15 Best Things to Do in Walhalla, SC

Walhalla, SC
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Walhalla City is the designated county seat of Oconee County in the northwestern part of South Carolina.

The city is near the foothills of mountains and is even called the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Walhalla got its name from Norse mythology, which specifically means “Garden of the Gods.”

German immigrants settled in the area back in the 1850s, although much of the German influence has faded throughout the years.

If you’re planning to visit the quiet and calm city, here are the 15 best things to do in Walhalla, South Carolina:

Visit the Issaqueena Falls

Autumn trees surrounding Issaqueena Falls
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Although downtown Walhalla contains everything you might expect from a city, the nature on its outskirts tells a whole different story.

One of Walhalla’s most prized attractions is the Issaqueena Falls, a natural sight you would find in Stumphouse Park just outside of the city.

Issaqueena Falls is a rocky waterfall named after a creek maiden who hid in it to escape capture.

The rushing waters of Issaqueena Falls
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

There’s an accessible trail that leads to a vantage point overlooking the entire falls, although you might have more luck during winter when the barren trees give a better view of the falls.

A trail leads to the base of the falls, but it’s a rather treacherous trip, and park officials advise you against it.

In any case, whether you’re on the platform or the base, Issaqueena Falls is one of the places you wouldn’t want to miss out on.

Sign of Issaqueena Falls
Workman, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There’s nothing like decorating your house with art pieces that help create a warm and inviting atmosphere for you.

In Walhalla, one of the best places to shop for artsy decorations is the Farmhouse Gallery, which can be found along East Main Street.

Farmhouse Gallery offers prints of the artworks in its gallery, a perfect and inexpensive way to add some art to your environment.

The gallery’s artworks fall under different categories such as birds, flowers, Christmas, landscape, and whimsical art.

Throughout the year, Farmhouse Gallery also hosts events such as big artwork sales and music performances.

Find Unusual Products in the Middle of Main Antiques

If you’ve ever thought of getting unusual decorations or want an element of surprise in your shopping, then Middle of Main Antiques is a great spot for you.

Middle of Main Antiques features an esoteric collection of unique collectibles and decorations for your home.

These products include antiques and glassware, bottles and fine jewelry, and other collectibles.

In particular, Middle of Main Antiques also has gem mining, specimens, and crystals, if that’s right up your alley.

Some of its more unique offerings are masks, totems, and statues.

Virtually anything that you probably won’t expect to find anywhere else you’d find at the Middle of Main Antiques.

Walk Down the Stumphouse Tunnel

Entrance of the Stumphouse Tunnel
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Stumphouse Park outside of downtown Walhalla offers guests one of their closest encounters with nature while in the city.

But nature isn’t the only thing you’d find in Stumphouse Park; there’s also a place with an interesting history located inside it.

The view inside Stumphouse Tunnel
Kenneth Keifer / Shutterstock.com

Welcome to the Stumphouse Tunnel, a dark tunnel that extends 1/4 miles and which is perfectly safe to explore using flashlights.

Stumphouse Tunnel was built in the 1850s in an attempt to link the railway lines of South Carolina and Tennessee, but because of the Civil War and the weakening of the state’s economy, the tunnel was never completed.

Now, it remains a quiet and obscure attraction in the park that you might want to visit after exploring the other natural sites.

Light at the end of Stumphouse Tunnel
Bill Fitzpatrick, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn More about History at the Oconee History Museum

Walhalla proudly celebrates its history and heritage, and nowhere is this more evident than at the Oconee History Museum.

The museum is located along Browns Square Drive and lets guests do self-guided tours of the historical artifacts on display.

Check out the Chattooga Canoe, which was unearthed by a riverbank and dates back to at least the late 1700s.

There’s also the Oconee Ancestor’s Gallery that houses scanned images of Oconee ancestors and families.

If you’re bringing children along, the museum also has the camping-themed Louise Russel Alexander Children’s Corner, which features history books.

To bring some of the memories back home, stop by their gift shop and get your choice of books, maps, jewelry, and more.

Hike and Bike at the Stumphouse Passage

Snaking throughout South Carolina is the Palmetto Trail, a 500-mile network that invites hikers to tour the state and witness its natural beauties and attractive cities.

In 2016, Walhalla partnered with the Palmetto Conservation Organization to extend the Palmetto Trail to downtown Walhalla.

The result of the partnership is the Stumphouse Passage, a trail accessible from Stumphouse Park and which lets tourists and locals hike and bike.

Stumphouse Passage features a relatively easy terrain to traverse, so going through it shouldn’t be too difficult.

However, be wary of the signages and protocols, as some portions of the trail are reserved for biking only.

With the trail being continuously expanded, you can count on having more things to physically challenge yourself with.

Find Your Next Favorite Sandwich at Steph’s Steaks

While you’re out touring Walhalla, you may want to have something to munch on while you’re on the go.

Steph’s Steaks is your go-to shop that’s popular for their cheesesteaks and sandwiches, perfect for a convenient but also filling meal while in the city.

Steph’s Steaks specializes in cheesesteaks, and you can find a wide variety containing white tuna, pork, scrambled eggs, or vegan options.

The restaurant also specializes in chicken sandwiches with options for bacon, onions, lettuce, and tomato.

There are also seared hotdog options, as well as salads and sides to pair with your meal.

Finish it off with your choice of non-alcoholic beverages, perfect for keeping things light and letting you be ready to explore Walhalla again.

Celebrate Cherokee heritage with the Museum of the Cherokee in South Carolina

Exterior of Museum of the Cherokee in South Carolina
Brian Stansberry, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Intending to preserve an appreciation of Cherokee heritage in South Carolina, the Museum of the Cherokee in South Carolina was established.

