Located in historic, downtown Aiken, South Carolina, the Carriage House Inn offers a glimpse into the historic past, combined with modern day southern hospitality. This was my second time in this charming, small town. On my first visit, I didn’t have a chance to go horseback riding and if you are an equestrian, you simply must go riding in Hitchcock Woods – you can walk and hike there, as well. Even if you aren’t a horse-crazy fanatic, you should still make time for a polo match or perhaps watch a fox hunt or the Aiken Horse Show. Of course, there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied here, and nearby Augusta, Georgia offers the Masters golf tournament.
When in Aiken, the Carriage House Inn is a sweet spot to stay, as it is conveniently located downtown on Laurens Street. You’ll be able to walk to multiple restaurants and shops all from the inn. I recommend a car or horse-drawn carriage tour of Aiken to learn a little about the history of the area. Speaking of history, the Carriage House Inn was built in 1872. With 37 guest rooms and suites, the bed and breakfast was originally a private home to the Efron family. Starting as a six room inn, the property now features rooms and suites in three historic, restored buildings.
While my premium king room had a Jacuzzi bath tub, all rooms include complimentary wifi, as well as a breakfast each morning. My hotel room was in the main house, the original family home. This particular room had access to the veranda outside – a special treat on those balmy southern evenings. If you want to take in a sunset, go across the courtyard to the Pendleton Guest House and take the elevator to the third floor. The Pendelton and Laurens guest houses are right behind the Carriage House and offer longer stay options for hotel guests.
This historic inn is pet-friendly. There is a one-time pet fee of $75. I chatted with a couple eating breakfast on the back patio while their dog rested at their feet. They were repeat guests and said they like to stay here when they are visiting the Winter Colony, aka Aiken. I have since learned that Aiken was a great place to visit in the winter when families wanted to escape the cold weather in New York. It was also known as a health retreat due to its pristine air-quality and wooded feel.
There was a mini refrigerator & refreshment center upstairs, tucked in the hallway, for guests to access coffee, tea and water. I used the fridge to stash my to-go box from the prior night’s dinner at Casa Bella, a local restaurant. Downstairs in the dining room you’ll find baked cookies and lemonade available for hotel guests in the afternoon.
Room rates at Carriage House Inn start at $125. Make your reservations online directly with the historic boutique hotel or try Hotels.com
Bed & breakfast hotel review and all photography by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown.