Shop Local in Thoroughbred Country, South Carolina, This Holiday Season
Don't let holiday shopping steal your Christmas joy - head to South Carolina's Thoroughbred Country for unique gifts and fun finds for everyone on your list
THOROUGHBRED COUNTRY, SOUTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 2020 - If you need a little help tackling that holiday shopping list or maybe you’re on the hunt for antiques and uniques, Thoroughbred Country is the perfect go-to getaway. This special destination is filled with holiday cheer and situated conveniently along I-20 between Atlanta and Charleston, just east of Augusta, Georgia. If you’ve been dreaming of a road trip, point the GPS toward Thoroughbred Country and have your shopping list in hand!
Downtown Aiken is a beautiful area to shop in, surrounded by a one-of-a-kind parkway system and bordered by pretty flower beds. Shoppers enjoy many choices to locate just the right gift for friends and family including offerings from art galleries, antique shops, gift shops and more. Several downtown specialty shops are locally owned and oozing with charm.
If you crave off-the-beaten-path adventure and small shopping gems, head over to Downtown Denmark where you’ll revel in all the history-filled buildings where goods are now sold. For your shopping pleasure, don’t overlook Brooker's, a family-owned and operated business since 1903. More than a hardware store, Brooker’s carries merchandise ranging from clothing and jewelry to boots, old-fashioned rice steamers and rock candy (a stocking stuffer favorite). Poole’s 5 & 10 is a five and dime worth the visit. And be sure and wander the aisles of The Caroline Collection, one of the largest privately owned antique stores in the Southeast. Currently occupying the historic AT&T Building, the Caroline Collection covers three floors with an eclectic, ever-changing inventory in artfully arranged vignette settings. If you don’t find something there, feel free to visit the other three locations on the same side of the street. Allow a little extra time to hop over to the Jim Harrison Gallery where you will experience the wonderful work of the late Jim Harrison. The gallery pays homage to Harrison’s humble beginnings as an apprentice sign painter and spans his 40-year career as an artist. You’ll see bronzes, etchings and other limited/unlimited edition reproductions, and you’ll be merrier for having stopped in.
A plethora of gift-buying opportunities await in North Augusta where the Arts and Heritage Gift Shop is a lovely place to start. On a mission to provide an educational venue for local artisans to showcase and promote the arts and regional history, the Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta offers two exhibit spaces that feature artisans and history of the region. AHCNA is also a partner in the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor and offers some permanent exhibit space dedicated to the character and history of Aiken, Bamberg, Barnwell and Orangeburg counties. It’s hard to find a better gift than a beautifully crafted piece of art made by an artist in the Central Savannah River Area and South Carolina, and the Gift Shop at AHCNA is chock-full of options ranging from pottery, preserves and photography to paintings, jewelry and hand-carved items. Plus, purchases here are sales tax free!
Search for antiques, collectibles and crafts at North Augusta’s Riverfront Antique Mall where you’ll uncover fabulous finds like military items, fishing gear, golf clubs, baseball cards, knives, glassware, children’s handsewn clothing and so much more within the 175+ vendors. While you’re in the antiquing mood, check out antiques, live ivy topiaries, candles, woven rugs and tons more at Singing Hills Antiques. Wind up your day with a stop at Impressions of the South where there are gifts galore including flavored teas and coffee as well as gourmet chocolate and other fine gift options.
Bamberg is home to Main Street Garden and Gifts with handcrafted pottery, mosaics and paintings by local artist Angie Sandifer. Main Street is also the place to find fresh seasonal flowers in the area. Another Bamberg jewel is Tagadu's Gift Shop featuring Ronaldo Designer Jewelry, Nora Fleming, HOBO Bags, Tyler Candles and Beatriz Ball. For a personalized touch, ask about in-store monogramming.
Healing Springs Country Store in Blackville has quite the selection of gift items, discount books, candles, jellies, local honey, Amish remedies, meats and cheeses, candies and other items that might be just what you are looking for to wrap up your holiday shopping. Of course, an old-fashioned candy might just be your saving grace for a full day of shopping.
Plan to stop for a visit in Barnwell and look up the Little Red Barn Pottery and Art Gallery along US-278. Quite the hidden gem, it’s also the perfect place for unique finds. Formerly the Leigh Banana Case Company Commissary, this historic building was moved to the present-day location in the early 1950s and in 1998, Master Potter Liz Ringus relocated her pottery business to this space. Find one-of-a-kind gifts here like her hand-turned Paw Print Pottery, South Carolina face jugs and other local items. This is a great place to discover something for the hard to shop for person on your list.
Plan your trip today and head over to Thoroughbred Country for last-minute shopping and holiday cheer!