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+2.6% since 2010
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Those familiar with professional golf know Augusta. The city emerged after the turn of the 19th century as a winter escape for northerners. Resorts and country clubs, including the heralded Augusta National Country Club, opened at that time. During most of the year, Augusta is a tranquil, Mid-sized southern city with varied small industry and commercial activity. In April the Masters golf tournament brings worldwide attention and crowds. People with nicer homes rent them to visiting dignitaries and executives (and receive a tax break thanks to a federal tax loophole seemingly designed for this event).
Aside from golf, the city offers history and architectural interest, and even a minor-league ice hockey team. Cost of living is low for the state and reasonable for this type of town. Downtown is plain with a few historic buildings, and a recent revitalization effort brought some riverfront arts and entertainment amenities and a monthly festival. But the area is generally quiet and additional entertainment and cultural amenities and air service are available in Columbia, SC, 70 miles northeast, and Atlanta, 150 miles west.
Augusta is located along the Savannah River between the Piedmont Plateau and the Coastal Plain. The city is in a narrow river plain with wooded rolling hills up to 200 feet on all sides. Lowland is swampy especially to the southeast. Summers are hot and humid with thundershowers; strong storms can occur especially in spring. Because the Appalachian Mountains shield the city from extreme cold and storms from the northwest, winters are mild with rare measurable snow. Ice storms are less common than in Atlanta.
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