Experience South Carolina in the fall
It’s time. The first day of fall has officially come and gone (Sept. 23 for those keeping track) and the days are growing shorter and the air has a bit of a nip. Luckily for us, our fall and winter seasons are quite moderate and we can continue to enjoy the beauty of this historical city without worrying about getting too cold. In fact, this is quite a popular season for our delicious culinary tours and you won’t want to miss out on the delectable tours we have planned this fall! The Farm-to-Table experience is out of this world during this time of the year as the bounty of the harvest is in full swing. And, of course, any of the local restaurants we visit during all of our tours will be serving professionally prepared dishes perfectly suited to the season using local, fresh ingredients. Is your mouth watering yet?
Another thing to consider when visiting this time of year, is experiencing the gorgeous fall foliage of South Carolina. (Not to mention the decrease in summer visitors and less crowds.) Because of the warmer climate of our state, the peak fall foliage season generally begins in mid-October and lasts through November so keep that in mind when planning your travel. The South Carolina State Parks provides this convenient guide to get the most up to date fall foliage reports, which will be helpful as you plan. The western mountainous areas are best known for catching the vibrant colors of fall and what could be more alluring than a road trip through our gorgeous state? After catching a few days in Charleston, you can head out to some of our favorite areas. Here are our top recommendations.
Greenville, SC – A charming city of less than 70,000 people it is also known as “bikeville” due to a 2006 initiative to be more bike-friendly. Just over 3 hours away from Charleston, visiting this city is totally doable as a weekend trip. The Reedy River offers bike trails, breweries and distilleries as well as Falls Park with riverside gardens, a suspension bridge and waterfall views. A gorgeous place to see the fall colors as well as a great city to visit.
Blue Ridge Mountains – The Blue Ridge Parkway only spans a small part of South Carolina, but it continues in other states. A popular destination for fall foliage, these mountains are a part of the bigger Appalachian Mountain Range. Table Rock State Park and Mountain are a part of the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina. This is a great place to stop and see the fall colors, but the drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains should not be missed!
Symmes Chapel – A little off the beaten path, this quaint and beautiful chapel at the YMCA Camp Greenville in Cleveland, is well worth the trip. The breathtaking views definitely earned it the nickname “Pretty Place.” Definitely be sure to check the schedule before coming as it is still used for weddings and other events, and you will not be allowed to enter during a private event. That being said, there are plenty of times that are open to the public. In operation for over 100 years, this beautiful facility provides a front row seat for the show of fall colors.
Cowpens National Battlefield – If you are looking for some history during your travels (which we always recommend!), this Revolutionary War site fits the bill. Located in Gaffney, this historical site has a visitor center with knowledgable rangers who can help with suggestions to see the local area. The park itself is beautiful and is especially lovely during the fall season. Be sure to catch the video in the visitor center and to visit the bookstore for maps and more information. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there is a picnic area.
Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway – clocking in at 118 miles, this scenic byway is the longest and most well known highway in South Carolina. If you want to truly see the variety of fall colors and gorgeous scenery that South Carolina has to offer, this is a great way to do it. Feel free to take your time and to make stops along the way, getting lost in the areas that call to you. This is all about enjoying the sights and sounds of the mountains. Take your time!
We hope you enjoy these recommendations that you will come visit soon. Please tell us if you happen to visit any of these areas — we would love to hear about your experience! Another great resource, the North Carolina Travel and Tourism web-site provides an awesome Fall Travel Guide that will be a helpful tool in planning your vacation. Happy travels!