130 NW of Columbia; 68 miles W of Spartanburg; 35 miles W of Greenville
If you can choose only one destination, make it Pendleton, the Upstate's most historic town. The whole town is on the National Register of Historic Places--it's one of America's largest such designated districts--and Pendleton offers nearly 50 buildings that are worth looking at, many of which are open to the public. The town is also an important shopping center for antiques.
The Cherokee Indians occupied this land until September 1776, when the South Carolina militia forces demolished their towns and property to quell an uprising. After this carnage, the Cherokees were forced to sue for peace and ended up surrendering their land to the state. Originally known as Pendleton County, the area was later designated the Pendleton District. In April 1790, land was purchased to establish the courthouse town of Pendleton. It was named after Judge Henry Pendleton for his efforts in fighting for Upstate rights. Although the village began with predominantly Scots-Irish immigrants, it soon became a summer retreat for wealthy Low Country families trying to escape the mosquitoes and humidity of the coast. It's just a stone's throw from Clemson University, which in 2000 was named Time magazine's "Public College of the Year."