Updated: Nov 9, 2020
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If you are looking for the perfect Fall Break destination, consider York County, South Carolina. There's something for everyone to enjoy, from a rich and inspiring history to many outdoor adventure activities and everything in between.
Read on to hear about some of our family favorites and then run to plan your own fall adventure!
Is it Safe?
When traveling, it's a must that we feel safe in our new surroundings. Since this was our first time staying in a camper AND on campgrounds, we had a bit of anxiety about whether we would feel secure or not.
The 26-acre Ebenezer Park did not disappoint! The park is gated, and all campers receive their own entry code/car tag, letting you know who belongs and who doesn't. This makes it harder for people to lurk around the area and cause trouble. Most importantly, it made us feel good about playing outside and enjoying our lake view camp sight.
This feeling of safety carried over into everything we did. We never encountered anyone that made us feel threatened, and we genuinely felt safe while out and about exploring.
What can you do in York County?
This is my favorite part because York County has some Ahhmazing offerings so keep reading...
This park is absolutely beautiful and tells the tale of "The battle at Kings Mountain"! Lined with tall trees, kids will love running up and down the many hills on this smooth, family-friendly trail.
If you think it will be hard getting them excited about the park's history, think again. Participating in the South Carolina tradition of throwing stones on Colonial Patrick Ferguson's grave (to make sure his spirit STAYS buried) will be the park highlight!
Be sure to continue up the trail where you can view Kings Mountain Monument or the "mini Washington monument." It makes for great pictures, and you can have a moment to take in the importance of the historical battle fought here.
Don't forget to grab your National Park passport stamp before leaving!
If you're really looking to explore, you want to be sure and check out this park. With over 30 miles of trails, a living history farm, boat rentals, and more, this park has it all!
As soon as you get on the trail, you'll find a dam with several boulders creating easy access to explore the dam up close. We love water features and could've stayed at the dam all day, but I'm glad we kept moving and made it to the living history farm. We had the chance to visit and learn how life was lived in the past and meet the cows' Tom & Jerry.
Be sure to build in time to enjoy the lake. This is a great way to relax after a long hike, while still soaking up the scenery. There's nothing like seeing the changing leaves reflected off the water!
I love that their rental lineup includes Jon boats, which are large enough to accommodate our family of 5.
If I had to choose an outdoor space to visit every day for the rest of my life, this would likely be it.
The greenway is over 2100 acres, has 40 miles of trails, offers kayaking, paddle boarding, horseback riding, horse trails, dog parks, a waterfall, a swinging bridge, and hours of fun! What makes it extra special for me is that there's also a restaurant and clean bathrooms available. These two little conveniences really make a day spent outdoors easier.
Did you know that the only Olympic caliber BMX training facility on the East Coast is in Rock Hill, SC? Neither did I! It's pretty awesome to see in person, but even more fun to jump on a bike and experience it for yourself. The folks over at supercross will get you fitted for the bike that's best for you and walk you through everything you need to know to get started on a BMX test ride.
Now, parents, I have to prepare you for a bit of a heart in the throat moment. If your kids are anything like my oldest, they will be pumped to ride down the starter's chute. As a mom, it was hard to watch, but he handled it like a pro. The best thing about the course is you can try as much or as little as you're comfortable with. Just make sure to check it out. It isn't everyday one can share a course used by world-class athletes!
If you only have time for one adventure activity, this one tops the list! Southtown Wake Park combines fun and water sport together in a safe, non-intimidating package suitable for anyone comfortable in the water (and at least 48 inches tall). This isn't what you see when sitting lakefront watching boats fly by. The entire experience is tailored to introduce and teach anyone with interest to wakeboard. Unlike a boat, this experience uses an overhead cable system ran by a remote, which provides an incredibly controlled environment.
No fear of getting ran over by a boat or the boat going too fast. The instructors go at just the right speed to help you get comfortable and up as quickly and safely as possible. I had no idea wake parks were a thing and definitely never thought we'd be up and riding in as little as 20 minutes.
This was one of the best vacation experiences any of us have ever had!
When I heard about Friendship 9 and Freedom Walkway, I knew we needed to see it. While we continue to face uncertainty and tense race relations, it was vital for us to use this time to continue hard conversations and share in learning something new.
The most significant part of all was meeting David Williamson, from friendship 9, and hearing his experiences first hand. He shared how the "jail no bail" movement came about and how it breathed new life into the Civil Rights movement. There's nothing like sitting at the feet of living history. Williamson encouraged us to continue fighting and standing up for justice and equality no matter how big or small of an impact it may have.
Be sure to spend some time taking in the many historical contributions made by Rock Hill citizens by visiting Freedom Walkway. Maybe you will even run into Mr. Williamson!
We can't leave out food when discussing travel and York County has some great options. Here are a few we think you should definitely make sure to stop by:
PW's Homemade Ice Cream: My favorite was the Maple Walnut Milkshake complete with their signature dollop of homemade vanilla in the middle.
Bagel Boat: So much to choose from but, I'm partial to the Lox Sandwich on the everything Bagel.
Anne Springs Greenway Canteen: My husband says the Colthrap Cuban is one of the best he's had.
Papa Doc's Shore Club: Great seafood options complete with a lake view. *Right across the lake is the North Carolina State line. Enjoy dinner in South Carolina while looking out at North Carolina!
Legal Remedy Pizza: The family four-pack is perfect for accommodating everyone's pizza needs.
Windy Hill Orchard & Cidery Mill: The Gala Peach hard cider, made with local apples and peaches, is delicious. Don't be like me; buy more than one bottle!
*Supported by @discover_sc
All views, thoughts and opinions are my own.