Our visit to the final four counties took place a couple weekends ago. We took a day trip from Beaufort through Calhoun, Orangeburg, Bamberg, and Allendale. It was an exciting trip knowing that we were completing our goal!!
Point of Interest: Calhoun Country Market
We arrived in Calhoun County in St. Matthews, SC in the morning and stopped at the Calhoun Country Market. This small roadside cafe featured coffee, breakfast sandwiches, smoothies, and an extra treat of Clemson ice cream. Apparently, they now package Clemson ice cream in individual sized servings which Avery promptly took advantage of! In addition to the ice cream, there were many other South Carolina made goodies including jams, nuts, and honey. Leslie indulged with a strawberry smoothie and I ordered a delicious pimento cheese and bacon sandwich. We enjoyed this quaint spot and talking with the owner as he fixed our snacks. On our way out, he graciously allowed the girls to pick out an Easter stuffed animal to take with them.
Point of Interest: Teapot Museum
We had no idea what a treat we were in for when we drove up to the Teapot Museum in Orangeburg. This was well worth the stop and most likely a place we will go back to with friends. We decided to do the whole experience at the museum which included the tour and the tea. I will admit that I was concerned going into the this place with kids and could imagine the damage they could do to the fragile items that surrounded them. To my surprise, kids were very welcomed by the staff and we did not have any mishaps! We first took the tour of over 5000 teapots, all divided up in different areas associated with a theme (Christmas, kids, Noah’s ark, garden, etc.) The girls were given a scavenger hunt to find 12 specific teapots.
After completing the scavenger hunt, we headed out for our tea and treats. The treats included a two-tier tray that was filled with shortbread cookies, chocolate covered strawberries and mandarin oranges, teapot shaped scones and accompanied with a lemon spread, honey, and strawberry spread. The girls were allowed to drink out of real teacups and served raspberry tea. It was all so elegant and the sweet ladies made them feel so special! They also had a collection of hats that they could wear while having tea. We enjoyed every part of this experience. While we were having our tea, a bunch of ladies were having their Red Hat Society meeting which was fun to witness. In addition to the hats, they also had dress up clothes that the girls had fun with trying on. I cannot say enough about this cute little teahouse and the experience it provides to little ones!!
The UFO welcome center is also located in Orangeburg, While we did not actually make a stop here, we did drive by and took a picture of this odd roadside attraction!
Point of Interest: Rivers Bridge State Historic Site
Rivers Bridge State Historic Site makes the list of one of the many state parks that we visited on our county tour. The park features a battlefield walk that loops around and alongside the swamp. This park is the only park in the state park system that is home to a former battlefield. This battle was an attempt to deter General Sherman and his Union army on their march to Atlanta. Many of the soldiers that fought here were seasoned veterans, knew the land well, and were great survivalists. Some of the manuevering and fighting took place in cold swamp water as high as their chests, as the Confederate army guarded three bridges that provided passage through this area.
In addition to the battlefield loop, another section of the park is a memorial to all the fallen soldiers. There is a picture depiction of the soldiers and the wounds and hardships they incurred during this battle next to the memorial site. This is not a very highly visited state park, as we were the only one’s visiting on a Saturday but the park does host some different events that I wish were going on while we were there including “Dog Tent,” “Coffee and Cake,” and “Hardtack and Coffee.”
Point of Interest: Lower Savannah River Alliance Greenway
We wrapped up our last county visit in Allendale along the Lower Savannah River Alliance Greenway. In order to get to the greenway, we drove past USC Salkehatchie, one of the four USC regional campuses. We arrived at the greenway and stopped at the “Obstacle Course” to play. Unfortunately, this course had not been well maintained and was falling apart and had nails sticking out of parts of the wood. Despite a little bit of a disappointment, the girls found some equipment to play on and we officially finished our county tour that started 9 months ago!
Stay tuned for a highlights post on some of the most memorable counties as we reflect on some of our favorites!