Often described as a city with Southern charm and a cosmopolitan flair, Aiken is a laid-back, charming community located near the mid-point of South
Carolina’s long border with Georgia. With low-cost housing
and taxes as well as a mild four-season climate, it’s easy to
see why Aiken is one of the favorite retirement locales in the
South. Founded as a winter retreat for wealthy Northerners,
today, Aiken offers great golfing, hunting and fishing, and has
received national acclaim in several prestigious magazines.
Aiken residents enjoy warm weather and a wonderful
quality of life. The historic downtown area is filled with
remarkable shops and restaurants, and the business district
is alive and flourishing. Galleries, antique stores and specialty
boutiques await the serious shopper. Beautifully preserved
grand homes line the avenues and shaded streets.
Aiken is one of the nation’s greatest training grounds for
thoroughbreds. It is home to the Thoroughbred Racing Hall
of Fame, established in 1977 as a tribute to the flat racing,
steeplechase and honors horses that have trained in Aiken
and gone on to become national champions. The Aiken
Steeplechase Association, founded in 1930, hosts the Imperial
Cup each March and the Holiday Cup in October.
Things to do
Hopelands Gardens is a major local attraction. The 14-
acre public estate features a network of garden paths winding
underneath a canopy of ancient live oaks dripping with
Spanish moss. Visit nearby Hitchcock Woods, the largest
urban forest in the United States with roughly 2,100 acres
of natural forest, to appreciate the beauty of preserved land
on over 65 miles of trails.
People who come to Aiken hoping to golf won’t be disappointed. The mild winters make golf a year-round activity,
and the city offers a wide variety of courses from which to
choose. The city boasts America’s fifth-oldest course and is
also home to the first course to offer women’s tees. For those
who prefer golf to be a spectator sport, nearby Augusta is
home to the Masters Golf Tournament.