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Golf is king in Augusta, but unfortunately, the famous tournament course at Augusta National isn't open to the public. We recommend Goshen Plantation, 1601 Goshen House Club Dr. (tel. 706/793-1168; www.goshenplantation.com), one of the most beautiful and challenging courses in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA). It has well-bunkered greens and demanding par 3s, 4s, and 5s, and requires you to use every club in your bag. It also has a fully stocked pro shop and the restaurant On the Green. Greens fees are $32 to $37, and hours are daily 7:30am to dusk.

Augusta Canal (tel. 888/659-8926 or 706/823-0440; www.augustacanal.com), stretching across two counties from the center of Augusta to Evans-to-Locks Road in Columbia County, is the setting for an array of activities, including bicycling, fishing, canoeing, hiking, running, walking, and picnicking. Visit Savannah Rapids Park (tel. 706/868-3349; www.savannahrapids.com) for easy access to the canal. For canoe rentals, call tel. 706/738-8500.

Thurmond Lake, north on Washington Road (about 20 miles from the center of Augusta), offers 1,200 miles of shoreline bordering Georgia and South Carolina. One of the largest inland bodies of water in the South, it has some of the best outdoor sports around, including swimming, sailing, water-skiing, fishing, hunting, and just plain sunbathing. The lake is surrounded by a 70,000-acre park. A Visitor and Information Center (www.georgialakeinfo.com/thurmond) is located at the South Carolina end of the dam off Hwy. 221.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.