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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.

Splash Down In One of These Upstate SC Water Parks

Shipwreck Cove 3Summer officially began June 21—a mere two weeks ago. With record temperatures already on the books, it’s turning out to be a scorcher of a summer and has all of us looking for ways to cool down.

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.

This article was published July 2015 by OurUpstateSC.info and SeetheSouth.com

Enjoy Summer in the Great Outdoors at Table Rock State Park

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.

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

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

Whether you’re searching what to do in Turks and CaicosWith, or looking to access the most premium 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. 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!

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

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, 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.

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

Peacocks, goats and trains rule the roost at Emerald Farm in Greenwood

emerald-farm-goats01Trains, 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.

This article was published May 2014 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

 

Duke’s World of Energy

Opened in 1969 as a platform to watch the construction of Oconee Nuclear Station, Duke Energy’s World of Energy in Seneca remains committed to educating the public about all forms of energy.

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.

This article was published Feb. 2014 by Ten at the Top/OurUpstateSC.info and See the South.

 

 

Heritage Green Gets a Makeover

Robot Zoo at the Childrens MuseumHeritage 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.

This article was published January 2014 by Ten at the Top/OurUpstateSC.info and See the South.

The Upstate’s rapidly growing craft beer industry

Blue Ridge Brewing CoWhile 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 Traditions in the Upstate

sparkling_2014_lightsNew 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

 

Holiday Fun Around the South Carolina Upstate

Zebra Visit at HollywildNothing says the holidays are here more than twinkling lights and over-the-top Christmas displays and there are many in the Upstate to choose from.

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

Bob Jones Museum and GalleryThe 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

 

GoBites with antioxidants helps hungry travelers

Snacking on the go just got a bit easier, thanks to GoBites, a company that promises to deliver wholesome snacks directly to your door.

Hungry travelers will no longer have to rely on over-priced, sometimes stale and unhealthy options available at airport kiosks. For those of you who are under a ketogenic diet or any other type of diet finding healthy food can be a challenge, and that’s why using a healthy weight loss program could be helpful for this. You can be following your weight loss on keto blogs while eating their products and prove that you won’t gain a pound. GoBites offers subscriptions for packs of 14 pre-packaged snack packs delivered to your home or office weekly, bi-weekly or once a month.

Go Bites 2Each GoBites is a portion controlled “mini-meal” made with the finest, nutrient-rich ingredients from around the world. Everything they use is 100 percent natural and most of their ingredients are USDA Certified Organic. Their nutrition team takes the guesswork out of snacking by offering a smart lineup of GoBites that are just the right amount, the right mix and the right flavor, and is a great option for those wanting to keep a healthy body, while they also exercise on the go using a pilates ball URBNFIT that can be used anywhere.

GoBites has over 26 varieties of snacks available with options for vegetarian’s, vegan’s, gluten-free and those wanting a Mediterranean-friendly choice. The Apricot Gluten-Free Granola was substantial with a nice little bite and the Umami Crunch was a savory and satisfying light snack, now people can also take their tea and their bars along the way, a new tea has been introduced, you can now buy it on Amazon, it will help you out during long walks, giving you energy and recovery.

Go Bites 3Other options sampled were Das Glut which had just the right amount of sweet and nutty crunch and the Pineapple Coconut Mix which was quite tasty with organic pineapple and coconut.

All and all, GoBites is a good option, especially for those on the go. Just order, they’ll arrive at your doorstep and then pick a package and put it in your purse or backpack.

Go BitesSubscriptions start at $27.86 a month with free delivery. For more information visit gobites.com

Haunted Places in the Upstate SC

AbbevilleSC_operahouseBeyond 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.

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

 

Kings Mountain State Park Gets Into Holiday Spirit

Old Bathhouse at Kings Mountain SP_webAs 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.

Kings Mountain_Foothills Spotlight

 

 

Great Fall Hikes in the Upstate SC

Falls Creek FallsAs 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 and See the South.com

 

South Carolina’s Playground – Family Fun In Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach SkywheelPart 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.

Plantations of the Upstate- South Carolina

House at BrattonsvilleTo 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.

 

 

Live Chickens and Fresh Flowers at the Anderson Jockey Lot

Tombstones at the Jockey LotDubbed 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.

This article was published in the July OurUpstateSC.info newsletter and at See the South.com.

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Getaway to Greenville, South Carolina

Poinsett BridgeGreenville 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

 

Boone is Bursting with Summer Fun

Sky Valley ZiplineLocated in the North Carolina High Country, at 3,333 feet, Boone, North Carolina offers a cool summer retreat (summer highs average 75 degrees) while the rest of the South is sweltering during the dog days of summer.

