It may not have the sophisticated ambiance of a major metropolitan city, but Clemson certainly isn’t lacking in the arts and culture. With South Carolina’s second-largest university as the centerpiece of the town, arts-minded visitors will find an array of offerings, from music, dance and theater performances to visual arts exhibits at campus galleries.
Clemson also is home to several historic homes and museums, including one showcasing the achievements and culture of African Americans.
Below are some attractions and museums you won’t want to miss:
Bob Campbell Geology Museum – Located in the South Carolina Botanical Garden, the museum houses a collection of more than 10,000 minerals, rocks and fossils. Be sure to check out the Florescent Mineral Room where you’ll find one of the region’s largest displays of glowing minerals.
Clemson Area African American Museum – Created in 2007 to document the accomplishments of African Americans in the Upstate, the museum is housed in the Calhoun Bridge Center, the last school built for African American students in the area.
Fort Hill – What started out as a four-room parsonage would become the antebellum planation of John C. Calhoun, a prominent South Carolina congressman who served as vice president under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. His son-in-law, Thomas Green Clemson, bequeathed the property to the state of South Carolina for what would become Clemson University with the condition that the home should be open to the public seven days a week.
Hanover House – This historic home was built in 1716 on a rice plantation in Berkeley County and was relocated to the South Carolina Botanical Garden in Clemson in 1994 to save it from being destroyed when the area was flooded to create Lake Moultrie.
Hopewell Plantation – Before the creation of Lake Hartwell, Hopewell Plantation overlooked the Seneca River and was part of the property awarded to General Andrew Pickens for his military service during the Revolutionary War. The surviving home is representative of a rural house type common in the 19th century in the South Carolina backcountry.
Brooks Center for the Performing Arts – This 87,000-square-foot center hosts world-class professional dance, musical and theatrical productions throughout the academic year in its 979-seat proscenium auditorium. It also features a 100-seat black box theater and a small recital hall for student shows.
The Arts Center of Clemson – Learn a new artistic discipline in this center, featuring four studio classrooms equipped for jewelry, clay, drawing, painting, photography and a variety of other enrichment activities.
Center for the Visual Arts – Clemson University offers several art galleries on and off the campus showcasing regional, national and international artists. The flagship visual arts space is the Lee Gallery.
Greater Clemson Music Festival – Held throughout the month of April, this popular event presents a variety of bands and artists in venues across the area. The musical offerings range from rhythm & blues to jazz to rock.