Aiken, South Carolina

Walking around Aiken, South Carolina, you’d be forgiven for forgetting where you are. It’s the South, with a bit of South of England rubbed off on it. Reminiscent of the great horsey towns of Midhurst, West Sussex and Newmarket, Aiken is a veritable horsey paradise. Down by the track, the roads are mostly groomed sand as it’s easier on the horses’ legs.

Unlike other snowbird equestrian locales, Aiken’s barns are beautiful – but they’re distinctly barns. You won’t find a stable that looks like it could be a villa or a mansion here – but you will find gorgeous, rustic wood stables.

I fell in love with the romantic tree-lined streets, cozy cafés, and restaurants with Southern charm. The Track Kitchen serves up breakfast for the horsey set, nestled right by the training track. It’s a place steeped in history, with years of memorabilia of Aiken’s famous horses and riders tacked onto the walls. Breakfast is delicious – but they’ll make you wait for it!