Monthly Archives: June 2010

Upcountry- Palmetto Trail plans to stretch from the Blue Ridge to the Lowcountry

Normal_switzer_streamThe state of South Carolina is well on their way to implementing many segments of our Palmetto Trail initiative that will ultimately stretch from the Blue Ridge Mountains in upstate South Carolina all the way down to coastal South Carolina in the low country. Once completed, this proposed 425 mile trail will provide a wide variety of recreational hikes through the Palmetto State for residents and nature lovers alike from all over the southeast United States. While not as strenuous as the Appalachian Trail, these nature trails will be rich in flora and fauna through each geographic area plus offer various type outdoor pursuits other than just hiking.

OconeecoThe Trail will begin at Oconee State Park in the upstate and end north of Charleston on the coast. It will consist of several connecting passages that will showcase the unique history, culture, and geography of the Palmetto State. Each passage is designed for a weekend's enjoyment on the Trail. The Trail will connect the mountains to the sea forming a spine for a network of trails in South Carolina, the genesis of a statewide trail system. The planned trail corridor will run through the counties of Oconee, Pickens, Greenville, Spartanburg, Cherokee, Union, Laurens, Newberry, Fairfield, Richland, Sumter, Clarendon, Orangeburg, Berkeley, and Charleston. Follow the link to find out which sections are open on a county by county basis throughout South Carolina.

Posted at 07:31 AM in Carolina Heritage Corridor, Historic Mountain Districts in the Carolinas, Scenic Attractions, Travel, Upcountry Travel News | Permalink | Comments (0) Technorati Tags: Carolina Heritage Corridor, Games, Scenic Attractions, Upcountry Travel News

Upcontry- Resort Town of Highlands North Carolina aptly named

For those of you that prefer exclusivity in your mountain vacation retreats, you will be hard pressed to improve on Highlands, NC. This remote mountain city was incorporated in 1879.51737020fall2005inhighlandsnc003_resize Legend has it that a pair of town developers, Samuel Kelsey and Clinton Hutchinson, drew a line on a map from New York to New Orleans and from Chicago to Savannah. They felt that the point of intersection would be the proverbial sweet spot for a vacation community. Aptly named Highlands is located at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains at an average elevation of 4118 feet, the highest incorporated mountainL_whiteside_view town east of the Mississippi. Initially, Highlands was promoted as a health retreat in a resort atmosphere in the summer months due to the clean air and picturesque beauty of this breathtaking Blue Ridge area.

Strategically located on the Highlands Plateau of the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern North Carolina, the township itself lies just north of a common boundary with South Carolina and Georgia and easy driving distance to the Tennessee North Carolina state line to due west. The town of Highlands proper has a tad over 2000 permanent residents and surges to upwards of 25,000 summer residents. Straddling the Blue Ridge Divide, the surrounding mountain valleys provide the main watershed of the eastern part of the continent as well as owning the distinction as being the source of the headwaters of the Chattooga and Cullasaja Rivers. The Chattooga, now a National Scenic and Wild River, plunges precipitously from the escarpment of the Blue Ridge, and flows southward to the Savannah River of the eastern Atlantic drainage while the Cullasaja, in contrast, flows in the opposite direction to the Tennessee River, a major tributary of the Mississippi that empties into the Gulf of Mexico. So much for the history/geography lesson, here is recreational information. There are no less than forty mountain golf courses along winding highway 6412842 county by county on the easterly run to Hendersonville, North Carolina and Interstate 26.

Posted at 09:31 AM in Carolina Heritage Corridor, Historic Mountain Districts in the Carolinas, Mountain Festival, Mountain Resort Golf Packages, Mountain Vacation Rentals, Scenic Attractions, Sports, Travel, Upcountry Travel News | Permalink | Comments (0) Technorati Tags: Carolina Heritage Corridor, Historic Mountain Districts in the Carolinas, Mountain Vacation Rentals, Scenic Attractions, Travel, Upcountry Travel News |

Upcountry- Wood Turning Demonstrations at The Picken County Museum

Ready to learn the fine art of wood turning? Then plan on being in attendance on Saturday, February 3, from Noon until 3:00 p.m., when the Pickens County Museum of Art & HistoryPickens_county_museum_051 hosts its monthly Saturday Session. Upcountry mountain Artisan Warren Carpenter, whose work currently is on display in the museum’s “Drawing with Wood” exhibition, will demonstrate basic techniques, a few tricks of the trade, and discuss the various methods used to accomplish fine turned wood.

