>SC Pecan Trail
SC Pecan Trail 2018-01-09T23:45:30+00:00

“Let’s make a day of it in Florence,” I said to my hubby, Paul. With my business convention just over, we were free to explore and play. Wanting to see an area he’d never visited before. Paul offered to take a day off work and tag along with me. While I was still busy at my convention, Paul stopped a the Florence CVB, and discovered the South Carolina Pecan Trail, complete with accompanying passports. Each booklet is a treasure map of sorts, a guide brimming with promises of pecan nirvana for adventurers tasting their way across the town.

After Paul presented the option to me, I couldn’t help myself. I said with a stoic expression, “You know I’m nuts about pecans.” Paul laughed and we set about planning.

Judging by the descriptions of goodies offered at each stop, we were definitely in the right place to indulge. Florence is also home to the South Carolina Pecan Festival each November, further proof that we were in the heart of pecan country.

As if we needed more prodding, our quest would be rewarded with goodies: the more stamps we earned, the more pecan swag we’d get.

With the spirit of two kids on a scavenger hunt, we were off!

Ample Samples

Our first stop was Young Plantations, a gift shop just off I-95. Signs hanging from the eve between stone columns touted the various treats we’d find. Inside, the shop felt almost like a ski chalet with high ceilings, wood walls and a stone fireplace. Gifts of all sorts graced the shelves and displays-from candies and candles, to kitchen wares and vintage pop culture art, to ceramics and novelty food items.

It smelled sweet and felt warm and cozy. We soon discovered why. The back of the shop is a kitchen where pastries and breads were baking. While the aromas were mighty tempting, it was what we saw next that really set our mouths watering: A long line of containers filled with pecans of every imaginable flavor and our sampling pleasure.

We hit the pecan bar, making assessments like we were tasting wines. In the end, we chose five: honey crisp, dark chocolate, cinnamon, praline and butterscotch, with a tin of savory pecan cheese straws thrown in for good measure. With passports stamped, we moved on to the next stop, less than a mile northwest of us: Julia Belle’s Restaurant, located on the grounds of the Pee Dee State Farmers Market.

Down-Home Deliciousness

We walked the length of the farmers market, which we learned was the largest in the state. The stalls were bustling with customers and produce purveyors selling fruits, veggies and South Carolina products of all kinds. How could we resist? After stowing our fresh collards and tomatoes in the car, we moseyed over to Julia Belle’s in the Red Barn. I consulted my passport to confirm what we’d come for: White Russian Pecan Pie.

We stood and read the menu on the wall. Shrimp and grits, fried chicken, pork chops, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, homemade biscuits-not your typical counter service menu. We were definitely in trouble.

I offered my passport to the smiling woman taking our orders.

“I’ll have a piece of the White Russian Pecan Pie. And the fried chicken. With macaroni and cheese and string beans. And a biscuit.”

“I’ll have what she’s having, except give me collards instead of the beans,” Paul said, a sheepish grin of his face.

When our plates arrived, we dug in and were transported to home-cooking heaven. By the time we waddled out, we’d also discovered a new pecan pie favorite. A nap was in order before we ventured to our final stops, so it was back to the hotel.

Destination: Downtown

Refreshed and dressed for a night out, we hit Downtown Florence. Recent revitalization efforts have invigorated the area, now a hot spot for live music, theater, art shows and, of course, dining.

Libations at Victor’s, a fine-dining establishment inside the elegant Hotel Florence, kicked off our evening. At the low-lit bar, we sipped a smooth and delicious Pecan Pie Martini made with butterscotch schnapps and vanilla vodka. With freshly stamped passports, we crossed the street to Town Hall where we’d reserved a table. The aromas from the wood-fired grill wafted from the open kitchen, setting the stage for a tantalizing dining experience on par with what might be found in a bigger city. The passport recommendation was on of the best parts of the meal: braised oxtail ravioli, with local sweet potato puree, Espelette pepper-spiced pecans and sage oil. Divine.

Hand in hand, we strolled “Restaurant Row” for dessert options. We chose The Library, a romantic spot with a speakeasy feel. Over handcrafted cocktails, we recounted our adventure and shared a slice of Bourbon Pecan Pie. Though this was to be our final stamp of the day, Downtown had other plans.

