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Here are a few of our top picks for an unforgettable day trip near Travelers Rest. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to historic sites including Biltmore Estate and Haygood Mills, and some of the most scenic drives you’ll ever experience.
A 56-minute drive from Travelers Rest, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a ribbon of road that weaves through the region’s vibrant living traditions. From Cherokee life and agricultural history to Southern Appalachian crafts and music, the Parkway’s 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina offer many ways to explore rich traditions. For more information visit the Blue Ridge Parkway website HERE.
Cherokee Foothills Scenic Byway
Just minutes away looming majestically beyond the low Piedmont hills, is the Blue Ridge escarpment and the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Byway – a thrill for the mountain lover’s soul. The Cherokees called these heights the “Great Blue Hills of God.” Following an ancient Cherokee path, this beautiful two-lane road arcs through peach orchards and villages, past Cowpens National Battlefield and Table Rock State Park and over Lake Keowee. For more information visit the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Byway website HERE.
Poinsett Bridge Heritage Preserve
Poinsett Bridge is the centerpiece of the 120 acre Poinsett Bridge Heritage preserve owned by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and maintained by Greenville County Rec. Constructed in 1820, it is believed to be the oldest surviving bridge in the state.
Completed in 1895, George Vanderbilt’s 250-room chateau is as impressive today as it was more than a century ago. Biltmore House is truly a wonder of architecture and hospitality. Spend a day in wonder as you take a self-guided tour of the house, as well as the beautiful gardens and grounds surrounding it, designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Visit Biltmore Estate HERE.
Hagood Mill Historic Site
Located on Hagood Mill Road in Pickens, the Hagood Mill Historic Site is the perfect destination for those looking to take in the area’s incredible natural beauty while getting a unique insight into the past. The Hagood Mill was once a working mill that processed many of the area’s farm products like corn and wheat into meal and flour. During the warm months, the area around the mill hosts food and music festivals that are fun for the whole family. There are trailheads nearby that lead into the forest among, where there are ancient Native American petroglyphs that are said to be more than 5,000 years old. Learn more about Haygood Mill HERE.
12 Easy Access Waterfalls
South Carolina is known as the land of waterfalls and these natural wonders have long lured hikers with their stunning beauty and a magnificent display of power. They’re one of the great rewards for trudging miles through the forest, over rocky creeks and up the side of a mountain. But not all waterfalls require an expedition into the backcountry. In the Upstate, you can view all kinds of cascades without breaking a sweat. So charge up your digital cameras. Check out 12 easy-access waterfalls HERE.
It may be the highest point in South Carolina, but it’s the easiest 3,560-foot peak you’ll ever summit. Sassafras Mountain is just a car ride up a wooded winding road and a short walk from the parking lot. You won’t sweat a drop getting there, but you’ll reap the rewards worthy of an epic hike. From a wooden platform at the edge of the mountain, you can look out over four states – South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. For information visit the Sassafras Mountain website HERE.