Due to continued COVID-19 safety precautions, Clemson University isn’t hosting its traditional summer orientation for new incoming students. (Instead, there will be virtual events this summer, and orientation will be combined with move-in week in August). However, future students and their families are still more than welcome to visit and explore Clemson, SC, this summer.
Familiarizing yourself with your new town can ease the transition and help you acclimate to campus life. Additionally, for current students who might be staying on campus throughout the summer for classes, jobs or internships—you want to have activity options during your downtime.
No matter your reason for being in Tiger Town, you’ll want to check out these top five things to do in Clemson, SC, during the summer season.
Try Your Hand at Axe Throwing
You’ve heard of laser tag, escape rooms and bowling alleys—but have you tried axe throwing? What started as a niche, off-beat activity has become very popular. To give it a try, head over to StumpHouse Axe Throwing in the heart of downtown.
When you visit, you’ll learn to throw an axe both safely and effectively under the guidance of StumpHouse’s expert instructors. Then, you’ll be unleashed to sharpen your aim and sink that axe in the bullseye of a wooden target. If your muscles need a rest at any point, order some appetizers or drinks from the pub-style menu.
Swim or Lounge on the Water
When it comes to things to do in Clemson, SC, the lake is near the top of the list. There’s a reason we celebrate Lake Life here at EPOCH. So make sure you take time to explore the beautiful natural surrounding, especially during this steamy season.
Nestled on the shores of Lake Hartwell with miles of sandy beaches and waterfront access, you’ll find the Clemson Rowing Docks. Not only is this the training area for the university’s crew team, but it’s also a choice hangout for soaking in the sunshine. With its extensive floating dock, this spot is ideal to launch a kayak or just cannonball right into the refreshing tree-lined water.
If you want to turn this outing into a whole afternoon, order takeout from a nearby restaurant (we’ll share our favorites in the section below) and have a beach picnic on the shoreline. Talk about a summer vibe. ☀️
Check out Some Local Eateries
Of course, no trip would be complete without a taste of the local food scene, and Clemson has no shortage of options to enjoy. So whether you’re in the mood for a cozy neighborhood coffee shop, waterfront dining experience or quintessential college sports bar, this town has it all.
Here’s our list of Clemson eateries to grab a bite. All of these offer takeout, and most have reopened for dine-in:
- The Esso Club
- Stumphouse Café
- Tiger Town Tavern
- Study Hall
- Loose Change
- All In Coffee Shop
- Solé on the Green
Explore the Botanical Gardens
A pristine and biodiverse floral oasis on the Clemson University campus, the 295-acre South Carolina Botanical Garden deserves a slot in your summer itinerary. The garden is free to visit from 7:00 AM until sunset. Carve out a few hours to meander through the manicured landscape of this natural ecosystem which is home to both native plants and certain species of wildlife.
Take in the Scenic Nature Trails
If you want to immerse yourself in even more nature, the Clemson area offers picturesque hiking trails in the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills. For a short, moderate hike, try the 1.5-mile Yellow Branch Falls. This hike rambles through hardwood forests, winds across creek bottoms and fringes around steep ravines to reach a waterfall cascade over a mossy rock formation.
Or, if you prefer a longer outing, the Issaqueena Trail, which connects to a 7.8-mile network in the Clemson Experimental Forest, will keep you occupied for hours with its many detours. This trail follows a lake, so you’ll be treated to a cool summer breeze as well.
Plus: Where to Stay During Your Visit
Looking to level up your summer vaca? If you want to make this Clemson trip special, why not opt for fun lodging as well? Conveniently located right across from campus, Lakeside Lodge is Clemson’s only resort accommodation—and the perfect setting to unwind after a full day of exploration. Whether you choose a traditional room or a suite with a kitchen and patio, comfort and luxury will be at the forefront of your experience. Lounge at the pool, relax by the firepit, savor the farm-to-table restaurant menu or even tailgate at the miniature football field, all within close proximity to other local attractions and the university itself.
Stop in to See Us at EPOCH Clemson
As long as you’re here in the Clemson area, don’t hesitate to visit us at EPOCH Clemson. We’re a premier lakefront student living community, located just minutes from the campus—and we’d love to show you around our complex of more than 60 acres.
If furnished apartments, swimming pools, a 24/7 fitness center and kayak/paddleboard rentals sound like your ideal college experience, we invite you to see what the EPOCH community is all about! Plus, our staff are local experts, they can give you tips on even more things to do in Clemson, SC! We also offer EPOCH Perks to our residents, which are discounts and specials for local partnering businesses.