Weekend Travels: Aiken, South Carolina and Hopeland Gardens

Last Saturday, Chris wanted to check out Aiken, South Carolina last weekend so off we went. We didn’t have any particular plans except that we had to eat somewhere local.

There was basically one wide main street with shopping on either side and a side alley with restaurants and an art gallery.  Because of their thoroughbred racing history, there are painted horse statues around town.

 

After checking out all the boutiques and antiques shopping, it was time to eat! The Carriage House, a historic B & B, had a cool back porch. We might have to go back and stay sometime.

 

We checked out Trio, a gourmet burger spot, located in the Alley. It was a nice cool spot on a blazing hot day in the South. It had a exposed brick and stained window aesthetic. The fries were excellent! They were the perfect thickness and had just the right amount of seasoning. As a fry connoisseur, I was thoroughly impressed.

 

The Hawaiian burger was one step below Grill Marks. It could have used an onion but it was juicy.

Next, we went to check out Hopeland Gardens and the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Stables Museum. The gardens were expansive. They were left behind as a part of a socialite’s gift to the city of Aiken. It would be a great spot for pictures.

 

They were signs about getting a permit for professional pictures but people didn’t seem to be heeding the notice.

We checked out the racing exhibit at the end. As a kid, I was obsessed with horses so it was interesting to peruse the placards.

 

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After sweating it out, we went to Sonic and got drinks to cool off before heading home. It was a random weekend but Aiken was nice for an afternoon.