The Tri-County region is the place for those who love being on, or in, the water. The region’s location is as logistically perfect for recreation as it is for business. The region’s two large man-made lakes, the meandering Edisto River, and the robust waves of the Atlantic Ocean ( just an hour’s drive east) attract visitors year-round.
Come relax and recreate in our many resorts and campgrounds, shop and dine in our charming towns and communities, and enjoy our special South Carolina history, heritage, and hospitality. Please note that many of the area tourism attractions are official sites recognized by the SC Parks Recreation and Tourism Department and by the the S.C. National Heritage Corridor.
Santee State Park 251 State Park Road, Santee SC 29142; (803) 854-2408 I-95/Exit 98 Santee (Take Hwy. 6 west about 1½ miles. Take a right onto State Park Road.) Hike, bike, and explore this 2,500-acre park year round. Visit its nature center, 10 pier-based cabins and 20 lakefront cabins, or sleep under the stars or in your RV in its two lakefront camping areas. This park is known for its catfish, largemouth and striped bass fishing, and is a fishing tournament location.
Lone Star Barbecue & Mercantile is just down State Park Road. It includes a museum and restaurant made of four historic buildings moved to the site without compromise to their antiquity. Lone Star has festivals and events year round. For information, see www.lonestarbbq.net.
Elloree Old Town District and Elloree Heritage Museum & Cultural Center (S.C. National Heritage Corridor) Cleveland Street, Elloree, SC 29047; (803) 897-2821 www.elloreemuseum.org I-95/Exit 98 Santee (Take Hwy. 6 west about 7 miles into Elloree.) The Elloree Old Town District features buildings that date back to the 1900s, antique shops, gift boutiques, an art gallery, arts and craft stores, and restaurants. Visit www.elloreesc.com to find out about festivals, events, and two town parks. The fascinating Elloree Heritage Museum and Cultural Center’s first-rate exhibits depict an exciting and educational view of the Elloree area’s rural past. The museum’s number is (803) 897-2225.
Town of Santee Cultural Arts Center (the renovated Old Parler School-(S.C. National Heritage Corridor) In the Town Complex at 176 Brooks Boulevard, Santee SC 29142; (803) 854-2152 or (866) 272-6833 www.santeetourism.com
I-95/Exit 98 Santee (Take Hwy. 6 west to the first traffic light. Take a left onto Bass Drive. Drive about a mile until you see the Town of Santee Town Complex sign on your left, directly beside the fire department. Take a left by the fire department. Drive about two-tenths of a mile to the Town Complex. Old Parler School, the Cultural Arts Center, will be on your right.
Santee Cooper Country (tourism center/S.C. National Heritage Corridor) 9302 Highway 6, Santee, SC 29142; (803) 854-2131 or (800) 227-8510 www.santeecoopercountry.org I-95/Exit 98 Santee (Take Hwy. 6 east for about one mile and Santee Cooper Country will be a cute country cottage on your right.) This tourism center features a wealth of knowledge about fishing, golfing, camping, boating, and other Santee Cooper lakes area activities and entertainment. Hours: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily.
Indian Bluff Park (Orangeburg County park) Highway 6, Eutawville SC 29048 I-95/Exit 98 Santee (Take Hwy. 6 from Santee east toward Eutawville for 8.2 miles. Indian Bluff Park will be on your left.) Indian Bluff Park is a public county boat landing and family park featuring boat ramps, fishing pier, picnic tables and grills, sheltered picnic area, children’s play area, restrooms and a bath house, extended boardwalks for nature lovers, and expansive views of Lake Marion. There is no admission charge. Hours: Sunrise to sunset, daily.
The Parish House (historic house/tea room/restaurant/ gift shop -- S.C. National Heritage Corridor) 109 Porcher Avenue Eutawville, SC 29048 (803) 492-7315 www.parishhousetearoom.com I-95/Exit 98 Santee (Hwy. 6 east, 9 miles into Eutawville) The Parish House was built in the mid-1820s in Pineville.
When that village was abandoned in the early 1830s because of fever epidemics, the house was disassembled and moved to Eutawville by mule team. In 1935 the property was donated to The Church of the Epiphany and was long used for church meetings and activities. Currently The Parish House operates as a public tea room and restaurant. Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; closed Monday and Tuesday.
The Historic Church of the Epiphany (S.C. National Heritage Corridor) 211 Epiphany Road, Eutawville SC 29048; (803) 492-7644 www.historicepiphany.org I-95/Exit 98 Santee (Hwy. 6 east, 9 miles into Eutawville) This church in Eutawville was built in 1849 to accommodate the residents of the village who made their summer homes in the cool pine forest of Eutaw. The church is open daily from 8 a.m. until dark, and visitors are welcome. Call (803) 492-7644 to arrange group tours.
Eutaw Springs and Eutaw Springs Battleground I-95/Exit 98 (Hwy. 6 east, 9 miles into Eutawville) Visit the bubbly, clear water at Eutaw Springs. The Battle of Eutaw Springs monument marks the site of the last major American Revolutionary War battle fought in the Carolinas (Sept. 8, 1781). There are hiking trails, as well as access to the Palmetto Trail. Admission is free. The town’s website is www.eutawvillesc.com and phone number is (803) 492-3374. Hours: Daylight hours seven days a week.
The historic depot was built in 1921 on the site of two previous train depots dating back to 1886, when the Utah Railroad reached Holly Hill. Today, The Depot serves as the Holly Hill office of the Tri-County Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Holly Hill Visitor and Information Center, and a mini-museum and community center. Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Book the community center for events on weekdays, evenings, or weekends by calling Town Hall at (803) 496-3330.
