Abbeville is a cute little town in rural South Carolina near many state parks and with an adorable town square. Some of my favorite things to do in Abbeville, SC were exploring downtown, talking to the locals, and staying at a cozy bed & breakfast.
I got to visit Abbeville and Greenwood – both part of the Old 96 District of South Carolina – last November. The weather was a little dreary as it rained half the time I was there but I still had a great time exploring the area.
If you love the outdoors, history, or exploring small towns then this would be the perfect South Carolina getaway for you. This town has so much character and I hope you enjoy visiting as much as I did.
- 1. Explore the Downtown Square
- 2. Hike or Kayak at Parsons Mountain
- 3. Visit Calhoun Falls State Park
- 4. Swim at Blue Hole Recreation Area
- 5. Explore Diamond Hill Mine
- 6. Ride with Cricket Hollow Stables
- 7. Catch a Show at the Abbeville Opera House
- 8. Eat at the Fantastic Restaurants
- 9. Visit Burt-Stark Mansion
- 10. Admire the Architecture of Trinity Episcopal Church
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through this link, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for keeping Stuck On The Go going! I was hosted by Visit Old 96 for my time in Abbeville. All opinions are my own.
10 Things to Do in Abbeville, SC
This list contains a few of the things to do near Abbeville that I was able to try as well as suggestions from locals that I’ll be sure to visit next time.
1. Explore the Downtown Square
Like I said, the downtown square was one of my favorite parts of Abbeville. There are many local shops and restaurants to explore plus the square is just very picturesque. It’s the perfect spot to grab a coffee from one of the coffee shops and people-watch from one of the benches.
Breezy Quarters is a cute shop full of bath products like soaps, lotions, bath bombs, lip balm, and so many other items to pamper yourself with. The owner, Paige, is wonderful and I loved speaking with her about her journey.
I grabbed a couple of gifts since it was right before Christmas and some dog spray for our dog Barley. It smells amazing!
Just down the street, you’ll find Divine Your Space which started as a home decor store but they’ve expanded to offer so much more.
In addition to the home decor and plants section, they have a craft beer and wine section and even a wine club. You can do tastings here too.
In the back, they have a space to hold workshops like a Chunky Knit Blanket workshop and various painting workshops. They also sell work from local artisans.
Jessica’s Closet is a women’s boutique store right on the square where you can pick up clothing and accessories. Many of the accessory lines that Jessica carries are from other women-owned businesses.
One thing that Jessica loves the most about owning her own boutique is making other women feel confident and beautiful.
Other local shops to visit are 105 West, Crate & Quill, Southern Succotash, and Wolf Tracks Gallery & Gifts.
If you’re in town on a Friday then don’t miss their Farmer’s Market held at the Livery Stable when it’s in season.
2. Hike or Kayak at Parsons Mountain
Parsons Mountain is a beautiful recreation area that’s part of the US Forest Service and just a few minutes outside of downtown Abbeville.
I was lucky enough to visit at sunset when the lake was absolutely stunning. While I was there, a group of guys pulled in and carried their inflatable kayak down to the water and set off. Made me wish I had brought my own kayak!
They do have a few hiking trails but they are very overgrown and not well-marked so if you want to take a hike then make sure your phone is charged and you have a navigation app or you have a paper map and navigational skills. Long pants are a must for these too.
Fishing is allowed at the 28-acre lake but you must have a South Carolina fishing license. There’s also a 23-site campground here.
There’s a $3 fee for day-use but if you have a National Parks Annual Pass then it should be accepted at all Forest Service locations. Just hang the pass from your mirror if you have a hang tag.
This would be a great place to bring a picnic dinner and watch the sunset. It was so peaceful.
3. Visit Calhoun Falls State Park
The centerpiece of Calhoun Falls State Park is Lake Russell where you can swim, picnic, fish, kayak, or camp. They also have tennis and basketball courts in their day-use area.
The Cedar Bluff Trail is another popular thing to do at the park – it’s a 1.75 mile easy loop trail that gives you some views of the lake.
Their campground here is one of the most popular in the state since many sites are right on the lake. Is there a better view to wake up to?
At their day-use area, they also have lots of picnic tables, restrooms, and even WiFi.
4. Swim at Blue Hole Recreation Area
If you’re looking for a free place in the area to swim then Blue Hole is a great option. It’s kid and dog-friendly so families love coming here.
There are also lots of picnic tables, a shelter, and restrooms. This is a very popular spot for family cookouts but typically it doesn’t get too crowded.
You’ll also find a kayak/canoe launch area here so it’s the perfect spot to come and bring your boat.
5. Explore Diamond Hill Mine
If you’re looking for something unique and exciting then try Diamond Hill Mine to go digging for quartz crystals.
You’ll have 5-6 acres of dumps and soil piles to search through, so you can plan on spending the day sifting and exploring.
Don’t forget to bring some water, buckets, and tools, since you’ll definitely be getting dirty. You’ll want to check their full list of items to bring so you have the best day out there.
It’s a cool activity that is fun for adults as well as kids – something the whole family can enjoy. Definitely one of the most unique things to do near Abbeville, SC.
