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Come explore the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northwest corner of South Carolina. Crystal-clear lakes, pristine waterfalls, thousands of acres of parks and forests, Revolutionary War battlefields, and gorgeous mountain vistas are here for you to discover.
Spring Events for 2021
There is no better time to visit the Upcountry than when our area is bursting with flowers and sunshine. As COVID recedes, organizations have restarted their festivals and events, albeit with safety in mind and new protocols in place. Here’s a roundup of Spring events to put on your calendar. 

Over 300 artisans vie for the coveted 90 spaces available at the Pendleton Spring Jubilee. Local and regional entertainers fill the air with music as people visit historic Pendleton for the state’s oldest juried arts and crafts festival.

The Pickens Azalea Festival resembles a family reunion and features an antique car cruise, arts & crafts, games for children, and live music.

The official Storytelling Festival of SC, the Stone Soup Storytelling Festival, features Tellers, New Voices from all over the USA, and a Liar’s Competition where you can compete along with an Amateur Hour for new tellers.

Artisphere – May 7-9
Safe, small, and socially-distanced Artisphere is coming back, and we couldn’t be more excited about the Return to the Arts! Carefully selected through a juried process, Artist Row presents 120 of the highest caliber visual artists from across the United States and beyond. Artist mediums include ceramics, photography, glass, jewelry, metalworks, printmaking, graphics, drawing, pastel, painting, mixed media, sculpture, woodwork, fiber, and furniture.

This year’s Liberty BBQ & Jeep Festival will offer a wide variety of activities for the whole family: arts, crafts, children’s activities, displays from non-profit organizations, food, music, and entertainment. Don’t miss the Jeep Cruz-in and BBQ competition; a Certified South Carolina Barbecue Association sanctioned event.

SpringSkunk Music Fest – May 13-15
Originally founded as a bluegrass music festival, the Albino Skunk Music Fest now features all sorts of mostly acoustic music – including Americana, Folk, Singer-Songwriter, Alt. Country, Acoustic, Roots, and Bluegrass. Camping + music = a great weekend!

The Plum Hollow Alternative Bluegrass Festival has over 50 acres of camping with Live bands each day. New Grass, Grunge Grass, Jazz Grass, Bluegrass Rock & Roll (and other grassy pastures not yet discovered) are all a part of Alternative Bluegrass.
Adventures Around Every Turn
The Upcountry is famous for its crystal clear, man-made lakes, the most revered being the 9,000-acre, 385-foot-deep Lake Jocassee. Located just over an hour from Greenville and right below the North Carolina – South Carolina border, Jocassee is known for its clean, cold water fed by Appalachian Mountain rivers.

In stark contrast to Jocassee’s tranquility are the churning, whitewater rapids of the famed Chattooga River. Situated deep in the Upcountry’s far northwest corner forming the South Carolina – Georgia border, the river made famous by the movie Deliverance offers two distinctly different whitewater rafting sections.

Section III is mild and scenic, with numerous swimming holes along the way. Downstream is the notorious section IV, beginning with Seven Foot Falls and culminating with Five Falls, fistful of adrenaline-pumping Class IV rapids in quick succession. The Nantahala Outdoor Center offers full-day, guided tours including a freshly prepared lunch.

In the Upcountry, adventure isn’t limited to the wilderness. German automaker BMW forever changed the region when it opened its first U.S.-based manufacturing plant in Greer in 1994. The BMW Performance Driving Schools attract students from around the world to improve their skills in cars, SUVs, and even motorcycles. Two-hour experiences to multi-day classes are available for adults and teens, including the vaunted M School boasting the company’s most powerful vehicles.

The Best Place To Drop A Line This Spring
Fish are biting year round in the lakes, rivers and streams of Upcountry South Carolina, located in the state’s northwestern corner in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountain. Try reeling in a world-class catch at Devils Fork State Park in Salem, where Lake Jocassee holds state fish records for rainbow trout, brown trout, redeye bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, and yellow perch. Or try your luck in Lake Hartwell, at Lake Hartwell State Park in Fair Play and Sadlers Creek State Park in Anderson, three-time host of the Bassmaster Classic.

The Chattooga River, ranked as one of the nation’s best wild and scenic rivers, boasts healthy wild trout populations plus is regularly stocked by Oconee County’s Walhalla State Fish Hatchery. You can fish for brown trout, rainbow trout, redeye bass, catfish, bluegill, brown brook and bream in the Chattooga River. The Whitewater River above Lower Whitewater Falls is another great option for wild trout fishing. Lake Keowee at Keowee-Toxaway State Park in Pickens County swims with largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass as well as crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, catfish, brown trout and rainbow trout.

If you’d rather be under the water than on it, go scuba diving in Lake Jocassee—that’s right: You can scuba dive in the mountains! Lake Jocassee is a world-renowned freshwater diving destination that boasts visibility of more than 50 feet at depth on warm clear days. Dive down to see the “wall” created when the side of the mountain was blasted during construction of the dam. You can also swim through a 40-foot wooden sail boat. Lake Jocassee Dive Shop offers lessons if you’re a novice or hope to refine your diving skills.

Explore Our Videos
You can watch videos about waterfall hikes, see local attractions, and discover the six counties of the Upcountry right from our YouTube channel.
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Upcoming Events
Join us April 7 through September 29 for Greenville Heritage Sound Check, a concert series located on the Reedy River. Each Wednesday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. will feature live music on the Peace Center Amphitheatre stage. Grab your friends, reserve a T-mobile Safe Space Pod and we will see you on the river!

April - September
Hagood Mill will be hosting a weekend long event of Old Time Jams.
As usual, their Third Saturday Folklife Festivals feature the operation of the historic Hagood Mill, living history demonstrators, an artisan craft market and concessions. Admission is $5 per person aged 13 and up. 

April 17
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Upcountry South Carolina