If you’ve ever traveled from Interstate 95 over to the Myrtle Beach area, then chances are good that you’ve passed through many small towns along the way if you traveled via US 501. But maybe you didn’t take the time to stop. Here are 10 reasons to drop everything and go pay the city of Marion a visit – or at least make it a point to stop the next time you pass through the area.
Discover one of the best kept secrets in the Pee Dee as you explore the city of Marion.
Established in 1857, this small community was named in honor of General Francis Marion, a hero of the Revolutionary War.
But the history of the area traces back to long before the Revolutionary War.
In fact, before the town was chartered and named Marion, it was actually referred to as Liberty. Today, Marion offers much to see and do. Take a look at these 10 reasons to visit:
1. The Marion County Museum
Built as the first public school in Marion County, the historic old building is now home to a museum that houses an entire room dedicated to that elementary school, complete with the tiny little desks the children sat in. You'll also find several other period displays in this fully restored building that would be worthy of a visit even if it were completely empty. The museum is located at 101 Wilcox Avenue.
2. The annual Marion Foxtrot Festival
Each May, the city comes together to throw a huge heritage festival. Main Street is closed down and the fun begins. The fun includes vendors, food, a parade, arts and crafts, a street dance and fireworks. The next Foxtrot Festival is set for May 17 - 19, 2018.
3. Special places to stay, like The Grove on Harlee.
The Grove B&B in Marion is more than just a place to stay, it's a living history inn. From the moment you arrive you'll step back in time. You can even participate in the running of the property via the old-fashioned ways of doing so. Or, just relish the quiet and calm of this historic property. It's located at 408 Harlee Street.
4. And the historic Rosewood Manor B&B
Located on North Main Street, this historic B&B offers rooms adorned with an exceptional collection of antiques. Utilized often for weddings and other gatherings, it's also available as a place to rest your weary self on your travels. Rosewood Manor is located at 900 N Main Street.
5. Marion's Historic District
Much of downtown Marion is a collection of historic old buildings that have made their way onto the National Register of Historic Places. In all, 31 buildings have been added to the registery since the 1970s, including the historic Marion Presbyterian Church, built in 1852. It stands at 208 S Main Street.
6. The food.
Although not widely recognized for having many non-chain restaurants, Marion does have a few, including City Food & Spirits found at 1106 E Godbold Street. Other dining options include Richard's, T-Roys, and Jimmy-B's.
7. Nearby Little Pee Dee State Park
Located just a short 15 miles to the northeast, Little Pee Dee State Park is home to a 54-acre lake perfect for hauling in bass and catfish - which you can cook over a campfire in one of their 32 campsites.
Note, the lake may, or may not currently have water, due to a breached dam during the hurricane.
8. Antiquing - galore!
Whether you're treasure hunting for nothing in particular, or you're always on the lookout for fine antiques and art, you'll find it all here in this two-story emporium on Marion's Main Street.
9. Bridgers Drug Store - an old-fashioned shopping experience
More than just a pharmacy, this Main Street staple has been in business since 1935. Stop in here for gifts of all sorts. They're located at 305 N. Main Street.
10. The people!
Ahead of all the reasons listed above, it's the people of Marion that make this small town what it is. The photo above shows some of the town's first responders demonstrating the importance of using seat belts to some of the town's youth during this year's Fire Prevention Week. Awesome!
Have you visited or stayed in Marion? We’d love to hear all about it in our comments.