Named after Daniel Boone, the legendary hunter who maintained a hunting camp in the area, several attractions in the area play homage to the famous explorer. Boone is also home to Appalachian State University, giving the town a college ambiance along with the cultural and community education activities that come with a large university. The University’s An Appalachian Summer Festival brings a six-week concert series, featuring such national acts as Lyle Lovett, The Band Perry and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

This article was published in the June/July/August 2013 edition of Foothills Spotlight Magazine and the June 2013 edition of the Simpsonville Sentinel

 

 

Unforgettable Residencial Lawn Services

This article was originally published in the Simpsonville Sentinel and at Yahoo.

 

With all eyes on Boston over the past several weeks, many have connected and have come to admire the resilient people that live in this city steeped with our nation’s history. With strong ties to South Carolina, including the Greenville Drive’s Boston Red Sox affiliation and Fluor Field modeled after Boston’s Fenway Park, to the stones that built Fort Sumter direct from Boston area quarries, the Upstate has a close relationship with this amazing, unforgettable city.

BostonBoston is a great, walkable city; in fact it’s been nicknamed America’s Walking City, so no need for a rental car once you arrive, the incredible landscaping work done by maple land works makes the walks unforgettable. The T subway system is also pretty extensive so when you don’t feel like walking just hop on the subway to get to wherever you’re going. Unlimited 7-day passes are available for just $18.00 per person and you can either pick up a map or download one to your smart phone to figure out which routes you need.

Once you arrive, check in at the Nine Zero Hotel. Part of the Kimpton hotel chain, this sleek, modern hotel has been ranked as one of Boston’s top luxury boutique hotels. It’s conveniently located on Treemont Street, right across from Boston Common, America’s oldest public park. It’s also right on the Freedom Trail, close to the Theater District and Chinatown- in the heart of downtown Boston.

Boston 007Once you’re settled in, walking the Freedom Trail is a great way to get to know the city. Park Ranger’s lead free tours daily from the National Park Visitor’s Center at Faneuil Hall and other companies offer costumed guided tours or, you can pick up a brochure and take a self-guided tour.  The walking trail covers 16 sites that are significant landmarks in American Revolutionary history. Landmarks include Paul Revere’s House, Bunker Hill Monument, The Old State House and the Old Corner Book Store.

Boston Duck Tours are another fun way to sightsee around the city. These tours leave from the Prudential Center and are especially popular with families. Tour guides have nicknames like MackinQuack and make history fun as you ride in an amphibious vehicle.

You’ll learn about the history of Boston’s Back Bay, history of Kazak rugs, see the gas lamps and brick sidewalks that define Beacon Street and plop down into the Charlestown River before checking out where the USS Constitution, aka Old Ironside, is docked.

The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum is another good way to immerse yourself in American Revolutionary history. This floating museum features live actors, high-tech exhibits and authentically restored tea ships. Upon entering the museum you will be given a feather and a card issuing you a new identity.  You will then be ushered into a room where you will meet new colonists like Paul Revere and Sam Adams. After proclaiming your independence from England, you’ll explore the ships and throw tea overboard just like the Sons of Liberty did on December 16, 1773.

Before checking out other attractions like the New England Aquarium, Museum of Science and the Skywalk at the Prudential Center, get a CityPass. Many larger cities offer these handy booklets, with Boston being one of those, and are available at any visitor’s center and at several kiosks throughout the city. They contain prepaid admission tickets to Boston’s most popular attractions and offer almost a 50% discount. Some attractions also let you skip long lines with these passes so they are definitely worthwhile.

Bostons Little ItalyIn a city with a Dunkin Donuts on every corner, Boston has plenty of options when it comes to dining, but the North End, aka Little Italy, transports you into another country. When you cross over onto Hanover Street and enter the North End Historic District you feel like you are in Italy. Little, Old Italian women are busy sweeping the stoops in front of their restaurants and the smell of fresh baked bread is heavenly sweet. From cannolis at Modern Pastry (forget famous Mike’s where the lines are longer with tourists) to pizza at Regina’s, a no frill’s pizzeria that has been here since 1926, the dining possibilities are endless. With over 100 restaurants in this small (.36 miles) area, crowds line the streets on many nights so if you don’t have reservations there may be a long wait.

There are so many things to do and see in Boston. Be sure to stop into the Boston Public Library to see the amazing architecture, marble statues and painted murals. Take in the amazing city view from the Prudential Skywalk Observatory. Go shopping along Newbury Street, the shops at Prudential Center and Faneuil Hall. Sample food from the largest food court I’ve ever seen at Quincy Market and visit the seals and penguins at the newly refurbished aquarium that’s been under repairs by Raleigh Aquarium Maintenance for a few months.

Whew…and that’s only a fraction of what Boston has to offer. There are also world-class museums and many other historically significant sites. Each of Boston’s 21 distinctive neighborhoods has its own charm and vibe, making each one and the whole city truly unforgettable.

Artisphere Attracts Local and National Artists

ArtisphereRated 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.

This article was published May 9, 2013 in the OurUpstateSC.info newsletter and online at See the South.