“Hey, that sounds like bluegrass,” I said as we left The Library. “Let’s check it out.”

Sure enough, there was a live music event at in the Renaissance Courtyard down the street. The artsy venue was hopping with acoustic tunes and lively chatter. We happily accepted our destiny, which included cappuccinos, a warm oatmeal pecan cookies and newfound friends, who suggested we cap off our evening with sweeping city views from The Dispensary, a hip rooftop bar above Town Hall. Why not?

Side by side, Paul and I stood at the railing and looked out at the Florence lights. I fanned through my passport. Hmmmmm-only five destinations visited out of 19. Who knew there was so much to experience in this vibrant, pecan-centric city?

Pick up a South Carolina Pecan Trail passport at participating businesses and collect stamps with each passport-approved purchase. Return the stamped passports to the Florence visitor center in person or by mail to snag pecan swag as follows

4 stamps = Awesome nutcracker.

8 stamps = Stylish drawstring bag and an awesome nutcracker.

17 Stamps = Royal treatment: cute SC Pecan Trail T-shirt, stylish drawstring bag and an awesome nutcracker.

Block and Vino – SC Pecan Trail

Block and Vino Your friendly neighborhood butcher, wine shop, and more! Try the seasonal pecan dishes like candied pecan brie ...
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Dolce Vita – SC Pecan Trail

Dolce Vita The double chocolate chip pecan muffin is a local favorite with a hot cup of special blended Dolce ...
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Freeman’s Bakery

Freeman's Bakery 1307 Second Loop Rd Florence, SC (843) 662-3903 website  ...
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Freeman’s Bakery – SC Pecan Trail

Freeman's Bakery Freeman's Bakery - an assortment of baked goods, including cakes and danishes Baking from scratch makes the world ...
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Julia Belle’s – SC Pecan Trail

Julia Belle's This restaurant is located in the Pee Dee Farmers Market, where they try to use only local ingredients ...
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Library – SC Pecan Trail

Library The Library in downtown Florence serves gourmet tapas and craft cocktails. You won't find a can of Pepsi here - the ...
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Rebel Pie – SC Pecan Trail

Rebel Pie How about a hot, right-out-of-the-wood-fire pizza that has the same toppings as the classic pecan danish?  Yum! Rebel ...
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Red Bone Alley – SC Pecan Trail

Red Bone Alley - SC Pecan Trail Red Bone Alley - chicken salad with pecans, apple crisp, chocolate chip cookie ...
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Seminar Brewing – SC Pecan Trail

Seminar Brewing Seminar Brewing has a seasonal smoked brown ale with roasted pecans called Pecans Gone Wild. It's a collaborative ...
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Stefano’s – SC Pecan Trail

Stefano's - SC Pecan Trail Start off with the pecan topped strawberry salad, then enjoy a healthy portion of grouper ...
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Top Hat Special-Teas – SC Pecan Trail

Top Hat Special-Teas - SC Pecan Trail Sit a spell and enjoy a special blend of English tea and a ...
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Town Hall – SC Pecan Trail

Town Hall Farm-driven and Southern-inspired, Town Hall's menu changes with the seasons. Try the braised oxtail ravioli, local sweet potato ...
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Tubb’s Shrimp & Fish Co. – SC Pecan Trail

Tubb's Shrimp & Fish Co. This cheesecake made with locally grown sweet potatoes and pecans is so smooth and silky ...
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Victors – SC Pecan Trail

Victors Start your Victors experience by tasting the pecan pie martini.  It's smooth, sweet, and pecan satisfying. Victors is Florence's 3-Diamond AAA ...
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Young Plantations – SC Pecan Trail

Young Plantations Step on over to the sample bar at Young Plantations and taste the scrumptious flavored pecans. Our favorite ...
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Visitor Information

Toll Free: (800) 325-9005
Phone: (843) 664-0330

Visitor Information Center
3290 W. Radio Drive
Florence Civic Center Upper Level
Florence, SC 29501

Daily 9am – 5pm