1206pickenstzumbachMr. Carpenter resides in Seneca, S.C, is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, with works in many galleries and collections, and operates The Arts Company studio with his wife in the Ramcat Alley section of Seneca’s historic district. Plan to participate in this program as part of the Pickens County Museum’s continuing effort to provide a variety of interesting and educational programming for the community. Funded in part by donations from area businesses and local art patrons, the museum is located at the intersection of Highway 178 at 307 Johnson Street in upstate Pickens, is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday from 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m.-.4:30 p.m.

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Upcountry- Carolina Getaways Travel Directory is now up and running

Here’s a little quiz for those of you visiting our initial Carolina Vacation News blogsite for the first time. What two songs are connected in a rather picturesque way penned by two distinctly different singer/songwriters over two different eras, James Taylor of North Carolina and Johnny Mercer of Savannah, Georgia? James Taylor wrote “Carolina in my Mind” while Mercer wrote “Moon River” about the Bull River that flows into the SavannahPic4 River in coastal Georgia. Okay then you might well ask, what is the connection? Well the Headwaters of the Savannah River Basin actually originates a short distance away from our year round home up the road in upcountry Jackson County, North Carolina at the continental divide in the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Cashiers. And of course, these waters work their way southeast until they eventually flow past our adoptive home of Savannah before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at Tybee Island, Georgia.

Both artists were inspired enough by their respective home states to write well known musical tributes to the geographic locales that grew up in. And in a very real sense, we are pointing out the same aspects of our mountain homes the Carolina Mountains upriver from our Lowcountry Savannah, Georgia historic district homes that we have opened up to travelers matriculating to these vacation destinations while booking our vacation rentals in upscale historic district townhouses, Victorian era Homes, affordable cottages, and comfortable condominiums at low rates. In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to add inventory to our properties as more and more absentee property owners join our consortium of absentee property owners just like we started eight years ago in Savannah. Just like Savannah Getaways has you covered on the coast, we will indeed have your long weekend getaway travel needs covered in the North and South Carolina Mountains. We Kudos_2thank you for stopping by for our initial blog and trust you will look in on us from time to time as we keep your apprised on what’s up in the Carolina Mountains.

Posted at 05:55 PM in Upcountry Travel News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Upcountry- Seneca’s Historic District to host annual Christmas Parade

Nestled amongst the South Carolina Foothills Upcountry, Oconee County’s historic district of Seneca, S.C. is wedged between the College town of Clemson, beautiful Mountain Lake Keowee, and South Carolina’s Heritage Corridor Highway 11, Cheokee-Foothills Highway.C203_5_sailboat12 Seneca has celebrated her historic district by honoring a restorative theme of Seneca’s traditional upcountry downtown appearance in the form of Ramcat Alley, a thriving arts and boutique shopping district that appears as it once did circa the 1930’s.

In keeping with this tradtion, Seneca’s artisans and merchants feature a Downtown-Go-Round of events to showcase member merchants and Art Galleries in Downtown Seneca. During these popular monthly celebrations, many merchants extend their business hours for these events, serve refreshments, showcase new art, antiques, collectibles, and much, much more for each event. Come and enjoy the music too as these events are typically provide on a Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This coming Sunday, December 10th, the annual Christmas Parade will be held at 2:30 PM to kick off the Christmas Holiday Season in Seneca. Join the many locals and regional vacationers as they take in this traditional event. And while you are at it, find out what the 2007 schedule of Downtown-Go-Round Artist Gallery shows are being planned.113

Posted at 09:14 AM in Food and Drink, Travel, Upcountry Travel News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Upcountry- Hike alongside the healing waters in our Mountain Paradise

According to Cherokee Legend who called this portion of the Appalachian chain of Mountains in the Carolina’s their native homeland for thousands of years prior to incursion by the Spanish in the 1500’s, the Great Creator had favored their people with this breath taking jewel comprised of rich green covered peaks, fertile valleys teeming with flora and fauna by gifting their forefathers with this paradise after creating it. High up the food chain in their belief system, the Cherokee People valued the ever present healing springs that welled up from their mountain paradise cascading down as a series of waterfalls in ever widening clear cool rivers on their respective routes to the coastal plains of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.


