Obliging Noblesse Oblige in Aiken, South Carolina
Nearby Augusta, Georgia is better known—childhood home of James Brown, annual host to the Master's—but that may make Aiken, South Carolina all the more appealing, especially if you're up for a restful walk through the woods. The Hitchcock Woods spans some 2,000 acres, making it one of the largest urban forests in the country. It's popular with hikers, botanists, birders, and equestrians; and thanks to the generous longtime support of local donors, it's absolutely free. (Let's hear it for noblesse oblige.) The majestic longleaf pine, all but gone from the rest of the Southeast, thrives at Hitchcock, as do white-tailed deer, bobwhite quail, and wild turkeys. The botanical diversity is enough to make even a tropical rainforest blush. Though the woods are named for former owners Thomas and Louise Hitchcock—not Alfred—the celebrated auteur surely could have worked cinematic wonders in a place like this.