When seeking the magic of Camden, South Carolina, it matters not if Camden is a town or a city. But, you will be interested in the answer after you have visited this perfect little place.
Speaking of visiting, pack a bag as you cannot possibly enjoy all that Camden offers in just a day trip (you really need 3+ days):
- You will definitely want to arrive early! A quick stop at the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce will arm you with additional information about visiting Camden. Plus, the Chamber is located in the historic Robert Mills Courthouse (yes, the one and same, designer of the Washington Monument and many other historic building in South Carolina).
- Before you get too ensconced in the museums, attractions and shopping, enjoy a self-guided driving tour of the historic district of Camden. The wide streets will allow you to meander by 40+ antebellum homes, as your read about each.
- While you are in this area, you will want to take a stop at Victoria Susan’s Wearable Art on Dicey Ford Road. That’s right – wearable art!
- Have you worked up an appetite, but you don’t want to ruin your dinner plans? Candy’s at the Granary, aka Carolina Café as the locals call it, offers a great selection of salads, soups, and sandwiches. Skip the coffee service because…
- Books on Broad, a privately owned, hometown bookstore, has an amazing array of reads and a gourmet coffee bar.
- Off to the Camden Archives and Museum. Not gun guru, the Ross Beard Gun Collection is a must see. From 14th century weapons to one of Dillinger’s sub-machine guns, from genealogy research to Boykin Spaniels, you will enjoy this visit.
- Are you ready for check-in? The award-winning Bloomsbury Inn awaits you. When you are all settled, take a stroll around the grounds and down to the Rectory Square where you will see the gazebo water. Be sure to be back for the 5:30 pm Bloomsbury Social. Great food and drink with an opportunity to tell everyone about your day. At 6:30 pm you may want to take a carriage ride with Camden Carriage. Camden Carriage provides a 45 minute tour of our historic district which explores the city history and a few ghost stories.
- Seeking the most fun dinner in town, be sure Bloomsbury booked you a reservation at Salud Mexican Kitchen. No, you cannot order anything by the number and noting comes with gobs of beans and rice. You will enjoy authentic, fresh, made-from-scratch Mexican food. Oh yes, there are over 200 tequilas on the bar. Oh yes, all the margaritas are made from scratch with fresh squeezed juices. Not in the mood for the best Mexican cuisine east of the Mississippi, fine dining awaits you at the Boykin Millpond Steakhouse.
- When you return to Bloomsbury, you might like to sit in one of the big white rockers to enjoy the beautiful evening before you retire. You definitely want to get a great night of sleep as tomorrow is full – beginning with breakfast in the Chesnut Dining Room. Depending on the day, you may enjoy biscuits right out of Grandmother’s iron skillet, hot apple soup and Bloomsbury Benedict.
- Your next trip might be the National Steeplechase Museum. You will see a short video on the history of the Springdale Race Track, and then have the opportunity to view the displays of jockey colors and trophy silver. In the mood for more horse-adventures, stop by the Tack Room. It is the largest on the east coast, with over 30,000 square feet of items that even those who are not “horse people” will find interesting: saddles, furniture, clothing, boots, house wares, and unique gifts.
- Trust me, since your breakfast will carry you well into the afternoon, head to the Revolutionary War Park. Here you will learn about the town/city participation in the Revolutionary War. While in this area, a drive through Quaker Cemetery is recommended.
- Next you will want to start touring antiques shops: Camden Antique Market, The Menagerie, Ellie’s Attic, The Habitat Store and the Heritage Antique Mall. This is a partial list; during your stop at the Chamber of Commerce, you will receive the antique guide/map or Bloomsbury always has them.
OH MY…you missed:
…the local parks
…a movie at The Little Theatre
…the Broom Store
…lazy swings in the Bloomsbury hammock
…Camden Military Academy
…Pearl Fryer’s Topiary and the Cotton Museum in nearby Bishopville
…visiting a local church
…a performance at the local Fine Arts Center
…Buckley School of Public Speaking
…a leisurely drive through horse country
…touring Carolina Motorsports Parkway just 17 miles north of Camden
…and, so much more!
Town or city? In the United States, an incorporated city is a legally defined government entity, with powers delegated by the state and county, and created and approved by the voters of the city. You will love visiting the city of Camden, South Carolina.
February 2016, May LeBruin, Independent Writers Inc.