Year Round Enjoyment

Exploring Oconee County Year-Round

As the seasons change, so does the allure that Oconee County, SC offers visitors. Whether you’re a family seeking adventure, a solo traveler on a journey of self-discovery or a couple looking for a romantic getaway…the less traveled seasons are a wonderful time to visit!

Cozy winter days, the blooming beauty of spring, sun-soaked summer months, and the colorful autumn foliage offer seasonal opportunities for enjoyment throughout the year.

Our Towns

Visitors are often pleasantly surprised by the inviting atmosphere and warm welcome they receive when exploring the charming towns of Oconee County. Here’s a bit of what you can expect in each one…

Salem, SC

This tiny town is best known for bordering Lake Jocassee, which is one of our most popular tourist destinations. 

We love Lake Jocassee! And so do many tourists. We strongly recommend planning a trip there in the less busy seasons. 

The only way to get on the lake is from within Devils Fork State Park. And it’s worth noting there are limited parking spots and when the lot is full, people are turned away. Arriving by 9:30am gives you a better chance of entry.

If the only time you can come is during the summer months, plan a mid-week excursion for a better chance of entering the park. The good news: With only so many parking spaces, Lake Jocassee never feels “over crowded”.

At Devils Fork State Park there are three public boat ramps for accessing the lake, as well as rental lakeside villas, campsites, a boat-in campground, picnic shelters and a 1-mile Oconee Bell Nature Trail.

Inside the park you can rent kayaks or standup paddle boards from Eclectic Sun and set out exploring the shoreline. If you prefer to let someone else lead the way, go sightseeing with one of the companies offering tours of the lake. Jocassee Lake Tours operates pontoon boat tours several days a week. They also participate in nature education programs and conduct research studying the habits of loons wintering on Lake Jocassee.

After a day on the lake, you might want to stop by Jocassee Valley Brewing Company or Twice a Town Taproom. Both offer comfortable settings and often have food trucks and live music.

Sunrise Farm Bed & Breakfast is a charming place to stay. And new lodging options are popping up, so check our Salem stay listings for more places to rent.

See all there is to do when you visit Salem, SC

Seneca, SC

Seneca is our largest city. It’s where you’ll find the big box stores. But there is much more to Seneca than you might realize!

Recreation opportunities include: two lake-side county parks, High Falls and South Cove, that offer a wide range of affordable outdoor amenities and activities for all ages. Seneca is home to Timber Ridge Axe Throwing, The Oasis Ranch miniature golf and Sweet Retreat fun center. 

Seneca’s charming historic downtown was bypassed decades ago. But it’s worth routing yourself through that part of town for a taste of good ol’ southern charm. The Seneca City Museums are comprised of historic sites which include: Lunney Museum, Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum and Oberlin Faith Cabin Library. For those who appreciate the arts, The Blue Ridge Arts Center hosts exhibits and classes throughout the year.

Originally Seneca was a railroad junction point for cotton farmers in the 1870s. These days, Seneca has grown into a city filled with boutique shops, delicious restaurants, taprooms, bars and activities all year long.

The city hosts regular events including Jazz on the Alley. It’s a weekly street party that happens every Thursday night (April-October). The main road through downtown, Ram Cat Alley, is closed to cars. There’s live music, socializing and people mingling in the street. 

See all there is to do when you visit Seneca, SC.

Walhalla, SC

Located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this walkable small town is known as the “Main Street to the Mountains”.

The town of Walhalla is undergoing a resurgence with restaurants, bars and lodging moving into historic storefronts. 

The Walhalla Performing Arts Center is a prime example of a renovated building with a new lease on life. The venue is a block from Main Street and has a great lineup of well-known artists on the calendar throughout the year. 

You’ll find unique shops such as Sunni Ann Mercantile and Alexander’s Work and Wander. Three museums are within walking distance of each other: Oconee History Museum, Museum of the Cherokee in South Carolina, and Oconee Military Museum at Patriots Hall.

The oldest buildings in Oconee County are found in Walhalla at Oconee Station State Historic Site. From there you’re close to the trailhead for Station Cove Falls. It’s a family-friendly hike (20 minutes each way) to reach this picturesque waterfall. 

Stumphouse Park is managed by the City of Walhalla. This park offers a variety of activities including: a short walk through a pre-Civil War era tunnel, dual-use hiking/mountain biking trails, Issaqueena Falls waterfall, picnic tables, a covered rental shelter and restroom facilities.

See all there is to do when you visit Walhalla, SC.

Long Creek, SC

This rural community borders North Georgia. It is surrounded by the Sumter National Forest and next to the Chattooga River.

People visit Long Creek to go rafting, kayaking, swimming, fishing and more. It’s also a hiking destination with trails leading to spectacular waterfalls including: Brasstown Falls, Long Creek Falls and Opossum Creek Falls.

The Chattooga River is special because it was designated as Wild and Scenic by Congress in 1974. This designation means land is protected from being developed within 1/4 mile of the banks of the river. Two whitewater rafting outfitters are in Long Creek: Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) and Wildwater. They offer guided trips down Sections 3 and 4 of the Chattooga River. 

The climate in Long Creek is well suited for growing apples and peaches. From summer to late fall, several orchards and roadside markets sell locally grown fruit and homemade products.

One of our premier event venues, Chattooga Belle Farm, is located in Long Creek. The farm grows a wide variety of fruit and allows visitors to pick their own. The event barn is a wonderful setting for weddings and special occasions. The on-site restaurant, Belle’s Bistro, serves lunch. The Farm Store has an assortment of novelty foods and souvenir gift items. There’s a distillery that sells products made from fruit grown, harvested, fermented, distilled, and bottled on the farm. The rustic ambiance makes for a memorable tasting experience. 

Other places to check out in Long Creek: The Gauge Coffeehouse, Humble Pie pizza, Willie’s Tavern and Brasstown BBQ Gathering Place.

See all there is to do when you visit Long Creek, SC.

Mountain Rest, SC

This rural area is next to Long Creek and borders Georgia and North Carolina. It is surrounded by the Sumter National Forest and home to numerous waterfalls. 

People come to Mountain Rest for the Chattooga and Chauga Rivers, the state park, hiking, camping, horse trips and fishing. 

Oconee State Park is one of 16 SC State Parks that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. There are 19 historic CCC-built rental cabins, 139 standard campsites, 15 rustic tent sites, 4 picnic shelters, a swimming lake, two playgrounds and nature trails. The Foothills Trail can be accessed from inside Oconee State Park.

Chattooga Trails Bed & Barn is an ideal home base for folks who enjoy trips with their horses. Historic Whetstone Place is an event venue with overnight lodging. The Chattooga River Fly Shop offers year-round guided fly-fishing on the Chattooga and Chauga Rivers.

There are dozens of vacation rental properties in Mountain Rest. Tucked in the woods, luxury treehouses Stella Vista and Bella Luna are perfect for romantic getaways.

See all there is to do when you visit Mountain Rest, SC.

Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall...

Enjoy them all in Oconee County, SC!

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