9 Reasons why Aiken is the Best Place for Shopping in the Southeast

With the holidays here, most likely you will be tackling last minute Christmas shopping. It’s a jolly experience if you’re in the right town, and Aiken is the place to be!  If you stay out long enough, you will get to view the transformation from day to night as the entire place lights up. Be sure you get the most out of Aiken’s merriest season with a self-guided map of ‘Downtown Aiken’ and a ‘How to Act like a Local’ shopping and dining guide to start your magical day!


All art galleries are home to local art and unique turn-of-the-century architecture.  Creative handmade pieces include custom made farm tables, wood furniture, fireplace mantles, doors, and gates. You can even find fire pits remade from recycled materials.


Whether you're treasure hunting or seeking fine antiques or one-of-a-kind vintage items, you'll find it all here at one of these antique stores. If you can find that family heirloom, then that’s a priceless gift to give!


Discover some of Aiken’s best festive crafts, gift ideas, soaps, local honey, and baked goods at the Aiken County Farmers Market. Seasonal produce grown by local farmers will surely freshen up your holiday cooking as well!


Locally owned shops include furniture stores, sophisticated clothing boutiques, an Aiken-themed store, gift shops, equine-inspired shops, and kitchen stores. Here are a few Aiken-themed merchandise ideas to get your ideas a-brewing (warning: you will want these for yourself!):


It is no secret that charming Aiken is the best place for holiday shopping with furry ones.  Don’t take it from me, but even Travelocity named Aiken the pet-friendliest city in the Southeast. Bring Fido along to do your shopping or shop for him/her at Downtown Dog and Bone-I-Fide Bakery.


Aiken’s food is scrumptious at all times during the year, but the holiday flare in the seasonal menus brings outs Aiken at its best. Delicious food items to take home, eat and enjoy a coffee while you window shop (a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” moment), or enjoy a latte or smoothie while doing retail therapy. 


You'll fall in love with the lighted trees as you make your way through the Festival of Trees at The Aiken Visitor’s Center and Train Museum (perfect for getting in the Christmas spirit)! The Depot has a gift shop for those train enthusiasts – it makes for great gifts for children and adults alike.


Downtown is lined with beautifully-themed windows as if to tell a Christmas story. It’s perfect for walking your dog and taking a stroll when on a budget. The windows are so elegant that you’ll wish they were around all year long.


Happy hour, fireplaces, cozy outdoor and indoor dining, taprooms, tapas bars, entertainment and holiday classics….need we say more? There are many local restaurants to choose from in this charming town. And, also family friendly restaurants keep the little kids entertained, and a family favorite is Betsy’s on the Corner (frosty shakes, ice cream treats, old-fashion soda fountain… you name it – a kid’s dream).

With shops, dining, twinkling lights and live entertainment…. Aiken has a feel of a Christmas Village that makes for the best place to shop in the Southeast.