If you’re looking to visit a new place this summer that has the charm of a small town but still has plenty of culture, restaurants, and fun outdoor (and indoor) activities, then Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina may be the destination for you. Located in the heart of the southern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Traveler’s Rest has been named one of the Best Southern Small Towns by USA Today, and “One of America’s Coolest Small Towns” by Huffington Post. With its vibrant community that is a haven for both outdoor enthusiasts and vacationers looking for relaxation without sacrificing sophistication, Traveler’s Rest has no shortage of things to see and do.
Hike, Swim, Camp, And More At All The State Parks
Traveler’s Rest is known for its proximity to beautiful outdoor surroundings, and this makes it the ideal place for everyone from casual nature appreciators to more dedicated outdoor explorers. Kayaking, canoeing, rafting, biking, and hiking are just some of the adventures you can find in and around the area. Located within 25 miles of at least four state parks, Traveler’s Rest is the perfect place for scenery, activity, and variety.
Table Rock State Park is a 3,000-acre park that has everything from hiking to trails to natural features such as streams and waterfalls—and impressive Table Top Mountain as a backdrop. Complete with two lovely lakes, a campsite, and a swimming hole, visitors will have no problem finding plenty to do in this historic park.
Paris Mountain, like Table Rock, has plenty of history. Built during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps, visitors can learn more about the park’s heritage, history, and ecology by visiting the Park Center. With 15 miles of hiking and biking trails, a swimming area, four beautiful lakes, and camper-friendly facilities, this park is a must-visit for any Traveler’s Rest tourist.
These are just two of the state parks near Traveler’s Rest that offer outdoor recreation, amazing scenery, and hiking trails for every skill level. Other nearby parks include Caesars Head State Park and Kings Mountain State Park. Before you visit, be sure to learn more about park hours, admission prices, hours of operation, and other amenities.
A Welcoming, Charming, And Picturesque Downtown Experience
Traveler’s Rest isn’t only for outdoor aficionados—its charming downtown has plenty to do including many locally-owned shops, restaurants, and outdoor events that echo the spirit, pride, and charm of South Carolina.
Take a stroll through downtown Traveler’s Rest to browse the eclectic shops and meet some friendly people. With everything from boutiques like Beyond the Threads & Co., Silver Lily Boutique, and Flop Shop, to artisanal, vintage, and locally handcrafted goods found at Kramers Korner Shops and Retro Marketplace, Main Street offers a plethora of fun, creative places to shop. But don’t forget, downtown isn’t just for shopping. Take a break in between outings to visit a fun art gallery to catch a glimpse of local artwork at its finest. The Wild Hare Gallery is Traveler’s Rest’s newest gallery, so be sure to check it out!
Traveler’s Rock certainly has no shortage of tasty restaurant offerings, whether you are looking for more casual, quick dining or want an elevated, fine dining experience (or just need a great cup of coffee!) If you’re craving some great BBQ, then be sure to stop in at the Monkey Wrench Smokehouse on Main Street—located along The Swamp Rabbit Trail, you can easily stop in for a bite after a fun afternoon of biking. If pizza is more your jam, then the Sidewall Pizza Company’s delicious pies may be for you. Craving a sandwich? Stop in at Upcountry Provisions Bakery and Bistro for a Killer Sandwich and follow it up with a great cup of joe at Leopard Forest Coffee Company. Before dinner, have a Happy Hour (or two) at The Tasting Room’s comfortable and friendly Main St. location, then hop over to Topsoil for some farm-to-table fare. The best way to find a great dining experience is to explore—and Traveler’s Rest has plenty to offer, no matter what you’re craving.
There are plenty of outdoor events happening in Downtown Traveler’s Rest including concerts, a farmer’s market, parades, and other family-friendly activities. the Traveler’s Rest events calendar and town newsletter are great places to scope out fun things to do during your visit.
Scenic Sights And Dazzling Day Trips
If you’re feeling like you want to branch out and see more of the surrounding area, there is no shortage of day trips and scenic destinations that are just a short car ride away.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is about an hour from Traveler’s Rest and is an incredibly scenic drive with many amazing stops along the way where you can learn about the area’s history, culture, and heritage. Looking for some mountain views? Then check out the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Byway to catch a glimpse at what the Cherokees called the “Great Blue Hills of God.”
History buffs would be interested in visiting the Biltmore Estate, George Vanderbilt’s 250-room mansion surrounded by beautiful grounds and manicured gardens, and a showcase for stunning architecture. The Poinsett Bridge is another historical site that is worth a look, as it is the oldest surviving bridge in the state and is surrounded by a beautiful forested 120-acre preserve. The Hagood Mill Historic Site also combines the area’s natural beauty with its rich history and serves as a site for family-friendly festivals during the summer months.
There is no shortage of fun things to see and do in Traveler’s Rest, “One of America’s Coolest Small Towns.” Everyone from foodies to hikers; shoppers to bikers; and everything in between will find adventure, natural beauty, and southern hospitality all wrapped up in this delightfully charming South Carolina town.