Thoroughbred Country, South Carolina: Great Escape
This year is bound to be the year of the road trip—the Great Escape! And, in Thoroughbred Country, there’s so much waiting for travelers, so come and let someone else cook for you, try something new and just get a much-needed breath of fresh air.
THOROUGHBRED COUNTRY, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 2020 - No matter if you have a week or a weekend, Thoroughbred Country’s easy-on-the-eyes topography meanders through charming, small towns creating the perfect road trip getaway. Situated along I-20, between Atlanta and Charleston–just east of Augusta, Georgia, you’ll find Thoroughbred Country, South Carolina, open for business and ready to spoon out large helpings of genuine hospitality. This region begs for a road trip; you’ll never truly appreciate the depths of what it offers otherwise.
A great predictor of the future is most often the past. This seriously rings true in Thoroughbred Country where reminders of yesteryear are ever-present in the antique shops, Civil War sites and plantation homes. True to its equestrian roots, there are many related events and training facilities to take a gander at as you pass through the region. Make every moment count by scrolling through Thoroughbred Country’s website in advance and jotting down a list of attractions, especially outdoors where folks feel safe and can socially distance easily, as not to skip something you’d love.
Try something new-to-you
Explore the Mennonite culture in its authenticity with a visit to God’s Acre Healing Springs in Blackville. Drink from the artesian well and find education surrounding this group who brought wounded Revolutionary War soldiers here to drink and be well—a message we can certainly use today. Just down the road is Wisteria Cottage Bed & Breakfast where you might find lodging that fits your needs. Nestled within beautiful countryside, you’ll find this rustic 1940s cottage to have two bedrooms and a bath. And, since you’re visiting the Mennonite community, plan on a meal at Miller’s Bread Basket where meat and threes are the staples along with salads and homemade breads.
Peddle or not, here we come! Explore Aiken on an electric bike rented from Pedego Aiken. Connect with nature on a safe and scenic trail while making meaningful memories of a vacation to remember. Locks and helmets are included with every rental, but keep in mind there is a minimum rider age of 16.
Since 1882, Polo has been played on Whitney Field and in the current-day, you can still catch matches on Sundays from April to mid-June or in the fall from September to mid-November. The whole family will love this Aiken classic that is the perfect addition to any Thoroughbred Country road trip. It’s definitely a hidden treasure that showcases the timeless side of South Carolina history.
Thoroughbred Country offers a breath of fresh air
Vitamin D is so necessary to help break out of winter blahs and find zest for the summertime. It puts pep in the step and color on the cheeks. And, the great outdoors of Thoroughbred Country is brimming with opportunities to get out and about in many different ways.
Head over to Cathedral Bay Heritage Preserve for a sample of the Carolina Bay phenomenon. Carolina Bays are wetlands that vary in size from an acre to several hundred acres. Bring a camera, binoculars and rainboots, and be impressed by Mother Nature among the many pond cypress (generally the only tree species to grow in these bays) at this stunning outdoor attraction.
Hit the trails! Hitchcock Woods is one of the country’s largest urban forests spanning some 2,100 acres of forestland with 70 miles of various trails. Visitors enter at varying points throughout Aiken offering easy access. Pack a picnic and stay the day experiencing hikes/walks set to your own pace. For an hour, an afternoon or all day, Hitchcock Woods will grant just what everyone needs—a breath of fresh air.
Let someone else do the cooking
Enjoy some of the Palmetto State’s finest cuisine in Thoroughbred Country, from down home comfort foods to upscale culinary gems. And, the best way to get a taste of true local flavor is by dining where the locals do.
The Restaurant at The Willcox is a “can’t miss” eatery with stellar offerings using sustainable practices and known for made-from-scratch dishes. The ambiance is lovely, and the menu is even better. This award-winning restaurant is located inside the prestigious Aiken hotel, The Willcox, established in 1898. Serving three meals a day, look forward to masterpieces such as Challah Bread French Toast for breakfast, fancy sandwiches and pastas for lunch, and fabulous creations of fish, chicken or steak for dinner.
Whiskey Alley is a downtown Aiken staple located in The Alley where casual is the name of the game. An internationally inspired menu, coupled with an impressive whiskey list has attracted (and kept) a great fan base, so make a reservation in advance to ensure yourself a dining spot for noshing on duck or lamb with decedent fixings.
Also in Aiken, Malia’s, under the direction of Chef Jason Tufts, one of the newest South Carolina Chef Ambassadors, has been providing fine, fresh food for more than 30 years. Feast on mouth-watering Southern bites such as Crispy Goat Cheese, Seafood Grits and Braised Short Ribs.
For a larger-than-life slice of Americana, stop in North Augusta’s Sno-Cap Drive-In for family-friendly throwbacks to 1964 when the eatery first opened. Enjoy a burger, hotdog, shake or some other classics while getting your fix of the good ole days.
You can’t visit South Carolina without grabbing some barbeque. Check out locally owned and operated Duke’s Bar-B-Que in Bamberg, located on historic US Highway 301. Duke’s is THE spot for smoked meats, so bring your appetite.
When you are ready to ease out and get a travel fix, think of Thoroughbred Country where social distancing is easy with so much outdoor space. It just might be the start of many Great Escapes with your family.