Southern Sunday’s: Traveler’s Rest, SC

It’s a nasty rainy day today, so I figured we could transport ourselves to a sunnier place by me telling you about one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon in the Upstate.  Here in Greenville, there is a bike trail called the Swamp Rabbit Trail that starts downtown and travels about twenty miles north of town to another little town called Traveler’s Rest, SC.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before.  Not only is it great exercise to ride your bike up there and back, Traveler’s Rest has become a biking destination spot.  It takes about an hour, give or take, to ride up there from Greenville and when you arrive, it’s like happening upon an updated Mayberry.  One of my favorite things to do, is to ride up in time for a late lunch and sit on the porch at The Cafe at William’s Hardware.  They serve soups, sandwiches and salads and some of the most delectable looking homemade desserts you’ve ever seen.  The front of the Cafe is a gift shop with books, nicknacks and southern made products, like locally made barbecue sauce or jars of pickles.  It’s such a cute, quaint little restaurant, but the ticket is to sit on the back porch.  It’s a big shaded screened in porch that looks out over the bike trail so you can watch bikers ride by and enjoy your meal semi al fresco, southern style.

After lunch, there’s no need to rush back to Greenville, so it’s fun to walk around, let your food settle and check out some of the other local flavor TR (as we call it) has to offer.  There’s an ice cream shop next door if you want something cold and sweet and across the street from Williams Hardware is a honey shop called The Carolina Honey Bee Company, that offers everything from fresh bottled honey and gifts, to everything you’d need to keep bees.  Next door to the Bee Company is the Copperhead Mountain Distillery where you can learn about how a local family has perfected their recipe for moonshine and now has it available for the public to purchase.  I really like moonshine.  It comes in all kinds of different flavors and honestly, what could be more Southern than a mason jar full of ‘shine?’  I’ve tried my fair share of moonshine and I will say, of all the ones I’ve tried, Copperhead Mountain has one of the best.  It’s incredibly smooth and goes down a little too easy.  I could sip it over ice, it’s so good!

Across the street from the honey shop and the distillery is one of the coolest outdoor stores we have in town, called Sunrift Adventures.  Whether you’re an outdoorsy person or not, you’ll want to stop in just to take a look at what they have to offer.  There’s a pretty strong chance you’ll come out with some sort of sursy for yourself or someone else.

On your way out of town, if you’re still not quite ready to leave, you can grab a coffee at The Forest Coffeehouse and either sit on the wooden swing near the trail and watch the bikers go by or you can walk down to some of the other shops.  One that I really like to peek in to see what’s happening, is the Trail Potter.  I wish I had the skill of making my own pottery.   They’d make such great props for blog photography!  And probably provide a little comedy, as I am NO artist.  My cups, plates and bowls would for sure be wonky.  Added character?  Maybe.  Definitely “unique.”

Once you’re back on the trail, if you need a little more of an already scenic route, I love to veer off and ride around the lake at Furman University.  It’s one of the prettiest college campuses I’ve ever seen and it’s nice to take a tiny detour to soak up what Furman has to offer.

I have to say, after telling ya’ll about TR, I’m ready to hit the trail again!  I know where I’ll be on the next sunny weekend.

Have a great Sunday everyone!


Jennifer Glover