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Old 11-13-2007, 10:37 AM
40 posts, read 117,294 times
Reputation: 16
Default Towns w/ Charming Historic Downtowns in NW South Carolina?


I'm looking for any towns in the NorthWestern part of South Carolina that have a charming historic downtown area with shops and surrounding historic residential neighborhoods that are safe and well kept. I'm looking for a small town with a population of beteen 6,000 and 15,000 with good schools and a good, safe place to raise a family. I would like to be close to water (a waterfront town would be great) and NW of the state for the coolest possible summers. My husband is a teacher and we currently live in Northern Michigan. Getting a teaching job in Michigan is almost impossible when there are 200-400 applicants for every job posting which is why we're looking in other states. I've researched Virginia and North Carolina and now am looking into South Carolina. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 11-13-2007, 11:33 AM
Location: Greenville, SC
1,154 posts, read 1,721,849 times
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Dear Petoskey,

Your parameters present a somewhat tall order for the Upstate of South Carolina. I think the closest town would be Seneca. It's in Oconee county. Its population is around 15K (county population ~ 75K). Growing by leaps and bounds due to the influx of retirees from the midwest/NE. To the north of Seneca lies Lake Keowee and Jocassee - both WONDERFUL lakes - very clean/clear. LOTS of boating activities in the area. MANY waterfalls in the area.

Seneca has a small but charming downtown - not sure about historic. Retail and shopping are average in the area - Seneca even has a Belk. Plenty of grocers (Bi-Lo, Ingles, Bloom). I even here that Clemson (short drive from Seneca) is getting a large shopping development with a PUBLIX (great grocery store). Any "upscale" retail would require a 45 minute drive to Greenville.

Summer temps in the area are still quite hot but humidity is a little less than the "low country". Seneca is very close to the North Carolina mountains - Highlands, NC (elevation > 4000 feet) is a quick 45 min drive - very scenic. I recall a drive from Seneca to Highlands several years ago in January. It was partly cloundy and ~ 50 degrees in Seneca. Once we reached Highlands, it was snowing and 32 !

Clemson is another town you may want to consider. Multitude of activities. Excellent/good schools. University town. Not sure about the population but should be similar to Seneca. In Pickens county to the east.

I'm not quite sure about Greenville or Spartanburg counties to the east (of Oconee county). They may have similar towns that fit your needs. My knowledge of these areas is limited.

This post may be better suited for the Greenville-Spartanburg sub-forum (mods please feel free to move).

Good luck . (By the way, I have family that live in Petoskey, MI.)
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:48 AM
40 posts, read 117,294 times
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Hi drfranklin,

Thanks for the information. Yes, I know I'm asking a lot for a town to relocate to but considering that I'm coming from Petoskey, which I'm using as a comparison, my standards are a bit unreasonable I guess. I'd like to find a place as similiar to what I have here as possible but I'm finding the search difficult at best. I'm looking for a smaller town with a nice downtown area with old homes surrounding it with schools within walking distance of the neighborhood and a place that's clean, not tired and rundown looking and safe. It's got to be a big enough town that there's at least a walmart, home depot, a few grocery stores and a decent selection of restaurants without the town being too large. I'm coming to realize that the best I can hope for as far as water goes is that a lake is within a few minute drive. If you have any suggestions to other parts of the state, I'm open to a different area. I'm okay with the heat but was hoping to find an area with tolerable summers (although Petoskey gets some miserable hummid temps too each summer).

So what is your family name if you don't mind my asking? Maybe I know them.

Thanks for your time.

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Old 11-13-2007, 12:17 PM
Location: Greenville, SC
1,154 posts, read 1,721,849 times
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I'll PM you with the name.

I'm sure others will chime in with opinions. Again, there are other great towns in the Upstate that should be acceptable. Greer comes to mind. It's between Greenville and Spartanburg counties. Also, check out Travelers Rest.
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:06 AM
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We spent many months doing reseach , going many places & several trips to check out all the different places & decided on Anderson , S.C. for retirement for ever so many reasons . The main one being the benefits for retirees as no sales tax on grocery store food , less than $600.00 a year for property taxes on our house , less than $500.00 a year for our house we paid $280,000.00 for a brand new lake front house with almost 4,000 total square feet ,, while the walk out basement is unfinished , we have an oversized double garage , & well over 2,000 feet on the main floor finished ,,best of all walk out the basement 75 feet to your own fishing pier & boat dock . Anything & everything you could ever want or need shopping or medical within 4 to at the most 9 miles away . Loads of antique shops everywhere , places to go , things to do . Summers are quite bearable for us & we do get some cool nights , cool mornings , down in the 30's, today supposed to be in the range of 75 here with slight chance of rain . Check out Anderson, S.C.
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:59 AM
40 posts, read 117,294 times
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Thanks! Thats one of the areas I'm looking at. It's a little bigger than I thought I was looking for but I believe it might work. Do you know what the downtown area of Anderson is like? Is it a nice area with old homes surrounding it? I want to buy an old house within walking distance to the downtown so that area would have to be a nice, safe place. The town I'm living in now has a beautiful, charming tree lined downtown area that's really busy 3/4 of the year with many blocks of old victorian homes surrounding it and it's one of the most sought after areas to live here. I'm looking for something similiar where I move to.

Thanks again for your help.

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Old 11-15-2007, 08:05 AM
Location: Spartanburg, SC
8,838 posts, read 12,982,251 times
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Pendleton is your best choice: Town of Pendleton It's right next to Clemson and there are many beautiful historic homes within walking distance of downtown. You also have Lake Hartwell just down the road along with Keowee and Jocassee not far away. I would also recommend looking into:

Travelers Rest
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:17 PM
40 posts, read 117,294 times
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Thank you g-man430. I'll take a look at Pendleton. I've ruled out Clemson because they don't have an old downtown like I'm looking for. I've also ruled out Seneca because the crime rate there is way too high for what I'm looking for. Travelers Rest and Greer are towns I'm looking into.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-16-2007, 06:39 AM
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There is a minor problem with the water in some Lake Hartwell branches - you may want to look into it before purchasing lake front property - if your leaning that way. There was a plant which dumped waste containing PCB's into the water and there are even some advisories for eating fish from there.
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:32 AM
Status: "Ní bhíonn an rath ach mar a mbíonn an smacht." (set 15 days ago)
9,713 posts, read 7,212,654 times
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I agree with g-man 430. I was going to suggest Pendleton.
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