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Your guide to Clemson
All About Clemson
Clemson sits in the western region of South Carolina against the impressive backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Driving through the city, you can see its transformation from small, Appalachian farming village to thriving college town as you pass centuries-old red brick farms and the grand university buildings across the city’s historic districts. Hear the roar from local football games on your way to one of the many historical and cultural sites in Clemson, like the Hanover House or the Old Stone Church, where you can learn about what life was like in Clemson during the 18th and 19th centuries. Admire the natural beauty of South Carolina in the Carolina Botanical Garden, which offers a 295-acre exhibition containing thousands of native plants, as well as an opportunity to explore ash and oak tree-lined trails or the massive 17,500-acre Clemson Experimental Forest.
In the summer, cool off from the southern heat by swimming or boating in nearby Lake Hartwell before heading into downtown Clemson to enjoy some delicious barbecue and watch the sunset over the rugged mountain skyline.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Clemson
Though Clemson is located in the South, its location near the Blue Ridge Mountains provides a true four-season year for the city. Winter is cool with cold nights, and spring is temperate and balmy. Summer into fall is warm and humid, and this is the most popular season to visit — especially once the academic year starts.
The most vibrant time to visit the city is during the spring and fall, and the events in town reflect that. In April, the Pendleton Spring Jubilee hosts hundreds of artists from all over the country selling their works while you can enjoy live music, local food vendors, and tours of historical sites. In May, the Artisphere Festival hosts over 100 artists who showcase their work alongside craft breweries and wineries. If you are a fan of college football, be sure to schedule your trip in November, when a college bowl takes over the city for a weekend.
Top things to do in Clemson
South Carolina Botanical Garden
With trails, museums, and one of the largest nature-based sculpture collections in the country, this is much more than just a botanical garden. After exploring the gardens and woodland paths, you can check out the Fran Hanson Discovery Center or visit the Bob Campbell Geology Museum, which showcases more than 10,000 rocks, minerals, and fossils. If you’re interested in learning about the region’s cultural history, visit the garden’s pioneer village, which features the Hunt Log Cabin built in 1825.
Clemson Area African American Museum
Here you can learn about the African Americans who were integral in the development of Clemson. Located in the Calhoun Bridge Center, this vital museum offers a number of rotating exhibits educating visitors and prompting discussions about Black history and celebrating the achievements and culture of African Americans.
Clemson Experimental Forest
This 17,000-acre forest of protected land was part of the New Deal and surrounds the City of Clemson as a living classroom and resource lab for the university. There are opportunities for hiking, biking, and horseback riding for visitors of all experience levels. Some favorite locales within the forest are Lake Issaqueena, Todd Creek Falls, and Waldrop Stone Falls.