Francis Folk Park Unity Road, Holly Hill, SC 29059; (803) 496-3330 Town Hall; I-95/Exit 90 (Hwy. 176 east, about 7 miles. Highway 176 becomes Old State Road – Holly Hill’s “main street.” Take a left at the second traffic light onto Gardner Boulevard. Take the first right onto Peake Street, then go left onto Unity Road.) Get everyone together for a game of baseball or softball, or even shoot some hoops on the basketball court. The children can frolic on the playground. Hours: Daylight hours daily.
Roy Gilmore Park Park Circle, Holly Hill, SC 29059 (803) 496-3330 Town Hall I-95/Exit 90 (Take Hwy. 176 east, about 7 miles. Highway 176 becomes Old State Road –Holly Hill’s “main street.” Turn right at the railroad track and cross Gilway Street. Take the first street to the right.) This park features a picnic area where spectators can watch those playing “the game of love” on the tennis courts. Hours: Daylight hours daily.
Branchville Railroad Shrine and Museum (S.C. National Heritage Corridor) 7204 Freedom Road Branchville, SC; (803) 274-8820 I-95/Exit 77 West (Hwy. 78 West, 10 miles to Branchville.) Train lovers know that Branchville, settled in 1734, is home to the world’s oldest railroad junction. The Branchville Depot dining room is where Presidents William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft ate during their visits. The Branchville Railroad Shrine and Museum features a replica of “The Best Friend of Charleston” locomotive. Call the Branchville Town Hall,
(803) 274-8820 for an appointment to tour the museum.
Bowman Nature Park 6056 Charleston Highway Bowman, SC 29018 (Take Exit 82 off I-95, you will be on S.C. Highway 178. Drive northwest for 8 miles through Bowman and the park is on your left, just past the medical clinic. Town Hall – (803) 829-2666)
Thee Matriarch Bed and Breakfast 1170 Fischer Street Orangeburg, SC 29115; (803) 531-6226 Please see the website for directions: www.theematriarch.com Each month, Thee Matriarch features “First Fridays” special lunch and supper meals and “Top Chef Tuesdays” on the second Tuesday evening for networking and palate-worthy creations. For other Orangeburg County attractions, go to www.orangeburgcounty.org.
Mepkin Abbey (S.C. National Heritage Corridor) 1098 Mepkin Abbey Road Moncks Corner; (843) 761-8509 www.mepkinabbey.org For a truly different experience, visit the Mepkin Abbey Church and the Nancy Bryan Luce Gardens, home to a community of Roman Catholic monks established in 1949 on the site of the historic Mepkin Plantation. Walk the lovely gardens, visit the church, or take a guided tour at 11:30 a.m. (Tuesday-Saturday) or 3 p.m. (Tuesday-Sunday). Also, sample the fresh mushrooms and take home some garden compost from the Abbey’s farm, as well as candies, preserves, and creamed honey at the Reception Center Gift Shop. Mepkin Abbey is closed to visitors on Mondays.
Cypress Gardens (S.C. National Heritage Corridor) 3030 Cypress Gardens Road Moncks Corner; (843) 553-0515 www.cypressgardens.info Formerly one of the area’s largest rice plantations, Cypress Gardens’ pristine blackwater swamp offers breathtaking views of mirrored reflections of tall cypress and tupelo trees. Boat rides through the swamp offer visitors a surreal journey through this water forest which has served as a scenic location for several major motion pictures, including The Patriot and The Notebook. Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Happy Trails to You Take a spin on South Carolina’s Palmetto Trail, the state’s largest bicycle and to walkers, cyclists, and equestrians (in designated sections). This federally designated Millennium Legacy Trail is the signature project of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation. It is one of only 16 cross-state trails in the United States. The trail is being built as a series of “passages.” The Tri-County region includes the Lake Marion, Lake Moultrie, Eutaw Springs, and Santee passages. Each of the currently open passages is accessible for singleday or multi-day trips. The passages reveal the rich diversity and the history, culture, and geography of the Palmetto State. For more information on the Palmetto Trail, please see www.palmettoconservation.org/aboutthetrail.asp.
The Town of Santee is also encouraging its residents to get out and exercise on its newly opened walking trail with workout stations, all on the Town Hall campus on Brooks Boulevard, Santee. For information, please call (803) 854-2152.
Tasty Temptations - After experiencing the exquisite tastes of the fine dining establishments and casual eateries in the Tri-County Region, you will never want to buy groceries again. Satisfy your appetite with the freshest freshwater fish pulled straight from Lakes Marion and Moultrie, as well as a wide variety of seafood from the nearby Atlantic. A number of our Chamber members also offer a great grilled steak, chicken, pork chops, and/or good oldfashioned Southern cooking, including the most mouthwatering barbecue in the South. Finally, our area is home to quality chain restaurants that specialize in pizza, chicken, sandwiches, and breakfast items. Visit the Chamber’s website www.tri-crcc.com, under “Meet Our Members” and the category “restaurants” for more about our members’ delicious offerings.
Places to Snooze - Southern hospitality is at the tips of your fingers wherever you decide to stay when visiting our area. Your journey begins with a warm smile and greeting and ends with a desire to never leave. We invite you to contact our chamber members who offer safe, quality lodging in both Santee and St. George. Most all hotels, motels, or inns in our area provide a wide variety of amenities that make you feel right at home, such as high-speed Internet, a swimming pool, hot tub, fitness room, inroom safe, coffee maker, cable TV, guest laundry facilities, onsite meeting facilities, a restaurant and a bar, and more. Be sure to inquire about a suite if you’re traveling with a group. Book ahead to ensure that you get the best room and rate.