Upcountry South Carolina, also known as The Upstate, consists of the northwestern corner of the state.
While there are many upscale gated communities located here the area remains primarily rural in nature. This is an excellent place for family vacations and romantic getaways in particular. The best time for touring is from May to November. Autumn foliage is at its peak usually in mid to late October. Accommodations range from camping to vaction rental properties.
I-85 is the major highway, connecting Charlotte and Atlanta by way of Gaffney, Spartanburg, Greenville and Anderson. I-26 cuts south from North Carolina through Spartanburg, then goes to Columbia by way of Laurens and Newberry. I-26 crosses I-85 in Spartanburg, but can also be reached from Greenville by following I-385, which goes through Mauldin, Simpsonville and Fountain Inn.
Clemson and points west can be reached from Greenville by US-123. The mountains can be reached by US-25.
Mass transit is limited. Greyhound buses stop in Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson. The Amtrak Crescent stops in Spartanburg, Greenville and Clemson.
- Furman University. North of Greenville, accessible from I-85 by US-25. Beautiful campus with lake and bell tower.
- The Peachoid. Gaffney (just off I-85). This water tower in the shape of a peach is a familiar landmark for anyone who has driven up and down I-85. Stop and take a picture, or just look out the window as you zoom by.
- Caesar's Head State Park. North Greenville County off of US-276. Famous rock formation that looks like a man's face in profile.
The Golden Corner Region of SC has the highest number of waterfalls of any area in the Eastern US. Many can be seen by car at roadside stops. Access to some of the more spectacular ones are by foot trail or even guided tour boats. Lake Jocassee in particular offers the best boat access to the Jocassee Gorges Conservation Area for sightseeing.
Magnificent hikes are available at Table Rock State Park in Spartanburg County.
If it's the right season, a Clemson football game is one of the biggest sports draws in the area, especially when they play their rival, the University of South Carolina. Greenville's minor league baseball team, the Greenville Drive, plays in the West End of Greenville within sight of Shoeless Joe Jackson's relocated childhood home. Bon Secours Wellness Arena is the home rink of the Road Warriors, an ECHL hockey team.
The Cowpens and Kings Mountain battlefields, both preserved by the National Park Service, are two of the most significant sites in the Southern Theater of the Revolutionary War. Both are quickly accessible from I-85.
- Aunt Sue's Country Restaurant Hwy 11 Cleveland SC
- Victoria Valley Winery off Hwy 11 Cleveland SC
- Paesanos Italian Restaurant Hwy 28 Seneca SC
A word of caution, it is illegal in South Carolina to be 'grossly intoxicated' in public. The police can arrest you and charge you with public disorderly conduct if they believe this is the case, and there seems to be no legal definition of grossly intoxicated for a pedestrian. This is a misdemeanor offence, resulting in a court hearing. You can get your charged expunged within the state by entering a Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program. This involves fines, community service, drug tests, attending alcoholic’s anonymous meetings & homework assignments and typically takes about 2 months to complete. However, the PTI program is not recognized by the Federal Government.
Outdoor Adventure is what this area is all about. Whitewater rafting on the Chattooga "Deliverance" River is not to be missed. World class trophy fishing in the depths of Lake Jocassee offers anglers a very rewarding experience. Octoberfest in Walhalla SC is a must if you happen to be in the neighborhood.