Sprawling along the eastern shore of Lake Hartwell, Clemson is a lively university city in South Carolina. It was originally inhabited by the Cherokee before European Americans established the community of Calhoun in 1819. Clemson University was founded in 1889 and dominates much of the city, which was renamed “Clemson” in 1943.
Things to do in Clemson
One of Clemson’s most important architectural landmarks is Fort Hill, which was once home to John C. Calhoun, the 7th Vice President of the United States. It is all that remains of a once extensive plantation estate where around 50 people were enslaved. Admire its whitewashed Greek Revival exterior before exploring the interior rooms and library on a guided tour.
Green thumbs shouldn’t miss a visit to the South Carolina Botanical Garden, which forms part of the Clemson University campus. In addition to leafy nature trails that wind between ponds, streams and woodlands, you’ll also find one of the largest collections of nature-inspired sculptures in the United States. Exhibits by local artists are on display at the Fran Hanson Discovery Center.
Also within the South Carolina Botanical Garden is the Bob Campbell Geology Museum, which houses a collection of more than 10,000 rocks, minerals and fossils. It’s a short stroll from Hanover House, an 18th-century residence built by a French Huguenot family in present-day Berkeley County. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is decorated with period furnishings.
Getting around Clemson
Clemson is a 40-minute drive from the centre of Greenville and an hour from Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, which has flights to destinations across the United States. Regular trains connect to the Clemson railway station and buses travel throughout the city. Clemson University’s campus can easily be explored on foot.