Named the “Best Small Town in the South” by Southern Living Magazine, Aiken, South Carolina has been drawing people in since the wealthy Astors, Vanderbilts, and Fields began building their summer “cottages” along Millionaire’s Row in the late 1800s.
But Aiken is just one of many towns in Thoroughbred Country that are worth exploring. Windsor, Blackville, Beech Island, Denmark, and North August contain historical sites, art galleries, nature parks, and dining experiences for a weekend of fun.
Whether you have a weekend or a week, there are tons of fun things to do in Aiken SC and in the surrounding area!
1. Hopelands Gardens, Aiken
Hopelands Gardens is arguably the prettiest place for a stroll in Thoroughbred Country. The lush, 14-acre public garden encompasses two glistening ponds, fountains, winding walking paths shaded by 100-year old oaks, and a plethora of colorful flowers such as azaleas, wisteria, and crepe myrtle. Open-air concerts are held in the gardens in the summertime, and there are areas for picnicking.
2. Aiken State Park
One of the most visited spots in the county, Aiken State Park offers natural beauty and many outdoor pursuits. The park was built during the Great Depression by an African American detachment of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Edisto River is framed with thick, towering trees, creating a scenic, winding 1.7-mile blackwater route for kayaking and canoeing. There are also hiking and biking trails, a spring-fed lake to fish, and campsites.
3. Green Jackets Baseball, North Augusta
The Augusta Green Jackets, a minor league baseball affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, were originally situated in Georgia but have recently moved to their brand new stadium across the river in South Carolina. The stadium is part of SRP Park which includes a hotel, restaurant, offices, apartments, and a senior living facility. And an air-conditioned area with rocking chairs – what better way to watch the game?
4. The Greeneway, North Augusta
The Greeneway is a seven-mile paved recreational trail that follows an abandoned railroad right of way purchased by the city in 1988. The Greeneway winds through the city, residential neighborhoods, the beautifully landscaped banks of Savannah River, a shaded canopy section of hardwoods, over bridges and under tunnels. It’s a popular path with joggers, bikers, and skaters.
Read 14 more fun things to do in Thoroughbred Country SC
Other places in South Carolina to visit:
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About the Author
Patti Morrow is a freelance travel writer and founder of the award-winning blog Luggage and Lipstick. TripAdvisor called her one of “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having More Fun Than Millennials.” Patti is the author of the book “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone,” and has over 150 bylines in 40 print and online publications, including The Huffington Post, International Living Magazine, Washington Post Sunday Travel, Travel Girl, Travel Play Live Magazine, and Ladies Home Journal.
Read more about Patti Morrow.