Pack your boots, it’s time to head for the rolling hills
AIKEN, SOUTH CAROLINA
Since the early 1900s, thoroughbred horses and their owners have enjoyed the mild winters in Aiken, SC. Today there are more than 20 world-class horse farms and training facilities in the immediate area that support a year-round calendar of polo matches, steeplechase races, and major horse shows, plus the Aiken Triple Crown every spring. But it’s not just about being a spectator: Aiken is also home to Hitchcock Woods, an absolutely unique 2,000-acre urban wilderness with 70 miles of riding trails for residents anytime and visitors with the help of a local outfitter. And, in historic Aiken’s revitalized downtown area, you’ll find equestrian-themed shops and restaurants, cozy inns, antique stores, and music venues often featuring bluegrass bands.
Ocala and surrounding Marion County are officially known as “The Horse Capital of the World®,” a fitting moniker for an area with more than 1,000 horse farms and equine-training centers. From thoroughbreds to Clydesdales, nearly every breed flourishes in the sunny Ocala area, featuring major events like the Live Oak International every spring. The renowned Florida Horse Park, an official training site for the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team, is one of many local facilities that offer access to 80+ miles of equestrian trails on the Cross Florida Greenway. And, the most recent arrival on the scene is the new World Equestrian Center-Ocala with its 7,500-seat competition stadium, year-round calendar of events, and The Equestrian Hotel, a luxury resort with fine-dining restaurants and spa facilities.
Reposted from an article in Ideal-LIVING Magazine, 2023 Summer Issue – Best Places to Live