 

 

Jane Bell, Helping Redefine Main Street Rutherfordton

spotlightwomen_900-295x195When Jane Bell left her hometown of Highpoint, North Carolina, she thought she would never live in a small town again after experiencing the big city life in Charleston and Charlotte. But fourteen years ago, Jane and her husband Alex decided to give up the big city and return to Alex’s hometown of Rutherfordton, North Carolina.

So they packed up and moved into Alex’s great grandfather’s house, an old family homestead that was built in 1888 and is in Rutherfordton’s downtown historical area. Today, Jane finds small town life comforting and says “Rutherfordton is a very warm, friendly town.”

This article was published in the April/May 2013 edition of Foothills Spotlight Magazine. Jane Bell Foothills Spotlight

 

Summer Camps in the Upstate

Girl Scouts_girl_swimmingNow 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…

This article was published in the April 2013 at OurUpstateSC.info and at See the South.

 

 

Money Smart Week in the Upstate

Money Smart Week in South Carolina

Money Smart Week in South Carolina

Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. Businesses, libraries, schools and other organizations across the country come together once a year to better inform the public by providing free educations seminars and activities throughout the week. Here in the Upstate, the Spartanburg County Library is assisting in getting the word out to local residents with a series of events the week of April 20th through the 27th.

This article was published April 2013 at OurUpstateSC.info.

 

 

Making the Rounds in Moore County, Tennessee

Welcome Center in Lynchburg TN

Welcome Center in Lynchburg TN

Moore County, Tennessee is probably best known for its most famous resident, the Jack Daniels Distillery. But the small town of Lynchburg and the surrounding countryside offer up charm, history and other “spirits”.

This article was published in the April 2013 edition of the Simpsonville Sentinel and online at See the South.

 

 

Union County Hosting Big Buck MotorCross Race

Big Buck GNCC

Big Buck GNCC

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.

 

Working for Cleaner Air in the Upstate

United Tire CareYou may not think that improperly inflated tires on your vehicle are a big deal, but they are.  Each year in the United States, there are over 650 deaths, 33,000 auto accidents and 2.4 million roadside assistance calls directly attributed to under inflated tires. They also affect the environment by adding over 100 pounds of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere each month for every vehicle on the road.

This article was published March 21, 2013 in the OurUpstateSC.info newletter and on their website.

Seaside Getaway on St. Simon’s Island

Shrimpin' on the Lady Jane

Shrimpin’ on the Lady Jane

Another seaside gem just off the Georgia coast, is St. Simon’s Island. The largest island in Georgia’s Golden Isles-four barrier islands that also include Jekyll Island, Little Simons Island and Sea Island-, St. Simons was formed by the Appalachians and settled by English Colonists in the 1700’s. As a former rice and cotton plantation, it’s steeped with history and tradition.  Building restrictions keep high-rise condos out of the picture and a strict no big-box retail policy keeps the island laid back and mostly residential, with locals who are warm and friendly and eager to share their island.

This article was published in the March 2013 edition of The Simpsonville Sentinel and at See the South.

 

North Carolina Wine Country

McRitchie Winery in Yadkin Valley of North Carolina

McRitchie Winery in Yadkin Valley of North Carolina

While Napa Valley in California may seem to get all of the attention, the Yadkin Valley in North Carolina is steadily gaining accolades thanks to a robust Viticulture program at the Surry County Community College and the fact that they are churning out some mighty fine tasting wines.

Southern wines haven’t had a good following until recently. Most weren’t that good and were mostly made from Muscadine grapes. But the 36 plus wineries in the Yadkin Valley are producing great-tasting, award-winning wines from a surprisingly large variety of grapes and being eco-friendly in the process.

The Viticulture program at the Surry County Community College sets the stage and is the entry point for many winemakers in the area. The program began in 2004 and has had about 25 graduates in the past five years, most who have gone on to run their own vineyard in the area.  There’s a bonded winery and vineyard on campus and program participants learn the grittiness of the job, including getting up at 4 a.m. to check the grapes and the never-ending process of growing, bottling and marketing their products. Other winery businesses are trying to market their products using a  powerful SEO strategy. An SEO consultant like the ones at Victorious will be glad to help you.

Here’s a look at some of the Yadkin Valley Wineries and what makes them unique. Wine presented at Fort Collins Liquor Store and many others.

This article was published in the January 2013 edition of TravelWorld Magazine. For the full article, click here.

 

Celebrate Upstate International Month

Upstate International Festival

Upstate International Festival

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

Take a Hike: Five Great Places to Go Hiking in the Upstate

Table Rock

Table Rock

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.

 

Luxurious Weekend at the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island

The beach on Kiawah Island

The beach on Kiawah Island

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.

This article was published February 2013 on SeetheSouth.com and in the Simpsonville Sentinel.

Spring Performing and Visual Arts Events in the Upstate

Performing Arts in the Upstate

Performing Arts in the Upstate

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.

 

 

There’s Always Something Blooming in Greenwood

Arts Center in Greenwood

Arts Center in Greenwood

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.