Many curious visitors to Augusta often find themselves asking how did such a wonderful place in Eastern Georgia become known as Paris of the South. Most think Woodrow Wilson must have coined it since his boyhood home was in Augusta, but it reaches further back in history than our former President's childhood.
Augusta is Georgia's second oldest city and many of it's residents, being short of resources after the Civil War, opened their homes to paying guests from the North who came South for the mild winter weather. Its beautiful homes, world renowned restaurants and liberal culture led many of its Yankee guests to term it the Paris of the South, “a land where culture and sophistication came together on the banks of the Mighty Savannah.”
By the 1890s, Augusta became a major resort area. It is still a major resort area, and famous for its many beautiful people as well as golf courses. Each year in April, the “Tournament” attracts the country's best golfers to the Big Course.
The center of downtown is Riverwalk, a landscaped park along the Savannah River. There are many river sports events held in the area, including the Augusta Southern Nationals drag boat races and River Race Augusta. The Augusta Futurity, a cutting horse competition, is the largest equestrian event of its kind east of the Mississippi. There is also an abundance of historic sites and buildings to visit.