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Explore charming towns and find hidden gems in Thoroughbred Country on your next road trip. From the healing powers of God’s Acre Springs to the nostalgic Monetta Drive-In, and the artistic allure of Jim Harrison Gallery, each town blends together history, nature, and artistic flair.
I think you’re going to love these off-the-beaten-path destinations Thoroughbred Country has to offer.
Hidden Gems in Thoroughbred Country, SC
This is an artesian well that Native Americans believed had healing power. There are stories of wounded Revolutinary War soldiers being brought to the well to drink and heal.
On any given day of the week there will be people filling large bottle with the artesian water. Take your own water bottle and drink your fill.
A rustic 1940s cottage with two bedrooms and a bath is a charming bed and breakfast.
The ideal setting in the beautiful countryside is reason enough to book a stay here. Be sure and peek at Lill’s Herb Garden and request a genuine, fresh Mennonite breakfast.
A Mennonite restaurant where you can fuel up with meat and threes along with salads and homemade bread. This is a very popular restaurant and baked goods sell quickly. Their hours can vary so, as always, I recommend calling ahead to confirm.
Barnwell State Park was built in the 1930s on a coastal plain and offers three lakes, five cabins (equipped with bath and bed linens, cooking and eating utensils, satellite television and many other amenities), 25 campsites, water and electrical hookups and space for a handful of RVs.
Onsite activities include a nature trail, fishing, boating, picnic shelters, seasonal swimming and meeting facilities.
Built in 1789, the original courthouse was succeeded by several buildings on the present-day site which was constructed in 1878-79. A state Senator from Barnwell, Joseph D. Allen, gifted the town a unique vertical sundial in 1858 and it remains a sought out town icon even today.
Located in front of the Barnwell County Courthouse. The unique vertical sundial was given to the town in 1858 by Joseph D. Allen, who was the state Senator from Barnwell at the time.
Legend has it that this is the only vertical sundial in the United States and though erected two years prior to standard time, it keeps within two minutes of that. A fun challenge for when you stop here is to try and tell the time using it. It is harder than you think, but will be an interesting break from a road trip through the region.
The historic building, dubbed Little Red Barn Gallery, was moved here in the early 1950s and is the home to the works of 35 South Carolina artisans.
Master Potter, Liz Ringus, moved her pottery business to this location in 1998 and today you can view her hand-turned Paw Print Pottery as well as the showcased works of local artisans onsite.
Growing up on a farm, George Poole has loved animals and agriculture since childhood, while his wife Elinor has had a lifelong love of gardening and horticulture, especially lavender.
This love match grew into a dream business when they bought a farm in Barnwell in 2016.
The farm currently grows 8,000 lavender plants and offers u-pick days as well. Lavender is used to create fragrant and soothing products for bath and body, pet and home care and décor.
Otherwise known as the Big Mo, this is one of only two operating drive-in movie theaters in South Carolina.
Although the Monetta theater has roots dating back to 1951, it was later closed before being revived in 1999.
Currently the theater sports three screens and shows double features.
Jim Harrison Gallery
The gallery features paintings, bronzes, etchings, and reproductions from Harrison’s more than 40-year career as an artist.
Here you can browse his works of art, pick up prints, coffee table books, and even acquire original works of art (yes, there are still a few available).
Call ahead to confirm hours as days and times are limited.