Family Friendly Experiences for All Ages in Thoroughbred Country SC

Augusta GreenJackets - Game | Thoroughbred Country

From Civil War history and minor league baseball to drive-in movies and a drive-through safari, there's plenty to entertain families for summer getaways and fall excursions.

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Thoroughbred Country, SOUTH CAROLINA—January 2024—Located just east of Augusta, Georgia, and west of Columbia, South Carolina, is Thoroughbred Country, an area comprised of sprawling countryside, wide open greenspaces and endless opportunities to explore nature. Bordered by Interstates 20, 26 and 95, this region offers endless opportunities for family friendly fun.

Sometimes referred to as “Undiscovered South Carolina,” Thoroughbred Country consists of Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg and Barnwell counties. It’s no secret horses take the top prize in Thoroughbred Country but there’s so much more to discover in Thoroughbred Country beyond horses. From Civil War history and minor league baseball to drive-in movies and a drive-through safari, there’s no shortage of one-of-a-kind experiences for summertime getaways and fall excursions. Here are a few favorites families are sure to love:

Discover South Carolina’s Civil War history by exploring the award-winning interpretive trail at Battle of Rivers Bridge State Historic Site. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 390-acre historic site includes the Civil War Battlefield, memorial grounds and community building. See where a small force of Confederate soldiers opposed the advance of Sherman’s army and observe the well-preserved earthen fortifications that are the centerpiece of this important battlefield landscape. This historic site is no doubt a must-see when visiting the area. Battle of Rivers Bridge State Historic Site, 325 State Park Road, Ehrhardt, South Carolina, 29081; 803.683.0239

Start your adventure by meeting a retired racehorse at Equine Rescue of Aiken. This non-profit organization exists to provide retired racehorses with a safe transition to a second career. Offering tours, volunteer opportunities, summer camps and an array of special programs, Equine Rescue of Aiken sits on over 80 acres of land and houses 50-60 horses at any given time. Equine Rescue of Aiken, 532 Glenwood Drive, Aiken, South Carolina, 29803; 803.643.1850

Next up, get out on the water and experience nature up close and personal in a canoe or kayak with South Fork Paddlers. Departing from Bamberg County Boat Landing(s), South Fork Paddlers offers guided trips along the Edisto River May through October. Bring your own gear or rent everything you need from nearby Cope Kayak Company. Paddlers are in for a real treat. The South Fork of Edisto begins as a small stream in Johnston, South Carolina and flows for 105 miles southeast where it meets the North Fork near Branchville to form the Edisto River. Paddlers will wind their way through a beautiful stretch of Edisto’s forks. The blackwater river shaded by a lush tree canopy is narrow and winding and offers some of the most remote stretches of boating in the basin. South Fork Paddlers; 803-300-1972.

Incorporate a little bit of education into your trip at the Savannah River Site Museum. During the Cold War, the Savannah River Site (formally the Savannah River Plant) operated as a nuclear materials production facility, producing tritium and plutonium for the hydrogen bomb. See where science meets history in a blend of interactive exhibits as you explore the fascinating origins and ongoing missions of the site at the Savannah River Site Museum in downtown Aiken. Exhibits detail the time period in the community before the plant existed to the Cold War and beyond. Admission is free. 224 Laurens Street SW, Aiken, South Carolina, 29081; 803.648.1437

Take a walk on the wild side! Don’t miss Eudora Wildlife Safari Park, a drive-through safari experience where visitors can view, feed and even pet exotic animals. Home to around 200 exotic animals, guests can drive or walk through the three-mile safari park to view and engage with animals in their habitat. From parrots and lemurs to kangaroos and more, the kids are sure to remember this experience for years to come. Eudora Wildlife Safari Park, 219 Salem Lane, Salley, South Carolina, 29137; 803.606.6325

Rainy day in the forecast? No problem! Roll up your sleeves and let the creative juices flow at Bisquecuts & Glazy, a contemporary paint-your-own pottery studio located in Aiken. Offering pottery, canvas and glass fusing, this family friendly activity is sure to entertain groups of all ages. From piggy banks and children’s figurines to plates, platters, vases, home décor and more, guests will delight in creating a one-of-a-kind masterpiece along with a fun memory. Guests are welcome to walk-in or book a class. Bisquecuts & Glazy, 949 Pine Log Road, Aiken, South Carolina, 29803; 803.648.7772

Treat the fam to a movie and a little nostalgia. Take a step back in time at The Big Mo (as locals call it!), one of only three operating drive-in theaters in South Carolina. Originally opened in 1951 and later closed, The Big Mo was revived in 1999. Offering three screens, all of which have double features, The Big Mo shows new movies and old favorites. The Big Mo, 5822 Columbia Highway N, Monetta, South Carolina, 29105; 803.685.7949

Play ball! Nothing says family fun quite like a minor league baseball game. Catch the North Augusta Green Jackets as they play at SRP Park located in North Augusta, South Carolina. Single tickets and group tickets are available. Aside from baseball, SRP Park also offers mini golf at Auggie’s Acres, a rare and unique all-natural grass nine-hole miniature golf experience. SRP Park is the centerpiece of the Riverside Village development, a modern mixed-use development with hotels, retail and much more. SRP Park, 187 Railroad Avenue, North Augusta, South Carolina, 29841; 803.349.9426

If you go

Stay among nature at Barnwell State Park and enjoy some of the area’s best fishing. With multiple fully furnished cabins available, guests will enjoy the comforts of home while waking up 100 yards from the park’s upper lake and just 300 yards from the park’s lower lake. Barnwell State Park’s swimming area is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Insider’s tip: don’t miss nearby Lake Edgar Brown for more fishing. This 100-acre lake features a fishing pier, boat ramp and is ideal for boating and waterskiing. Lake Edgar Brown is also handicapped accessible. For information on booking a cabin at Barnwell State Park, click here. Barnwell State Park, 223 State Park Road, Blackville, South Carolina, 29817; 803.284.2212; Lake Edgar Brown, Bryan Street, Barnwell, South Carolina, 29812

For a more traditional type lodging experience, stay at Stable View Farm. Sprawling over 1,000 acres of gently rolling hills and bordered by canopies of forests, Stable View has become a popular spot for its broad appeal to those looking for a peaceful retreat among some of the area’s most beautiful wildlife. Stable View offers an array of cottages, barn residences, loft like “hunt boxes” and cozy apartments available for short- or long-term stays. RV hook-ups are also available throughout the property. Stable View Farm, 117 Stable View Drive, Aiken, South Carolina, 29801; 484.356.3173

For an elevated lodging experience, The Willcox offers luxe hotel lodging accommodations. Guest rooms are not only comfortable but also luxuriously appointed, offering a true retreat. Dine at The Willcox’s award-winning on property restaurant where meals are unpretentious and delicious. Don’t forget to book a spa day at The Willcox Salon and Spa. With a wide range of spa services delivered in serene, fire-lit rooms, guests are sure to melt their cares away with the help of expert spa therapists. Services are available for overnight guests as well as day visitors. The Willcox offers several hotel packages throughout the year. Click here for current package offerings. The Willcox, 100 Colleton Avenue, SW, Aiken, South Carolina, 29801; 803.648.1898