6. Ride with Cricket Hollow Stables
If you love horses or just want to explore the trails in a different way then check out the trail rides at Cricket Hollow Stables.
Rides are available for anyone 8 and older and the prices are very reasonable. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced rider, their knowledgeable staff will be sure to provide you with the horse that best fits your abilities.
This is something you’re sure to remember for a long time to come!
7. Catch a Show at the Abbeville Opera House
The Abbeville Opera House opened in 1908 because the citizens wanted a place for performers to play when they would stop in town on their journey from New York to Atlanta.
Until the 1920s it was used for theatrical performances but then it shifted to movies. It was a movie theater until the 1950s when it had to close its doors.
In the late 1960s, there was a movement to renovate and reopen the theater so it was restored in early 1900s style with a few modern conveniences – comfortable seats and air conditioning.
Now shows are held at the Abbeville Opera House almost every weekend and some are shown both Friday and Saturday nights. You can see musicals, concerts, comedy shows, and more here.
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are sold here as well as chips and candy bars. During the Christmas season, they have some amazing Christmas shows that should be on your list of things to do in Abbeville.
8. Eat at the Fantastic Restaurants
I love it when small towns have great, locally-owned restaurants. Abbeville had quite a lot of them – so much so that I would love to go back and try more!
Indigenous Underground is a must-visit when you’re in town. They’re known for putting their own twist on southern soul food.
I had the Gator and Grits and can 100% recommend them. They are also known for their Soul Rolls which are collard greens and black-eyed peas in an eggroll.
Another great restaurant in town is the Village Grill. This is a very popular dinner spot in town so reservations are recommended.
It’s a casual spot but the food is amazing – when I asked for a recommendation my waitress said everything was pretty popular. I went with the half-rack of ribs and they were some of the most tender that I’ve ever had.
One thing they are well-known for is their specials board that hangs by each table and changes weekly. They also have amazing homemade desserts.
Two Brews is a casual spot for breakfast and lunch and they’ve started opening for dinner. Main Street Coffee Co. has out-of-this-world pastries and great coffee. I tried their pumpkin cream cheese muffin and was very impressed.
If you love trying great food then you’ll want to check out the things to do in Greenwood and try some of their restaurants.
9. Visit Burt-Stark Mansion
If you’re a history buff, then the Burt-Stark Mansion should be on your list for sure. This beautiful estate offers people an authentic glimpse into the past – especially during the Civil War era.
Guided tours are available Friday and Saturday afternoons and spring is an especially good time to visit and explore the gardens. You’ll also get to take a look inside an 1830s kitchen and learn how they cooked meals at the time.
The house was actually the meeting place for Jefferson Davis and the generals of the Confederate Army after Robert E. Lee had surrendered in Virginia. They decided here that the war was lost.
10. Admire the Architecture of Trinity Episcopal Church
If you love architecture or beautiful churches then you need to make your way by Trinity Episcopal Church. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was built in 1860.
The churchyard and cemetery are especially beautiful and there is even a Confederate colonel who was buried here. They are currently raising money to restore and preserve the structure so it will stand for many generations to come.
Where to Stay in Abbeville, SC
Abbeville has some of the cutest places to stay! I had the privilege of staying at Sharon Manor just outside of town and cannot say enough good things about the space or the owners.
Benita is the kindest soul and makes an AMAZING breakfast. Sharon Manor was originally a school in the early 1900s.
From the outside you wouldn’t know it but once you step inside with the tall ceilings and almost floor-to-ceiling windows, you can imagine it being an auditorium.
The rooms are elegant and cozy though with special touches like the coffee that’s roasted on-site and lotion and soap from Breezy Quarters in town.
Make sure you eat breakfast here for at least one morning of your stay. I still think about my three-course meal here.
Another option for unique accommodations is The Belmont Inn. This is located downtown on the square and they have 25 guest rooms.
This beautiful inn was originally built in 1903 and named the Eureka Hotel. It’s self-described as “period decorated with modern conveniences.”
They have a restaurant on-site as well as a wine parlor and other common areas. If you love unique hotels then this would be a great stay for you.
What is Abbeville, SC Known For?
Abbeville is most well-known for its Civil War history as it’s nicknamed the “Birthplace and Deathbed of the Confederacy.” Secession Hill (as it’s known now) is where the meeting was held where leaders decided to secede from the Union.
Then the Burt-Stark Mansion is where Jefferson Davis and Confederate Generals met after General Lee surrendered in Virginia and decided the war was lost.
Is Abbeville Worth Visiting?
Absolutely! Abbeville would be the perfect weekend getaway in the south for history buffs, outdoor lovers, or anyone who wants to escape the big city and explore a small town.
Wrap Up: Things to Do in Abbeville, SC
Some people don’t realize there are so many fun things to do in Abbeville, SC but when you start looking there’s a lot going on in this little town!
This is the perfect place to relax and reenergize when you need some time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Have a picnic at Calhoun Falls State Park or Parsons Mountain. Dig for gems at Diamond Hill Mine. Go horseback riding with Cricket Hollow Stables. And don’t forget to explore the picturesque town square.
This is definitely somewhere I would love to revisit!