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Experience Tour: History Homes and Horses in Aiken

November 30, 2020

Aiken, South Carolina is a beautiful city near the Central Savannah River Area that is located between the state capital of South Carolina, Columbia, and the home of the PGA Masters, Augusta, Georgia. Aiken’s central location offers easy access for both South Carolina and Georgia residents, as it offers lush scenery and oozes history. Nicknamed “Thoroughbred Country”, Aiken is known for its strong equestrian roots, and when traveling throughout the city, the importance of horses to this town undeniably shows through. Between its tree-lined roads and historical architecture, Aiken is the perfect place to explore from the seat of an electric bike — better yet, a Pedego! Whether you are a traveling tourist or an everyday local, seeing Aiken from a Pedego is an experience second to none. What are you waiting for? It’s time to gather your loved ones and head to Pedego Aiken because the perfect day awaits!

Planning the Perfect Day

1. Start at Pedego Aiken

To start your fun day ahead, you must stop at Pedego Aiken to pick out which Pedego you’re going to take along for the ride! Whether you are renting, or decide to purchase, the friendly faces at Pedego Aiken will be able to assist you with all of your needs. Pedego Aiken offers Pedego’s full lineup of e-bikes, so whether you want to ride solo on an Interceptor or ride with a loved one on a Tandem, they have you covered.

With a Pedego bike, you are sure to have a great time, no matter what your fitness level or age is. Pedego allows you to get in a hard workout if you desire, or just sit back and enjoy the ride, and once you’re ready to hop on your bike and get going, the first destination is only a short distance away.

4019 Pavillion Pass
Aiken, SC 29803

Pedego Aiken storefront with owner Coker Day

2. Newberry Street Fountain

Once you leave Pedego Aiken, it’s time to meet at the Newberry Street Fountain where a local historian will meet you to begin the tour. He will guide you through the 12-mile tour offering tidbits of information about each location and can answer any questions you may have. This tour is perfect for travelers who want to learn about a new city or local residents who want to acquire more knowledge about the place they call home.

133-199 Newberry St SW
Aiken, SC 29801

Newberry Fountain in Aiken, South Carolina.

3. Site of Aiken’s 1953 Gas Explosion

Once you meet with the local Aiken historian, it’s time to head to the first stop on the tour and it is one that is extremely well known throughout the city– the site of Aiken’s 1953 Gas Explosion. Located on Laurens Street, the infamous event occurred on the morning of Tuesday, January 27, 1953, when a natural gas leak ripped through the basement of Jones Electric Company. The leak caused an instant fire and immediate explosion which left the whole street in flames and the ground shaking over a mile away. The detrimental event took ten lives that day, but the memory of them is still remembered by a plaque that has been placed in their honor by the Aiken County Historical Society.

Laurens St.
Aiken, SC 29803

Site of Aiken's 1953 Famous Gas Explosion

4. Site of Historic Highland Park Hotel

Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Laurens Street, is the Site of the Historic Highland Park Hotel. Located atop a large hill near what is now The Aiken Golf Club, the Highland Park Hotel was booming in the 1890s before it tragically burned down in 1898. Surrounded by lush greenery, the surrounding areas of this site are utterly beautiful and would provide a great backdrop for a photo opportunity.

563-501 Highland Park Terrace
Aiken, SC 29801

5. The Willcox Hotel

After you have taken some photos in front of the beautiful greenery, it’s time to head to one of the most beautiful landmarks on your tour. The Willcox Hotel is a white-pillared Colonial Revival landmark on the National Historic Register, which has been a prominent fixture in Aiken since 1898. The architecture of the Willcox hotel is definitely picture-worthy as its white-columned front porch, lined with rocking chairs, is nothing short of inviting. Lock up your bikes and wander into the hotel if you please, because the inside is as breathtaking as the outside.

If you’re interested in taking a quick pit stop on the tour, the award-winning Willcox Restaurant is a local favorite and a must-stop for all hotel guests. The Willcox Restaurant offers local favorites in an American bar and Gastropub setting; while also including vegan and vegetarian-friendly options to ensure that everyone’s dietary restrictions are happily met. The Willcox Restaurant also offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner so no matter which time of day you decide to stop by, they will be happy to serve you!

100 Colleton Avenue SW
Aiken, SC 29801

Willcox Hotel in Aiken, South Carolina

6. Aiken County Historical Museum

After you finish your meal at the Willcox Hotel, it’s time to hop back on your Pedego and head to the next stop on the tour. A short bike ride away is the Aiken County Historical Museum, which is set in one of Aiken’s famed “Winter Colony” cottages and synonymously known as “Banksia” after the Banksia Rose. What sets the Aiken County Historical Museum apart from most others is that it is a living museum, which is where exhibits change frequently and often consist of items residents bring in for special exhibits. This has created a sense of community amongst the people of Aiken as they celebrate items that are privately owned, yet also part of a shared history.

Once you have soaked in the local history of Aiken, jump back on your Pedego and get your cameras ready for the next stop on our tour, because you sure won’t want to miss capturing it!

