When Southern Living Magazine designated Aiken, South Carolina as The South’s Best Small Town, it confirmed what many real estate buyers and equestrians already know. “For people who own horses or love horses, it doesn’t get any better than Aiken,” says Debbie Roland, an equestrian and Real Estate Agent at United Real Estate, Aiken. “It’s horse heaven here.”
The charming town boasts low taxes, unique properties, a picturesque downtown, a myriad of recreational activities and an international demographic. That alone would make Aiken a delightful place to live, but the town is further enhanced by its famous horse culture. “People can be seen walking around in their riding clothes all over the place,” Roland says. “Our street signs even have horse heads on them.”
Here are some reasons equestrians can’t get enough of Aiken:
1. Equestrian pastimes abound. There is a rich history of polo and horse racing. There are numerous opportunities across all disciplines including dressage, hunters, jumpers, carriage driving, fox hunting, eventing, trail riding and more.
2. Equestrian industries are a financial boon to the region, with projections of an economic impact in the millions of dollars in Aiken – and billions statewide. The abundance of horses in Aiken County is behind the creation of thousands of local full-time jobs.
3. There are numerous dirt roads on which to ride and drive. The region’s terrain is mostly level and has a sandy base that makes for ideal riding conditions in any weather.
4. Aiken is home to Hitchcock Woods, which, at roughly 2,100 acres, is among the largest urban forests in the nation. It contains 70 miles of trails that are open for public use.
5. The Aiken Horse Show, a prestigious equestrian competition that benefits Hitchcock Woods Foundation, has run continuously for more than a century. The foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that owns and operates Hitchcock Woods, making sure it remains an ecological treasure for generations to come.
6. Aiken has a variety of eclectic eateries, galleries and shops. There are many beautiful parks, historic sites and live oak tree-lined streets.
7. Dogs go hand in hand with horses, so the town is naturally very dog friendly. Pet owners take their four-legged friends with them everywhere they go.
Aiken offers a superior quality of life to residents, whether they’re there year-round or among those flocking in for the comfortable winters.
"Some people buy properties for the sole purpose of having them for the winter season, or renting them out to our seasonal visitors,” Roland says.
If you’re interested in buying or selling an equestrian property or seasonal or year-round home, United Real Estate, Aiken will help you with your real estate needs. Call (803) 226-0120 to see how United Real Estate Aiken can work for you.