History from every American era is evident throughout this region known as Thoroughbred Country. Learn about Colonial Times through demonstrations in pottery, frontier trading and blacksmithing. Explore Civil War battle sites and historic plantation homes. Visit small, quaint towns where you will find museums rich with history and festivals that display local culture.
While history abounds, Thoroughbred Country is also a place of natural beauty. Notice the Spanish moss gracing enormous live oak trees. Ponder over the unusual elliptical phenomenon known as a Carolina Bay. Hike through an urban forest or let the elegance of a local garden carry you to another time. Cool off with a drink from the Healing Springs, whose waters are believed to have curative powers.
Experience four beautiful counties in western South Carolina, where yesterday is preserved for today.
Aiken County is known throughout the world as an equestrian training center claiming National Champions. Champions include: Palace Malice, 2013 Belmont Stakes winner; Pleasant Colony, 1981 Kentucky Derby winner; Summer Squall, 1990 Preakness winner; Sea Hero, 1993 Kentucky Derby winner; and Kelso, Horse of the Year for 5 consecutive years in the 1960’s.
Aiken County is also a place of history and natural beauty. Hitchcock Woods, one of the largest urban forests in the United States, and Hopelands Gardens, are two places to visit for anyone who appreciates the beauty of preserved land. Hunting, fishing, golfing and shopping are also available. Whatever brings you here, enjoy!
From the moss-laden oaks along the Savannah River to the fields of white cotton and ripe peaches, Allendale County is proud of a rich culture filled with history and Southern tradition. Formed from parts of Barnwell and Hampton counties in 1919, Allendale is the youngest county in South Carolina.
Take in the beauty as you ride miles of equestrian trails with your horse. Notice the low lying cypress swamp areas where alligators, turtles and other species choose to dwell. After a day spent outdoors, reflect on your experiences around a campfire.
Stop at a roadside stand to enjoy some of the fresh local produce, and don’t forget to sample our southern BBQ and good old-fashioned home cooking while you’re in town. Take your trip through Allendale County slowly to enjoy the easy pace of the South.
The cool, black waters of the Edisto River provide the backdrop for Bamberg County’s history and charm. Join local residents for hunting, fishing or canoeing excursions.
Visitors to the Jim Harrison Gallery in the rural crossroads town on Denmark, SC, are in for a special experience. In Harrison’s art, place matters, whether that is the sun-drenched coast or a lonely barn in a rural landscape. The Gallery is the southeastern distributor for original paintings by Jim Harrison also featuring bronzes, etchings and a variety of limited and unlimited edition reproductions from Harrison’s more than 50 year career as an artist.
Bamberg County has been visited by some notables, including General Sherman. On his march to Columbia, Sherman’s Army was met at Rivers Bridge by a small band of Confederate Soldiers who tried to stall his progress. Rivers Bridge State Historic Site shows the scars from that battle in the form of battle breastworks. Bamberg County features many cultural festivals. Be sure to plan your visit during one of these highlighted weekends.
Southerners have long been known to cherish tradition and local history, as well as times of having fun. Folks in Barnwell are no exception.
Legends surround several of the attractions here. The Healing Springs story dates back to the 1700’s when Indians believed in the secret healing powers of the springs. Many natives of the area still claim the waters are a cure-all for “what ails ya.” The unique vertical sundial in Barnwell was a legendary monument for its donor who, ironically since he loved monuments, was laid to rest without anything marking his grave.
The wonderful climate and natural beauty of the area brought Mennonite settlers from western states. They now share with visitors their crafts and great cooking ability, along with insight into their religious practices. Diverse cultures, legendary sites and history weave the fabric of this county!
For more information, visit the Thoroughbred Country, South Carolina website: www.TBredCountry.org