The world at your doorstep


It’s that time of year again, that mid-summer lull where families are taking vacations and businesses that aren’t seasonal have begun to slow down. Everyone is doing all they can to squeeze in a little more summer before it wanes into fall and the kids go back to school.

But what about those who aren’t able to pack up the tribe and head to the coast either because of work or the still sluggishly recovering economy?

Have no fear.

Pickens County happens to be one of those rare places that is seated perfectly geographically speaking and affords an opportunity of getting away from home without having to leave home. The mountains, lakes, music, festivals, small cabins in out of the way locales and a bevy of activities all available within driving distance are out there if you take the time to look for them.

Where else can you walk out your front door and be hiking Table Rock with its cool streams, all-day shade, and natural habitat and not have to drive for hours to get there? How many communities can boast of vineyards, museums and mountain streams all in one sentence?

Not many. At times we fall prey to the old saying “familiarity breeds contempt,” so to speak. We become blind to what we have to offer in our own backyards and instead overtax our budgets by doing too much.

Instead of taking advantage of what we have at our fingertips, we spend, spend, spend, trying to create the perfect vacation, returning home only to discover you feel as if you need a vacation from your vacation.

If your budget is tight or you don’t have a desire to deal with traffic jams, why not vacation from home? Take a look at this brief list of places, all within less than 30 minutes drive time, give or take, and then consider a series of day trips, making your vacation not only more affordable, but full of variety.

You have Lake Hartwell with beaches and too many access points to name and Table Rock with all of its trails, waterfalls, and camping. Don’t forget Lake Keowee, which is likely to make you cold as it will just cool your skin. Then there’s the music, restaurants, Pumpkintown Opry, and camping, camping, camping.

The bevy of locales available doesn’t require a primitive approach for those who prefer “glamping” — camping in style and comfort.

In the meantime, as you enjoy something different each day, you won’t break your budget, but you will create a different set of memories that can be revisited as often as you like.

As a side note, not only will the summer vacation be more affordable, more varied and possibly more memorable, all those dollars being poured into the coffers of other tourist destinations will remain right here at home.

Consider your vacation an investment in your own future as well.

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