Enjoy these excerpts from previously published articles written by Sherry Jackson.
Picture 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.
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.
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.
Water parks become the shining beacon in the sizzling heat. Out-of-school and bored kids are entertained for hours splashing around in the cool waters and navigating slides, while parents can stick their toes in the water and float endlessly along those lazy rivers.
As the summertime temperatures continue to heat up, shaded tree canopies and cool lakes and streams don’t just sound nice, but they become a necessity. A brisk swim( dont forget to checkout these bikinis for girls), hiking alongside creeks and waterfalls, and camping under the stars are not only ways to stay cool and experience nature but are also an inexpensive way to make lifetime memories.
|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.
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.
There’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.
|Deep 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.
|Anderson 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.|
As 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.
Now that the sweltering summer heat has mostly dissipated, it’s time to once again head outdoors.
South 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. There really is nothing to compare with sleeping under the stars in the great outdoors. Tasting the fresh air, hearing the dawn chorus and counting the stars always makes for a fantastic trip.
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. What we often fail to remember is that sleeping under the stars is often cold, uncomfortable and windy! There’s no Tempurpedic mattress or puffed up pillows in the great outdoors. Sleeping on hard ground, particularly for the first time, can often be somewhat alarming. Don’t panic though, with the right preparations and sleeping pills from ukmeds, you’ll soon be coming out under the stars every chance you get!
Well 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.
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, good hike shoes, I found at Boot Bomb the best outdoor footwear information, you can take a look if you want, bring some water and cool down with one of these great summer-time hikes. You can buy complete AR15 rifles here, for your next hike.
Outdoor activities often sound like a great deal of fun, and it is; however it does require some special preparation. Remember to always take a fully stocked first-aid kit when you venture out to take this trip. You can put together your own kit with bandages, gauze pads, tweezers, scissors, anti bacteria cream and antiseptic wipes in a sturdy container. Being close to nature is a wonderful experience but you must be prepared for any unexpected situation that can easily happen while camping.
Trains, goats and peacocks might seem like an unusual combination, but they all co-exist in a symbiotic unity at Emerald Farm in Greenwood.
This 75-acre working dairy and goat farm is owned by Kathryn and Paul Zahn who were looking for “a comfortably special place to raise a family and to welcome friends. A place that was next to nature.” When they stumbled upon Emerald Farm they knew they had found that place.
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.
South 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.
The interactive museum is free and open to the public six days a week. Touch screens and audio exhibits guide visitors through topics such as how electricity is generated using water, coal and uranium as well as learning about how the Bad Creek, Jocassee and Keowee reservoirs all interact to generate electricity. A large, 3-D topographical map shows the lakes and where hydro stations are located.
Heritage Green, the urban arts and cultural campus in downtown Greenville, is in the midst of a makeover. New improved pedestrian access, signage, gathering spots and landscaping are all part of the upgrade plan that began in Oct. 2013 and is expected to be completed by the first week of Feb.
If you haven’t been to Heritage Green for a while, now is the time to go. In addition to the outside renovations, several of the museums also have new exhibits. On Jan. 18, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate debuted its new traveling exhibit, The Robot Zoo. Now through June 1, kids can explore the biomechanics of complex animal robots to discover how real animals work.
While our neighbor to the North (that would be Asheville) may tout itself as being “Beer City, USA”, the Upstate holds its own for local-made, quality-crafted beers and is rapidly gaining popularity as a premier beer destination.
Craft breweries are becoming more mainstream and several new breweries in the Upstate were announced last year. Quest Brewing Company opened in July 2013 while Brewery 85 and the Swamp Rabbit Brewery and Taproom are both expected to open in the next few months. They’ll be alongside Upstate veterans such as Thomas Creek Brewery, RJ Rockers and Blue Ridge Brewing Company.
The article was published in the Jan 9, 2014 OurUpstateSC.info newsletter
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day traditions are as varied as the people in the Upstate and around the South. There are parties to ring in the New Year with glasses of bubbly and noisy party favors. Fireworks will be shot off at the stroke of midnight and some brave souls will bare all in Upstate polar bear plunges. Others will use New Year’s Day to start their resolution to become more fit by hitting area trails.
