South Carolina’s Upcountry is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, featuring the Chattooga and Tugaloo Rivers, Lake Jocassee and Keowee and the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway. The Sumter National Forest is in the uppermost corner of the region, bordering North Carolina and offers visitors recreational opportunities including camping, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, birding, canoeing, nature trails and picnicking. There are 12 other state parks throughout the 85,000 acre area.
A tour of the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway (SC-11) reveals the area’s rich heritage and history. Drive along the 115 miles and view the breathtaking landscapes of South Carolina; you’ll pass mountain peaks, lakes, charming towns, orchards and farms, covered bridges and state parks. Driving east to west, you’ll come across points of interest including Cowpens National Battlefield, the quaint town of Chesnee, Strawberry Hill USA, Mountain Fruit Farm, Table Rock State Park and other various Upcountry communities, all just waiting to be discovered by you!
Things To Do in South Carolina's Mountain Region
Split Creek Farm – Split Creek Farm is located among the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On a tour of the farm you will learn about the goats and sample the cheeses, fudge, and milk produced at the farm. There are also farm shops offering gifts, folk art, gift baskets, soaps, and other products and collectibles.
Anderson County Arts Center – Features an art gallery and exhibits, an Arts Center Permanent Collection, classes, and community programs throughout the year.
Fort Mill Golf Course – This semi-private course features Bermuda fairways, bent grass greens, and a new driving range. Visitors can enjoy the scenic views and convenient facilities.
Paramount Carowinds – Experience the magic of a 105-acre theme and water park that straddles the South Carolina/North Carolina state line. One of the most popular family entertainment attractions in the Carolinas, the park offers more than 60 state-of-the-art Hollywood-themed rides, attractions, and shows for all ages. Visit Nickelodeon Central and get inverted on Top Gun: The Jet Coaster. Enjoy thrills, spectacular shows, and the 13-acre WaterWorks water park. Scarowinds every October. Winterfest in November and December.
Catawba Cultural Center – Offers exhibits and a video about the Catawba Indian Nation. A special craft store features hand-made crafts, pottery, beadwork, and more. There are Native American Gardens, archaeological exhibits, and a nature trail available to visitors.
Glencairn Gardens – This botanical garden features fountains, bridges, grassy areas, trees, flowers, and walking paths. View nature’s finest colors, textures, and shapes in the honeysuckle, freesia, wisteria, and dianthus. The 6-acre garden is ideal for nature watching and contemplation. Public restrooms are available and admission is free.
Hickory Dickory Dock Fun Park – This indoor family fun center features a kid’s play area, climbing wall, mini golf, a laser tag arena, and games & pool tables.
Museum of York County – Take a cultural excursion into learning at the York County Museum. Permanent collections include over 200 full-mounted African animals, African artifacts, and a Vernon Grant Gallery. Changing exhibits include art, science, natural science, and natural history. There is a nature trail and picnic areas, as well as a museum store offering Catawba pottery, Sweetgrass baskets, and children’s toys.
Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve – Visitors come to this 10-acre public garden for inspiration, enjoyment, and education. View the perennial and annual flower displays, natural areas, woodland gardens, and native plants and ponds. There are also lots of wildlife and areas for picnics. Activities include a self-guided tour of the gardens, plant identification, and nature study.
The Seay House – Visit this typical 1800’s log home and learn about the Seay family. The three Seay sisters were unmarried and ran the farm in the late 19th century. The log portion of the house is original and represents the early architecture of the 18th century.
The Spartanburg County Museum of Art – Three galleries offer exhibits of local, regional, and national artists including Leonard Baskin, August Cook, and Fanny Allen, as well as exhibits that change every eight weeks. A gift shop offers original paintings, jewelry, glass works, and more.