Aiken, South Carolina

Best Places to Retire in South Carolina


What is Aiken known for? HORSES. Aiken’s early families loved horses. As early as 1800 wealthy plantation owners from Charleston, who wanted to escape the summer heat, found Aiken to be ideally suited to year around sports. With it’s warm climate, horse shows, polo games, horse races, and hunts with the hounds could be held at almost any time. Today is no different. Polo clubs have their matches from September through November, and again from February until July. There are five polo fields and three equine training facilities. Almost every major race in the country has at least one Aiken-trained horse in it. Horse racing in Aiken reaches its peak in late March and April with Aiken’s Triple Crown — three successive week-ends of harness racing — Aiken Trails and the Aiken Steeplechase.; Aiken County –

Aiken has a population of 25,000 and is the county seat for Aiken County, with a population of 134,051. It is a part of the Aiken-Augusta Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Augusta and Richmond County, Georgia. According to the 2000 census, Aiken was one of the three fastest growing cities in South Carolina. It has the kind of solid economic base on which long-term careers are built, ranging from manufacturing to farming to a thriving horse breeding industry. It has fine gardens and green parkways in much of the inner city, and one of the largest urban forests in America — Hitchcock Woods. Aiken is also home to one of America’s oldest and finest golf courses – The Palmetto. There are a total of 13 courses available in the area.

Arts & Culture

Aiken offers a full community calendar of events including opera, ballet, symphony, and theater. There are summer concerts in the parks and gardens, parades, street dances, craft shows and food festivals.

Augusta Symphony Orchestra –
Aiken Opera Society –
Aiken Civic Ballet –


You can explore historic Hitchcock Woods — a 2,200-acre forest. You can choose to play polo or watch some of the best players. There are championship caliber golf courses and well-groomed tennis courts. For the hardy outdoorsmen, there is hunting or fishing in lakes or streams. And each year the Aiken Triple Crown attracts thousands for its flat racing, steeplechase, and polo events.;


Aiken County has excellent educational facilities, rated among the best in South Carolina. Its schools include nearly 50 public and more than 10 private schools. The University of South Carolina at Aiken ( offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The Medical College of Georgia is 20 minutes from Aiken, and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine is less than an hour away. Aiken Technical College ( offers a variety of two-year programs.

Senior Programs

Aiken’s Senior Corner on the local Web site is devoted to providing information on local events and services and has links of interest to seniors and retired residents.


Aiken Regional Medical Centers includes a 225-bed state-of-the-art acute and mental healthcare hospital offering care and service for dozens of medical specialties. Its staff includes more than 100 physicians, 85% of whom are board certified.


Aiken Municipal Airport –
Augusta Regional Airport –


The daily mean temperatures: Annual average – 79.3 degrees; Hottest month (July) – 84.6 degrees; Coldest month (January) – 38.1 degrees.


Aiken Standard –

Property Taxes

Property taxes are levied by counties and municipalities. County real estate property is assessed at 4% of the actual appraised value. The only personal property tax is on automobiles and other vehicles.

State Taxes

Chamber of Commerce

State Aging Agency


Atlanta, GA – 168 miles
Augusta, GA – 18 miles
Charlotte, NC – 145 miles
Charleston, SC – 136 miles
Hilton Head, SC – 131 miles
Jacksonville, FL – 277 miles

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