Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring Polo Begins!

The players are ready! The ponies are ready! And after a winter without seeing polo here in Aiken, the spectators are ready!

The Aiken Polo Club's season begins this coming weekend with the 4-goal invitational. Sunday afternoons in Aiken mean polo and Aiken Today looks forward to another fun season of polo in Aiken!

302 Polo's season also begins on April 21st with the 14-goal USPA Hall of Fame Challenge tournament.

The season at New Bridge Polo begins on April 24th, with the New Bridge Spring 12-goal Invitational.

Wishing all the local and visiting teams a great season of polo here in Aiken!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Lipizzaner Stallions in Aiken

On April 17th, the world-famous Lipizzaner Stallions will perform in Aiken. If you've never seen these magnificent horses, this is your chance to do so locally. With the riders' finery and the majesty of the horses, the show is one that will be unforgettable.

For a background on the Lipizzaner production, visit their website:

There will be two shows, at 2 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m., at the USC Aiken Convocation Center. For tickets, contact: (866) 722-8877 or go to the website:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Aiken SPCA's Annual "Barn Tour"

The Aiken SPCA's Annual Barn Tour is back again this year! As an event to raise much-needed funds for the Aiken SPCA's animals, the non-profit organization is putting together another Barn Tour after the overwhelming success of the 2 previous tours. This is an interesting tour for seasoned equestrians and novices alike, as well as for those who just enjoy learning more about horses and seeing different barn environments.

On Saturday, April 17th, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., participants can visit 11 barns to see set ups for various equestrian disciplines including polo, dressage, etc. The Barn Tour is a fun way to get around Aiken and have access to barns not otherwise open to the public, meet some of Aiken's equestrian community and, most likely, see some of your friends and neighbors along the way.

Maps with tour information and barn addresses is available upon purchase of a ticket, at the cost of $25, which this year includes lunch, coffee and dessert, as well as equestrian demonstrations. Tickets can be purchased - in advance - at the SPCA Thrift Store, 404 Richland Avenue East, the SPCA, 301 Wire Road, or at Auto Tech, 460 Silver Bluff Road.

For further information: (803) 648-6863.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April and Masters Week

Spring is here and Aiken is a rainbow of colors with blooming flowers and trees. Masters Week at the Augusta National is upon us next week and with Aiken only a short hop from Augusta, the town is buzzing with visitors from all over the country in town to see the golf. With a good assortment of charming hotels and inns here in Aiken, the town is nearly, if not completely, sold out. Aiken's downtown restaurants have a vibe that's fun to be around and everyone is in a festive mood. It will be a busy week, the weather is forecast to be postcard perfect and we're all looking forward to some great golf in anticipation of who last year's Masters' winner, Angel Cabrera, will pass along the iconic green jacket to for 2010!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Easter Dining in Aiken

With spring upon us, we are looking forward to a number of holidays and occasions and with that comes special meals to celebrate the special days! Here in Aiken, there are plenty of options available based on cook, or not to cook!

For those wishing to dine out to celebrate Easter Sunday, many of Aiken's restaurants are offering holiday menus. Restaurants that will be open on Easter include the following and reservations are highly recommended. Please contact the individual restaurants for their hours of operation on Easter and to make reservations. Links for these restaurants are available on the Links Column on Aiken Today's home page and most feature menus on their websites.


120 Chesterfield Street SE


Davor's Cafe

The Alley


General Elliott Inn

939 New Bridge Road (across from New Bridge Polo)


(reserved seatings at 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm)

Prime Steakhouse

316 Richland Avenue NW


The Restaurant at the Willcox

100 Colleton Avenue SW



470 Fabian Drive


For those who enjoy putting together a special holiday meal at home, there are lots of options in Aiken to pick up special gourmet treats while out shopping for the holiday meal. In downtown Aiken, all sorts of delectable food items are available at locations including Plum Pudding, The Curiosity Shop, and What's Cooking.

Happy Easter from the team at Aiken Today! And check back soon for our "Spotlight on Chefs in Aiken" series!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Aiken Horse Show this weekend - March 26, 27, 28

Add ImageThis weekend brings the 94th Annual Aiken Horse Show to benefit the Hitchcock Woods Foundation. The events begin daily on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m.