This article was published Dec 2013 by OurUpstatesc.info
But beyond the normal Christmas cheer these provide, some of these events have been around for decades and are run by charitable organizations that give back to the community.
If these aren’t part of your standard, must-go-every-year family traditions, consider adding them to your list.
This article was published in the TATT/OurUpstateSC.info Dec newsletter.
The Museum and Gallery at Bob Jones University is located in an unassuming building on campus. The non-assuming structure belies a vast collection of over 400 paintings, 200 pieces of furniture and more than 1000 antiquities that Dr. Bob Jones Jr. amassed during his lifetime.
The museum has been located on campus and open to the public since 1965. As you walk into the dimly-lit but grand foyer, a large chandelier, thick draperies and tapestries adorn the walls and ceiling. The tapestries, sculptures and period furniture are just part of the world-famous collection that opened in 1951 and features cultural and religious history works from the 14th through 19th centuries.
This article was published at OurUpstatesc.info and See the South
My first book, Five Star Trails: South Carolina Upstate, is now available! You can purchase online from Amazon and Barnes and Noble and it is available in local Greenville at online through https://www.webdesign499.com/wholesale-web-design-white-label-web-design-solution/, SC stores such as Barnes and Noble, REI, Mast General Store and Moon Outfitters.
Beyond the run-of-the-mill haunted houses and family-friendly Halloween events lies an underbelly of places in the Upstate where rumors of paranormal activity run rampant. Ghostly tales are passed down from generation to generation and the brave visitors to these places have reported eerie sounds, apparitions and other sightings.
As the weather hints of cooler days to come, leaves will soon begin their change to brilliant shades of red, purple and gold, announcing that fall is here and that it is a perfect time to get outdoors and visit Kings Mountain State Park.
With a Blacksburg, S.C., address, but only a couple of miles from Kings Mountain, N.C., the park is one of 16 state parks in S.C. built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). With 6,885 acres, the park boasts two lakes for fishing, plus camping, hiking and horseback riding AND an 1800s living history farm. You can also visit the adjacent Kings Mountain National Military Park, which offers a peek into the history of the Battle of Kings Mountain, considered a major turning point in the Revolutionary War.
This article was published in the Sep/Oct 2013 edition of Foothills Spotlight Magazine.
As the temperature becomes cooler and the leaves begin to change into vibrant hues of red, purple and orange, fall paves the way in the Upstate and becomes an outdoor paradise. The wet summer has supplied waterfalls with plenty of water to cascade over rocks and rush along streams. And as thick tree canopies begins to shed their leaves, the mountain views become clearer and more expansive, making fall a great time in the Upstate to go hiking. Here are four area hikes where you can view fall colors in their entire splendor.
This article was published by OurUpstateSC.info
Part of the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach has been attracting families seeking accessible beach vacations for years. In fact, it’s the go-to family beach getaway on the East Coast, boasting more than 15 million visitors each year. But behind the high-rise condos, mega souvenir shops and kitsch lies a quality destination with an impressive array of activities to suit every taste and budget.
This article was published in the Sep/Oct 2013 edition of American Eagle Latitude.
To really get a feel for how life was like back “in the day”, take a tour and visit one of several Upstate plantation homes. These grand homes and gardens provide glimpses into our past. See how meals were prepared without a cooktop or oven or even a refrigerator, how beds were made out of hay and what life was like before electricity and air conditioning.
This article was published August 2013 in the OurUpstateSC.info newsletter and at See the South.
Dubbed as “a flea market on steroids” the Jockey Lot has been an Anderson institution since 1974. Over 1,000 vendors set up shop each weekend selling everything from live rabbits, books, used tires and tombstones. Locals joke that if “you can’t find it at the Jockey Lot then it ain’t to be had anywhere.”
