- Breakfast at Waters in Westminster - Sightseeing on Scenic Hwy 11 - Twin Falls Hike -
- Lunch at Aunt Sue's - Explore Table Rock State Park - Unwind at Victoria Valley Vineyards -
Dinner at Pumpkintown Mountain Opry - Sunset and views at Sassafras Mountain
There's never a bad time to take a day trip through Lake Hartwell Country, but we might argue late Summer and Fall could possibly be the perfect time. Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties of South Carolina are easily explored by car, and you'll find yourself wishing for more than one day after this taste of mountains, lakes, food and local wine.
Start your day in Westminster, South Carolina, a small town in Oconee County along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. You'll find quaint shops along historic Main Street, and can enjoy breakfast at Waters, which is said to have the best biscuits you'll ever taste. Waters closes at 10:30am, so get there early if you want to start your day right.
After filling your tummy with a true Southern breakfast, it's time to start your day trip. As you leave Westminster, hop on Hwy 123 towards Seneca. Once you reach Scenic Hwy 11, your jaw-dropping mountain and foliage tour begins. After a short ride, you'll be ready to walk off some of those biscuits you enjoyed, so take a detour to Twin Falls for a unique waterfall experience. Park and take the one mile trail to the Falls to stretch your legs and breathe in the fresh mountain air.
After you hike to Twin Falls, you're ready to hop back in the car and head for lunch. Continue down Hwy 11 to Aunt Sue's, a local favorite and long-time institution for a classic Southern lunch. Enjoy lunch at Aunt Sue's and browse the shops for unique and fun souvenirs to remember your Lake Hartwell Country day trip.
You've shopped and dined, now it's time for more outdoor exploring. Nearby Table Rock State Park has every type of adventure you could desire. Rent a canoe or paddleboat and enjoy the quiet waters of the lake, or choose from the many trails to see fall colors and local wildlife up close. Table Rock State Park features many trails of varying difficulty and lengths, so you're sure to find one that suits your day.
After hiking and exploring, it's time to relax. Head to Victoria Valley Vineyards, the Upstate's winery, which features a tasting room, gift shop and deli. Victoria Valley is designed after a French chateau and features European Vinifera wines. The vineyard cafe offers lunch Thursday through Monday until 3pm, and small plates and desserts until closing around 6pm. Stop here for a glass of wine and wind down from your adventure before you head out to dinner.
Leave Victoria Valley and continue down Scenic Hwy 11 for dinner at the Pumpkintown Mountain Opry. If you've never been to or heard of Pumpkintown, we can promise you won't miss it. Just look for the huge pumpkin on the side of the highway. Enjoy local specialties such as BBQ, ice cream and coffee to wind down your day tripping adventure in South Carolina's Lake Hartwell Country.
Leave enough time after an early dinner at Pumpkintown Mountain Opry to take in one last view before completing your Lake Hartwell Country day trip. Head to Sassafras Moutain, in Pickens County and the highest point in South Carolina. From the top of Sassafras you'll experience a memorable sunset while taking in views of four states and the Continental Divide. Take a moment to reflect on the charm, beauty, and hospitality you've experienced during your Lake Hartwell Country day trip.
Next time? Explore our weekend itinerary and see even more of South Carolina's Lake Hartwell Country.
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