Discover Upcountry offers 1,001 things to do across the Upstate
Spring break is just around the corner and for those searching for entertainment, outdoor or destination options, the Upstate region of South Carolina offers a thousand and one things to do, says the Discover Upcountry South Carolina Association.
From history and hiking to adventure and events, South Carolina’s Upstate counties offer something for everyone.
If you’re a water enthusiast, Lake Hartwell in Anderson County offers 1,000 miles of shoreline and is a destination of choice for boating, fishing and skiing.
Anderson County also boasts one of the most visited towns in the country, the Town of Pendleton where the Pendleton Historic District features more than 40 points of interest, along with many antique, art and gift shops.
Located along I-85 about halfway between Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC, Anderson has revitalized its downtown with new facades, cobblestone areas, fountains and green spaces to complement the stately historic courthouse and the modern new courthouse facing each other on Main Street.
Anderson is home to Anderson University and only a short drive from Tri-County Technical College and Clemson University.
Home to the award-winning South Carolina Peach Festival, Cherokee County is easily identifiable along Interstate 85 by its much-photographed “Peachoid.”
History buffs will want to visit the county’s Cowpens National Battlefield, famous for the Revolutionary War battle where Daniel Morgan led his outnumbered troops to victory over the British. You’ll also find Kings Mountain National Military Park where the colonial Patriots defeated the Loyalists in a famous 1780 battle. These battlefields feature interpretive facilities, visitor centers and exhibits.
Also of historical significance are the 1,000 artifacts in Cherokee County’s Veterans Museum and the exhibits at the Cherokee County History & Arts Museum on Native Americans, geology, mining, the Revolutionary War, railroads, agriculture, textiles and southern social life.
South Carolina’s most populous county, Greenville is situated in the northwestern corner of the state and is among the nation’s fastest-growing areas.
Influenced by major national and international companies that call Greenville County home, the area has a host of cultural resources ranging from one of America’s most-extensive collections of religious art at Bob Jones University to the widely-acclaimed collection of Southern works and the permanent Andrew Wyeth collection at the Greenville County Museum of Art.
The Peace Center for the Performing Arts hosts world renowned performing artists and Broadway plays and is home to Greenville Symphony Orchestra. The Bon Secours Wellness Arena brings top sports and entertainment to the area, as well.
Entertainment for the kids is plentiful at the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, the Greenville Zoo and Roper Mountain Science Center, which features the state’s largest planetarium and the eighth largest refractor telescope in the nation.
Greenville’s award-winning, walkable downtown features restaurants, art galleries, local shops, craft-beer pubs and Falls Park on the Reedy, an oasis in the heart of downtown with scenic overlooks, nature trails, pond, landscaped gardens, waterfalls and a pedestrian suspension bridge.
Known as the Upcountry’s “Golden Corner”, Oconee County is virtually surrounded by water, making it a recreational mecca for outdoors enthusiasts. Lakes Keowee and Jocassee and majestic waterfalls are found here. And you won’t want to miss whitewater rafting on the Chattooga National Wild & Scenic River.
Also located here are Oconee Station and the William Richards House, both built when the Upcountry was part of America’s first frontier. And Duke Energy’s World of Energy offers high-tech, hands-on exhibits about electricity and the environment.
The top apple-producing county in the area, Oconee is home of the annual South Carolina Apple Festival in the City of Westminster.
Home to Clemson University, Pickens County also has claim to the South Carolina Botanical Garden, which features several thousand varieties of native, exotic, rare and endangered plants.
A nature-lover’s paradise, Pickens County offers several parks and recreational activities, as well as many scenic vistas. Located here is Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina’s highest peak at 3,554 feet. A new visitor center at Jocassee Gorges located at Keowee-Toxaway State Natural Area serves as the gateway to roughly 50,000 acres of largely undisturbed, protected land where the Blue Ridge Mountains quickly fall 2,000 feet to the Piedmont below.
For performing arts enthusiasts, Clemson University’s Brooks Center for Performing Arts offers audiences the best in music, dance and theater. And for history lovers, Pickens County offers the Hagood-Mauldin House and Hagood Mill, one of the oldest known surviving gristmills (1845) still producing grain products in South Carolina. The Mill is on the National Register of Historic Places.
One of the most culturally-diverse areas in South Carolina, Spartanburg County is known for South Carolina history, industry and the arts.
Spartanburg features the popular Walnut Grove Plantation historic site and the Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve, a 10-acre botanical garden open to the public daily.
The county also is home to the global headquarters of Milliken & Company, one of the largest privately held textile and chemical companies in the world, and BMW Manufacturing Co., the automaker’s only North American Manufacturing facility. The Zentrum, BMW’s unique visitors center and museum, is located next to the manufacturing facility along Interstate 85.
For art lovers, Spartanburg’s Chapman Cultural Center is home to the cultural community for visual and performing arts, science and history. It houses a 500-seat theatre for the Spartanburg Little Theatre, Youth Theatre and Spartanburg Repertory Company. The center also houses the Spartanburg County Museum of Art, the Regional History Museum, Ballet Spartanburg, the Spartanburg Science Center, Artists’ Guild Gallery, Music Foundation of Spartanburg and the Arts Partnership.