Indian wisdom had it that certain spring heads (points where streams originate) had not only the power to heal (injured warriors sought out these locales for the recuperative effects after battle for days at a time) but believed that these healing effects were magnified around the myriad waterfalls found throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hard to deny that point nowadays as later American settlers, after pushing the Cherokee off of their homeland, originated towns and settlements with the term “spring” attached to the name of the settlement. To understand what it was that the Cherokee were attempting to convey, all one has to do is hike along the trails (or drive under them as the photo shows at one location outside of Highlands, N.C.) by these falls breathing in the supercharged air to know5b5b7830287a477f8369ce498cdd4061_prefres beyond knowing that these in tune natured based people understood the dynamics at play in our modern day mountain home here in the Carolinas. Make it a point to pack up the car, hit the road, and grab that restorative weekend getaway adventure you keep promising yourself you are going to take.



Posted at 06:54 AM in Scenic Attractions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Upcountry- Traditional Mountain Christmas in Hendersonville’s Historic District

Come Home for the Holidays to Historic Hendersonville and the Village of Flat Rock, North Carolina. Practice true family values as you discover an old fashioned holiday with small town charm, sprinkled with excitement for season’s most anticipated holiday. We have recreatedCarolers a nostalgic atmosphere reminiscent of the days or yore. The area abounds with holiday activities such as the Flat Rock Playhouse productions, an Olde Fashioned Hendersonville Christmas, holiday concerts, Holiday Tour of Historic Homes, hometown Christmas parade, and many other events for the whole family.

The traditional holiday season here in the Blue ridge Mountains with our high country Christmas celebration and family tradition replete with family gatherings and good cheer is now upon us. Reconnect with your own roots during this magical time of the year and create your own cherished family memories to sustain you for future Christmases yet experienced. Catch the Christmas spirit and spend time in Historic Hendersonville and the Village of Flat Rock, North Carolina . So check out our calendar of event and celebrate theBigsilverfox season in our high country home along the Heritage Corridor in the Carolina Mountains at the Hendersonville Visitor’s Center.

Posted at 09:24 AM in Carolina Heritage Corridor, Food and Drink, Historic Mountain Districts in the Carolinas, Mountain Festival, Music, Scenic Attractions, Travel, Upcountry Travel News | Permalink | Comments (0) Technorati Tags: Food and Drink, Hendersonville Visitor's Center, Historic District, Travel, Upcountry Travel News

Upcountry- “Old Time Country Christmas” at Hagood Mill

Allen Coleman, directory of the Pickens Country Museum of Art and History sent his monthly E-mail yesterday advising me that the Pickens County Cultural Commission invites every one to a special, and free, day of milling, music and memories at the Hagood Mill Historic Site & Folklife Center Hagood Mill. The Mill will be operating, rain orHgm_tailrace shine as usual during our monthly third Saturday scheduled on, December 16th from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. This 1845 gristmill is one of the oldest mills still producing grain products in S.C.

Join the friends of the Pickens County Museum as “Music in the Mountains 2006” concludes with the Hagood Mill playing host for a free, “Old Time Country Christmas” in the Visitor Building from 12:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Hosted again this year by musician, Ed Harrison, the program will consist of Appalachia Irish and Scottish musical traditions and will include Bill Landrum – story teller, Daniel Hendrix – uillean pipes, Melissa Hendrix – vocal & key board, Rebbeca Hendrix – vocal & tin whistle, David Hendrix – tin whistle, Bill & Connie Lowe – vocal, guitar & banjo, Ed Harrison – uilleann pipes, Kathy Shapiro – hammer dulcimer, and outdoors, Matt Icard – Great Highland bagpipe and Scottish small pipes. Don’t miss this wonderful program! Hagood Mill does record the “3rd Saturday” music for the archives of the Pickens County Museum of Art & History.

