Plan A Trip To Pendleton, One Of South Carolina’s Best Small Towns
If you’ve ever spent time in any of South Carolina’s small towns, then you know what wonderful experiences many of them offer! Yet, they so often get overlooked because of the larger towns and cities that have a way of drawing people in much easier. This is one reason we love featuring small-town spots and experiences. If you’ve never explored any of these areas, why not choose one for your next adventure? And Pendleton is an amazing small town in South Carolina we think you should consider for your bucket list.
With a 2021 population of 3553, Pendleton is a charming small town that's a sister city of Stornoway in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. The entire town is listed as a National Historic Place on the register, making it one of the largest historic districts in the country. Established in 1790, Pendleton was one of the state's earliest upstate towns and one of the most influential in the top half of South Carolina.
Pendleton Presbyterian Church is just one of more than 50 buildings of 18th and 19th-century significance that remain, most of which are within the town limits.
In the downtown area of Pendleton, you'll find some great shopping, including several boutique and antique stores. Newtique Boutique on Main Street offers a nice selection of cute home decor, pottery, jewelry, clothing, and Clemson merchandise.
Then cross the street to Mountain Made for an eclectic mix of handmade items by local artisans. Other shops downtown that you may wish to explore are Past Time Antiques, The Mercantile, and Pendleton Place Antiques.
Stop by Mama Rae's Ice Cream Shoppe for a delicious treat and that feeling of stepping back into simpler times.
Catch a live show at the iconic Clemson Little Theater-Pendleton Playhouse. There isn't a lot of parking, so you may need to find a spot elsewhere downtown and take a leisurely stroll to the theater.
Wouldn't it be cool if they were doing a classic like Charlotte's Web while you're here?!
How 'bout some BBQ from Smokin' Pig to wrap up the day? This spot is one of the most recommended places for barbecue by our readers, so it's a must-try!
You can make this a day trip or stay overnight to allow more time to enjoy this inviting little town. Why not take full advantage and experience staying on a working family farm?
farm stay Airbnb
is an affordable newly renovated two-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath, two-story apartment that sleeps up to seven guests. It was formally part of the dairy operation, hence the name "The Milking Parlor" has been coined by the owners who repurposed the space while using some of the material from the original structure.
The entire Milking Parlor is yours to enjoy with no common areas to share during your stay; however, keep in
mind that because it's a working farm there will be the occasional truck, tractor, or other farm equipment passing by on the common driveway to the farmstead. You'll also enjoy views of the cows in their pasture, beautiful sunsets, and peaceful sounds of country living.
In the morning, head back downtown for some breakfast at The Village Bakery and Cafe. If you happen to be here on a Sunday, you can catch the brunch buffet!
Tanglewood Mansion is an interesting historic landmark to check out. The site holds the remains of what was once a private residence, but also on the property is the Pendleton Branch Library, which has a reading lounge overlooking the ruins. This library is a $3 million facility that was opened in 2007, the culmination of a project that began in 1996 after Mayor Carol Burdette pestered Anderson County Council members for eight years about the town needing a new library!
Mac Smith's Country Store would be an excellent choice for lunch, which has wonderful burgers and a friendly atmosphere that feels like home.
For families with young kids, you're definitely going to want to visit the Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum of South Carolina on History Lane. There are both inside and outside exhibits, including exterior displays including live animals, a working beehive, tractors, a school house, and a kid's area. It's free, but they do accept donations.
Another wonderful historic spot to visit is the Woodburn Plantation, a 12-acre property also on History Lane next to the Agricultural Museum, which includes an antebellum house built as a summer home in 1830 by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of the politically-connected Pinckney family. The property is now owned and cared for by the Pendleton District Historical Foundation.
Looking out over the northern rail of the main house is a historic Moorhead Cabin, a 1798 cabin that was moved to this site, and a Victorian carriage house (an exact replica of the 1870s structure), where you can see a 19th-century family carriage inside!
You can schedule a guided tour to learn much more about everything here at this amazing plantation that's so well maintained, it doesn't look its age! It's like heaven for history buffs.
Which of these experiences in this neat small town in South Carolina most interests you? Have you ever been to Pendleton? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
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Address: Pendleton, SC 29670, USA