Travelers Rest has a downtown as charming as its name, a moniker bestowed in the 19th century on this stopover point for weary travelers journeying ’twixt mountains and Low Country. Today, however, people head up to TR looking for — and finding — more action than rest.
The Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail runs right through downtown, and that means plenty of runners do, too — also walkers, rollerbladers, cyclists and strolling families. Indeed, this rails-to-trails greenway leads the way to a revitalized Travelers Rest, which now boasts a bevy of trailside places to eat, drink, shop and play.
Foodies love the farm-to-table focus at many of TR’s popular restaurants. Topsoil Kitchen & Market — with Adam Cooke, a 2020 James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef in the Southeast — is renowned for a seasonal menu connected to local growers. Farmhouse Tacos handcrafts its namesake fare with locally sources ingredients, as does TruBroth, a fast-casual Vietnamese café.
The 864’s oldest café — The Whistle Stop — is here, along with Upcountry Provisions’ fresh-baked fare and Tandem Creperie’s tantalizing menu of crepes both savory and sweet (be sure to try the homemade granola, too). Sidewall Pizza is a local chain acclaimed for handcrafted specialty pies, creative salads and homemade ice cream that’s so scrumptious you might just eat it first. Sidewall’s sister restaurant, Monkey Wrench Smokehouse, is all about barbecue.
Swamp Rabbit Brewery & Taproom crafts award-winning beer while Copperhead Mountain Distillery produces small-batch, big-bodied moonshine, rum and whiskey. The Tasting Room is a wine bar and shop specializing in small production vineyard labels; experiment via extensive by-the-glass offerings.
Drink to good health at TReats Smoothie & Juice Bar. Coffee lovers enjoy locally roasted coffee from Leopard Forest; combine that coffee with art and you’re at the TReehouse Café & Studio. Find more local art at Wild Hare Gallery and White Rabbit Fine Art Gallery. TR Makers Co. curates handcrafted goods by local and regional artists.
Shoppers delight in downtown TR’s interesting mix of local retailers, from Carolina Honey Bee Co. to Sunrift Adventures, South Carolina’s oldest outdoor outfitter. Shop vintage at Retro Marketplace and Charlie’s Southern Rustiques. Ladies boutiques include Beyond the Threads & Co., Silver Lily and Three Little Birds.
The Travelers Rest Farmers Market is open on Saturdays, May through September, featuring fresh-from-the-farm products along with live music, artisan crafts, kids activities and special events.