As summer approaches this Southern city, all we can think about is enjoying the outdoors! With unique dining experiences, picturesque views, aquatic activities, live music, and equestrian sports, Aiken is the place to be!
As one of the nation’s premier training centers and horse sporting events, Aiken, South Carolina, draws competitors and spectators from across the country.
The All-Thoroughbred Charity Horse Show on June 3 to 5, 2022, at Highfields Event Center will be a weekend of fun, competition, and fellowship celebrating the thoroughbred. The Aiken Summer Classics I & II will run from June 15 to 24, 2022, at the Aiken Horse Park. The USEF/USDF “Summer Solstice” Dressage at Stable View will be on June 18 to 19.
Stable View will also host the USEF/USEA Mid-Summer Horse Trials & Area III Championships on June 24 to 26, and the USEF/USHJA B-Rated Hunter/Jumper Summer Classic II on June 20 to July 3.
Come join the festivities in downtown Aiken on Newberry Street. Area craft breweries will be pouring beer, and there will be various barbecue vendors, brisket, wine, and live music by “Anybody’s Guest.” Admission is free!
Pack a picnic and enjoy the Hopelands Concert Series on Monday nights. Watch a movie at The Big Mo for a unique experience under the stars! Voices and Votes, a family-friendly event, takes place on June 25 at the Newberry Street Festival Center. This Aiken County Celebration offers crafts and fun activities for children, educational activities for all ages, exhibits, live entertainment, and food concessions.
Aiken’s culinary scene brims with chefs cooking authentic dishes and opening new restaurants. Sombreros Mexican restaurant is the latest talk of the town! The menu serves authentic Mexican food, birria tacos quesabirria, and a variety of flavored margaritas.
Another new spot calling all taste buds is the Los Tres Compadres. Hungry for more? Try the Feed Sack on Whiskey Road. Opening soon, this restaurant will have a full bar with live music and a spectacular menu that serves everything. Also, prepared meals can be ordered to go.
Pools and swimming holes keep you cool on a hot day. The Willcox voted one of the best hotels in the world, awaits you with a Pool and Spa Day. The Aiken State Park is a popular destination with underground springs that fill the area with fishing and swimming lakes, while the river’s South Fork offers calm water for canoeing and kayaking.
Enjoy the white sandy beaches, water slides, beach volleyball, and concessions at Richardson’s Lake. Or, cool off at Sprayground at Citizens Park. Langley Pond, known as the world’s largest pond, includes a boat ramp and dock, a covered picnic area with grills, and a swimming area with a sand beach. Watch the US Rowing Southeast Masters Regional Championship on June 25 on 26.
Don’t forget to quench your thirst. Check out Whiskey Alley, The Alley Taproom, and Aiken Brewing Company for some good brew. For the wine connoisseur, try Solo Vino and Cork and Cap. Jazz lovers will feel right at home at Vibes and Vines!
- by Hannah Lee Leidy
- by Julia Miller
- by Robin Roenker
- by Maggie Ward