HOPELANDS GARDENSThings to see at Hopelands Gardens
Things To See at Hopelands Gardens
Behind the serpentine brick wall, through an allée of ancient Live Oaks, 14 acres of stunningly beautiful nature await. Hopelands Gardens is a masterpiece that delights the eye, quiets the mind, and fills the heart. Follow the curving brick walkways towards the former winter colony home, Rye Patch, that sits on 10 more acres of history and tranquility.
Hopelands Gardens is located at 135 Dupree Place, just off Whiskey Road. The park is open from 10 a.m. until sunset. Parking is available at the Dupree Place entrance to the Gardens. Event parking for Concerts in Hopelands is available at the Green Boundary Club across Whiskey Road from the Gardens.
The Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum
The Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates the great tradition of Thoroughbred horse racing and the vital role that Aiken has played in horse racing history. Forty champion Thoroughbreds have trained at the famed Aiken Training Track, and each has been immortalized in the Hall of Fame. Featured in the museum are photos, trophies and other memorabilia that highlight the careers of these famous racehorses. Special exhibits and events happen throughout the year. Learn more by visiting the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum website.
Hours of Operation
Tuesday – Friday from 2 pm – 5 pm
Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday from 2 pm – 5 pm
Closed on Mondays and major holidays.
Hopelands Gardens and Rye Patch are part of the Aiken Citywide Arboretum. Valuable, rare, and unusual species from all over the world are found on these properties. Of these approximately 1,000 valuable trees, the most expensive is worth more than $70,000: the Deodar Cedar Cedrus Deodara, located by the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. Bring your cell phone because identification plaques label the trees and a call to (803) 295-5008 with the tree number will give further information.
The Bird and Butterfly Garden
Camellia Trail Gardens
Hopelands Gardens is part of The American Camellia Trail sponsored by the American Camellia Society. Camellias, planted by Hope Goddard Iselin dating back to the 1940s, can be found along the pathways. There are eighty different Camellia plants, 60 identified varieties, and 20 distinct cultivars or species. Camellias donated by the Aiken Camellia Society line the walkway inside the serpentine wall on Dupree Place. The Aiken Council of Garden Clubs provides a beautiful Camellia garden surrounding the courtyard in front of the Doll House. Pictures and descriptions of many traditional and unusual Camellias in Hopelands Gardens can be found on the American Camellia Society website.
The Doll House
The Doll House at Hopelands Gardens is the home of the Aiken Council of Garden Clubs. It is open to the public on Sundays for visits from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m., spring, summer, and fall, as well as during the evenings of Christmas in Hopelands. The Doll House contains antique toys and furniture. The building is an example of a one-room, wood frame, prefabricated modular structure designed by the Hodgson Company in 1903 and ordered through the mail.
Beside the Doll House is a Little Free Library. In back of the Doll House is a Blue Star marker, which memorializes the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed services.
Surrounding the courtyard in front of the Doll House is a Camellia garden.
The Aiken Council of Garden Clubs has been involved with Hopelands Gardens since the late 1970s. They maintain the Doll House and the plants and flowers surrounding it.