This year's show is honored to have Mr. Brian Higham, Stud Groom for the Duke of Beaufort, Badminton, England, as Judge.

Luncheon packages are available with seating in the Hitchcock Tent. Please consult the official website for full details: or call the Hitchcock Woods Foundation at (803) 642-0528.

We look forward to another fine weekend at the Aiken Horse Show.

See you there!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pacers and Polo - Saturday, March 27

The 7th annual event, the 3rd in Aiken's Triple Crown, known as "Pacers and Polo" is set for this coming Saturday, March 27th, at Powderhouse Field. Proceeds from the game support the USC Aiken Pacer Club which is the booster organization of the athletic department. Funds help with scholarships for student-athletes, the athletic awards banquet and general operating expenses.

Gates open at 11 a.m., while the game is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. Ticket options include general admission at $10 for adults, $5 for children at the gate - or in advance at $8 for adults, $5 for children with tickets available at Aiken Drugs on Laurens Street, Floyd & Green Jewelers on Pine Log, and the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center on Whiskey Road. General admission parking is $5 at the gate.

There are also tickets available in advance for the hospitality tent lunch catered by Outback Steakhouse and served at noon, for $70 and the cost includes lunch, beverages, parking and admission to the match. For tent tickets, please call (803) 641-3630.

For those wishing to 'tailgate,' reserved first row parking is available for $100 - which includes admission for 4. For further information and tickets, call (803) 641-3331.

See you on Saturday!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Steeplechase Is Just Around The Corner!

In Aiken, we know spring is not too far off when we turn the calendar to March and see that the Aiken Steeplechase is only a few weeks away. The azaleas all over town will soon be in bloom and filling the landscape with their profusion of vivid colors. This year, Steeplechase weekend is March 19-20. And while this is always an especially festive time here in Aiken and an enjoyable weekend for all who attend, it is also important to remember how Steeplechase weekend benefits the Aiken community-at-large, as profits from the races aid many local charitable organizations with proceeds of past Steeplechase events going to support the Hitchcock Woods Foundation, the Aiken SPCA, Aiken Public Safety Horse Rescue Squad, while this year the races will benefit Helping Hands and the Aiken Rescue Squad.

The Aiken Steeplechase Association was founded in 1930 and has been a highlight of Aiken's equestrian calendar ever since.

Gates open on Saturday, March 20th at 9:30 a.m., with the Village of Shops opening at 10:00 a.m. General Admission tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the gate, with children 6 years of age and under admitted free. For further information, call (803) 648-9641.

See you at the races!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Relocating to Aiken

Aiken Today isn't only for those of us who call Aiken home, either year round or part of the year. It's also designed for those of you who might be considering a move to our special town, to give you a glimpse of what makes Aiken unique. With those who don't (yet!) live in Aiken, this post might provide some helpful information for those planning a visit.

One of the busiest times of the year here in Aiken is the beginning of spring when many visitors come to town for events including the nearby Augusta Masters Tournament ( ), the Aiken Spring Steeplechase ( and other local happenings.

There are a variety of choices for lodging in Aiken, but with the popularity of these events, hotels do sell out quickly. Accommodation options in Aiken include, The Willcox, the Hotel Aiken, the Hilton Garden Inn, the General Elliott Inn, and the Carriage House Inn which has a location on Laurens Street, Aiken's main downtown thoroughfare for shops and some of Aiken's favorite restaurants. Links to all hotel websites are provided on Aiken Today's home page's Links section.

