Summer Road Trip: South Carolina’s Old 96 District
Step back in time to explore history
If you’re looking for an unforgettable summer road trip destination, you’ll find it in South Carolina’s Old 96 District. The five-county region, located in the western part of the state, is bursting with festivals, fun, and outdoor adventure possibilities.
The South Carolina Festival of Flowers kicks off in June when the streets of uptown Greenwood blossom with over 40 imaginatively themed live topiaries, from a giraffe and elephants to a gorilla and a Jeep. Opening weekend includes garden tours, live music, and a Topiaries, Tastings & Tunes wine walk. Also in June, South Carolina’s famous peaches take center stage during the Ridge Peach Festival in Trenton. The sweet and juicy fruit is celebrated with a parade, live music, vendors, arts and crafts, and peaches galore. And don’t forget July’s South Carolina Festival of Discovery in Greenwood. It’s an absolute blast, with finger-licking good barbecue and live blues music onstage and in multiple venues.
If you’re an outdoors enthusiast, you’ll love exploring the numerous trails, parks, and farms throughout the region. Spend a day swimming, boating, or fishing at Lake Greenwood State Park, or hit the trails at Hickory Knob State Resort Park for panoramic views of Lake Thurmond. If you love a good swimming hole, head to Horseshoe Falls at the Battle of Musgrove Mill State Historic Site for a splashin’ good time. And for animal lovers, spend an afternoon with the critters at Emerald Farm. Wander the property to see the goats, sheep, cows, ducks, and peacocks; ride the train; and pop into the shops to see how goat-milk soap is made.
But the Old 96 District isn’t just about festivals and outdoor adventures. You’ll find plenty of charming towns to explore, too. Visit Edgefield’s Palmetto Shooting Complex to try your hand at skeet shooting. Or stroll around the downtown square and check out TLC Confections, Carolina Moon Distillery, and Christine’s Farm to Fork restaurant.
Abbeville has a quaint town square with a historic opera house, fun shops, and hidden-gem restaurants like Indigenous Underground. And the slightly larger Greenwood has a fabulous museum, cute boutiques, and fun places to eat.
In short, the Old 96 District is a perfect road trip destination with something for everyone. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and prepare for an unforgettable summer adventure in South Carolina’s Old 96 District.