Story by Hope S. Philbrick
Photos courtesy Old 96 District
Sponsored by Old 96 District
Located in the western part of South Carolina bordering Georgia, South Carolina’s Old 96 District is comprised of five counties—Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens and McCormick—and is home to the state’s “freshwater coast,” with more than 110,000 acres of water and nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline!
The Old 96 District is “off the beaten path and proud of it,” according to marketing materials—a fact that makes it an especially attractive destination for adults. Whether you come to buy peaches at the source, catch a live performance at a historic opera house, shop for time-honored pottery, paddle around on a boat, sniff out a turkey, geek out about trains, or hide in your room and take a nap, Old 96 District has you covered with ways to do all that and more.
Whatever brings you to the beautiful area, stay at a Bed & Breakfast for the best odds of an adults-oriented experience.
106 E Pickens St.
Abbeville, SC 29620
About: Located in downtown Abbeville, this elegant respite offers 24 guest rooms plus a Presidential Suite—where President Jimmy Carter once stayed! The 116-year-old building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is “a true Inn, from conception to present,” says Nicole Matthews, event planner. “We are not ‘big box’ travel, we are more ‘bed and breakfast,’ reminiscent of a grandma’s house.” The Inn has new owners since 2015.
Vibe: The Inn is dreamy and romantic with beds dressed in chenille. The town has a similar feel. “This is where Sleeping With The Enemy was filmed and it still looks like that,” says Matthews. “Abbeville is not big, but it’s not boring! There’s something going on every weekend.”
Amenities: Tinker’s Alley Lounge & Grill is located on-site for convenient dining on Southern favorites like pecan chicken and fried chicken. The property also offers a conference room, gift shop, Paw Spa to pamper four-legged guests, and an outdoor veranda. Free parking.
Breakfast: Enjoy waffles, bagels, yogurt, fruit, cereal, and more in the breakfast room.
Pet Policy: Specific rooms are designated as pet-friendly.
Odds of Encountering Children: Low. “We do have kids on occasion, but we don’t have a lot of kid-friendly common areas,” says Matthews. “This is an old building. We don’t have a play area.”
Adults-Oriented Local To-Dos: The Abbeville Opera House is a perennial favorite (the 2020 season opens next March). Visit the nearby quarry to dig for semi-precious stones and gems. Two state parks are nearby. U-pick farms are a popular lure during harvest seasons. History buffs will find much to explore.
The Farmhouse at Bush River Farm
3111 South Carolina 56
Clinton, SC 29325
About: This charming Irish-style stone and stucco cottage sits at the end of a long tree-lined driveway. Offering five guestrooms with private baths on two levels, the property is unique in the state. “We built it like a house in Northern Ireland because we like that ambiance,” says Janet Hendley, co-owner with her husband Greg. “It fits in with the county’s Scots-Irish history, but it’s not an historic building, we built it in 2002.” The structure incorporates stained glass, iron and stonework, cabinetry and furnishings crafted by local artisans. Guestrooms are furnished with a mix of Irish and English antiques and original art.
Vibe: Come to relax. “People always say they feel calm and relaxed here,” says Hendley.
Amenities: Free parking. Linger on the stone patio or deck and admire a water feature. A pub with a pool table is located downstairs. The dining room has an enormous table re-purposed from old schoolhouse floor joists. The largest guestroom boasts a clawfoot tub. A refrigerator in the parlor is stocked with snacks and beverages, including beer and wine, for guests.
Breakfast: Full breakfast is served when you want it: “We serve the person not the group because each person is here for an individual reason,” says Hendley. One of the most popular dishes is fresh peach French toast with housemade peach syrup, though all dietary needs will be met. Coffee is sourced from Chiapas, Mexico.
Pet Policy: The owners have a basset hound. Guests may bring a small dog with advance reservations; a crate is required and the dog must join you on all property departures.
Odds of Encountering Children: Very low. On rare occasions young children may be present, typically siblings of college students the family is in town to visit.
