Things to Do in Aiken County
The Center features regular gallery exhibits by local, state, regional and national artists. A variety of artists display works for sale year-round in the Gallery Store. The Center also hosts programs and events throughout the year, offers art education classes for all ages in a variety of mediums. The Center has 5 galleries as well as 7 classrooms for programs and a 180 seat performance pavilion. Open Mon-Sat 10 am-5 pm.
The museum is housed in a 1931 Winter Colony mansion - one of only two open to the public. Three floors of exhibits tell the history of Aiken County from past to present. China Springs - a one-room school from the 1890's, the William Gregg Buttery and an 1808 log cabin are also on the museum grounds. Admission is free, donations accepted. Tue-Sat 10am-5pm. Sun 2pm-5pm. Closed Mondays and national holidays.
Surrounded by a one-of-a-kind parkway system and bordered by beautiful beds of flowers, the area offers unique dining and shopping choices including art galleries, antiques, gift shops, a brew pub and a variety of restaurants. Downtown is also home to the Aiken Center for the Arts, the Aiken County Historical Museum and the Amentum Center for the Performing Arts.
On the tour, you'll see and hear about historic homes and churches; equestrian sites; the Civil War's Battle of Aiken; the live oak canopy on South Boundary and the Winter Colony residents. You'll also enjoy a guided walk through Hopelands Gardens and the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame & Museum (weather permitting). The tour is offered Saturdays from 10 am until 12 pm. Tours depart from the Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum. Customized tours available.
This state-of-the-art theater is home to the Aiken Community Theatre (ACT) which has recorded over 50 seasons and the Aiken Performing Arts (APA). The theater seats approximately 300 in addition to the 32 seat Hospitality Suite/Balcony. ACP offers a full season of comedy, drama and musical plays. APA presents national and international professional shows through the season. www.apagonline.org. Office hours Mon-Fri 9am-4pm (closed 12pm-1pm lunch).
The Center is dedicated to the exhibition of regional arts and history with a 2,300 sq ft permanent interactive history exhibit and two galleries of exhibits which rotate every two months. The Center's Gift Shop showcases local crafts ranging from pottery and paintings to coffee and chocolate. Mon-Fri 10am to 4pm. First Sunday of each month 1pm-3pm. Also open during special events.
Beech Island Historical Society Visitors Center, 144 Old Jackson Hwy, Beech Island. 803-867-3600. The visitors center tells the story of Beech Island, one of the oldest settlements in South Carolina, dating back to 1685 as Savannah Town. The history room includes Native American, Colonial agricultural and river transportation displays. When displays are completed, the Barn will become the Beech Island Agricultural Museum. Open Wed, Th 11am-2pm, and by appointment.
The 45 seat planetarium is equipped with state-of-the art special effects systems and is augmented by sundials and telescopes. Various shows are available throughout the year. Located on the University of South Carolina Aiken campus.
This 14-acre park was the former estate of Mr. and Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin. Mrs. Iselin wished that her gardens would be preserved for the enjoyment of others so she left her estate to the city. The house was later removed and the area is now occupied by three reflecting pools. A Touch and Scent Trail for the visually impaired was developed. The wetlands area is home to fish and many ducks. The performing arts stage hosts a concert series May through August. The gardens are also host to various other events including a display of Christmas lights. Also on the property is the Doll House, former playhouse of Mrs. Iselin's children, and the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame.
A redeveloped railroad right-of-way, this paved walking and bicycling path is currently 9.2 miles. The Greeneway runs along the Savannah River and is the major connector of planned city-wide bicycle paths. Designated a National Recreation Trail. Part of the Transcontinental Bluebird Trail. Open dawn to dusk.
1859 Greek Revival antebellum mansion of James Henry Hammond. Held by the family through four generations then donated to the State Park Service in 1975. The house is complete with furniture, decorative arts and artwork from the various periods of occupation. Also on the grounds is a nature trail. Tours last approximately one hour.
Rent an electric bike for your enjoyment or go on a "History, Homes, and Horses" tour hosted every Wednesday and Saturday at 10am and 2pm, departing from The Alley. This is a 2.5 hour tour that showcases the beautiful city of Aiken in a way you have never experienced.
Located in the historic Dibble building in downtown Aiken, the Savannah River Site Museum visitors can experience life at the Savannah River Site (SRS) and learn more about South Carolina's role in winning the Cold War through stories and artifacts from SRS. The SRS Museum recently completed installation of a new exhibit, "6,000 Stories" that details life before the plant in surrounding communities of Dunbarton, Ellenton, and Meyer's Mill, whose residents relocated to make way for the 310 square mile plant. Additional exhibits include information on the Cold War, local fallout shelters, plant production, radiation, waste cleanup, space exploration, and ecology.
The National Audubon Society owns or operates nearly 100 education centers and wildlife sanctuaries across the country, totaling over 150,000 acres. Located near Aiken, South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia, Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary, situated along the Savannah River, is an integral part of that system. With 3,250 acres of upland pine forest, hardwood bottomlands, fields, lakes and streams, it is typical of much of the Coastal Plain of Georgia and the Carolinas.
Entertainment Venue. Home of the Augusta GreenJackets, a minor league baseball team. Concerts and other events scheduled throughout the year. Rental space available.
The Etherredge Center Cultural Series presents the best international performing artists in Aiken's only All-Inclusive arts center. The annual Cultural Series is a 9-performance event that takes place between October and May, and showcases notable artists such as the Four Tops, Shoshana Bean, American Ballet Theater and so much more. The Etherredge Center also boasts a professionally curated Art Gallery, and other sensational events and performances throughout the year.