 8th & 9th Streets.
For "Augusta's Independent Voice" see Metro Spirit, in print around town, or online.
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