While your visit to Walhalla may be focused on the mountains and outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking and kayaking, you’ll also want to spend time exploring its rich history and arts scene.
Within the small downtown district you’ll find a number of museums, including one dedicated to the Upstate’s Cherokees, as well as a performing arts center and art studios.
Here are some of the attractions you won’t want to miss:
Museum of the Cherokee in South Carolina – Housed in a historic brick building built in 1905, the museum is a repository for artifacts and historical information relating to the Cherokee tribes who lived in the South Carolina Upstate. The collection includes pottery, Cherokee stickball baskets, soapstone pipe bowls, a cooking stone, spears and arrowheads.
Oconee Station Historic Site – In the late 18th and early 19th century, the site served as a military compound to defend against attack from the Cherokee and Creek Indians, and was later used as a trading post. A stone building built circa 1792 by the state militia is the only remaining portion of the Oconee Station fort. Visitors also can tour the William Richards House, built on the property in 1805.
Oconee History Museum – Take a self-guided tour through this fascinating exhibit hall to learn about Oconee County’s rich history, from its Native American heritage to its railroads, New Deal programs, textile mills, agriculture and more. Displays include dugout canoes, a walk-in Stumphouse Tunnel exhibit, and a Depression-era tenant farmer’s house.
Oconee Military Museum at Patriots Hall – Formerly known as the “old rock building,” Patriots Hall was built in 1913 by the Civilian Conservation Corps with black granite rock removed from the Stumphouse Tunnel. Now a museum honoring U.S. veterans, its two floors are filled with military artifacts and displays from the Revolutionary War to current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Walhalla Performing Arts Center – Originally a grade school gym built in 1903, the auditorium was added in 1913 and restored in the 1990s to become a venue for arts and culture. Each year, the arts center hosts a wide array of performances, plays, concerts and shows.
End of the Road Studios – Located on the historic DuBose family farm, this beautiful wood-sided studio/gallery is home to innovative and award-winning artists Robin Anne Cooper and Stan DuBose. The couple’s collection of work includes painted canvas collages, pottery and mixed media folk art pieces.
Farmhouse Gallery – This gallery showcases the work of artist Vivian Edwards, who paints a range of subjects, including birds, flowers, horses, landscapes, still lifes and wildlife.