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Aiken, a small town in the middle of South Carolina's border with Georgia, is considered a jewel. Even today, the town's equestrian industry is a major part of its identity, thanks to wealthy northerners who came to spend their winters there in the 19th century.

Races, polo tournaments, and horse barns are commonplace in the area, and Aiken is known as the birthplace of many thoroughbred champions. The beautiful hills surrounding the town and the charming downtown area can be enjoyed even if you don't plan to participate in any horse-related activities. Shopping, dining, and listening to live music are just some things you can do in this quaint town.

For three days in February, Civil War reenactors recreate life in 1865 in the town of Aiken during the "Battle of Aiken," which has become an annual tradition. There are also authentic 19th-century military encampments, living history presentations, reproductions of medical facilities, an engineer and signal service, and civilian portrayals at this event.