TRAVEL: A WEEKEND GUIDE TO AUGUSTA, GA

Zach and I had the pleasure of being invited to Augusta, GAby the Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau team for a weekend trip a few weeks ago and I Insta-storied the whole thing. Incase you missed it, or are planning a trip there yourself, I figured a blog would be a good choice to reference so you can see what we got in to. If you don’t know, Augusta is a small city about 2.5hrs away from where we live in the suburbs of Atlanta so it was an easy drive to get there, and we brought the dogs along to make it a nice family getaway. I’m going to break up what we did in sections: lodging, activities, and food, but feel free to visit the official Augusta, GA website to see a lot more options!

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LODGING:

We stayed at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center. This hotel is right in the middle of Downtown on the Savannah River. The staff was nice, the room was very modern and clean - plus, we had a killer view. In addition, the hotel lobby is really nice, it features a coffee shop and restaurant, they have a pool, and they are pet-friendly!

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ACTIVITIES:

We did various activities, and changed up our itinerary, because it was raining the day we got there. I’ll categorize everything by indoor and outdoor in case this happens to you as well.

OUTDOOR:

  • Stroll along the Riverwalk : we did this at sunrise and took the dogs for a walk since it was literally right outside of our hotel. Plus, it was a gorgeous view.

  • Kayaking and Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Betty’s Branch with Outdoor Augusta : this was on our list of things to do but because of the weather we didn’t make it.

  • Phinizy Swamp Nature Park : this was about a 15min drive from the hotel and we took the dogs there for a nice walk. You get to see the swamp waters, they have a kids playground, and really easy walking trails.

  • The Carolina Georgia Fair : this one is a bit more seasonal since I believe it is only there in October, but we went on a whim and had a good time. Plus, who doesn’t love a good ole funnel cake?

INDOOR:

  • Augusta Candle Co - This place was awesome. You smell A TON of scents, write down your favorites, pick out a candle container, and go to the bar area where someone helps you create your own custom scented candle. It takes about 2 hours for the candle to harden so we ate lunch and killed time before we picked them up.

  • Fitness classes - again, we didn’t get to go, but it was recommended that I check out Oxygen Fitness Studio. They offer: yoga, pilates, spin, barre, cross-training, and HIIT classes.

  • Shopping (sort-of) - to be honest we didn’t really shop, but I got several messages on Instagram saying that I should check out Final Cut. It’s an “Anthropology/Free People Outlet” from what I understand. The place is huge and smells kind of funny, but if you’re into funky furniture and sifting through boxes of clothes - it might be your jam.

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FOOD:

  • Humanitree House: we got really, really delicious cold-pressed juice and smoothie bowls. It’s all vegan, organic, and local. The place is super eclectic with art everywhere, and they even have a few vendors set up selling items and more food.

  • The Southern Salad: another really tasty spot with plenty of healthy options. Zach ordered the Grain Burrito Bowl and I had Toast + Lox. The also have salads, smoothies, more grain bowls, more toast options, snacks, and desserts.

  • Sole: This was our dinner spot and I highly recommend sitting outside. They have strings lights, heaters, and you can hear the extremely varied, yet awesome, music choices. This place isn’t very vegan friendly so Zach managed with a veggie roll and edamame, but if you’re into sushi and tapas they have you covered! I ordered a few of the speciality rolls and one of their signature cocktails. The service was also really great!

  • New Moon Cafe: This place was an awesome breakfast spot, but they serve lunch as well. They offer vegan, gluten free, and Keto options! They were quite busy when we got there, but the food came out quick. Zach got the avocado toast and espresso, and I got cheese grits, a lox bagel (again, I know), and a vanilla latte.

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We only went for a weekend, so if you’ve been to Augusta before and have even more recommendations please leave them in the comments below!

Making good choices while eating out

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When it comes to food I’m all about balance. First, I don’t meal prep and I don’t restrict - but I am mindful about what I’m putting in my body. Secondly, my boyfriend is vegan so we only go to places that are upfront and knowledgeable about their ingredients so he knows what he can actually order. You have no idea how many restaurants don’t have a clue what is in their food! For this post I teamed up with On The Border to talk freshness while eating out. 

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We had to start with the Guacamole Live because it’s a given for us. If fresh guac is an option, it’s getting in our bellies! I love table side because I can see exactly what’s in it, and always ask to make it a bit spicier. My two “splurges” were the Border Queso and the Prickly Pear Margarita. Side note, if you’re like me and love a fruity girly drink, this is the bev for you. Cheese dip and alcohol are rare for me so I save them for special nights out. We just so happened to be on a double date with our friends so I enjoyed every minute of it! I must admit though, I resisted the urge to order the firecracker stuffed jalapeños and I’m still having major FOMO about them. 

