South Carolina Picture Project

Downtown Aiken — Aiken, South Carolina


SC Picture Project  |  Aiken County  |  Downtown Aiken

Downtown Aiken is the center of South Carolina‘s Thoroughbred Country, which also encompasses the surrounding counties of Allendale, Bamberg, and Barnwell. Its historic district is well-preserved and thoughtfully landscaped, with flowers, fountains, and sculptures both serious and fun. Unique shops, spas, and restaurants can be found throughout Aiken, and there are several nice inns and bed and breakfasts to enjoy.

Morgan Fountain SC

Michael Enloe of Aiken, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Since Aiken is known for its close association with horses and equestrianism, its downtown area is dotted with unique statues like this one. It shows Limehouse, a stakes winner who trained at Aiken’s Dogwood Stable and came in fourth in the 2004 Kentucky Derby. (Note: This statue was damaged by a falling limb and removed.)

Horse Statue in Aiken SC

SCIWAY, 2008 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Flat racing, steeplechases, harness racing, and polo all have long traditions in Aiken. The “season” begins in March with the Aiken Triple Crown. The three jewels in the crown event include the Aiken Trials (flat racing), the Aiken Spring Steeplechase, and a polo match.

Downtown Aiken

Larry Gleason of Aiken © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

This photo, taken along Laurens Street, showcases the charm of Aiken’s historic downtown district. Here are some of Aiken’s most beloved landmarks:

1) Hopelands Gardens
2) Aiken Post Office
3) Willcox Inn
4) Morgan Fountain
5) Aiken Town Clock
6) William Aiken Statue
7) Aiken County Historical Museum (Banksia)
8) St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church


Downtown Aiken – Aiken Town Clock


Located at the corner of Laurens Street and Richland Avenue, Aiken‘s town clock was installed in 2007. Aiken got its start as a railroad town. In the 1830s, the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company established a route between Charleston and Hamburg to transport tobacco and cotton. William Aiken was president of the railroad and the fledgling town of Aiken took his name. Soon after, streets were arranged by an engineer, and the town was chartered in 1835.

Larry Gleason of Aiken © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

William Aiken’s son, also named William Aiken, served as a US senator and congressman. He also served as governor of South Carolina from 1844 until 1846.

Visit the Aiken-Rhett House in Charleston, owned by both William Aiken, Sr. and his son. See our gallery of South Carolina Town Clocks.

Downtown Aiken Info


Address: Richland Avenue, Aiken, SC 29801
GPS Coordinates: 33.561676,-81.722428
Website: http://www.downtownaiken.com/

Downtown Aiken Map

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6 Comments about Downtown Aiken

Alena Carter says:
June 27th, 2016 at 3:43 pm

Thank you so much for this. I believe it sure has changed for the better since I was there last.

BonnieNo Gravatar says:
May 18th, 2015 at 10:11 am

I love down town Aiken! I would love to live there, but I have children and grand children and great grand children here in Oregon, which I would not want to be too far away from.

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
May 18th, 2015 at 11:12 am

Hi, Bonnie! Here is a link to the Aiken Visitors Center. Hopefully, someone there can guide you. Good luck! http://www.visitaikensc.com/whattodo/detail/aiken_railroad_depot

BonnieNo Gravatar says:
May 18th, 2015 at 10:05 am

I would like to purchase a poster of the painted horses around town. How do I do that?
Bonnie

Courtney LayNo Gravatar says:
November 15th, 2011 at 11:26 am

I live here and I have all my life. I love it here, it is always so fun and there is always something to entertain you.

Jeanne MelickNo Gravatar says:
November 11th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Your town looks very beautiful — possibly a place for my husband and I to move to once I retire!




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