ChocdropThe Hagood Mill hosts a variety of folklife and traditional arts demonstrations each month, including blacksmithing, bowl-digging, flintknapping, moonshining, quilting, spinning, weaving, woodcarving, and open-hearth cooking.

Posted at 06:14 AM in Carolina Heritage Corridor, Food and Drink, Mountain Festival, Music, Scenic Attractions, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) Technorati Tags: Carolina Heritage Corridor, Food and Drink, Mountain Festival, Music, Scenic Attractions

Upcountry- Zimbabwe Coffee Plantation opens a hip Coffee House in historic Travelers Rest

Here’s a visionary concept for you. Why not export a portion of the family business from one continent to another slap in the middle of your customer base for our highly sought after product, eco-friendly green coffee grown on the family plantation? And why we are at it06cecilescd148_1, we need to open up this coffee house in an environment similar to our African highlands home that is also fairly close to a college campus. I know, why don’t you open up your Leopard Forest Coffee House in the Historic District of Travelers Rest, South Carolina just up the road towards the Blue Ridge Mountains from the Furman Campus? And that is exactly what this entrepreneurial family did with this trendy coffee house that not only has the prerequisite hot cup of Joe, WiFi hot spot, liveVmo0092_1 music, art gallery, and poetry readings typically found in this type venue, but they grow their own freaking coffee in Zimbabwe for crying out loud. According to their web site (a few excerpts below), the family business, namely an African coffee plantation was started in 1960.

Our farm has produced superior coffee since 1965, and many times been the winner of the highest quality and best cupping awards (Coffee Grower of the Year) in Zimbabwe, achieved by combining the best Kenyan varieties with sustainable farming methods. The farm supports over 90 families; many have been with us for 30 years or more. Ensuring a high standard of living for our employees is critical to producing our high quality coffee. In 2004 we decided to expand the farm coffee business by starting a roasting company in the United States. After researching several areas in the U.S. that had few specialty coffee roasters, we settled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains north of Greenville, South Carolina. The state and county parks remind us of the hills we adore in Africa.

So the next time you find yourself heading north through Travelers Rest to the Carolina Mountains on your weekend day trip, make it a point to stop along the way at the Leopard Forest Coffee House for an award winning cup of coffee in Historic Travelers Rest.

Posted at 06:35 AM in Carolina Heritage Corridor, Food and Drink, Historic Mountain Districts in the Carolinas, Music, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) Technorati Tags: Carolina Heritage Corridor, Food and Drink, Historic Mountain Districts in the Carolinas, Music, Travel

Upcountry- Our mountain musicians play a different kind of blues when performing bluegrass music

One of the many benefits of living along the Heritage Corridor here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, we see our fair share of festivals regardless of your own slice of geography you hang your hat in or the season. And yesterday was no exception as we took in the “Old Time Country Christmas” at the Hagood Mill, it being the third Saturday and all. We blogged earlier in the week about this years featured bluegrass musicians and their Appalachia Irish and Scottish musical traditions with the prerequisite bagpipe playersGriz_hagood_mill_ii_009 performing on a Great Highland bagpipe.

One thing that struck my attention during the day’s festivities, whenever you take theses traditional festivals in, you can stumble on some spirited bluegrass performances with a little bit of a luck not unlike the variety heard via the Evoca folks as well as get the opportunity to watch mountain artists pursuing their craft. As the Christmas Season draws closerPickens_county_museum_016, keep all of our North and South Carolina Mountain Festivals in mind as they roll around and we hope to see you at soon here in the hill country of our Carolina home on your next vacation getaway weekend. If you are interested in receiving a festival schedule, don’t be bashful, send us an E-mail and will be happy to share the next scheduled festival event with you by return E-mail.

Posted at 01:48 PM in Carolina Heritage Corridor, Food and Drink, Mountain Festival, Music, Travel, Upcountry Travel News | Permalink | Comments (0) Technorati Tags: Carolina Heritage Corridor, Food and Drink, Mountain Festival, Music, Scenic Attractions