And speaking of restaurants, you won't lack for fine dining choices while visiting Aiken. We're fortunate here in Aiken to have some of Aiken Today's favorite restaurants that feature cuisine that can match up to the best restaurants in any large city. From Malia's on Laurens Street that has been in Aiken for over 20 years with its delectable and creative fare, to Linda's Bistro, located in a beautifully restored Victorian House with a welcoming dining room featuring excellently prepared dishes, to the Tuscan ambiance of Oliva's with its delicious homemade pastas and tasty seafood dishes, to The Restaurant at The Willcox with its tempting menu offerings. And go no further than Prime Steakhouse to enjoy some of Aiken's best steaks, whole lobsters and seafood. No visit to Aiken is complete without a meal at either Davor's Cafe located in downtown's Alley which features a tree shaded patio for leisurely al fresco lunches and dinners and the Westside Bowery, a downtown restaurant, also with a leafy outdoor patio for those long, leisurely warm weather meals, that's had a presence in Aiken for many years and is on everyone's "Favorites List." For further details, location and contact information for these restaurants, please click on the links provided at the right hand column of Aiken Today's home page.
A visit to our area becomes the first step in relocating to Aiken for many. With Aiken's variety of beautiful houses and land, equestrian communities - including homes and acreage at Barrington Farms, Bridle Creek, Brigadoon and Three Runs Plantation, among others - as well as golf communities & clubs, including Woodside Plantation, the Reserve at Woodside, Cedar Creek to name just a few. Aiken's pastoral surrounding countryside rivals that of any other area in the country, in our opinion. For the most part, Aiken's climate is temperate with the exception of July and August when, most years, temperatures do tend to climb into the 90s (and sometimes beyond). Aiken's winters are traditionally mild, though this February we saw weather at both ends of the spectrum as we had the surprise of a 4-6" snowfall one evening, however that stayed on the ground less than 48 hours, and within a week we were enjoying balmy winter temperatures in the low 70s!

Residents enjoy countless benefits to living in Aiken - there is, indeed, a true sense of 'community' here and a wide variety of leisure activities are available year round throughout the area. All equestrian disciplines are represented and have a large presence, there are many golf clubs, both private and public, including the prestigious Palmetto Golf Club, established in 1892 and the 2nd oldest golf club in the United States. Tennis is available year round both on public and private courts, as well as many other activities for all interests. The abundance of fine medical and dental professionals and hospitals in the area are other benefits to calling Aiken home.

Aiken has homes and land for all income levels and there are many excellent realtors in Aiken that are true professionals and available to guide any prospective homebuyer to their perfect house or acreage on which to build. Aiken Today includes a selection of links (in the Links column at the right of the home page), which changes each month, to local realtors and their websites. There are many buying choices available - whether a "fixer upper" cottage in downtown Aiken, a ready-to-move-into home in one of Aiken's excellent golf or equestrian communities, a horse farm in the countryside along Route 302 - Aiken's "horse corridor," an exquisitely restored home in downtown's historic or horse district (complete with red clay roads that are gentle on the horses as they make their way from their stables for a ride in nearby Hitchcock Woods), or any of Aiken's other fine real estate options.

One of Aiken's newest real estate offerings on the market is a recently completed home in the gated community, King's Ridge. This is a stunning home, located in the countryside, yet only a 10-minute drive from Aiken's downtown. There, builder Don Cerra of Cerra Homes, has built, in association with True South Communities (see link), a true Green house with state-of-the-art components incorporating energy efficiency, green building materials and environmentally responsible features. Don has been "building green" for decades, back to when Kermit the Frog was still a tadpole (well, almost)! If your dream home is one which has the latest "green features" for energy efficiency and sits on beautiful acreage with a pond in a gated community surrounded by countryside and equestrian farms, yet a short drive to Aiken's downtown, email Don Cerra at, to make an appointment to see the property. Cerra Homes website is

Aiken has such a variety of housing choices at every price level that there is surely the perfect home for anyone considering relocation to our fine community.

Hopefully, the links provided will cover anything and everything that a potential visitor to Aiken might want to know. If not, please feel free to contact us at Aiken Today so that we might answer your questions and/or direct you to the right place that can.

We look forward to seeing you soon in Aiken!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Juilliard in Aiken!

The talented musicians of the "Juilliard in Aiken" series are returning to Aiken and are performing at various venues from March 8-12. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of, among others, Greg Smith and Steve Naifeh, owners of Joye Cottage, concertgoers will be able to attend scheduled performances at places around Aiken to enjoy music by the visiting students from the Juillard School, one of the most prestigious music academies in the world.

Details of area concerts and events are available on the Festival's website, along with ticketing information. Please log on to

The 2010's Festival commemorative poster (pictured below) is available for $10.00 at any of the festival sites.