Looking for a fun weekend or midweek getaway from downtown Atlanta? We have you covered. Take an easy 2 ½ hour drive down Interstate 20, to discover the tourism region named Thoroughbred Country, South Carolina. Exit at one of the convenient access points on I-20 such as Aiken or North Augusta, SC to help you begin your journey. While traveling through Thoroughbred Country you may find a love for the arts, a sense of adventure, peace with nature and a new appreciation for all things equine. This region has so much to offer, it’s impossible to do one trip. Here is a taste of the Undiscovered South Carolina.
A great place to start would be at the Arts & Heritage Center of North Augusta. Located not far from I-20 and a jump across the Savannah River from Augusta, Ga, the Arts & Heritage Center offers an overview of the region’s history along with work from local artists. Stop by the gift shop for tax-free shopping on local wares.
If you’d rather stretch your legs, not far from the Arts & Heritage Center is an entrance to the Greeneway Trail. Once an abandoned railroad right-of-way, this paved trail entices walkers and bikers alike to travel along the river, by a butterfly garden or under a canopy of trees. Whether you’re looking for fine or casual dining, complete your day with dinner at one of the many delicious restaurants in North Augusta.
Looking to liven up your evening? Why not catch a game at SRP Park, home of the Augusta GreenJackets a minor league affiliate of the Atlanta Braves? Or just 40 minutes away, catch a double feature at the Big Mo one of three operating drive-in theaters in South Carolina.
When it comes to a place to rest your head for the night, Thoroughbred Country offers a variety of accommodations. Choose from historic hotels, comfortable bed and breakfasts, your favorite hotel brand, cabins, campgrounds and hunting lodges.
After breakfast, drive to Barnwell to learn about South Carolina Face Jugs and purchase a unique souvenir at the Little Red Barn Pottery & Art Gallery. Don’t forget to stop on the way to check the time at the Vertical Sundial on the Circle, it is said to be the only free-standing vertical sundial in the United States.
Enjoy a BBQ plate or hearty sandwich for lunch before observing 15,000-year-old American artifacts from the Topper Site exhibit at the library of USC Salkehatchie in Allendale. Next, head to Ehrhardt to walk along history on The Battlefield Interpretive Trail at Battle of Rivers Bridge State Historic Site. Here, you can watch a variety of birds, visit memorial grounds of soldiers from several wars and see breastworks that are more than 150-years-old.
Then, visit Denmark, Thoroughbred Country’s city of uniques, for a glimpse at America through the eyes of Jim Harrison or explore captivating antiques and more.
Finish out the day in Aiken, rated one of Southern Living’s Best Small Towns in the South where you’ll find culinary delights accompanied by live music, captivating theatre performances and for the less faint of heart, haunted tours.
Grab breakfast to go and start Aiken’s Citywide Arboretum Trail beginning at Colleton Avenue. Or hop on a charming Saturday morning trolley tour at the Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum to learn about and view historic homes and churches, beautiful live oaks and have a guided tour of Hopelands Gardens (weather permitting).
Then, visit the Savannah River Site Museum to understand the importance of SRS and why it was built. A replica of a Cold War fallout shelter and an exhibit on how SRS helped the U.S. race to the moon are some of the permanent displays featured at the museum.
Before heading home, memorialize your trip by sharing a photo with us #ThoroughbredCountrySC.
For more touring ideas, visit www.tbredcountry.org.