Newberry, heart of Carolina’s small town America

Christmas lights Newberry
Lights on Main Street in Newberry. (Photo: Rebecca Day)

After performing at the American Heritage Festival in Lake City, SC, in early December, the Crazy Daysies headed upstate shortly before Christmas to visit with family and friends.

I dreamt of living amidst vast fields and rolling Carolina hills while growing up.

Farm houses and cozy log cabins appealed to me, while neutral, modern-styled houses furrowed my brow. 

I gazed out of the car window every holiday during my childhood as my family made our way to the quieter parts of South Carolina to visit loved ones for Christmas, Thanksgiving and summer break.

Since moving to Florida, my fondness for intense heat, afternoon showers and trees with leaves that never die has rendered me a happy Floridian.

However, when I pack my bags and point the steering wheel north towards the foothills several times a year, the colder weather, dogwoods and calm, wide streets sing to me.

My family and I have just returned from South Carolina. After spending too-short days with everyone, we are once again basking in the Florida sun while already planning when we’ll return to our home state.

In between exchanging Christmas gifts and stocking up on hash and rice (a SC-centric BBQ treat) we took to the downtown streets of Newberry, taking in the sight of hundreds of Christmas lights, flavorful cuisine in quiet restaurants, and the historic architecture of landmarks such as the Newberry Opera House.

Figaro’s is a restaurant tucked away just a couple of blocks away from the Hampton Inn and Opera House, right in the center of the downtown area. Unique cheeseboards, fresh seafood, steak and a quality wine selection are featured on the menu. The staff is friendly and attentive, just what you’d expect from a small historic town where everybody knows just about everybody.

Snow flurries were a possibility while we were there, which would have marked the first time I’ve seen snow in almost 20 years had it happened.

Visiting downtown Newberry is a great romantic weekend getaway during the holidays. One walk downtown among the lights and displays and you’ll reconnect with what really matters.

Grand architecture, historic roots and friendly residents make for a relaxing, restorative vacation.

Though the bigger cities such as Columbia are popular places to travel to when visiting South Carolina, you’ll find that less than an hour’s drive from the capital, there’s a bustling town that will leave you wanting to come back every time.

Newberry, with its southern charm and whimsical charisma, is certainly on my mind.

(By Rebecca Day/Dec. 22, 2016; originally published at Gypsy Country, blog for The Crazy Daysies)

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