Adults-Oriented Local To-Dos: Explore the property, which houses a barn and an organic garden. Take advantage of the chance to relax.
Inn on the Square
104 East Court Ave.
Greenwood, SC 29646
About: Greenwood’s only full-service boutique hotel boasts 46 individually-appointed guestrooms plus four VIP suites as well as an on-site restaurant and lounge. Known for exceptional hospitality, “It’s a very special place,” says Claire Griffith, general manager. “No two guestrooms are alike.” A cornerstone of Uptown, it occupies an elegantly-designed historic building (last renovated in 2015) with an eclectic past.
Vibe: “Warm, friendly, comfortable, clean. We have a very personable staff,” says Griffith. “Each guest’s stay here is a very personal experience. It’s a great place to create memories.”
Amenities: Free parking. Free Wi-Fi. The property offers a 24-hour fitness center, meeting spaces, and banquet catering. Free refreshments (coffee, fruit). Walk to local shops and restaurants. VIP suites (built in 2018) boast soaking Jacuzzi tubs and double-head showers. “The Bridal Suite is stunning,” says Griffith. “We keep it rented just about every weekend. Brides fight over it.”
Breakfast: Complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast is served daily from 6:30 to 10 a.m.; pick four of the menu’s ten breakfast items. The Carriage House Restaurant is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Sunday Brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Fox & Hound Lounge is open daily, from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
Pet Policy: Very dog-friendly. “We keep milk bones in a crystal jar on the front desk,” says Griffith.
Odds of Encountering Children: “Children are pretty rare,” says Griffith. “During the week a lot of our guests are corporate; on the weekends it’s more weddings and family reunions.”
Adults-Oriented Local To-Dos: Meander among the independent, locally-owned shops on the Greenwood Square including the deli Howard’s On Main, art studio Main & Maxwell, and brewpub/pizzeria The Mill House. Golf courses are about 15-minutes away.
Isabella’s Bed & Breakfast
601 Mims Ave.
Johnston, SC 29832
About: This 144-year-old Victorian home is filled with antiques and surrounded by pecan trees. It boasts five guestrooms with private baths on the upper level, including three suites with separate sleeping and sitting areas. The gracious front porch, back deck, and large balcony invites lingering with a good book.
Vibe: A peaceful and quiet retreat. “I say, ‘go back in time to relax and unwind,’” says owner Jessie Chavis.
Amenities: Free parking. Free Wi-Fi. Fully-stocked library. Two suites offer access to the private balcony. Located just one block from downtown Johnston, a small former railroad town dubbed “the peach capital of the world.”
Breakfast: Full breakfast is served daily. Chavis prepares something special from her repertoire each day, including casseroles, waffles, omelets, French toast, quiche, and more. Schmear homemade jam on your toast: “I use whatever I can get my hands on,” she says of her jam; around the Old 96 District that often means peaches.
Pet Policy: Typically dogs are not permitted but small dogs have been allowed in certain circumstances.
Odds of Encountering Children: Very low. “I don’t normally accept children,” says Chavis, “except on a case-by-case basis for family weddings and funerals.”
Adults-Oriented Local To-Dos: Relax and read at the house or visit antique shops and stroll past historic homes in Johnston. Both Augusta, Ga., and Columbia, S.C., are a short drive away.
Lady Amelia Bed & Breakfast Inn
258 N. Main St.
Cross Hill, SC 29332
About: This beautiful historic home with a spacious porch was built in 1894 and offers four lovely guestrooms that share two bathrooms on the second floor. Word-of-mouth recommendations keep bringing guests: “I don’t advertise,” says Manon Fortin, who owns, operates, and occupies the Inn with her husband Marc-Andre Laflamme. A true getaway, there are no TVs in guest bedrooms. Plan to linger on porches and explore the gardens and trails around the property. “Guests say photos don’t do the place justice,” says Fortin.
Vibe: Friendly guest house where you might make new friends—some of whom might speak French (the owners are French Canadians).
