Pendleton and a portion of surrounding Pickens County (135 mi/215 km northwest of Columbia) make up one of the largest national historic districts in the U.S., featuring a restored town square, many beautiful old homes and the Pendleton District Agricultural Museum. You can walk or drive to tour the historic buildings. Have lunch at the Farmers Society Hall, where southern specialties attract food fans from all over. We recommend both the Ashtabula and Woodburn plantations—they are two of the most exquisitely restored plantation homes in the area (seeing one may be enough, however). Ashtabula is open April-October or by appointment. Woodburn is open April-December or by appointment. Call first before visiting, as one or both may be open on different days of the week according to time of year.

Just 2 mi/3 km northwest of Pendleton is Clemson, home to the university of the same name and to the official state Botanical Garden, which has beautiful azalea and camellia trails. On Clemson's campus, visit the Federal-style home of John C. Calhoun, the South Carolina statesman. From Clemson, you can drive on to Lake Keowee, a popular recreation area. Farther north, in Walhalla, is Issaqueena Falls, a 200-ft/61-m cascade.

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