Attracting 30,000-60,000 people each Saturday and Sunday year-round, the open outdoor marketplace sprawls over 65-acres on U.S. Highway 29 between Anderson and Greenville. Regular vendors that are there each weekend usually opt to lease space in the 130,000 square feet of several interconnected or container buildings, some with air-conditioning. New vendors and individuals wanting to sell excess household goods usually rent one of the outside spaces that go for as little as $10.00 for a one-day rental.
Greenville is a vibrant, revitalized and award-winning downtown nestled against the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. And while every destination promises something for everyone, few can deliver like Greenville. From fabulous restaurants (see this site for prices of the most delicious dishes), incredible museums, unique shops, an award-winning baseball stadium and a plethora of outdoor activities, Greenville is a great getaway.
This article was published in the June/July/August 2013 issue of Foothills Spotlight Magazine .Getaway to Greenville Page 2
Rated as one of the top ten fine arts shows in the country, Artisphere comes to downtown Greenville for its ninth year on May 10th-May 12th. This family-friendly festival showcases Greenville’s thriving arts and cultural community and attracts tens of thousands to the area each spring.
Artisphere invites both local and national artists and announced a record 13 local artists will exhibit at this year’s annual event. The festival received applications from 854 artists in 41 different states competing for one of the 120 spots on Artist Row. The artists selected to participate represent 24 different states and one international artist; 56 of the artists (47 percent) are new to the festival this year.
Now that the weather is turning nicer and outdoor activities are in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about what to do with the kids during the summer months. Depending on which school district you reside in, there’s only about six weeks until parents begin to hear that familiar phrase- “I’m bored!” Luckily, the Upstate offers a huge assortment of summer camps and activities to keep kids active, engaged and away from TV and video games. Here’s a look at a few…
Over 1200 racers are expected to compete at the 15th Annual VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC event, America’s largest off-road motorcycle and ATV racing series held right here in the Upstate, at the Big Buck Farm in Union County. The event serves as round four of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series.
The race is expected to draw several thousand spectators from all over the U.S. and the surrounding community. Riders will compete on highly tuned dirt bikes and four-wheeled ATVs, and racers will include top international talent, such as U.S. National Champions and World Champions from Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The Big Buck GNCC is typically a favorite of both fans and racers alike, due in part to the spectacular “creek jump” where riders launch off of a dirt bank and over the water. The rest of the 10-12 mile racecourse consists of tight woods, rocks, hill climbs, fast field sections and other obstacles that make this stop a must-see on the tour.
This article was published March 28, 2013 in the OurUpstateSC.info newletter and on their website.
In an effort to showcase the talented football players that we have in the state, organizers have put together an all-star roster and it’s the Upstate versus the Low Country at the inaugural South Carolina All Star Bowl to be held on March 23rd at North Greenville University. This is a great opportunity for players to play one last college football game, giving them an opportunity to enhance their personal brands for the pro scouts, graduate schools, and other potential employers. Also with live TV coverage that will reach 4.5 million homes it’s a great way to establish Upstate or Lowcounty bragging rights.
This article appeared in the March edition of the OurUpstateSC.info newsletter.
Since 1987, the United States has officially observed National Women’s History Month during the month of March, to recognize and celebrate American women and their achievements. In the early 1970’s women’s history was virtually left out of public school curriculum and in mainstream media but in 1978, a task force in Sonoma County, California initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration and within a few years had dozens of schools planning special programs as well as hundreds of community events.
This article was published in the March 7, 2013 OurUpstateSC.info Newsletter and on their website.
Working with a team of volunteers and in partnership with the Tri-County Technical College and Clemson’s Small Business Development Center, the non-profit Mountain Lakes Business Development Center (MLBDC) works to help budding entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality.
Utilizing mentors, offering education opportunities, and providing a cost-effective, shared-use business development facility, the MLBDC helps Upstate residents in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties start new businesses and grow existing ones.
This article was published February 28, 2013. Click here to read the full article.
