- By Blake Guthrie For the AJC
During Masters Week, it may be next to impossible to book a room at the historic Partridge Inn (rates start at $136; 2110 Walton Way, Augusta. 706-737-8888, www.historichotels.org), but couples can experience its Southern elegance year-round. Situated on a hillside overlooking the city, this classic hotel sports wide verandas for dining, relaxing with a cocktail and enjoying live music at the P.I. Bar and Grill. This destination hotel has hosted many celebrities and dignitaries over the years and recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation that kept the historic charm front and center. Don’t-miss attractions: the Morris Museum of Art (1 10th St., Augusta. 706-724-7501, www.themorris.org) and a night cruise in a Petersburg boat on the Augusta Canal.
Savannah’s romantic allure is aided by history, architecture and a garden-esque street grid containing the same squares platted out in 1733. There’s still a feeling of authenticity along the streets that makes lovebirds flock here. The city is filled with inns, B&Bs and boutique hotels. In the latter category, the Brice (rates start at $154; 601 E. Bay St., Savannah. 912-238-1200, www.bricehotel.com) does the trick nicely, especially for couples who can’t bear to leave their pets behind. Aside from being ultra dog-friendly, the Brice sports a prime location near the riverfront and contains one of the best newer bar/restaurants in town, Pacci.
Sixty miles north of downtown, you’ll feel hours away from the city on the bucolic grounds of Barnsley Resort (rates start at $217; 597 Barnsley Gardens Road, Adairsville. 770-773-7480, www.barnsleyresort.com). The resort feels like Georgia’s own version of TV’s “Downton Abbey,” except the big manor house is now a picturesque ivy-covered ruin and guests stay in cottages scattered throughout the village portion of the resort. Enjoy golfing, horseback riding, sporting clays, hunting, fly fishing, hiking and the full-service spa. Choose from two restaurants — one fine dining, one casual — and special occasion private dining is easily arranged.