South Carolina

Abbeville, South Carolina is rich in history

Abbeville Opera HousePicture a town square surrounded by shops and restaurants. Brick-lined streets, historic homes and golden-age era opera house. These are but a few surprises awaiting visitors to Abbeville.

Located in the southern section of the Upstate, about an hour south of Greenville between Anderson and Greenwood, the small town of Abbeville was once a center of culture, agriculture and commerce. Today, with most of the town on the National Register of Historic Places, Abbeville marks its place with historical significance.

This article was published November 2015 at OurUpstateSC.info and SeetheSouth.com

Fall Foliage Excursions in the Upstate

Paris Mountain

Paris Mountain

As autumn arrives, forecasters are already predicting that this year’s fall foliage season will be one of the best we’ve had in years. Vibrant hues of purple, orange, and red will drift silently in the wind as trees shed their green coverings.

“We had a little bit of drought in the summertime that added just the right touch of stress that helps condense the season and cause a bunch of colors to pop all at once,” says Clemson University Forest ecologist Donald Hagan. “Early October should be prime on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then the color will move its way downward throughout the month, finally peaking in the Clemson area and much of the Upstate in late October and early November.”

So whether it’s a hike in the mountains, a picnic lunch, or a leisurely drive down a country road, there’s no better time than the fall to get outdoors and experience nature in its entire splendor.

Here’s a look at a few of the many fall foliage excursions in the Upstate.

This article was published Sept. 2015 at See the South and OurUpstateSC.info

The SC Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, Where Every Quilt Tells a Story

It all started in 2009 with one quilt square mounted on the Oconee Heritage Center in Walhalla.Today, the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail has more than 160 quilt panels mounted on barns, businesses, homes, and public buildings across Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties.The idea was based on similar quilt trails in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Oconee County was the first county in South Carolina to embrace the quilt trail concept after a group of dedicated citizens came together to establish the Oconee Heritage Quilt Trail in an effort to promote Oconee County. The first quilt square was sponsored by the Wynward Point Ladies Group and was mounted on the Oconee Heritage Center in Walhalla in the fall of 2009.

This story was published Aug 2015 by The SC Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail and The SC Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail.

Furman’s Younts Center a Best Wedding Venue

The Upstate has no shortage of scenic backdrops available to provide the perfect picturesque setting for pending nuptials. Couples can opt to tie the knot at places like the Fred W. Symmes Chapel at Camp Greenville (aka Pretty Place), near Caesars Head in northern Greenville County. Or they may choose to get hitched at one of the area’s sprawling farms or historic houses.

But for a unique venue, happy couples need to look no further than a local university campus, which can provide the perfect venue and setting—at a reasonable cost.

This article was published April 2015 at OurUpstateSC.info and SeetheSouth.com

 

Nature & Culture Merge at the South Carolina Botanical Garden

Meandering pathways and reflective ponds, along with plenty of benches to sit and gaze at the scenery, make the South Carolina Botanical Garden at Clemson University a perfect respite any time of the year.

The 295-acre preserve began in 1958 as a camellia preserve on a small parcel of land adjacent to John C. Calhoun’s 19th-century Fort Hill estate. It was designated the state’s botanical garden in 1992.

This story appeared at SeetheSouth.com and OurUpstateSC.info April 2015.

Take a Tour on Three of the Upstate’s Best Lakes

Lake Jocassee at Bad Creek Whitewater FallsThere’s no doubt that the Upstate is home to an amazing array of outdoor wonderlands. Whether it is mountains, hiking trails, rivers, waterfalls or lakes—there’s a never-ending natural assortment for outdoor enthusiasts to choose from.

Even though it’s not quite full-blown “lake season” yet, our area lakes are spectacular no matter the weather. One of the best ways to get acquainted with our lakes is to take a guided tour. Here’s a look at a few options on Lake Jocassee, Lake Keowee, and Lake Hartwell.

This article was published February 2015 by OurUpstateSC.info and See the South.

Discover Landrum and The Red Horse Inn

The Red Horse InnDeep in the heart of the Upstate’s equestrian country—where horses outnumber people and parking signs include directions on where to park your horse trailer—sits the small town of Landrum and the Red Horse Inn.

 

A quaint Main Street filled with antique shops and locally owned (and sourced) restaurants are a surprise for first-time visitors to Landrum. And then there’s the Inn.

This article was published January 2015 by OurUpstatesc.info and See the South .

