The Getaway
15 Things to Do in Clemson

The City of Clemson, in the heart of South Carolina, is a place for explorations, life lessons, and history. This city, which sits between two beautiful surroundings (the Blue Ridge Mountains and Lake Hartwell), is known for its cultural, historical, and natural diversity. Clemson offers plenty of outdoor fun and entertainment for all.

Whether you're seeking thrilling mountain trails, fascinated by historic homes, or want to dive into local arts and cuisine, Clemson offers a wealth of experiences.

Let's explore South Carolina's heart, discovering the charm and surprises that make Clemson an exciting destination.


01 South Carolina Botanical Garden

Exploring the South Carolina Botanical Garden takes you through a rich ecosystem and a meeting point for plants and animals. Recognized as an American Hosta Society Display Garden, it's a haven for plant enthusiasts. Walk nature trails, explore the butterfly garden, or get lost in its specialty gardens.

Each path promises new discoveries, marking it a Clemson must-visit for those seeking nature's peace and inspiration. If you love nature or want a peaceful retreat, the SCBG is a perfect place to enjoy. Don't miss the Gift Shop and Visitor's Center, open daily, for a souvenir.


02 Memorial Stadium (Death Valley)

November 16, 2019 - Clemson, South Carolina, USA: The Clemson Tigers play host to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina. Grindstone Media Group/Shutterstock

Experience the vibrant Clemson community at Memorial Stadium, aka Death Valley. On game days, this stadium bursts with the energy of orange-clad fans. Watch a Clemson Tigers football game and experience thrilling college spirit. The stadium is a hot spot for sports fans and anyone looking to experience Clemson's lively culture.

The stadium was dubbed Death Valley in the late 1940s when Presbyterian College Head Coach Lonnie McMillian used it to describe the place. His teams often lost there, and the name caught on.


03 Clemson University Walker Golf Course

Golf pros and noobs will love the Clemson University Walker Golf Course. Everyone is welcome to play this 18-hole championship course with stunning views of Lake Hartwell. It's an experience that invites players to enjoy nature and challenge themselves in Clemson's beautiful setting.


04 Fort Hill Plantation

Visit Fort Hill Plantation to journey into the past. This site, once home to John C. Calhoun and Thomas Green Clemson, is crucial to the university's story. Its preserved architecture and educational tours bring history to life. Most of the furniture is the very same that Clemson had in 1888. Touring Fort Hill Plantation means exploring the stories and dreams that shaped the university and town.


05 Brooks Center for the Performing Arts

The Brooks Center is Clemson's cultural hub, featuring a 968-seat proscenium theatre, a black box theatre, and a recital hall. Global and local talents shine here through exciting theater, concerts, and dance. It offers a journey through the arts under one roof, with comfy balcony seats and excellent acoustics that make each visit memorable. It's a community gem where creativity meets celebration.


06 Lake Hartwell

Aeriel Autumn at Lake Hartwell

Residing on the line between Georgia and South Carolina, stretching from the banks of Savannah, Tugaloo, and Seneca Rivers, is Lake Hartwell. It is unique among other recreational lakes within the Southeastern US due to its enormous size. This lake is a dream spot for all who love the water. Have a romantic date with your loved one while experiencing the picturesque sunsets. The many water activities and captivating views provide a refreshing destination to either wind down or get a thrill. It is also a perfect fishing spot with an abundance of different species. The lake waters offer a memory of a lifetime for a family trip or even a solo getaway.


07 Downtown Clemson

Downtown Clemson at Sunset

The center of Clemson is a lively, student-centric area featuring charming shops, tasty restaurants, and cozy cafes. Visit bars and nightlife spots on foot, bike, or public transport. Explore and savor local flavors, or find a special memento. The farmer's market bursts with fresh produce, highlighting the community's spirit. There's always something happening here where you can experience the local hospitality.


08 Bob Campbell Geology Museum

The Bob Campbell Geology Museum showcases the wonders of the earth through its collection of 10,000 gems, minerals, and dinosaur fossils. It makes learning fun for all ages by providing an insightful look at the planet's geological marvels, sparking curiosity in visitors. Visit the fluorescent stones room, see a T-rex skull, and join the scavenger hunt in the gardens.


09 Hanover House

Step back in time at the Hanover House. A colonial house located on the upper Cooper River and built between 1714 and 1716 by a French Huguenot family. This colonial home offers a peek into early American life, showcasing history through its architecture, educational programs, and reenactments. It serves as a living museum, where each corner tells a part of our nation's story. For history enthusiasts or the curious mind, Hanover House connects visitors with America's past.


10 Larry W. Abernathy Waterfront Park

empty camping site on lake hartwell south carolina

Located near Lake Hartwell, Larry W. Abernathy Waterfront Park is a perfect spot for relaxation. Its trails and picnic areas are ideal for family visits or quiet reflection. Have a picnic, play Frisbee, or simply relax on the soft grass. Enjoy a peaceful walk beside the calm waters, offering a serene setting unlike any other.


11 Littlejohn Coliseum

Clemson, SC - September 17, 2021: Littlejohn Coliseum on the Clemson University Campus Chad Robertson Media/Shutterstock

Littlejohn Coliseum is at the heart of Clemson University, home to thrilling basketball games and diverse events. It's where long-lasting memories are created from all types of events, from dynamic concerts to moving graduation ceremonies. Experience the energy and excitement for yourself in this 9000-seater arena. See fireworks as the players enter, watch a cheerleader show, and experience the giant LED screens.


12 South Carolina Botanical Garden Arboretum

The South Carolina Botanical Garden Arboretum is a hub for learning, conservation, and natural beauty. Explore collections that reveal the richness of biodiversity and ecological significance. Here, every plant tells a story.


13 Clemson Area Hiking and Biking Trails

Try out the walking and biking trails around Clemson. Appreciate views of waterfalls and wildlife, including red foxes, woodchucks, and red squirrels. Each path makes it possible to see the natural wonder of the place and enjoy the fresh air. Whatever your skill level, there are trails to match, meaning everyone can have fun.


14 Historic Riggs Field

Visit Historic Riggs Field, one of the oldest college soccer venues in the country. Riggs Stadium joined Clemson's Athletic Program in 1987 and has thrived as the program expands. With a new 6,500-seat grandstand, it offers premium seating for fans and players. The upgraded Bermuda grass field also makes Riggs Field one of the best in the country. This soccer-specific stadium has seen countless memorable moments of success and unity. It continues as a monument to Clemson's sports history and a center for community and recreational activities where the competitive spirit endures.


15 The Esso Club

The Esso Club in Clemson is more than a college bar. It's an essential part of Clemson's social life. It started as a 1920s gas station and has become a legendary hangout. Its walls feature sports memorabilia telling tales of victories and local heroes. Immerse yourself in this history over drinks. Its welcoming vibe makes it a top spot for both locals and visitors. On Game Day, the Esso Club turns into a huge outdoor patio. The parking lot is fenced, and security checks IDs at the entrance.


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