March kicks off a month-long, multi-venue, multi-event celebration of all things international here in the Upstate. Events are hosted by Upstate International, a local non-profit organization that provides information, programs and services to foreign residents and immigrants for cultural diversity in our community.
This article was published by OurUpstateSC.info
The Upstate is an outdoor lover’s paradise with abundant trails, waterfalls, lakes and mountains. And while it may not seem like it, February is an ideal time to get outdoors. Spring allergies haven’t quite hit, the weather is still cool and the views are even better through the leaf-bare tree limbs. From waterfalls to mountains, here are five easy hikes the whole family can enjoy.
This article was published in the February 14, 2013 edition of the OurUpstateSC.info newsletter and at See the South.
When February rolls around, I begin fantasizing about the beach; the sound of rolling waves washing across the sand, the seagulls belting out their never-ending harmonies and the feeling of sand squishing between my toes. I want a beach weekend and I want to be pampered and feel like a Queen (or King). South Carolina’s the best beaches are those in the Charleston area and no one does luxury and pampering like The Sanctuary at Kiawah.
Spring is a time of renewal. A time when the cold, dreary days of winter begin to turn into warmer days filled with the sights and smells of blooming trees and flowers. Springtime also starts to heat up with performing and visual arts performances and calendars are packed full this season. From Edwin McCain at the Walhalla Civic Auditorium to Denyce Graves at the Clemson Brooks Center, these shows are just a few of the many great performances happening in the Upstate through June.
This article was published January 2013 by Ten at the Top on the OurUpstateSC.info website.
Goats and trains and the Revolutionary War all come together in this city “where there’s always something blooming.” Located on the shores of Lake Greenwood, the 11,400 acre lake is obviously a big attraction but there’s more here than just the water. Uptown Greenwood has a revamped downtown area with “the widest main street in the world” and is home to great museums, an old-fashioned drive-in movie theater and an amazing goat farm.
This article was published January 2013 at OurUpstateSC.info and at See the South.
Tucked away in a non-descript strip center on the outer edge of downtown Greenville, this family-run business has been serving the local community since 1933. It’s a landmark on Augusta Road, and with a restored soda fountain, personal service from the pharmacy (they will deliver prescriptions to you) and a variety of local items for sale (including their own BBQ sauce), this local business is poised for the future.
Looking for a fun place to take the kids over the holiday break? The Children’s Museum of the Upstate is a great hands-on, learn-about-how-things-work kind of place. Children can grocery shop and make healthy food choices, complete with grocery store shelves and a checkout counter or learn how to make a movie using a green screen in the animation studio.
For the past twenty-two years, Hollywild Animal Park in Wellford, South Carolina has opened up its 100-acre safari from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day for their annual Hollywild Lights Safari. This unique holiday experience allows visitors to drive through the open range area of the park accompanied with stops to feed the animals and motor past millions of dazzling holiday light displays. Given it’s vast territory they decided to make a small playground in the middle of a track for you to walk your dog, it’s all set to promote outdoor activities involving animals. Money raised during the event goes to care for their resident animals throughout the year.
The South Carolina Century Farms Program was created in 1974 to honor families whose farms have been in the same family for one hundred years or more. Since the programs inception, over three hundred properties have been designated Century Farms in South Carolina with more than a third located in the Upstate.
For the full article, please click here.
Angela Easterling is a soulful indie musician whose southern roots run deep. Dubbed “a bright shining star on the country/folk/alt music horizon,” by Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, this talented singer-songwriter grew up in Greer, South Carolina on the family farm. “We weren’t a typical rural family though”, says Angela, “I grew up listening to music, going to plays and the theater.”
This article was published in the Sept/Oct 2012 edition of Foothills Spotlight Magazine.
Located near the town of Walhalla are two of Oconee County‘s top attractions, Stumphouse Tunnel and Issaqueena Falls. Stumphouse Tunnel maintains a near constant 56 degree temperature and is a welcome respite on a hot summer day. Nearby at Issaqueena Falls visitors can enjoy the waterfall and have a picnic at the shady retreat. This article was published by ourupstateinfo.info and at See the South.