Destination SC: Cherokee Foothills Scenic Byway

Aug 31, 2022 | 0 comments

Portions of this article are excerpted from AAA Living Magazine, Sept. 2022, page 8.  

Do & See

Enjoy the drive

In northwest South Carolina, the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway is a slower-paced alternative to I-85. The western portion of the byway runs through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and SR 11 goes by several state parks, including Lake Hartwell SP, Devils Fork SP, Keowee-Toxaway SP, Table Rock SP, and Caesars Head SP.  This route was once a key Keowee trading path traversed by Cherokee travelers and fur traders.  It is a stunningly beautiful drive in the fall.  

From Gaffney to Fair Play, South Carolina, this former trading route is sure to please.

Waterfall hop

Scope out Wildcat Wayside near Cleveland, SC. This hiking area features three waterfalls, with a swimming hole at the bottom of the lower falls.

Hiking at Table Rock State Park

Ambitious hikers can spend a whole day trekking at Table Rock SP, with more than 12 miles of trails to explore, ranging from breezy lakeside strolls to intense mountain ascents. Conquer the park’s signature hike, a path that meanders through a border-strewn forest to a 2,000-foot elevation at the granite-domed summit.  

Table Rock rangers will be leading a sunrise hike to the summit of Table Rock Mountain on October 8.  They will leave from the base at 3:30 a.m., hike to the summit for sunrise, and return to the base by 11 a.m.  The cost to participate is $25.  To register, go to


Daddy Joe’s Beach House BBQ & Grill

This Gaffney mainstay makes a slamming chopped pork sandwich topped with slaw.  

The Spotted Pig BBQ

Hankering for tender brisket or ribs cooked low and slow? This Fair Play roadside institution hits the spot.

Aunt Sue’s Country Corner

This Pickens restaurant has down-home country cooking plus an ice cream parlor.  On Friday evenings, the restaurant serves a seafood buffet and puts on a bluegrass concert on its outside stage beginning at 6 p.m.

Aunt Sue’s is sure to delight with a meat-and-three and ice cream.

Written by Amy Kovach, Girl Camper Guide, South Carolina


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