Your Itinerary for Travelers Rest, AKA SC’s Coolest Small Town

Take a load off in Travelers Rest, South Carolina

Take a cue from the Foo Fighters and “rest now” in this charming little town serving up ample activities, restaurants and bars for those looking to escape the city for a weekend. Named for its natural amenities and proximity to a roster of rewarding outdoor recreation areas, Travelers Rest touts an artsy vibe, historic charisma, and a hospitable and friendly atmosphere. Beyond the many beautiful outdoor attractions, plenty of leisurely choices abound for those looking to kick back and relax.

To boot, the “Gateway to the Foothills” is only a short 20-minute drive from Greenville, making it all the more attractive to those who crave a little more activity on their vacay. So whether it’s your final destination or just a stop along the way, Travelers Rest offers multiple ways to take a load off—and will surely have you traveling back for more. Here, your restful itinerary for SC’s “Coolest Small Town.” 


Swamp Rabbit Trail 

Hop (or bike!) down this 22-mile “bunny” trail that traverses the Reedy River and passes through several parks and former railroad corridors to connect Travelers Rest with Greenville. Cycologists in the mood for a rougher ride can hit one of the natural surface trails for some bumps and jumps, while more easygoing roamers can find pit stops, refreshments, snacks and shopping just off the path. Hoppy trails, indeed!

Table Rock State Park 

Between its two lakes (totaling 100+ acres!), extensive trail system and spectacular vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this SC state park brings a lot to the, well, table. Rough it in a tent on one of the 94 campsites, or stick to glamping in one of the furnished, heated and air-conditioned cabins. Just be sure to take a quick dip in crystal-clear Pinnacle Lake—and do go chasing waterfalls on the Carrick Creek Loop.

Travelers Rest Farmers Market 

Greenville County’s largest open-air market is a vibe. Come to stock your reusable tote bags with local fruits and veggies, artisan breads, meats, flowers, and other goodies. Stay for the live tunes, cooking demos, gardening classes, free yoga and more. #TheMoreYouGrow


Pink Mama’s Ice Cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for a chilly treat just a hop away from the Swamp Rabbit Trail! The vibrant pink-hued parlor will be the cherry on top of your hike or bike ride. Stay cool with a classic sundae or get funky with flavors like Lavender White Chocolate and Pink Motherload. Pro tip: Opt for a legendary original waffle cone, baked fresh daily.

Farmhouse Tacos

It doesn’t have to be Tuesday to grab some grub at this Tex-Mex restaurant featuring handcrafted fare “made with love”—and with locally sourced ingredients, natch. And since shopping is cardio, its downtown digs make the casual eatery the perf pit stop for fuel—aka a marg and some chips and dip after a day spent shopping around Main Street.

Topsoil Kitchen & Market

For those with a taste for top-notch dining, look no further than this farm-to-table bistro highlighting almost-too-pretty-to-eat creations cooked up by 2020 James Beard semifinalist chef Adam Cooke. Inspired by ingredients from local farmers and vendors (NTM the resto’s own nearby 16-acre farm), the rotating menu serves up selects for all, including vegan and gluten-free.


Tandem Crêperie & Coffeehouse

Cut the crepe and chow down on this French delicacy paired with a delicious and ethically sourced hot cuppa—or a handcrafted soda, kombucha or freshly squeezed OJ—for brunch at this cozy coffeehouse. You’ll relish in both the modern, intimate farmhouse atmosphere, as well as the quick eats—think sweet and savory crepes (obv), granola, and waffles. Bon appétit!

Swamp Rabbit Brewery & Taproom

In the mood for some hops? “Good people, good beer” found. This local stop will have you jumping for joy with its laid-back atmosphere, wide variety of brews on tap and enticing events (think music bingo, trivia and food trucks).

Whistle Stop at the American Cafe

All aboard this diner at the former Travelers Rest whistle stop—where “the past is always present.” The locomotive-inspired interior features themed antiques, including a jukebox and an electric train that chugs around the ceiling (!). And don’t sleep on the Southern specialties—from catfish to shrimp and grits to fried green tomatoes.


The Forestry House

Branch out via this outdoor enthusiast’s home away from home. Perched in the trees of SC (we’re talking literally in the trees), this Airbnb treehouse boasts two patios, a fire pit and an outdoor shower, all backdropped with breathtaking views of the surrounding forest. Although only minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown, this canopy cabin is completely secluded on the 16-acre property. Don’t forget to wave hello to resident bear Billy!

Hotel Domestique 

Catch some Z’s—and some wheelies—at world-renowned cyclist and Tour de France winner George Hincapie’s hotel haven. Inspired by his travels across the pond, the worldly yet cozy boutique inn touts elevated European hospitality, fare, adventure and rest. And hit the town on two wheels via the inn’s bike rental, mountain biking and cycling guide ops.

The Station

Stationed just steps away from the Swamp Rabbit Trail, these modern and spacious cottages are perfect for travelers seeking hotel amenities-meets-private home vibe. Whether you’re in need of a day on the trail or a drink on the patio, these personal sanctuaries deliver.

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.