Meet Your Hosts
My husband Jeremy and I began hosting guests in 2021. Jeremy grew up here, and I fell in love with Aiken in 2008 when I moved here from Seattle to work in the amazing equestrian community here. If you have questions about the area, chances are we can help!
Blue Door Cottage was the very first house I owned. Jeremy proposed to me at The Lancaster Townhouse! All of our properties are truly homes--not "just" rentals--in neighborhoods where we ourselves live and have lived.
Aiken Vacation Rentals is truly a labor of love. Thank you for supporting our family business. We will do everything we can to help you feel at home!
Welcome to Aiken, South Carolina! Our beautiful city is known for its history, small-town southern charm, and of course, the unique equestrian community here. Aiken invites you to take life at a slower pace, soak in the natural beauty around you, and turn friendly new faces into friends.
Historic downtown Aiken is the charming heart of our city. It's just a few square blocks, an easy stroll that first-time visitors can usually navigate easily on foot. Local restaurants, unique shops, art galleries, and antique stores beg to be explored. The Alley is a pedestrians-only brick street with a European feel that comes to life for live music, markets, outdoor dining, and night life. Enjoy the beauty of historic buildings like the award-winning Willcox Hotel, the unmistakable shiny gold dome of the old Aiken post office, the train station and Visitor's Center on Union street, and the many fountains, statues, and landscaped boulevards.
Aiken boasts a rich heritage that you can explore at the Aiken County Historical Museum, housed in the iconic mansion on the hill above "the wavy wall". Delve into the past and learn about the city's roots, from its beginnings as a Winter Colony for the wealthy in the early 20th century to its significant role during the Civil War. The Center for African American History, Art, and Culture on York Street is another great resource. Hopelands Gardens and Rye Patch offer glimpses into Aiken's fascinating history as well as a serene stroll through beautifully maintained public gardens. Want more? Check out my STAY LIKE A LOCAL blog.
If you're an equestrian, you've probably heard Aiken referred to as a horse lover's paradise. It lives up to the hype! Horses and horse people have indelibly shaped the city. You can't go far without seeing horse show grounds, polo fields, racetracks, farms, and of course the dirt roads of the historic horse district and Hitchcock Woods right in town.
January - mid April is the main equestrian season, when modern Snowbirds take their horses and flee colder climes for Aiken's mild winters, but there is horse activity year round. Polo, fox hunting, carriage driving, and eventing have an especially strong presence in Aiken.
Even the general public enthusiastically attends horse events like Spring & Fall Steeplechase, The Aiken Triple Crown, The Blessing of the Hounds on Thanksgiving, the historic Aiken Horse Show (in the Woods), polo matches, Grand Prix jumping nights at Bruce's Field, and the Hoofbeats and Carols Christmas parade downtown, many of which are free or low-cost for spectators. Want more? Check out my STAY LIKE A LOCAL blog.
Golfers are delighted by our world-class golf courses, some of which have been designed by the sport's legendary architects. And tens of thousands come the first week of every April for the Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course in neighboring Augusta, GA.
Aiken is a small city of about 30,000 that escaped the fate of many nearby rural mill towns that have collapsed without employment or tourism. Many newcomers to Aiken are retiring and moving away from faster-paced, expensive, stressful, and lonely big city life. Here they find rich social communities through churches, volunteering, shared hobbies, outdoor activities like kayaking, dog-walking and bird watching, sports like tennis and pickle ball, and the arts. We have a rich local art scene as well as community theater, symphony, ballet, and local bands and choirs. Want more info? Check out my STAY LIKE A LOCAL blog.
Aiken is a great home base for exploring the Southeast. Atlanta, Charleston, Savannah, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, Edisto Island, Charlotte, and Asheville are all within driving distance for a weekend trip. Columbia, Augusta, or Greenville can make great day trips. The Southern origin of the Appalachian Trail is within a half-day's drive from Aiken.
The closest airport is about 50 minutes away in Augusta. You can also fly out of Columbia (1 hr), Charlotte (2.5 hr), or Atlanta or Charleston (3 hrs).
Can't get enough Aiken? Check out my STAY LIKE A LOCAL blog for helpful tips for Aiken visitors and newbies, hidden gems, things I love, and things I've learned since moving to a small Southern town from Seattle in 2008.
Aiken Vacation Rentals is a locally owned and operated small business licensed in the city of Aiken. We help owners of short and midterm rental properties host exceptional five star stays that delight guests. We represent and care for your home as if it were our own. Our partnership approach ensures that your goals for hosting your property are recognized, your questions answered, and your expectations exceeded!
Just getting started?
Through hourly consulting and quality referrals, we can help you:
Decide if hosting guests is the right fit for you and your property
Set up your AirBnB listing
Prepare your space for your first guests
Build a team of supporting professionals that will care for your property
Need hosting help?
Whether you stay in your home seasonally, and rent it when you're not there, or you have a full-time short term rental property in Aiken, we can provide:
Marketing for your rental
Communication with guests
Maintaining and updating your AirBnB listing
Oversight of house cleaning and yard services
Preparation for guests arrival
Inspection of the home between guests
Coordinating maintenance and repair appointments
How is Cohosting different from Property Management?
Cohosting services are specific to short term rentals. Guests book and pay for their stays through an online booking platform (AirBnB). All income goes directly to the home owner. Aiken Vacation Rentals Cohosting and Consulting services are not commission-based, but rather billed as a flat hourly, weekly, or monthly rate.
Being a small agency allows us to offer the highest level of personal attention and service to our home owners, so that each owner feels like our only client! With Aiken Vacation Rentals, you can trust us to provide an outstanding guest experience, care for your property, and work diligent with you to achieve your short term rental goals.
Praise for Aiken Vacation Rentals Cohosting
"Kendra DeKay and Aiken Vacation Rentals are absolutely the best for professional, friendly, and quality service."
Barbara (cohosting client since 2021)