Downtown Anderson Offers Small-Town Charm

display at the Anderson County MuseumAnderson grew up as a textile town. Several mills in the area provided the groundwork for a rich and vibrant city while still maintaining its rural roots. When Lake Hartwell was created in the 1950s, it brought those seeking boating and fishing along its 962-mile long shoreline.Anderson is also commonly referred to as the “electric city” as it was the first city in the United States to have a continuous supply of electricity, powered by a water mill on the Rocky River. A statue of William Church Whitner, who devised a method to transport electricity from the river into the city, sits prominently in the downtown city square.Today, Anderson’s downtown offers great dining, eclectic boutiques, museums, and cultural activities that are definitely worth exploring.

This article was published Dec. 2014 at OurUpstateSC.info and SeetheSouth.com.

Experience the French Countryside in Travelers Rest at Hotel Domestique

domestique_1With manicured vineyards and long-range views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the luxurious Hotel Domestique is perched atop 29 acres of rolling hills amongst fountains, lush gardens, and courtyards.

Brothers George and Rich Hincapie purchased the 13-room French-inspired hotel, formerly named La Bastide, from foreclosure in 2011 and spent two years and millions of dollars transforming it into a luxury boutique hotel with a slant on cycling. Both George and Rich grew up in the cycling world. George, who retired from pro cycling, competed 17 times in the Tour de France, sometimes alongside teammate Lance Armstrong. George and Rich also own Hincapie Sports, which specializes in custom clothing and accessories for cyclists.

This article was published November 2014 at See the South and OurUpstateSC.info

Leaf Peeping in the Upstate

Paris Mountain in the fallAs temperatures cool, the leaves from the trees begin to change into vibrant hues of red, purple and orange and fall paves the way to an autumnal paradise in the Upstate.

Whether it’s a hike in the mountains, a picnic lunch or a leisurely drive down a country road, there’s no better time than the fall to get outdoors and experience nature in its entire splendor.

This article was published October 2014 by OurUpstateSC.info read the full article here.

Sleep Under the Stars in the Upstate

Now that the sweltering summer heat has mostly dissipated, it’s time to once again head outdoors.

Cabins at Lake HartwellSouth Carolina has more than 3,000 campsites statewide with a good majority of them in our area- and that’s just in the state parks. Add in private and commercial campgrounds and that makes for a lot of places to hang your head in the great outdoors.

Camping takes on many forms here in the Upstate- there are primitive and trailside campsites with no facilities, campsites that can only be reached by boat and campgrounds that have playgrounds and offer restrooms and showers. Some campgrounds have RV-hookup’s and others have facilities to bring your horses. Don’t have a tent or camper? That’s covered too with camper cabins on Lake Hartwell and rustic cabin rentals across the region.

This article was published September 2014 at OurUpstateSC.info and SeetheSouth.com

Zipping through the trees in Oconee County

IMG_0006Well before the current zip-line explosion erupted, Jeff Greiner, Marketing and Development for Adventure America Zipline Canopy Tours, was already planning to make the high-flying activity the next big thing in Western North Carolina.  He got the idea from years of High Ropes work and after experiencing a zip-line tour during a family vacation in the Caribbean.

This article was published June 2014 at OurUpstateSC.info and See the South.

 

Summertime Hiking in the Upstate

Falls Creek FallsThe Upstate is an outdoor lover’s paradise- getting outdoors is what we love to do.

And as the mercury rises- the mountains, with their lush foliage, canopied treetops and plentiful waterfalls beckon.

Our area is home to more waterfalls than anywhere else in the nation. The trail system in the Upstate is also quite extensive with hikes ranging from day hikes, like the ones below, to multi-day hikes along the Foothills and Appalachian trails. So pack a lunch, bring some water and cool down with one of these great summer-time hikes.

This article was published by OurUpstatesc.info and See the South.

 

Kings Mountain offers history and hiking

As one of 16 State Parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the 6,885-acre Kings Mountain State Park boasts two lakes for fishing along with camping, hiking, equestrian facilities AND an 1800’s living history farm.

You can also visit the adjacent Kings Mountain National Military Park which offers a peak into history as a Revolutionary War site famous for the Battle of Kings Mountain, considered a major turning point in the War. Thomas Jefferson called it “The turn of the tide of success.” Walk through the museum, visitor’s center and actual battlefield site and picture yourself as a Revolutionary Soldier, getting ready for the battle.

This article was published April 2014 at OurUpstateSC.info.

 

On the BBQ trail in the Upstate of South Carolina

The Smokin' Pig_Pendleton_SC_5South Carolinians are serious about their barbeque – so serious in fact that the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (SCPRT) has a website solely dedicated to BBQ in the state. And whether it’s a debate on which sauce is the best, how the meat is cooked, or which BBQ joint does it right, you can bet there are some serious and varied opinions by Upstate residents.

This article was published in the Feb 2014 OurUpstateSC.info newsletter and website and at SeetheSouth.com