Discover Aiken: Aiken ranked top retirement desination
With its small-town charm, Southern flair, and array of outdoors activities, Aiken has been a top-ranked retirement destination for years. The city’s convenient location, mild weather, and quiet way of life make it a great place for people to spend their golden years.
Aiken was rated as a top retirement destination in Where to Retire Magazine in its 2016 and 2014 issues. It was rated as the “Best Small Town in the South” by Southern Living in 2018.
J. David Jameson, president and CEO of the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, says that the community’s sense of connection is part of what makes it a big hit with retired people.
“I think people in Aiken are welcoming,” Jameson said. “Newcomers instantly feel our sense of community ... It’s very open to new people coming into the community.”
Aiken is also in a great location for people who have the time to travel. It is within driving distance of the coast, the mountains, and cities like Augusta, Atlanta, Columbia and Charleston.
“I think that Aiken is like the high-end suburb of a major metropolitan community, without the major metropolitan community,” Jameson said.
Aiken is a great place for horse-lovers. The city is home to the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame, Steeplechase races and polo matches. It is also great for outdoor activities like golf.
Woodside Development provides its residents with Discovery Packages to experience Aiken, and a variety of award-winning private golf courses. Discovery Packages enable people to get a full Aiken experience before relocating here.
“Selling Aiken is our first step,” says Diana Peters, of Woodside Development.
Peters is a particular fan of the historic trolly tour included in the Discovery Packages, which she highly recommends.
Communities like Woodside also have their own array of clubs and organizations. The Cedar Creek neighborhood has a volunteer litter pickup crew that removes trash from roadways. Woodside has an assortment of clubs, such as the Friday Night Pub Club and a Sports Car Club.
Aiken is also a great place for people who have the time and resources for volunteering. Organizations like the Hospital Auxiliary of Aiken County and Friends of the Animal Shelter are a few such places. Veterans organizations around the Central Savannah River Area also do a wide range of charity work for a variety of causes.
Downtown Aiken is beloved for its charm, and it is also a hotspot in the shopping district. It provides a concentrated area for people to eat, shop and browse from local stores at their leisure, and parking is free.
Whether people like to spend their spare time in their retirement enjoying leisure activities, or volunteering at a number of organizations to better their community, Aiken is a great place to be.