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Now on to the main course. I ordered the shrimp fajitas and Zach ordered the portobello and vegetable fajitas. I typically choose fajitas because they have all of the goodies on the side (sour cream, cheese, pico, guac) and I can build each little taco myself. This is also great for Zach because he can leave out the dairy himself. The black beans and rice were served family style so I didn’t feel like I had a massive plate to myself. I am really working on breaking the mentality of not having to eat every single thing on my plate and busting my pants open, so family style really helps. 

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We had a great time unwinding from work with drinks and enjoying a delicious meal. If you’re near an On the Border I definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you’re particular about fresh ingredients or you’re with a picky eater. :)

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Eating in Palm Springs

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This isn't going to be the most elaborate of blog posts, but I wanted my list of places I ate while in Palm Springs to live somewhere I could easily access or point people to it. So, TA-DA, I give you the places I ate while in Palm Springs (with my vegan friend):

Wang's in the Desert
Evzin
Palm Greens Cafe
Chef Tanya's Kitchen
Jus Chillen (for froyo)
Natural Sister's Cafe
El Jefe at The Saguaro Hotel
FARM
Kings Highway at The Ace
Blaze Pizza
Native Foods

The location of this shoot was in Joshua Tree at the Barker Dam
I'm wearing the Blue Life Enchanted one piece from Largo Drive

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PB + BERRY SMOOTHIE

I'm extremely excited to say that this is a sponsored recipe written by me on behalf of PB2. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Enjoy!

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A smoothie is the easiest way I can jam pack nutrients into a meal as quickly as possible and sneak in vegetables and nutrients while keeping it simple. Today I give you a PB + Berry (and beet) smoothie. Now, before you click off of this because I mentioned beets, trust me when I say it doesn't taste like beets AT ALL, but it does give this baby an amazing hot pink color. In addition, I've teamed up with PB2 to use their powdered peanut butter to add protein and provide a great peanut butter alternative if you're looking for ways to lower your fat and calorie intake without sacrificing taste. All you need are 5 main ingredients to whip this drink up and an option to top it with whatever you want. I found everything I needed at Kroger which continues to add to the easiness of this recipe - woohoo! 

Tip: Feel free to toss in a handful of spinach (you won't taste it) for extra greens or leave out the bee pollen to make it totally vegan!

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PB + BERRY SMOOTHIE

Serving size: 1 smoothie

INGREDIENTS (all available at Kroger) :

- 1 tbsp PB2 (it's non-GMO, gluten-free, and made in Georgia)

- 1/4 of a small cooked beet (I purchased mine pre-cooked at Kroger)

- 1 1/2 bananas

- 1 heaping cup of frozen raspberries (use strawberries if you don't like the tartness of raspberries)

- 3/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)

Toppings (optional) :

- bee pollen

- cacao nibs

- shredded coconut

DIRECTIONS:

Blend the PB2, beet, bananas, frozen raspberries, and almond milk until smooth. Pour into a glass. Top with bee pollen, cacao nibs, and shredded coconut. Enjoy immediately.

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If you make this smoothie let me know what you think in the comments below! 

A Night with Clif Bar

Earlier this year, Clif Bar developed a team that brought a large physical presence to the South East. Through this, I've visited the crew at multiple races and I've tried two products new to me that I'm now obsessed with : the Nut Butter Filled Bars and the Organic Energy Food, specifically the Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. Last week they threw an epic launch party at Orpheus Brewing to celebrate the release of their Nut Butter Filled Bars and brought me along (umm, amazing TY so much). You best believe I was there eating my weight in bars!

Now the brand itself isn't new to me as I've been eating original Clif Bars for several years and I use the blocks during long rides. **Please look at this throw back image I found on my Instagram from 2013 where I was wishing for a lifetime supply, haha.** P.S. still wishing.

 

Since then, I've replaced my love for the OG Clif Bars and find myself buying the Nut Butter Filled ones instead. I am obsessed with Chocolate Hazelnut Butter and shockingly the Coconut Almond Butter (typically not a coconut fan). So much so, that I've turned my co-workers at FlyWheel on to them. 

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The event started around 5PM where we were given blinky lights and water-bottles if needed, and taken on an urban bike ride courtesy of the Atlanta BeltLine Tours. We learned the history of the BeltLine, were taught bike etiquette while sharing the pathway, and observed the absolutely amazing art seen throughout the ride. 

After the ride we came back to music, yard games, a photo booth, brewery tours, a food truck, and all you could eat Clif Bars paired with Orpheus beers. Did I mention this was all free? Now this was the first Clif Bar event that I've been to, but apparently they don't cut any corners when throwing a party! I mean, there was even little flowers made out of Clif Bar wrappers - too c u t e. 

I might not have won a lifetime supply of Clif Bars, but I was able to bring some home. :D Thank you Clif Bar for an amazing night. I look forward to the next one! 

This post was sponsored by @Clifbar, but as always, all opinions are my own!