New survey ranks Augusta near the bottom for recreation

Basketball goal in a park near Augusta Parks and Recreation offices downtown.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — A new survey by WalletHub ranks the top cities in America for ‘Staycations’, and Augusta did not fare very well.

According to the site, nearly two-thirds of Americans will stay local for their summer vacations this year, or ‘staycations’. Augusta ranks 86th overall out of the top 150 largest cities in America for a ‘staycation’. However, a closer look at the numbers paints and even worse picture for the city.

The site’s experts ranked cities using three categories: “Recreation”, “Food and Entertainment” and “Rest and Relaxation”. Augusta ranked 5th-worst in the entire nation in the “Recreation” category.

“I think one of the reasons it fell a little bit behind, a little bit below average here, is just because of the number of swimming pools, tennis courts, basketball hoops, baseball diamonds, parks, hiking trails, biking lanes,” said Jill Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for WalletHub. “All of those things that you would typically seek out really are almost non-existent in Augusta.”

Augusta’s Parks and Recreation Department lists more than a hundred parks, hiking trails, biking paths, playgrounds and other facilities on its web site. It’s also worth noting that the survey only includes Augusta-Richmond County, not Columbia, Aiken or any other surrounding counties.

Augusta did fare well in the “Rest and Relaxation” category, ranking 20th. Gonzalez says that category consists of the price of house cleaning and lawn services, which would be needed to eliminate those chores for a true ‘staycation’.

Despite hosting one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the world, Augusta ranked 69th for number of public golf courses per capita. Surprisingly, Cincinnati, Ohio topped that list.

Orlando, Florida, not surprisingly, topped the list of ‘staycation’ destinations overall. Yonkers, New York was last, but due to its proximity to New York City residents there may not have noticed.

Atlanta ranked sixth overall, with Charlotte coming in well behind Augusta at 123.

For the complete rankings as well as a detailed breakdown of the metrics behind them, click here.

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