The temperatures are beginning to fall and you know what that means…beautiful fall foliage will be here very shortly.
Peak foliage season here in the Upstate of South Carolina traditionally is from the second to fourth week in October, but sometimes continues into November. Fall in the south is one of the most beautiful times of the year, and a ride through Spartanburg County along the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Byway (Highway 11) is the perfect place to view the beauty of the changing leaves. This road is often referred to as the “roof” of South Carolina. It is the northernmost highway in the state, running from Cherokee County in the east, near the North Carolina state line all the way to Oconee County in the west, near the Georgia state line. Here are some suggested highlights on your road trip:
• Begin your trip by taking I-85, exit 92 and hop on Hwy. 11 North. Stop by the Cowpens National Battlefield, which is known as the turning point of the Revolutionary War. Learn about how Gen. Daniel Morgan defeated Banastre Tarleton and his British troops in January of 1781.
• From here, continue on Hwy. 11 towards Chesnee. As you ride through the town of Chesnee, be sure to stop by the Carolina Foothills Artisan Center and check out the beautiful pieces of art by all local artists. Here you can find something unique to take home to remember your trip to the Carolinas. The Artisan Center also serves as a satellite visitor center, so be sure to pick up a Spartanburg Visitor Guide and other visitor information while you are there. After your visit at the Artisan Center, take a step back in time as you visit the local hardware store across the street.
• Next, head back up Hwy. 11 and stop by Cooley Farms which is the home of the largest strawberry field in the southeast. It won’t be strawberry season, but there will be plenty of giant pumpkins for you to take home or you can take a hayride through the pumpkin fields. And if you really want to have some fun “Get Lost” in their corn maze! Stop in their café for some southern favorites and finish it off with some homemade ice cream.
• After you have had lunch, take Hwy. 11 and as you ride the next several miles, take in the beautiful scenery of Mother Nature. Next, make a stop in the city of Landrum. Here you take a stroll down their quaint downtown and shop in some wonderful antique stores or dine in some of their delicious restaurants, such as the Hare and the Hound or El Chile Rojo. Stop in Zenzera Coffee and Wine Bar if you’re in the mood for a glass of wine. If you missed picking up your Visitor Guide at the Artisan Center in Chesnee, stop by the Visitors Center in the Landrum Thrift Barn right off of I-26.
• After your day of driving and touring, The Red Horse Inn in Landrum is the perfect place to unwind. It’s located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and in the fall it provides a beautiful backdrop for your overnight stay. The Red Horse Inn was just designated as one of the top 10 destinations in the country for viewing fall foliage! The Red Horse Inn has also won numerous well deserved awards for providing excellent service, beautiful decor, and a romantic environment and it will be the perfect way to end your trip down Scenic Hwy. 11.
For more sights to see on Scenic Hwy 11, visit http://www.scenic11.com/.