Camden, South Carolina, is a beautiful town located in the heart of the state. It is a small town that not many people know about, but it's worth a visit. Camden has a rich history, lovely attractions, delicious food, and comfortable accommodations that you will love. Whether you are traveling alone or with your family, if you are a history buff or simply love exploring new places, then Historic Camden South Carolina is a must-visit destination.
Uncovering the Past
Founded in 1732, Camden served as an important trading post and played a crucial role during the Revolutionary War. As you explore the streets of this quaint town, you'll come across several historic landmarks that offer a glimpse into its past. Some of these will be mentioned in the attractions area of this blog. You will notice old buildings, some stone and some wood cabins. Camden was established as a city in 1758. Visiting the Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site attraction, a National Historic Landmark, gives you a glimpse of the battlefields, and you will learn about the history of the American Revolution.
Random fact: Did you know that when President Andrew Jackson was a teenager he was captured by British soldiers while working as a courier in Waxhaw North Carolina? He and his brother were placed in a prisoner camp in Camden South Carolina. While there he was mistreated for not cleaning the shoes of the British Soldiers, which left a scar on his forehead.
A large variety of attractions:
Camden has numerous attractions that you will enjoy visiting. From history, cultural, outdoorsy, spooky, and the little brown dog........ Proving this is more than just a day trip city.
Take a walk in the cultural district in the downtown area. There is so much to see, with great restaurants, boutique shops, art galleries, and even historical sites referencing the Green Book. Stop in the African American Cultural Center and the Art Center of Kershaw County.
Historic Camden is my favorite and is what Camden is most known for. They are here to educate and preserve the many historical sites in Camden. Colonial and Revolutionary War ways of life, buildings, and traditions. See blacksmithing, brickmaking and learn about agriculture and how farms worked many years ago. They are responsible for reenactments, and the Camden Revolutionary War Park. Camden Revolutionary War Park is 109 acres with beautiful walking trails and is an excellent place to relax and enjoy nature. This park is a great trip for kids to see and learn too. Check out their website. They have so much to offer from tours to events during the year. Imagine taking a tour where they are dressed in the part of someone from the 1700's. It would be so much fun for the kids.
If you enjoy looking at statues and are a history lover, then the Statue of General Kershaw and King Hagler is a must. King Hagler was the chief of the Catawba Indian Nation which was located in South Carolina. Their friendship and help with fighting in the 1750s helped form Kershaw and Camden Counties. This is located in the Revolutionary War Park.
Camden Archives and Museum, which offers a hands-on approach to learning about the town's history. Check out the website to learn lots of information, and more about events and things to do in the area. While on the website, learn about South Carolina's little brown dog, the video gives a great history of this beautiful little dog. This is perfect to do with a dog-loving child. But what makes this an attraction? You have to find the puppies in Camden!!!!! That's right folks, the puppies are loose, and you have to hunt for them and take pictures. Once you have taken all the pictures of these puppies (they are statues) take your pictures to the Revolutionary War Visitor Center to get your reward. If you need help finding them, clues are on the website too. This is my favorite attraction, which if you read the clues, it will take you through the history of Camden South Carolina.
The Kershaw-Cornwallis House, used as the British headquarters during the Battle of Camden. It now serves as a museum and houses an impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits related to the Revolutionary War. This impressive house now serves as an event center.
Another must-see attraction is the Camden Battlefield and Longleaf Pine Preserve, which is part of the larger Revolutionary War Park. Here, you can walk in the footsteps of soldiers who fought in one of the most significant battles of the war.
If you enjoy old Cemeteries visit the Quaker Cemetery. Very old and unique with many tales to discuss. While visiting this cemetery you have to look at Agnes of Glasgow's grave. Some say she still walks here today looking for her lost love. Legend says that back in the times of the Revolutionary War her fiancé left Scotland and traveled across the pond to fight in the war. Agnes was distraught and decided to cross the pond as a stowaway on a ship to find him. When she arrived in Charleston South Carolina, she was told he was fighting near Camden, so she made her way to Camden. After she arrived, she looked but never found him. Later in 1780, she died, broken-hearted and ill.
