If you’re planning for Spring Break or trying to decide where to travel this summer, you’ve come to the right place!

Recently Oconee County, South Carolina, was listed on Parade.com as #4 in their list of 25 Inexpensive Family Vacation Ideas. It’s wonderful to be ranked among the fantastic destinations found throughout the entire country!

Oconee County is located in what is considered the “upstate” region of South Carolina, near the borders of Georgia and North Carolina. We’re within a two-hour drive of Atlanta, Greenville, and Charlotte. People are often surprised by the steep vistas, rolling hills, and cooler temperatures found here. And the best part is that the area is loaded with plenty of outdoor adventures that are free or inexpensive to access.

There are four lakes, two rivers, and more than 25 accessible waterfalls that are available and accessible for you to enjoy! Check out these fun, active, and memorable excursions that won’t cost you a fortune . . .

Spend the Day at Lake Jocassee

Photo credit Lake Hartwell Country

There is an admission fee to enter Devils Fork State Park. But once you’re in, you can stay all day, making this a relatively inexpensive day of family fun. There are some great ways to enjoy Lake Jocassee on a budget.

Keowee’s Natural Water Park

Photo credit Only In Your State (Google Maps/Merab Perez-Arellano)

South Cove County Park hosts the best natural water park in South Carolina. It’s only $2 per car to gain admission. That’s an old-fashioned price for an old-fashioned day of fun in the water! Reserve campsite or RV spot here.

Lakeside Playground

Photo credit Only In Your State (Facebook/High Falls County Park)

The hidden beach at High Falls County Park is an ideal spot to spend the day with the family. It’s well cared for, always clean and always ready for another fun day.  Playground, beach swimming area, picnic shelter, fishing piers, boat launch, and restrooms. A great deal for just $2 per car! There are 100 campsites at the park and you can reserve one here.

Waterfall Campground

Photo credit Only In Your State (TripAdvisor/Torie M)

Chau Ram County Park in Westminster is a spot we recommend for letting kids play around and swim near a waterfall or in the sandy beach area.  You’ll enjoy the mile-long water adventure and the daily admission fee is $2 per car. The park has trails, playgrounds, and 26 campsites, so you can play and stay!

History and Nature on the Mountain

Photo credit Chanda Morrison

Waterfall hikes, trekking inside an unfinished tunnel, mountain biking, fishing, and natural adventures can be had in one of Oconee’s least populated areas. Bring the family and enjoy a day on the mountain.

Kid-friendly Hikes

Chau Ram Falls Trail

Only in Your State lists 7 Totally Kid-Friendly Hikes In South Carolina That Are 1 Mile And Under.  #1 Issaqueena Falls (in Walhalla) and #7 Chau Ram Falls Trail (in Westminster) are easy excursions everyone in the family will enjoy!

National Forests are Gems For the Public to Enjoy

Forest flora

There are 80,000 acres of National Forest in Oconee County, SC. Explore and enjoy what federal tax dollars bought you! Now is a great time to get out and visit your national forests.

Fun Wooded Hikes That are Shady and Cool

Chattooga Trail follows the river

Dozens of trails in Oconee County are out in the woods. The only cost involved is gas to get there and sometimes parking fees. We have some of the best hikes that are available to you and your family.

Choosing Where to Stay

Where to stay is at the top of everyone’s travel planning checklist. Oconee County, SC is fortunate to have five budget-friendly parks offering incredible lodging. We have two state parks (Oconee State Park and Devils Fork State Park) and three county parks (South Cove County Park, High Falls County Park, and Chau Ram County Park) located within our borders. You’ll get the best bang for your buck by camping at the parks or staying in your RV. But, if you are able to book early, and willing to spend a bit more, we recommend the villas at Devils Fork State Park, located on the shore of Lake Jocassee.

Check out our where to stay page listing dozens of suggested lodging properties. In addition to these places, there are are more than 500 vacation rentals in Oconee County that can be found on Airbnb, HomeAway or VRBO.  You can search places in Seneca, West Union, Salem, Walhalla, Westminster, Long Creek or Mountain Rest to find rental properties to suit your family.

POINTS OF REFERENCE: Seneca and West Union are near Lake Keowee; Salem is near Lake Jocassee; Westminster is near Lake Hartwell;  Walhalla is close to Stumphouse Park; Long Creek and Mountain Rest are close to the Wild & Scenic Chattooga River and near dozens of waterfalls.

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