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Weekend Getaway in Oconee County

Marie McAden Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.
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Women hiking forest trail
Plan a weekend adventure on Oconee County trails and waterways.

Enjoy a weekend getaway to the Upcountry and experience a favorite destination of the outdoorsy crowd: scenic Oconee County.

Located in the northwest corner of the state, Oconee boasts three beautiful lakes - Hartwell, Keowee and Jocassee - the Chattooga River, a designated National Wild & Scenic River and more than 25 waterfalls. Adding to the picturesque landscape is Sumter National Forest and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the north.

Oconee Station State Historic Site, originally a military compound and later a trading post, offers plenty of outdoor recreation and a look at 18th and 19th century South Carolina. There’s a fishing pond and 1.5-mile nature trail that connects to a trail leading into Sumter National Forest and ending at Station Cove Falls.

 

Where to Stay

Couple sitting at picnic table in front of cabin in woods
Oconee State Park has 19 historic CCC-built cabins for your family to enjoy on your next vacation.

Oconee State Park offers a mix of standard and rustic campsites as well as 19 historic cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Constructed of local materials to complement the natural surroundings, the cozy bungalows feature hand-hewn beams, wood floors and stone fireplaces, along with updated bathrooms and kitchens. There's a lodging option to suit your weekend getaway needs.

 

Finding Grub

Brick restaurant facade of Steak House Cafeteria
Known for its fried chicken, the Walhalla Steak House is an institution in the Upstate.

Don't miss the ever-popular Steak House Cafeteria, famous for its fried chicken. Yes, you read that right - fried chicken. As the story goes, the restaurant once specialized in steaks. But when it was sold many years ago, the new owners decided to change the menu, but not the name. Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, the "Arabian Rooster Fried Chicken" enjoys a certain culinary notoriety. 

Dakota Grill is worth a visit, too. This little gem of a restaurant offers an amazing menu of entrees that includ grilled filet mignon, mahi-mahi, Lowcountry-style crab cakes and blackened shrimp, along with an assortment of desserts you won't be able to resist. Owners Pam and Ron prepare everything themselves, so the sustenance you get here will be just as memorable as your day of outdoor adventure in Oconee County.

Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.