Best Outdoor Spaces in Aiken, South Carolina

Aiken downtown streetscape and skyline
  • Written on July 05, 2022 By Stanley Martin

The charming city of Aiken, South Carolina is well known for its thoroughbred horses, lush grounds and 19th-century equestrians. Also, the quaint location started as a railroad town in 1835. It was the end of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Companies' line from Charleston to the Savannah River. In fact, it was the longest train line in the country at one time. Now decorated with peaceful parks and historic architecture, Aiken continues to draw people from across the country to bask in its beauty. As the summer rolls on, we're looking at some of the best outdoor spaces Aiken has to offer, from gardens to trails.

  • Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary: Welcome to over 3,000 acres of great outdoors in the woodlands of Aiken. Overlooking the Savannah River, Audubon's Silver Bluff Sanctuary is overflowing with breathtaking walking trails, 50 acres of lakes and ponds, vast grassland, and various birds and wildlife. While your family can pay for a private tour or special event, the sanctuary is free to visit. What better way to enjoy the true peacefulness of nature with the entire family and immerse your little ones in an educational experience?
  • Aiken Arboretum Trail: If diverse tree species and unique landscapes interest you, the Aiken Arboretum is a must-visit outdoor destination. Take in some of the oaks from around the world and witness the most diverse range of tree species in any municipal landscape, all within four miles of downtown Aiken. Not only is this the perfect activity for kids, but it can also turn into a group educational outing. The adventure starts at the Arboretum Trail, which begins at the Aiken County Public Library. You can even access a mobile tour to learn about the tree species as you journey down the trail.
  • Aiken County Farmers Market: Boasting the title of the 'oldest county farmers' market in continuous service in the same location in S.C.,' the Aiken County Farmers Market is worth a visit. As you stroll the open-air pavilion, pick up fresh produce, baked goods, meat, honey, dairy products, homemade crafts, and more. Browse vendor tables in the same spot where farmers parked their wagons full of goods in the 1920s. Also, this farmers market was designated an Aiken landmark in 2003, offering just one more reason for locals and tourists to visit.
  • Hopelands Gardens: Aiken is home to endless picturesque landscaping, and Hopelands Gardens is a prime example. With a canopy of ancient oaks, this 14-acre estate houses tree species that are over 100 years old. When you've taken in all the fascinating trees, you can explore the wetlands, doll house, reflection pool, and rock fountain. Not to mention, a variety of activities are held at the gardens, like yoga, storytime, concert series and more!
  • The Stables Restaurant at Rose Hill: Now, for the ideal outdoor dining adventure in Aiken. The Stables Restaurant is located in the former horse stables of the Rose Hill estate and is the epitome of Southern charm. Take in the serene surroundings with an evening by the fire pit or enjoy live music on the lawn. The casual environment and elevated pub menu have something to offer for you and your little ones.

With endless acres of natural forest and unobstructed views of the Savannah River, Aiken, South Carolina is a top destination for those seeking the great outdoors. With sanctuaries, trails, markets, gardens and historical outdoor dining spots, there's no limit to the outdoor fun your family can experience. At Stanley Martin Homes, we value your desire to explore some of the country's most desirable areas. If Aiken sounds like the perfect spot to begin your next adventure, our team is ready to help you find the home of your dreams in one of the country's most charming towns.