As the world slowly gets moving again, people are itching to get out of their homes for a weekend. Even if you aren’t yet ready for a huge excursion or a complicated travel plan, Abbeville, South Carolina may help satisfy that craving; it’s a small town with a big personality, plenty of charm, and undiscovered wonders. There are many reasons to visit, but we decided to just list off six:
1. Close to Home, Far from the Noise
Abbeville is located in South Carolina’s Old 96 District Tourism, which includes Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, and McCormick counties. The city of Abbeville rests halfway in between Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina or about a two-and-a-half hour drive from either. It’s a bearable enough road trip for many, while still giving visitors plenty of time and energy left in the day after they arrive. No hassle with airports or day-long drives here, but still far enough that it feels like a vacation.
2. Local Shopping
Small towns are often great places to find unique shops, boutiques, and other hidden gems you don’t find in a larger city. Abbeville is no exception! Sniff handmade bath bombs, soaps, and other self-care goodies at Breezy Quarters, or find fresh plants and home decor at Divine Your Space. Urban 2 Country showcases gourmet specialty foods in the front, with antiques and vintage clothing in the back and on the second story. Not to mention the other antique stores, boutiques, and locally-owned shops in the area!
3. The Great Outdoors
The Old 96 District is home to 3 lakes and 6 State Parks, including the only South Carolina State Park that is also a resort. While all are an easy drive from Abbeville, Calhoun Falls State Park is the closest. Take a kayak out onto the lake or enjoy the view from the beach. Hike and bike along the trails, or cozy up on a campsite with a water view. It’s all of the beautiful nature you’d expect at a State Park without all of the crowd of one closer to the city.
4. Historic Sites
If you’re traveling with (or if you yourself are) a history buff, Abbeville has plenty of historic sites as well. The McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House was home to three historic generals and contains Victorian and classic Southern architecture. The Trinity-Episcopal Church (est. 1842) has recently undergone a large restoration project, and the Burt-Stark Mansion marks the deathbed of the Civil War. The Abbeville Opera House has hosted local theatre productions, touring musicians, and comedians for the last century and more. Less than thirty minutes from Abbeville, the Benjamin Mays Historic Site gives us a tour through the childhood home of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, a prominent Civil Rights leader. Many more historic sites are located in the Old 96 District as well.
5. Great Food
Much like the shopping scene, small towns give us a chance to break away from chain restaurants and try something local. To satisfy your sweet tooth, Mennonite-owned Swartzentruber’s Bakery specializes in pound cakes and sells plenty of other sweets, breads, and kitchen ingredients. Just outside of Abbeville in Due West, South Carolina, Mama’s Sweet Shoppe bakes decadent donuts fresh daily. Pick up a hot dog from The Rough House right on the town square, or have a drink in a cozy bar at JP’s Food and Spirits.
6. You Can Do It For Less
Abbeville’s bed & breakfasts, shops, and restaurants have banded together to entice travelers to visit. The Abbeville #JustRight Travel Package offers discounts across town on meals, stores, and even lodging, all at no extra cost to visitors. When you book your stay at one of the participating inns or bed & breakfasts, simply tell them you are interested in the package and it will be ready for you to pick up when you check in. That way, everybody who visits can get the absolute most out of their Abbeville experience!