Another historic area, there are a number of unique things to do in Abbeville, from an opera house visit, to panning for gems, to hiking some of South Carolina’s most interesting trails and forests. If you like nature and hiking, this is a great town for you to visit; you’ll get in your exercise, plus a few other unique excursions.
Read on to find out the best things to do in Abbeville, SC.
1. See a show at the historic Abbeville Opera House
Founded in 1908, the Abbeville Opera House has seen its share of theatrical and musical history, from touring road companies to talkies and beyond. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places, and is the only theater in South Carolina that still uses its original hemp ropes and pulley/rigging system. Hundreds of shows have been put on here, and the tradition hasn’t changed. Check out their website to see what their current shows are!
Abbeville Opera House
Address: 100 Court Square, Abbeville, SC 29620
Website: Abbeville Opera House
2. Mine for gems at the Diamond Hill Mine
Nice purple amethyst found last Saturday!! Congrats guys, this is super sweet!Posted by Diamond Hill Mine on Saturday, 10 June 2017
You get to dig for your own gems and minerals! Amethyst and quartz are the main attractions here, as well as other crystals and minerals like beryl, garnet and epidote; though you shouldn’t expect to find any, it is very possible - some guests have even found huge chunks! The Diamond Hill Mine is open every day, and you don’t need to make a reservation to go dig. It’s 20 USD per adult, and you’ll have at least 6 acres (2.4 hectares) to search through. See their website for rates/discounts, rules, what you’ll need for digging, and videos of the mine!
Diamond Hill Mine
Address: 50-99 Diamond Mine Road, Abbeville, SC
Website: Diamond Hill Mine
3. Visit the historic Burt-Stark Mansion
Built in 1830, this historic mansion prides itself on its Old South roots; the furniture is all antique, the gardens blooming, and the 1830s kitchen ready to show you its inner workings. Perhaps the Burt-Stark Mansion’s greatest claim to fame is that Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet held a meeting here, where they decided they couldn’t win the Civil War. Tours are 10 USD a person, and the regular tour schedule is Fridays and Saturdays from 1:30pm to 4:30pm.
Address: 400 North Main Street, Abbeville, SC 29620
Website: Burt-Stark Mansion
4. Hang out at the Parson’s Mountain Recreational Area
This area is located in Sumter National Forest, and is mostly made up of campsites, but there’s plenty to do other than camp; it’s 3 USD a person for day use, and it’s right on the lake so there are activities such as boating, paddling, fishing, and hanging out at the lake, as well as biking, hiking, and birdwatching - there’s even a lookout tower. For hikers and bikers, there’s a 4-mile (6.4 km) loop trail.
Parson’s Mountain Recreational Area
Address: 454 Parson’s Mountain Road, Abbeville, SC 29620
Website: Parson’s Mountain Recreational Area
5. Explore Sumter National Forest
Speaking of Sumter National Forest, there’s so much more to it! Only a 25-minute drive from Abbeville, here there’s wildlife and camping, hiking and biking, horseback riding, OHV riding, boating, tubing, target shooting, and a number of special trails, wilderness areas, and recreational areas; there are also visitors centers, including the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center.
Sumter National Forest
Address: (District Office) 810 Buncombe ST, Edgefield, SC 29824
Website: Sumter National Forest
6. Get your hiking fix
This is the crossover from Horn Creek Trail to Lick Fork Trail (hiking only trail that runs around Lick Fork Lake)!Posted by Angela Erickson Allen on Sunday, 2 April 2017
If Sumter and Parson’s Mountain didn’t give you your fill of hiking, there are a few other trails in the Abbeville area. For a multi-day backpacking trip, there’s a 24-mile (39 km) loop called Lone Cane Horse trail. But assuming you’re looking for a day hike, Horn Creek trail is about 6 miles (9.6 km), and Lick Fork Lake trail is about 2 miles (3.2 km). If you want something a little longer, Wine Turkey Creek Biking/Hiking Trail is a 12-mile (19 km) loop.
Hiking in Abbeville
Address: Abbeville, SC
Website: Abbeville Hiking Information
7. Learn all about moonshine at Red Barn Likker distillery
As you may have guessed, this place produces moonshine. They’re known for their quality and flavors, and their friendly service. The Red Barn Likker distillery is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11:00am to 7:00pm, and during that time you can take a tour. You can also taste samples of some of the moonshine at their tasting bar, but if you buy any you must take it with you, as it’s illegal for the distillery to ship it.
Red Barn Likker
Address: 101 Court Square, Abbeville, SC 29824
Facebook: Red Barn Likker
8. Enjoy the Court Square
The court square (basically downtown Abbeville) includes a lot of colorful buildings that house shops and restaurants, the 19th-century Abbeville County Courthouse, the aforementioned Abbeville Opera House, a Confederate monument and Civil War cannon, the Abbeville Fountain (built in 1912), the Livery Stable (which sadly is no longer a stable), a historic church, and a replica of the iron bell in Big Ben.
Abbeville Court Square
Website: Abbeville Court Square
9. Stop by Trinity Episcopal Church
One of the more interesting historical landmarks in the Court Square, this church is actually over 150 years old! It was built in 1842, and its steeple is actually 120 feet (about 36 meters) high; its grounds also include a historic cemetery, housing the remains of both Union and Confederate Civil War soldiers.
Trinity Episcopal Church
Address: 200 Church Street, Abbeville, SC 29824
Website: Trinity Episcopal Church
Welcome to the Old South
Historic small town southern charm is what this town is all about - and for the hiking-inclined, there’s plenty of trails to walk as well. Whatever your preference, South Carolina, old and new, is full of surprises.
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