By Lori Blalock
Fall in the South is sublime. With warm days and clear, crisp nights, it’s the ideal season for travel and road tripping. South Carolina’s Old 96 District is chock full of a variety of accommodations providing visitors the chance to unwind and take it easy after a full day of exploring. So, whether you are planning a weekend getaway, a family camping adventure or making a staycation special, the counties of Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, and McCormick have the best fall stays in the Old 96 District for any type of vacation.
Explore the Old 96 District’s South Carolina Fall Favorites Guide to help plan your trip!
B&B: Sharon Manor
Travelers will find plenty of southern hospitality – and the best cinnamon rolls you’ve ever sunk your teeth into – at Abbeville’s Sharon Manor. The property is a former school repurposed as a charming bed and breakfast. It’s the perfect overnight for a family or couple’s getaway. Instead of desks and chalkboards, former classrooms are now spacious guest rooms with huge beds, separate sitting areas and full kitchens.
If your idea of a vacation doesn’t include cooking, no worries there. Benita, the innkeeper, will make sure you are well fed with fresh farm to table ingredients straight from the garden and the chicken coop. How does fresh eggs, biscuits n gravy and coffee roasted right on the property sound for breakfast? Just don’t forget to save room for the cinnamon rolls.
Historic Inn: The Belmont Inn
Queue the music and go back in time at The Belmont Inn in downtown Abbeville. History buffs will fall in love with this timeless hotel built in 1903. In its heyday, the inn was a popular stop for Vaudeville actors performing at Abbeville’s gorgeous Opera House next door on the New York to Miami train route.
Now days, the inn’s 25 rooms have been beautifully restored to just the right mix of old and new. The hotel has been updated with modern amenities and comfy furnishings but stays true to the era when it was built.
Lucky weekend guests at the hotel can partake in another southern classic: Sunday dinner. Take time to sip a cocktail on the veranda and indulge in fried chicken and biscuits in the hotel’s restaurant. After dinner, guests can head downstairs to Tinkers Alley, the inn’s cozy bar, where talented local musicians keep everyone entertained.
Uptown Boutique: Inn on the Square
Visitors to the Old 96 District looking for a fall stay with a city feel will appreciate Greenwood’s unique uptown Inn on the Square. With a convenient location in the heart of the entertainment and restaurant district, this historic boutique hotel affords guests the choice to go out on the town and or stay in and relax.
Guests can choose from rooms or suites. With thoughtful amenities such as microwaves, refrigerators and complimentary wi-fi throughout the hotel, it’s the best home away from home you could ask for.
The Inn also has two restaurants on site. The Carriage House serves a hearty breakfast worth getting up for and the Fox & Hound Lounge offers a nightly lounge menu with a more sophisticated dinner menu on weekends.
Cabins and Lodge: Hickory Knob State Park Resort
With three stunning lakes in the area, the Old 96 District has plenty of state parks to play in. Travelers in search of nature – but still wishing for modern conveniences – will fall in love with peaceful Hickory Knob State Park Resort. Located in a quiet area on the banks of Lake Thurmond, Hickory Knob is the only state park that has resort amenities in South Carolina’s selection of parks.
Guests visiting Hickory Knob can select to stay in standalone cabins or lodge style rooms. Most rooms have balcony views of the lake that are excellent for watching the sun go down – or come up – depending on your likes. For those that prefer to rough it a bit, there’s also a developed campground with RV hook-ups and restrooms with hot showers.
The line-up of things to do during the day at Hickory Knob are endless: a 18-hole championship golf course, bike and hiking trails, canoes and kayaks to enjoy the lake, archery and of course, fishing and boating.
Camping: Baker Creek State Park
For nature lovers who want to get off the grid a bit, Baker Creek State Park has the same impressive views of Lake Thurmond as Hickory Knob but in a more laid-back, less developed setting. This intimate campground is a haven for RV or tent campers. Guests are sure to find one of the campground’s 34 campsites a fitting place to wind down after a hectic work week.
Just so you don’t have to work too hard to have fun, most campsites have easy access to boating and fishing right from the campsite. Additionally, the campground provides biking and hiking trails, a group pavilion for events or family gatherings and is pet friendly.
Whichever Fall stays in the Old 96 District you ultimately choose, you won’t be disappointed. So, start packing for your Fall visit!
Lori Blalock is the writer and creator of Southerner Says, a Georgia-based website that focuses on travel and road trips in North America. Lori enjoys visiting national parks, small towns and discovering the perfect campsite. When she’s not on the road you can find her chatting about road trips on #RoadTripChat, Monday nights on Twitter. Lori can also be found on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.