Amenities: The on-site full-service restaurant, tucked inside a nostalgic red barn, is open for lunch and dinner. “Our specialty is fondue and raclette,” says Fortin. Free parking.
Breakfast: Start your day with breakfast. Fortin accommodates allergies and all dietary restrictions. “We’re quite easy,” she says.
Pet Policy: No pets permitted as a consideration to people with allergies.
Odds of Encountering Children: Near zero. Children are permitted when a family books all guestrooms.
Adults-Oriented Local To-Dos: Peruse the on-site gift and antique shop. Dine at the on-site restaurant. Explore nearby Greenwood or Clinton, both less than 20 minutes away. Enjoy antique shopping, restaurants, bowling, theater, pontoon boating, fishing, hunting, golfing and much more in surrounding area.
Pleasant Lane Acres
318 Pleasant Lane Rd.
Edgefield, SC 29824
About: This true getaway feels “out in the middle of nowhere,” says Barbara Rupert, co-owner and co-innkeeper with her husband Don. Located at the end of a long tree-lined driveway, the main house—which started as a two-room structure built in the early 1800s—offers three guestrooms, one of which is on the main floor with a private entrance and fireplace. Both guestrooms on the upper level boast fireplaces plus private bathrooms with clawfoot tubs. The Ruperts spent ten years restoring and renovating the house.
Vibe: A relaxing, pampering true retreat that is casual yet elegant. Guests tend to fall in love with the place and keep coming back for more.
Amenities: Free parking. Free Wi-Fi. Complimentary Keurig coffee bar. Complimentary adult beverages—Mr. Don’s margaritas are especially popular—served at a bar that overlooks the kitchen with fireplace, TV, and spacious window for birdwatching.
Breakfast: Served at your leisure. The daily entrée varies but includes eggs Benedict, crème brûlée French toast, soufflé, waffles, biscuits and country ham, and other mouthwatering dishes. A six-course dinner is available, too, with advance reservation and additional charge. Dine using antique silver, dinnerware, and crystal.
Pet Policy: Four dogs live on the property. Guest pets are not permitted in the main house but may be permitted in the carriage house.
Odds of Encountering Children: Zero in the main house, which is exclusively available for adults. A carriage house does allow families with children; carriage house guests are served breakfast at that property.
Adults-Oriented Local To-Dos: Put your phone away and chill out on the front porch. Stroll by the pond. Sit by the fire. Take a nap. Nearby Edgefield offers one of the South’s best genealogical libraries as well as Old Edgefield Pottery, a distillery, general store, historic courthouse, and independent restaurants. Some South Carolina state parks are a short drive away.
Veranda on Main
802 North Main Street
Abbeville, SC 29620
About: Located in a historic district of downtown Abbeville, this elegant, meticulously clean Inn offers four guestrooms with private baths. Built in 2008 when restoration of the original structure was deemed impossible, the home appears to be old yet offers modern conveniences. Salvaged details including a fireplace mantle and stone bench add nostalgic charm. “We have guests who only stay in B&Bs and they often express this is one of the finest they’ve ever been to,” says Linda Tyner, co-owner with her husband Thom.
Vibe: “We roll out the Southern welcome mat,” says Tyner of her welcoming, homey retreat.
Amenities: Free parking. Spacious guestrooms. Private baths with tub/shower combinations.
Breakfast: Southern breakfast is served buffet-style in the dining room each morning to all guests. “The menu varies all the time,” says Tyner. “We really try to do an outstanding job with the food.” Continental breakfast is available as an option if you need to eat and run.
Pet Policy: Pets are not permitted, in consideration of people with allergies.
Odds of Encountering Children: Very low. “There are exceptions, but usually it’s adults only,” says Tyner. “We have a staircase that children may not be able to maneuver. We absolutely adore children, but we want to make the stay as enjoyable as possible and consider this place an adult respite.”
Adults-Oriented Local To-Dos: Abbeville’s town square is a short stroll away. There you can find the famed Opera House, two museum homes, unique shops, and independent restaurants. Lakes are a short drive away.