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Best Hotels in Aiken, SC and Fun Things to Do

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Are you considering a trip to Aiken, SC? Home to over 30,000 residents, charming Aiken offers visitors and the community a wealth of rich equestrian history and cultural experiences. Dotted with many horse farms and one of the largest urban forests in the country, Aiken has produced many thoroughbred champions. In fact, for over a century, the quaint city has been the training ground for a variety of equestrian sports. The Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum is here as well.


Traveling to Aiken for a fox hunt, polo match, or vacation?  Find great lodging for every budget!



Fairfield Inn & Suites

Fairfield Inn & Suites is among the best hotels in Aiken, SC that has received the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor. This award is no mean feat for an inexpensive hotel, but then that's no surprise as most Aiken, SC hotels are in the low-price category. Why stop working when you have a business center with internet access, fax, overnight delivery, and printing services? The multilingual staff should be able to guide you as you enjoy tRacing Horses.jpeghe use of meeting rooms and conference facilities. Like other Aiken hotels, Fairfield Inn comes with a free breakfast, pool and fitness center so you can relax.


Holiday Inn Express & Suites Aiken

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Aiken has also earned a Certificate of Excellence and is an inexpensive hotel.  Receive free parking, breakfast and enjoy access to a 24-hour convenience market.  The hotel boasts plenty of amenities for business travelers including a printer, copier, scanner, free high-speed internet in all rooms and office supplies are available.  With spacious rooms, an outdoor pool, fitness center, and availability of cribs, this Aiken hotel is family-friendly as well.


Country Inn and Suites

On the budget-friendly side, The Country Inn is also inexpensive and has also received high reviews from TripAdvisor. Located near I-20 and U.S. 78, just outside the city's historic downtown, you'll find great value in the free hot breakfast, laundry facilities, business center, pool, and general room amenities.


Quality Inn & Suites

Here is a hotel that exemplifies cleanliness just like the rest of the hotels in Aiken, SC. It is an inexpensive affair that comes with free breakfast and has meeting rooms at your disposal. Unlike other Aiken hotels, select rooms have whirlpools and a full-service bar and lounge for your enjoyment.  Plus, pack the leash, water bowl and treats for your furry friend, as this hotel is pet-friendly too!

Other Aiken, SC pet-friendly hotels include:

  • The Sleep Inn - Nominal fees for pets. Contact the hotel directly for details
  • Town Place Suites Whiskey Road - Maximum 2 pets per room, 100 lbs or less. Non-refundable sanitation fee: $100 USD


The Willcox Hotel: Historical, Luxurious and Pet-Friendly

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Are you seeking accommodations that offer impeccable style and exemplary service? You must visit The Willcox Hotel, Restaurant, and Spa which exude Southern charm and provides the ultimate retreat during your excursion to Aiken.  Established in 1898, the Willcox was named the #1 Resort Hotel in the South, #2 Best Resort in the Continental U.S. and #7 Best Hotel in The World by Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards in 2016.

In addition to a full-service spa and salon offering massage treatments, nail and hair services, skin care and body treatments, there is a cardio room. The hotel offers yoga mats, in-room virtual trainers and DVDs as well.

Are you seeking a little (or a lot) or romance?  Select from a unique menu of culinary and experience-themed adventures including tango lessons, rose petal turn-down service, champagne, roses and Intraceuticals Lavender Oxygen Therapy.  A violinist, guitarist, or a trio, along with fresh flowers and candlelight are available for sensual dining experiences.

If you bring along your pet, he/she can attend doggie day camp with supervised play and swim time. Additionally, dog concierge service offers veterinary, massage, acupuncture, grooming, dog walking, and a canine bakery.  It really can't get much better for your dog or you.


There are plenty of fun things to do in Aiken should you explore this amazing city!


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Hitchcock Woods

Aiken is known for Hitchcock Woods, one of the largest urban forests in the nation, This 2,100-acre longleaf pine forest offers 70 miles of sandy trails providing access to equestrians, joggers, hikers and dog walkers.  Open to the public, on foot or horseback, Hitchcock Woods is open 365 days a year during daylight hours. With donor support, admission is always free of charge.


Hopeland Gardens

Stroll along the stone and natural pathways of 14-acre Hopeland Gardens, and enjoy the canopy of century old Live Oaks.  Stumble upon reflection pools, fountains, a pond, gazebo, labyrinth, wetlands, swings, and statues. Rent the garden areas for weddings and other personal events. In summer months, check local listings for Hopeland Gardens Concert Series information.


Horse Street Sign .jpeg Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame & Museum

The Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum is open most days and features steeplechase horses, from 1942 through the present.  Explore the many photos, memorabilia, and trophies showcasing these exceptional horses. Admission is free, though donations are appreciated. 


Aiken County Historical Museum

Whether you are a history buff or wish to grasp area tidbits, scope out the Aiken County Historical Museum. Rotating exhibits for adults and children will pique interest as you travel through 300 years of history. Learn about the county's early Silver Bluff farming settlements, the rise of the railroad and the development of the equine industry.  Plus, gain an understanding of the Savannah River Site, a nuclear reservation site for the United States.


Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum

Gather more info at the Aiken Visitors Center then visit the train museum on the second floor. The local commercial train system became the first designed steam-powered railway in the United States and the longest railroad in the world. See dioramas depicting area freight stations as they appeared in 1916. Replicated in the HO scale system and paired with interactive displays, the storytelling dioramas are fun to view. Offer a small donation or enter for free.

Whether you are in town to visit the University of South Carolina, are here for equine purposes, or just passing through, Aiken is certainly a destination worth slowing down for and enjoying to the fullest. 


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Topics: South Carolina