The once sleepy community of Travelers Rest, South Carolina, is an Upstate destination for foodies, beer geeks and fun-loving adventurers, thanks to a misplaced cottontail and his namesake trail.
Opened in 2009, the 22-mile GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail connects downtown Greenville, South Carolina, to TR, as it's known to locals. A favorite with area cyclists, runners and walkers, the paved rail-to-trail pathway has acquired star status, earning raves in national publications such as Southern Living, USA TODAY and Outside Magazine.
The Rabbit is bringing traffic into the town's Main Street corridor, a four-lane thoroughfare that had previously served visitors as simply a route to the popular Paris Mountain, Table Rock, Caesars Head and Jones Gap state parks.
Vacationers are welcome to stop in TR to begin or end their trip on the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. To meet the needs of these thirsty and hungry travelers, restaurants, shops and a microbrewery have popped up along the Rabbit's route, providing visitors with countless options for entertainment in Travelers Rest.
Among the many options are Tandem Creperie and Coffeehouse, Duke's Doggs, Shortfields and Topsoil Kitchen & Market.
Several of the businesses have embraced the humorous selection of a wetlands cottontail as the name of the railway that once chugged through the South Carolina foothills.
At The Whistle Stop at the American Café, the hare stands guard near a vintage steam engine built in the 1800s. The Swamp Rabbit Brewery & Tap Room features a huge mural of the barrel-clad rabbit bursting through the building's brick wall.
The entertainment district in Travelers Rest also includes other fun spots to quench your thirst or grab a snack, including Copperhead Mountain Distillery advertising "free moonshine samples," Down Home Desserts and The Forest Coffeehouse.
Visitors also will enjoy popping into the many boutiques and gift shops occupying the gallery of brick buildings lining Main Street such as Carolina Honey Bee Company, Beyond the Threads, Silver Lily Boutique, As the Page Turns, RetroMarketplace and Palmetto Proper Play Cafe and Gifts, featuring an interactive play space, gift shop, and coffee and snack bar.
Don't have a bike? Rent one from Sunrift Adventures, an outdoor outfitter conveniently located near the start of the trail at 1 Center St. in Travelers Rest.
For an interactive hospitality and dining guide to Travelers Rest, visit http://travelersrestsc.com/. For more information on recreational activities in South Carolina, visit DiscoverSouthCarolina.com/recreation.