Choosing a new home is one of the most pivotal decisions you’ll ever make- you are choosing not only your home, but also your neighbors and, perhaps most importantly, your hometown! Since it’s no rare occurrence for visitors to fall in love with and make their homes in Aiken, I chatted with Elizabeth Harm, Tourism Supervisor for the City of Aiken, to get her perspective on what it is that compels people to choose Aiken to be their hometown.
What was it that brought you to Aiken, and what is it that keeps you here?
I’ve lived in Aiken for the past 10 years. My husband grew up here and works for the City as well. When I married him it was clear…Aiken was where his heart was! Guess that is contagious- it’s where mine is now, too! We’re now raising our children here. It’s a pretty fantastic place to call home! What’s kept us here…why wouldn’t you want to stay in a place like Aiken? It’s beautiful, and filled with rich history and great opportunities. I worked for a federal tourism program for ten years before I accepted this position (2 ½ years ago) and always knew that I wanted to land here professionally. I think I’ve got the greatest job around!
For those that have never visited Aiken, what would you say to persuade them to come and see?
Aiken is…magical! It’s the most wonderful place to visit (live and work, too). From the beautiful downtown shopping and dining district to the countless amenities that Aiken’s Southside offers, we really have everything a visitor could possibly need. Our Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum on Park Avenue is a great place to start your visit to Aiken. The staff and volunteers there offer that special hospitality that people have come to expect in Aiken. Of course, our community is blessed with wonderful eco-tourism opportunities. From Hitchcock Woods to the Carolina Bay Overlook and Hopelands Gardens you can see how committed Aiken is to preservation of some of our most treasured assets. Aiken is a must visit for anyone looking for a terrific getaway. I’m pretty confident that when they come they’ll be planning a return visit before they even get out of town!
Which upcoming event would you say is the perfect one to plan your first trip to Aiken around, and why?
Now, as the tourism supervisor I don’t know that I can list just one! But, if you use our website www.VisitAikenSC.com and search our calendar you’ll find that there are plenty of awesome opportunities to visit Aiken. One of my family’s favorite Fall traditions is the Aiken Fall Steeplechase. We love to attend with friends, set up a great tailgate, enjoy each other…and of course watch the races! We’ve just started the Aiken Farmers Market in the Alley, too. (The City is responsible for the Aiken County Farmers Market.) Every Thursday night vendors line the Alley with the most beautiful (and scrumptious) fruits and vegetables. There is live music and lots of fellowship! It’s from 5 – 7 p.m. and a MUST see for locals and visitors.
See below for photos of the attractions Elizabeth mentioned, and visit our events calendar to find an event to plan your next trip around!