Have you ever seen bullet holes in graves? You will see them here, rumored that this cemetery is the place for shooting their guns in preparation for duels. Other notable figures from history located at the Quaker Cemetery, Abraham Lincoln's brother-in-law George Rogers Clark Todd, who was a Confederate doctor and is buried here, a Confederate female spy named Josephine Brown (look for the name Josephine Lovett Noel on the grave), a couple Confederate generals also. But lastly, Richard Kirkland is a story himself. Kirkland was known for offering a dying Union Soldier water from his canteen. You might see canteens in front of his grave, sometimes people still leave them here. Look up the "Angel of Marye's Heights" if you would like to learn more.
Goodale State Park is a great state park for hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. It was even written about as being in the top 25 places to canoe. They have a playground and camping opportunities also. There is a boat ramp for boat access, it has to be only non-motorized boats. Check this place out and do some geocaching while here. While you will notice all the ancient Cyprus trees
Lake Wateree is absolutely amazing. The southern part of the lake is near Camden, but it stretches more than 13,000 acres and has 242 miles of shoreline. The Lake Wateree State Park is located in Winnsboro South Carolina. Still, you can fish, and put motorized boats in the water at public boat ramps, and there are several fishing tournaments throughout the year.
Wateree River at Veterans Park is in nearby Lugoff, spend some time in the water kayaking here in the 35-acre park if you like. There are also hiking opportunities.
Camden Riverfront, near the historic area is a nice waterfront park where you can enjoy looking at the water of the Wateree River, take a stroll on their walkway and have an opportunity to go canoeing or kayaking.
One of the most popular attractions is the Springdale Race Course. It is one of the oldest sporting venues in the country and is well-known for its steeplechase races. You can spend the day watching horse racing and enjoying the scenery.
Last but not least:
If you are west of Camden, on Route 1 near Lugoff, look for a laundromat with an old car on top. This is an odd site to see. This used to be an auto repair shop and the owner was an expert in repairing Studebakers. So that is why there is a Studebaker on top of the roof.
Camden has a variety of restaurants that will satisfy your taste buds. There are several to choose from but these are the top of my list.
For breakfast, you can visit the Eggs Up Grill. They have a delicious breakfast menu that includes omelets, pancakes, and biscuits. The Shrimp Fajita Omelet is amazing.
For lunch, you can visit the Loopy Lemon is great. They serve delicious salads and sandwiches, but also, they have great shrimp and grits.
Dinner is a must at Sam Kindall's. Located in a building that was built in 1875, get a signature cocktail while waiting for the best steak you will ever have. Plus, the pancetta-wrapped scallop's appetizer is to die for.
For a real treat though, and honestly, I should mention it as an attraction. Visit Shortcake Bakery and Tea Room. This is the closest experience to visiting Great Britain and having afternoon tea that you can get in South Carolina. With finger Sandwiches and jam. It is a perfect little treat and would be great to take a child who loves to have a "tea party" with their stuffed animals.
A place to lay your head, accommodations:
Camden has various accommodations that will make your stay comfortable.
The Four Oaks Inn Bed and Breakfast is the perfect place to stay if you want to experience southern hospitality. It is located in a historic district, and the owners make you feel at home in a house built in the 1860's
The Comfort Inn & Suites is also an excellent option if you want to stay in a comfortable hotel that is close to all the attractions and is budget friendly.
There are a few Airbnb and VRBO rentals, but my favorite is on Lake Wateree (the southern side of Lake Wateree) which is not far away. Lake Wateree State Park is up the road a distance from Camden located in Winnsboro, so that will be another blog one day.
Camden, South Carolina, is a hidden gem that is worth adding to your bucket list. It's the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. Whether you are interested in history or just want to relax and enjoy nature, Camden has something for everyone. The town has charming attractions, delicious food, and comfortable accommodations that will make you feel at home. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Camden! See you there!