USA Pickleball describes this fastest growing sport in the nation as, “fun, social and friendly.” I certainly found this to be true on my visit to Florence, South Carolina to play with their pickleball club. The group of players that come out every Friday morning to Timrod Park was super accommodating and encouraging, so it was easy to jump right in!
Go For It: Pickleballin’
I was really excited to try pickleball for the first time, because I love tennis and ping pong, and this sport combines a bit of each with a little badminton thrown in the mix as well. The rules are fairly simple, especially if you are familiar with the aforementioned games, but if you’re playing with these seasoned experts, you can forget about the scoring and just focus on your game … which was more intense and even more fun than I imagined! After a few whiffs from leaning too hard on my tennis background, I think I got the hang of it, and I definitely caught the pickleball bug. Once you play, you’ll see for yourself why it’s the fastest growing sport in the nation.
Head to Florence and hop into a clinic to learn the basics, and while you’re at it, check out what else the city has to offer! Here are some must-dos for a road trip to Florence, South Carolina.
Discover Downtown Florence
With a revitalized downtown, Florence is a center of activity for visitors in the Pee Dee region. A growing hub of shopping, recreation, arts and entertainment, the city center has plenty of appeal and a flavor that hits all the sweet spots of both small-town and big-city living.
Kayak the Revolutionary Rivers National Water Trail
Florence’s abundance of opportunities for outdoor sports and recreation is one more way the city lives up to its motto: Full life, full forward. One of its top excursions involves a paddle along a 66-mile trail that weaves through the county, offering a chance to see where General Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion, led his soldiers through the cypress swamps to outsmart British troops. The scenery is breathtaking and the history compelling.
Explore Stops Along the SC Pecan Trail
The Pee Dee region of South Carolina has a deep agrarian history. One of the most lauded crops in the area? Pecans! They are so celebrated—and delicious—that there’s a major festival held in Florence each November PLUS an entire trail devoted to pecan dishes and products! Hit the South Carolina Pecan Trail to enjoy all of the goodies and even win some swag!