11 Best Places and Things To Do in Aiken, South Carolina

Aiken, South Carolina is a charming and historic city known for its equestrian culture, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant downtown. Whether you’re a horse lover, a history enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, Aiken has plenty to offer.

1. Hopelands Gardens

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Located in the heart of Aiken, Hopelands Gardens is a stunning 14-acre garden oasis. It features meticulously manicured lawns, beautiful flowers, fountains, and peaceful walking paths. Take a leisurely stroll or have a picnic amidst the natural beauty.

2. Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum

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Aiken has a rich equestrian heritage, and this museum pays homage to its racing history. Discover the stories of famous racehorses, jockeys, and trainers through exhibits and displays. The museum also offers guided tours and educational programs.

3. Aiken County Historical Museum

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Housed in a former 1930s Winter Colony mansion, the Aiken County Historical Museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the city’s past. Explore the exhibits showcasing the region’s history, including artifacts, photographs, and memorabilia.

4. Aiken State Park

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Nature enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to Aiken State Park, located just a few miles from downtown Aiken. This serene park offers a wide range of recreational activities, including fishing, boating, hiking, and camping. Explore the park’s trails, rent a kayak or canoe, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance surrounded by beautiful lakes and forests.

5. The Aiken Golf Club

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Known as one of the oldest golf clubs in the South, The Aiken Golf Club is a must-visit destination for golf enthusiasts. This picturesque course, designed by renowned architect Donald Ross, offers a challenging yet enjoyable experience. Enjoy a round of golf while taking in the scenic views and lush fairways.

6. Boyd Pond Park

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Boyd Pond Park is renowned for its extensive network of nature trails that wind through forests, meadows, and wetlands. Whether you’re an avid hiker or just enjoy leisurely walks in nature, the park provides a serene and peaceful setting to explore. The trails offer various lengths and difficulty levels, allowing visitors to choose a route that suits their preferences.

7. Dupont Planetarium- Aiken South Carolina

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The Dupont Planetarium, located in Aiken, South Carolina, is a fascinating destination for astronomy enthusiasts and those looking to explore the wonders of the universe. Here’s what you can expect when visiting the Dupont Planetarium: The Dupont Planetarium features state-of-the-art technology that allows visitors to experience immersive and educational shows. Sit back in the comfortable seating and gaze up at the domed ceiling, which serves as a projection screen for stunning visuals of stars, planets, galaxies, and other celestial phenomena. Knowledgeable staff members guide you through captivating presentations, providing insights into the mysteries of the cosmos.

8. St. Mary Help of Christians

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St. Mary Help of Christians is a notable Catholic church located in Aiken, South Carolina. This historic church serves as a spiritual and community center for the Catholic faithful in the area. St. Mary Help of Christians features beautiful architecture and a rich history. The church’s design incorporates elements of Gothic Revival style, with its striking stained glass windows, ornate altar, and intricate details throughout the interior. Take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship and the historical significance of the building.

9. Savannah River Site Museum

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The museum showcases a range of exhibits and displays that explore the history, science, and environmental aspects of the Savannah River Site. Learn about the site’s role in the production of plutonium during the Cold War and its contributions to national security. Discover the scientific research conducted at the site and the ongoing efforts in environmental stewardship.

10. Carolina Bay Nature Preserve

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The Carolina Bay Nature Preserve is a natural gem located in Aiken County, South Carolina. This preserve is known for its unique geological features and diverse ecosystems, providing visitors with a chance to explore and appreciate the beauty of the Carolina Bays. The preserve is home to several Carolina Bays, which are elliptical depressions scattered throughout the landscape. These bays are geological formations that have puzzled scientists for years, with their origins still not fully understood. Take a walk along the trails and observe these intriguing natural features, marveling at their distinct shape and surrounding flora.

11. Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum

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The Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum is a popular destination in Aiken, South Carolina, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and railroad heritage. The Aiken Visitors Center serves as a helpful resource for tourists and locals alike. Knowledgeable staff members are available to provide information about Aiken’s attractions, events, dining options, and accommodations. Whether you’re looking for recommendations or need assistance with planning your visit, the center is a great starting point.

Aiken, South Carolina offers a delightful blend of history, nature, and equestrian culture. Whether you’re exploring the city’s rich heritage, enjoying outdoor activities, or indulging in the local cuisine and craft beverages, Aiken provides a memorable experience for visitors of all interests.