Thanks to grants and donations, the museum constantly expands and adds artifacts to its catalog and displays.

Here, you can view Cherokee historical artifacts such as pottery, a traditional stick game, a precursor of the lacrosse game, pipe bowls, and more.

Apart from celebrating Cherokee heritage, the museum also houses prehistoric artifacts such as a replica of saber-toothed cat bones, weapons, cooking equipment, and more.

The Museum of the Cherokee in South Carolina can be found along Short Street.

Watch Shows at the Walhalla Performing Arts Center

A city that appreciates the arts is a city that’s worth visiting, and at the Walhalla Performing Arts Center, you’ll get a taste of the arts that Walhalla has to offer.

The center was revived in 1993 using an old school auditorium, and in 2003, it housed its first performance.

Since then, the Walhalla Performing Arts Center has hosted multiple events such as musical concerts, plays, and more.

Apart from the usual shows, the center also hosts raffle draws and film screenings.

The Walhalla Performing Arts Center prides itself in providing world-class facilities that suit performances, as well as other activities like conferences and special events.

Enjoy a Chill Drinking Night at Garage Taproom

If you’re looking for a great way to cap a day of exploring the city, you should head to Garage Taproom and enjoy a chill drinking night.

Garage Taproom can be found at West Main Street, and it’s one of the best ways to experience Walhalla.

The outdoor seating of Garage Taproom, paired with music performances, karaoke, or open mic nights, is sure to add color to your stay in Walhalla.

The establishment features 16 beers and ciders on tap, so you can be sure you’ll find something you’d love.

As for food, Garage Taproom features some local restaurants and catering services from time to time, so keep your eyes peeled for this.

Dine at Walhalla Steak House

One of the popular local food options during your visit to Walhalla is the Walhalla Steak House, a long-time establishment in the neighborhood.

The restaurant doesn’t have a fixed menu, and it instead updates its menu regularly, rotating some of the menu items every once in a while.

Walhalla Steak House is popular for its chicken dishes, and these are often a mainstay on its menu.

For steaks, the restaurant offers different options each day, such as pork chops, loins, and baked ham.

To complete your meal, order one of the sides on their menu, like green beans, peas, and cream corn.

Experience time-tested tastes at Walhalla Steak House!

Honor War Veterans at the Oconee Military Museum at Patriots Hall

Exterior of Oconee Military Museum at Patriots Hall
Brian Stansberry, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Travel along Short Street, and you’ll come across a dignified space that honors the veterans who served the country, particularly those living in Walhalla.

The Oconee Military Museum at Patriots Hall houses artifacts from the Revolutionary War, as well as more recent ones, such as from the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In this museum, you can learn more about the war contributions and service rendered by military veterans for the country.

To make the experience more authentic, the museum has artifacts, documents, photographs, artwork, and personal stories that guests can explore and read about.

Outside, there’s also a Walk of Honor dedicated to some distinguished military veterans.

Rent Sophisticated Accommodation at the Bauknight House

If Walhalla had one real treasure, it’d have to be the Bauknight House located along East Main Street.

Dubbed as the “Jewel of Walhalla,” the Bauknight House boasts a scenic lawn and grand architecture that would turn everyone’s heads when they see it.

For most of its time since it was built in 1906, the Bauknight House served as a private residence, and only recently did it open its doors to guests.

You can lodge here through AirBNB, and make sure to schedule your stay properly as the Bauknight House is also popular for weddings and other gatherings.

Apart from serving as an accommodation, the Bauknight House also hosts other events now and then.

For a truly luxurious stay in Walhalla, rent the Bauknight House!

Connect with the Divine with Earth’s Elements

“Unity through spirituality.”

This is the tagline of Earth’s Elements, and rightly so.

This establishment, located along East Main Street, offers multiple items geared toward helping practitioners of different faith get closer to their idea of the Divine.

Wicca, Asatru, Buddhism, and so much more—Earth’s Elements has the things you need.

Being close to the Divine also means you’ll need to also be physically appeasing; Earth’s Elements also sells handcrafted soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions.

For those who practice other spiritual rituals, there are also herbs, crystals, stones, and essential oils for you.

Before you leave, check out the apparel the shop has for sale for men and women.

Satisfy Your Mexican Cravings at 3 Amigos Mexican Grill

Even this far north from Mexico, an authentic Mexican culinary experience is still something to die for.

With 3 Amigos Mexican Grill, you’ll get to satisfy your Mexican cravings thanks to their wide assortment of nachos, quesadillas, or fajitas.

If you’re not sure where to start, go with their favorites menu containing burritos, enchiladas, and more.

You may also choose from their combination menus which give you a complete meal or mix and match your own dining experience.

Do you want to try something fancy?

Try their steaks, especially their special “Steak and Shrimp” option that combines the best of meat and seafood.

Since 3 Amigos Mexican Grill is a family-owned and operated restaurant, you can be sure that the dishes are all made with love.

Visit the restaurant at South Catherine Street!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Attend the South Carolina Foothills Heritage Fair

At only about 9 miles south of Walhalla, along Westminster Road, the annual South Carolina Foothills Heritage Fair is one of the best events to visit outside of the city.

The annual fair begins with a parade of antique tractors on the show ring, and then the rest of the celebrations booms for everyone to participate in.

As with any fair, there are also unlimited carnival rides for you and your family or friends to join in.

There are also chainsaw carving demonstrations and farming equipment exhibits available for you to see, as well as loads of other activities that cater to everyone’s tastes and interests.

For a fun-filled time near Walhalla, attend the South Carolina Foothills Heritage Fair!

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a quiet place around upstate South Carolina that wouldn’t bore you, Walhalla is the perfect spot.

With its museums, diners, and nature spots, Walhalla has everything to offer and then some.

Book a trip to Walhalla today!