When you hear Clemson, South Carolina, you likely think of Clemson University. This is because the town and the university blend together so well that it’s hard to recognize where one starts and the other ends. Whether you’re coming to Clemson to catch a sporting event or other activity at the university or to enjoy the beautiful landscape, we think you’ll have a great time. Today we’ve got nine reasons we think you should consider visiting this beautiful town. Let’s get started!
Where Is Clemson, South Carolina?
Located in Northwest South Carolina, Clemson is a short 43 miles southwest of Greenville. You can also reach it easily from Charlotte, Atlanta, or Asheville. Due to Clemson’s location, the summers are hot and humid, but winters are relatively cool. The weather in October, November, and December make those months the best times to visit.
How Far Is Clemson from the Beach?
One of the activities many tourists look forward to when visiting South Carolina is a trip to the beach. Visiting the beach while in Clemson will require a drive of several hours. Three popular beaches are Hilton Head Island (four hours 45 minutes), Charleston (four hours), and Myrtle Beach (four hours 45 minutes).
What Is Clemson Known For?
People mostly know Clemson, South Carolina, for being the home of Clemson University. The school is competitive in athletics and has won six national championships between football, soccer, and men’s golf. Clemson University is the second-largest university in South Carolina.
However, Clemson is more than just a university. The town is one of the most beautiful towns in all of South Carolina. It sits at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and borders Lake Hartwell. If you’re looking for a beautiful place to spend a day, we think Clemson, South Carolina, is a great place for that.
9 Best Things to Do in Clemson South Carolina
It’s easy to spend a weekend exploring Clemson and leave with a list of things to do on your next visit. Let’s take a look at the nine best things we think you should do in Clemson, South Carolina!
1. Visit the South Carolina Botanical Garden
The South Carolina Botanical Garden is a whopping 295-acre sanctuary. The garden is open 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset and is free.
You can find the massive garden on the campus of Clemson University. Enjoy nature trails, pathways, ponds, streams, and woodlands while exploring the garden. There’s also the historic Hanover House and Hunt Log Cabin.
2. Stroll the Beautiful Campus Grounds
The Clemson University campus sits at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and provides incredible views. You can stroll through the campus and even see three buildings from the original campus.
While walking through the campus, you can experience two historic districts. Clemson University Historic District I has eight properties and sits on the northern portion of the property. This district contains some of the oldest academic buildings on campus.
The other historic district, Clemson University Historic District II, is more centralized on campus. Both of these districts got added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
Walking through the campus gives you a great taste of what life is like on campus and a bit of the area’s history. Many of the museums and buildings require reservations to tour. So make sure to make your reservations early if you want to get a true taste of the campus.
3. Visit Fort Hill Plantation
The Fort Hill Plantation sits in the center of the Clemson University campus. It’s the former plantation of Vice President John C. Calhoun. Tours are available Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission to Fort Hill Plantation is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, and $2 for children. When you tour Fort Hill Plantation, you’re not only touring a part of Clemson University history but American history as well.
4. Learn at the Bob Campbell Geology Museum
Are you a rock fan? While we like to jam out to a rock song on long travel days, that’s not the type of rock we mean this time. At the Bob Campbell Geology Museum, you can see a massive collection of 10,000 minerals, rocks, and fossils found not only in South Carolina but around the world. Here you can spend some time enjoying the many geological and paleontological exhibits. What’s even better is that parking and admission are both free.
5. Stop at the Hanover House
It’s not very often you get to touch a house that’s older than the country where it resides. The Hanover House was built between 1714 and 1716. In the 1940s, the house moved to the Clemson campus, and in 1994 it moved again. However, this time the house moved to the South Carolina Botanical Garden.
Tours are available on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. There’s a suggested admission donation of $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, and $2 for children.
6. Visit Larry W. Abernathy Waterfront Park
If you’re looking for a great place to watch a sunset, the Larry W. Abernathy Waterfront Park may be for you. The park has half a mile of boardwalk and picnic dock areas. This waterfront park is the perfect way to end the day with a relaxing swing overlooking the lake or a walk around the lake. You may even spot a fish, turtle, or a few birds enjoying the water as well.
7. Grab a Drink at Esso Club
If you’re looking for an authentic Clemson University bar to enjoy a drink, The Esso Club is it. This sports bar, one of the top in the country, is a tradition at Clemson University.
Many Clemson University sports fans make The Esso Club a stop before, after, or during an athletic event. You can taste what makes Clemson University a special place for those near the university at this sports bar.
8. Visit the Old Stone Church and the “Witches” Grave
The Old Stone Church, built in 1802, is a piece of the community’s history. The church and cemetery are a part of the National Register of Historic Places. The Old Stone Church Cemetery is the burial spot for Eliza Huger.
Eliza is a mysterious woman, but one legend states that her brothers found her working in a house of prostitution and shot her dead. Due to the nature of her death, no church was willing to provide a spot for her burial.
Old Stone Church stepped up and provided a spot for her body. People at the time built a wall around her grave to keep her spirit from escaping. Despite numerous repair efforts, the wall crumbled over the years, and lightning struck the gravesite numerous times. It’s common for people to toss coins into the grave for good luck, but anyone who takes a coin risks a curse.
9. Visit Memorial Stadium
It’s no secret that Clemson University has a renowned national championship-caliber football team. Every fall, their elite squad hits the gridiron to compete against the best other universities have to offer.
Whether you attend the game or not, being in Clemson on a Saturday during football season is a great way to experience the town. You’ll find loads of Clemson University enthusiasts and fans tailgating and enjoying themselves.
If you can score a ticket, you’ll definitely have an incredible time! If not, grab a cooler of your favorite beverage and a grill and tailgate with the many other fans, or catch the game on a TV at The Esso Club.
It’s easy to see that Clemson University plays a major part in the town of Clemson. The university is the town’s heartbeat, and much of the happenings and activities in the town revolve around the university.
There’s a great relationship between the university and the town, and it makes for an incredible place to visit for fans of the university and tourists passing through. Have you visited Clemson, South Carolina, yet?