Explore Equestrian Culture and Beautiful Urban Forests in Aiken, South Carolina

Equestrian Culture Aiken South Carolina
Photography by William Dickey

By Katie Wood

Quintessential Southern charm takes center stage in the streets of Aiken, South Carolina. Famous for its equestrian culture, this Southern oasis also boasts a thriving arts community, unique history, and one of the nation’s largest urban forests, making it a perfect getaway for the whole family. Embrace all the city has to offer with a historic trolley tour and discover the beauty of Aiken under the iconic oak canopies. Historically, Aiken became a tourist destination in the early 1800s for visitors who traveled to spend their summers in a place that offered a relief from the heat and sickness (mostly malaria) of other regions. After the Civil War, Aiken began to attract the north’s rich and somewhat famous, who were lured to the area by the opportunities for equestrian sports, thus establishing Aiken’s celebrated Winter Colony. Today, a quaint downtown is peppered with local boutiques and delicious eateries. And while Aiken enjoys a small town charm, there is no short supply of entertainment—especially when it comes to horses. From polo matches and steeplechase to last year’s 101st Aiken Horse Show, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to satisfy your love for sport, history, and horses in Aiken this spring.

What to Do

Photography by William Dickey