On The Road: Aiken, SC

Hopelands Gardens relecting pond Aiken South Carolina

As travel restrictions begin to ease, things are starting to look a bit different this summer. It’s time to shed the mask and hit the open road, RV style! If you have plans to pack up the family and go RVing in the upcoming months, we have great news for you as we’re launching our On The Road chronicles!

On The Road

Borrowing the name from Jack Kerouac’s classic beat generation tale of travels across the country, intermittently we’ll post tales about our life on the road. Whether you’re traveling by motorhome, fifthwheel, trailer, camper, or van, there is so much out there to explore, and we want to bring the very best to you to consider for your next adventure. Read on for our most recent excursion to the crown jewel of South Carolina. Situated in horse country, enjoy this vignette of our exploration of Aiken.

Driving through Aiken County South Carolina

On the road in Aiken County, South Carolina

Aiken, South Carolina

Located in the southwest corner of South Carolina, Aiken gets little traffic compared to its coastal sister cities. Nonetheless, it deserves much recognition. By car, Aiken is 2.5 hours from Charleston, about an hour from Downtown Columbia, and just over two hours from Greenville. The drive alone is worth it. If you’re coming from Charleston, expect to pass by many farms and open pastures on a very serene, quiet drive along back country roads. Upon arrival into the county that bears its name, you’ll start to see equestrian farms and barns sprouting up just about everywhere, with their manicured lawns and rolling green fields as far as the eye can see.

Traveling toward the city center, notice the expansive array of eye-catching foliage in all shades of the rainbow. With Aiken’s blooming azaleas, creeping wisteria, blossoming camellias, cheerful dogwoods, and boulevard of live oak trees creating a verdant paradise, there is little wonder why the city received the All-America City Award from The National Civic League in 1997.

Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum South Carolina

Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame & Museum at Hopelands Gardens

Hopelands Gardens

Not far from the family owned and operated Sandy Oak RV Park 16 miles north of downtown Aiken, you’ll find the magical Hopelands Gardens situated off of Whiskey Road. A 14-acre estate bequeathed to the city by Mrs. Hope Iselin upon her passing in 1970, Hopelands Gardens and the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame & Museum on property, are a definite stopover for anyone passing through Aiken.

Known as “the great lady of racing” for her interest in thoroughbreds, the late Mrs. Iselin and her husband built their winter retreat in Aiken at the start of the 1900s. Around that time, she began the gardens. Adorned with winding walking paths, a live oak allee, labyrinth, gazebo, statues, and the acclaimed Doll House, one can spend hours meandering through this serene park. Bring a blanket to picnic on overlooking the koi pond or to get lost in a good book. Without a doubt, the best of Aiken’s flora is also on display. An impressive selection of blooming azaleas, magnolia trees, oaks, and cedars greet visitors on arrival and throughout the grounds.

No visit to Aiken would be complete without a stop at The Alley city center. Grab a refreshing beverage and a bite to eat at one of the many eateries. Moreover, it’s a place where locals convene to enjoy live music, alfresco dining, and a weekly farmers market. The Alley is a must-see on any Aiken visit.

Pink flowers at Hopelands Gardens Aiken, SC

Pink flowers greet visitors at Hopelands Gardens

If you go

If you go, prepare yourself with all the RV care and maintenance accessories you’ll need. RVbyLIFE’s Life-Calk polysulfide sealant and Life Seal silicone/polyurethane sealant are two staples to have on hand for any quick on the road repair. The Stick scrapping tool also comes in handy, and works well with our Release Adhesive & Sealant Remover. Of course, no trip would be complete without a bottle of all-purpose sanitizer. Our Sanitizer for Hands and Surfaces is made with only Benzalkonium chloride and water, so it won’t leave an odor or irritate the skin on application. It also continues working on surfaces once dry unlike alcohol-based sanitizer. For all other RV repair and maintenance needs, visit our website for our full product catalog. Happy RV travels!

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