Best Place to Get Some Soul: Augusta, Georgia
Augusta National is indeed beautiful and impeccably maintained, but aside from The Masters you don’t get much time to stick around, so spend time outside the green gates, out in the city where the “Godfather of Soul” James Brown, held court. The James Brown Family Historical Tour takes you through several significant landmarks, from the statue on Broad Street to the Augusta Museum of History, which has memorabilia including Brown’s capes, awards, posters, and photographs. While you’re feeling good, hit The Soul Bar and have a drink where James once hung out in the evenings. Augusta also has a solid sandwich community; definitely stop in at the boxing-inspired Knuckle Sandwiches for an “Uppercut” cheesesteak and some of the best fries you’ll ever have. Then have one of the gourmet grilled cheese sammies at Arsenal Tap Room + Kitchen, which they have in predetermined formats like The Gov (government cheese on Texas toast), or you can make your own with options like gouda and peppered bacon on rosemary focaccia. They also have a really well-curated selection of craft beers (150+), including some stellar sours and wild ales from as far as Illinois’ Une Année Brewery, plus ciders, meads, stouts, and more, with some ATL-based beer-makers like Orpheus and Wrecking Bar represented. Stay at The Partridge Inn, which is more than 100 years old and overlooks downtown from an elevated perch just five minutes west. While you’re there, have a lunch at Jackie M’s & Son, where you can grab Jamaican beef patties, Philly sandwiches, or a deep-fried jerk “soul roll,” before walking around the restaurant’s exterior and taking selfies in front of murals of legendary musicians including James Brown, Bootsy Collins, Whitney Houston, and even... underground rap hero MF Doom?! Also, you get a free house-dubbed mixtape that could be anything the chef feels like putting on a CD (jazz, funk, R&B) with your meal, while supplies last.
By car: 2 hours, 10 minutes