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6 Things In Aiken SC That Make It A Unique Place To Visit


The state of South Carolina is known for its rolling golf courses, sunny beaches, and both historical and cultural influences on its towns and cities. When your mind is drawn to South Carolina, it is likely that you think of places like Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Columbia; however, there is one location that you should be made aware of.

Aiken is located within the western part of South Carolina, and it is the biggest city in Aiken County. As such, you will find plenty of opportunities when visiting the area. So, what exactly makes Aiken such a unique place?

Aiken Historical Museum

The best place to start when roaming around a new location is by learning about the history of the place. This means that a stop at Aiken historical museum is a must. Aiken has a rich history that has roots in influences from Native American culture. The indigenous race created some of the first pottery in North America, and you will find some of their works on display in the museum.

You will also learn that once the British landed on these shores, they set about founding the town of Charleston. This town remained the location of the seat of provincial congress, so it has strong foundations in US history. The town received the name Aiken when it became chartered by a young railroad entrepreneur by the name of William Aiken. 

Dupont Planetarium

Aiken might have a long history, but that does not mean that it doesn’t offer something for science lovers. The Dupont Planetarium is open to the general public year-round, and it is home to a forty-five-seat theatre. This interactive museum aims to paint an accurate picture of the night sky for its visitors; however, it is also open to school visits and other educational programs.

Hopelands Gardens

It is always a good idea to explore nature when visiting a new place, so a trip to Hopelands Gardens should probably be your next stop. This huge expanse covers an interlinked series of pathways that will take you through the boughs of oak trees that have stood for over one hundred years. What’s more, this trip will also take you through Hoplelands Gardens’ own Wetlands. These marshlands are home to some of the most unique wildlife in the area, so you do not want to miss this part of your trip.

The most iconic part of the gardens is the famous doll house and accompanying fountains. The house itself was once a prolific playhouse before it became one of the very first modular homes in the west. The staff will also decorate the house for Christmas so visitors can explore the grounds in a more festive setting.

Aiken Steeple Chase

The annual Aiken steeple chase contains five races that take place between ten in the morning and stretch into the afternoon. This might be an event most suited to locals, and it occurs in both the Spring and Fall. Luckily, real estate in Aiken is relatively cost-effective. You can always head to EZ Home Search if you are ever in need of homes for sale in this part of the country, and it never hurts to keep an eye on the real estate market.

Those who visit Aiken steeple chase are required to wear business/casual attire; however, the more Victorian you dress the better. A tent party is usually held in the evening where drinks can be shared, but most people will change into something more relaxing for this part of the event.

Hitchcock Woods

It is rare to visit a state that features long beaches and heavy woodland, but that is exactly what you get in Aiken, South Carolina. The Hitchcock woods is 2,100 acres of urban forest that is privately owned. Fortunately, the woods are open to the public, and it is a great spot for horse riders due to the wide sand trails. 

You can see horses anywhere in the world, though, which is why you may be pleased to hear that the woods are also home to some unique animal types, such as peacocks, lemurs, and the odd snake. 

Aiken State Park

No trip to Aiken would be complete without a trip to the state park. This area of protected parkland provides the perfect place for the kids to let loose, or for a family picnic. Keep your eyes peeled when you visit; however, as guests have spotted the occasional alligator roaming the park.


As you can see, there is a lot to do in Aiken, South Carolina, and you are never too far from the other attractions that the rest of the state has to offer. It isn’t often that you get to see both dolphins and snakes on the same short drive, so try and visit Aiken when you get the chance.

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