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Chester County, SC

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MapLocated in the north-central section of South Carolina, Chester County is convenient to both the mountains and the sea. Nearby major urban areas include Charlotte, NC, approximately 40 miles to the north, Columbia, SC, 55 miles to the south, and Greenville-Spartanburg approximately 70 miles to the west. The Catawba River forms the county’s eastern border, while the Broad River serves as its western boundary. Chester County is traversed by Interstate 77, providing excellent north-south access, as well as connections to other interstates and to major urban areas. I-85 and I-26 are within one hour’s drive. Location

All incorporated areas are minutes from the interstate and are connected by South Carolina’s magnificent state highways. Along with I -77, which is a primary north-south route, the County has S.C. Highway 9, the primary east-west route, and a major line from the South Carolina mountains to the coast.

Air travelers can reach Charlotte Douglas International Airport, located on NC Highway 160 in just under an hour, by traveling I-77. This international facility provides heavy air transport and hundreds of daily scheduled air carrier flights.

The Chester Municipal Airport is located 5 miles north of the City of Chester, near Lowrys. The facility, with two 5,000-foot runways, may be used by either private or corporate aircraft. Recent improvements include a new terminal building with a conference room, new hangers, fuel tanks, a new runway lighting system, and a renovated taxi way.


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Shopping, Dining & AccomodationsShopping "on the hill," as the downtown area is called, is a unique experience. Many of the older buildings are being revitalized and brought back to life with original wooden floors and decorative tin ceilings. Downtown shops carry a large variety of merchandise including: men and women’s apparel, antiques, books, pets, and hardware. Scattered throughout the circumference of the county are strip malls which contain grocery stores, drug stores, and general merchandise. Major shopping centers may be reached in 30 or 40 minutes in neighboring counties.

Dining choices in the Chester County area range from "fish camps" to pub-style restaurants to fast food eateries. International cuisine restaurants include Chinese, Mexican and Greek choices. Several restaurants have facilities for club meetings and private parties.

Accommodations include a bed and breakfast in the historic district of the City of Chester and several motels in Chester as well as in the Richburg area.


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Arts & EntertainmentCultural activities are fostered by such organizations as the Arts Council of Chester County, the Chester Little Theatre, the Chester County Library, the Chester Historical Society and local historical and civic groups.

Annual festivals draw large numbers both locally and from out of state. The Flopeye Fish Festival is held Memorial Day weekend in Great Falls. Regular activities include arts and crafts, a variety of entertainment, car show, carnival and food. In the fall, the City of Chester is host to the Chester Downtown Development Association’s HILLarity Festival. This multi-cultural event features a wide variety of entertainment, crafts and food. Also, Lily Fest, a celebration of the rare Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies is held in May at Landsford Canal State Park.

The Chester County Historical Society Museum, opened in 1960, contains many notable collections including the Claude E. Gatlin Indian Collection. This amazing collection contains over 30,000 projectile points. The Museum houses pictures of the four signers of the Ordinance of Secession as well as a copy of the Ordinance donated by the family of one of the signers. Several battle flags are on display. In 1995, the Museum acquired the Henry Orion Nichols photograph collection of nearly one million photographs and negatives taken in Chester and Chester County from 1917 to 1990.


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RecreationA wide variety of recreational activities are available in Chester County, ranging from neighborhood playgrounds to state parks and National Forest lands. Active recreation departments are operated by Chester County in cooperation with the City of Chester and the Town of Great Falls. Facilities of these departments include playgrounds, swimming pools, tennis courts and ballfields for softball, football and soccer. These facilities are clustered in the Chester and Great Falls areas. There are small town parks in Richburg and Lowrys, and an area park in west Chester County. A new YMCA opens in early 1999.

RecreationAn 18 hole golf course located east of Chester is operated by the Leroy Springs Company, and is open to the public. Republic Golf Course, a nine hole course in Great Falls is also open to the public.

Water based recreation is available in a number of areas. In addition to private ponds and lakes, water sports such as swimming, boating and skiing are available at Fishing Creek Lake, an impoundment on the Catawba River above Great Falls. The lake has public landings as well as a number of private residences and cabins. Canoeing is increasing in popularity along the Catawba River above Fishing Creek Lake and on the Broad River all along the western boundary of the county.

RecreationChester State Park, located south of Chester on SC 72/121, offers camping, picnicking, fishing, a playground, and nature trail. Landsford Canal State Park is located on the Catawba River in the northeastern part of the county. This park is located at an ancient crossing point of the river which has a rocky shoal. In the 1820s, a canal was built to allow barge traffic around the shoals for the transportation of cotton and other crops to market in Charleston. This canal area, unused for many years, is now an interpretive site. The park also has a picnic area, a nature trail, and opportunities for fishing and canoeing.

Portions of Sumter National Forest are located in western Chester County. The forest provides areas for hiking, hunting, access to the Broad River, and a developed recreation area at Woods Ferry.


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