433 Newberry St SW
Aiken, SC 29801

7. Hopelands Gardens

When you think of Aiken, this is what should come to mind… the Hopelands Gardens. To say this location is picturesque would be an understatement, as the beauty of it is hard to capture in just a static photo. The tree-lined road will bring you back to simpler times and will make you feel like you are in a fairytale. This 14-acre estate was opened in 1970 as a public garden and the gorgeous trees sprinkled throughout are 100-year old live oaks and deodar cedars which give it a mystical feel. The Hopelands Gardens has become a popular wedding venue over the years and offers extensive greenery and winding paths providing a wonderful experience for people of all ages.

135 Dupree Pl
Aiken, SC 29801

8. Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum

Located in the Hopelands Gardens is the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. It is known as the “Home of Aiken’s Racing Champions” and it celebrates the great tradition of horse racing and Aiken’s vital role in it. Once you arrive you will be greeted with two statured horses out front and admission is no charge, so feel free to lock up your Pedego and take a peek inside to learn more.

135 Dupree Pl
Aiken, SC 29801

Aiken Thoroughbred Museum

9. Horse District

The next stop on your tour is Aiken’s historic Horse District. Ride your Pedego down winding clay roads, as you take in the sights of beautiful southern mansions and wide-open polo fields. The Horse District is a legendary equestrian community that is filled with miles of unpaved roads, quaint farms, and gorgeous natural beauty no matter which way you turn. As you’re riding it is not uncommon to see people riding horses, walking dogs, or horse-drawn carriages wandering along the clay roads, so be sure to share the road when riding through the Horse District.

Horse District
Aiken, SC 29801

Aiken Horse District Community

10. Whitney Polo Field

Once you have ridden through the Horse District, only a few turns stand between you and the Whitney Polo Field. One of the oldest venues in the country for polo, the Whitney Polo Field, was established in 1882 and still holds polo matches to this day. If you’re lucky enough to catch a match when you’re riding by, be sure to stop for a second and take it in because it is an extremely fun sport to watch!

420 Mead Avenue
Aiken, SC 29801

11. Famous South Boundary with Overhanging Oaks

Get your cameras ready for this next spot because this has to be the most iconic stop on the tour in terms of what you see all over the internet. The Avenue of the Oaks on South Boundary is one of the most beautiful places in all of Aiken… dare we say South Carolina as a whole!? The street is adorned with a striking canopy of oak trees which line the road, giving your Pedego ride an awe-inspiring backdrop. Look out for traffic, but be sure to snap a photo in the middle of the Avenue to fully capture the beauty this famous spot has to offer.

S Boundary Ave SE
Aiken, SC 29801

South Boundary Oaks in Aiken, SC

12. The Alley

After you ride through the iconic overhanging oaks, the end of your tour is near. The Alley is the end point for your tour through beautiful Aiken, and is home to the Alley Downtown Taproom where you can enjoy a nice refreshment after your ride. The Alley Downtown Taproom is the number one hot spot for craft beer in Aiken, offering 48 taps with a variety of different beer, ciders, wines, kombucha, sodas, and coffee. They have the drinks covered, but the Alley Downtown Taproom welcomes you to bring your own food from one of their neighboring restaurants: Whiskey Alley, Tako Sushi, Brew Pub, or Mellow Mushroom.

Pedego Aiken also invites you to come back to the Village at Woodside, located about 5 miles away and where their store is located, to shop and dine with them. Browse Pedego Aiken’s full inventory of bikes and accessories, and then finish your day up with a meal at one of their local eateries. Some of their favorite restaurants that are a must-visit are the Village Cafe, Roma’s, or AnShu Asian Cafe.

The Alley SW
Aiken, SC 29801

Group Ride at Pedego Aiken

The Best Pedego Bike For Your Ride

Pedego Aiken offers Pedego’s full lineup of bike options for rental, but our recommendation for this ride is one of our Interceptors. The Pedego Interceptor is America’s best selling electric bike, as it combines beach cruiser comfort and style with breathtaking performance and user-friendly features. It will allow you to ride with ease through Aiken, and if it feels like it was made just for you– that’s because it was!

The Interceptor is offered in two different models, Classic and Step-Thru. The Step-Thru model provides a comfortable and easy way for you to step through to the other side of your bike; whereas, the Classic frame is built higher and requires you to swing your leg over the seat to get on. Regardless of which model you choose– comfort is something that won’t be compromised.

Once you decide on which Interceptor model you prefer, it’s time to get on and ride! You can get a good workout by altering your Pedal Assist settings or use the throttle and cruise along if you are interested in a more laid back ride.

Unsure about which Pedego model would be best for you? The friendly faces at Pedego Aiken are more than happy to assist you with any questions you may have. To see the complete range of Pedego electric bikes available, check them out here.

Pedego Classic Interceptor

Hello, Fun!

The only step left to take is to gather your family and friends and head down to Pedego Aiken, as the perfect day is calling your name!

To schedule your rental or answer any questions, feel free to contact Pedego Aiken at [email protected] or call (803)226-9007.