The new aqua park and sandy white beach at the Shores of Asbury in Anderson, SC is the only one of its kind in the Upstate and less than an hour from Greenville, SC. We checked it out and have all the information for you and your family to have a blast on this floating obstacle course.
Media tickets were provided for this review and all opinions are those of the author.
This article includes:
About the Shores of Asbury
White Sand Beach at Shores of Asbury
Aqua Zone- floating obstacle course
Tips for Visiting Shores of Asbury
Tickets and Admission
Karen McCullough used to camp at Lake Hartwell as Asbury Park when she was a child. Then the campground closed and remained that way for many years. But that special place was always on her heart and she often thought about it as she made her way to Nashville as a professional musician who also managed dozens of campgrounds and RV resorts and traveled to every state except Hawaii through her music career. When the opportunity arose to turn her old stomping ground into a legit resort and entertainment mecca on the shores of Lake Hartwell, she jumped right in and moved back home to Anderson.
Millions of investment dollars later, The Shores of Asbury opened up on Lake Hartwell as a campground with spots for RVs and the floating aqua park, less than an hour from Greenville.
About the Shores of Asbury
The Shores of Asbury opened up in the summer of 2022 but the planning has been happening awhile before that because once you see this beautiful spot, you’ll appreciate all the thought that went into creating it.
There’s the RV campground, an arcade, individual bathrooms, the Waterfront Grill, a white sandy beach, and the big aqua zone floating obstacle course all at the Shores of Asbury.
There are outdoor games like cornhole and you can rent kayaks and paddleboards as well. There are some big plans in the works at the Shores of Asbury: yurts and treehouses! The yurts are in transit and the treehouse village is being designed and worked on by the team at the resort. Karen is laser focused on her vision for the resort and believes it will continue to be a fantastic addition to Anderson.
The Sandy Beach
Anyone who has been at an Upstate lake knows about all the red clay that infiltrates shoes, bathing suits, kayaks, you name it. Karen isn’t a fan of the red clay and wanted something really unique and special for the beach at the Shores of Asbury so she decided to bring the sands of Florida beaches to Anderson.
She literally ordered sugar white sand from Pensacola, Florida and had it shipped to Lake Hartwell. It is glorious. There are two sections of the beach – one on each side of the dock walkway. One side has a pirate ship sandbox that overlooks the kids aqua zone and the other side has a beautiful view of the bridge that goes over the lake. There are cabanas and beach chairs for guests to use and that sand does feel pretty good under your feet, just like the sand at the ocean.
Because of the red clay under the sugar white sand, you are not allowed to dig in the sand like you would at the beach. There are actually big piles of white sand on the beach for that purpose though set a little further back from the lake. No dogs are allowed on the sandy beach either.
The Aqua Zone
The aqua park is huge and is from a company called Wibit out of Germany. Karen told me they went with Wibit because they have better safety measures than other floating obstacle courses.
There’s a giant trampoline, rope climbing wall, trapeze, and obstacles reminiscent of one of my favorite shows, “Wipeout”. Admittedly when we first got on the course and people started slipping and sliding off and into the water, I was cracking up. I thought this is like the show except I was on the course and laughing at people right in front of me – then I slipped and fell into the water and heard other people laughing at my clumsiness so I figured I deserved it then. It was a lot of fun!
The Aqua Zone is more than 167 feet across and the park caps each hour session at 150 slots. There weren’t that many individuals on the course when we went but there were a lot of people and we had to wait in line for some obstacles. You must be 47” tall to do the big Aqua Zone course.
For smaller kids, they have an entirely separate Kids Zone aqua course and kids have to be 37” tall to play on that. It’s really close to the shore, which is perfect for parents to watch their kids slip and slide all over the place on it.
Everyone has to wear life jackets, which are provided by the park and included with your admission. Aqua Zone opens for the 2023 season on May 1, 2023 and will be open 11 am – 8 pm.
New for 2023 is the Mexican restaurant, El Arriero. This place wasn’t there when we initially went so we cannot review it firsthand here but we plan to visit in 2023 and will come back here and write about it! There has never been a Mexican restaurant on the shores of Lake Hartwell so the Shores at Asbury are pretty excited to bring the first one there.
The restaurant opens on May 1, 2023 and will be open 11 am – 10 pm daily.
Lakeside Festivals & Music
This year, the Shores at Asbury Boardwalk Music is hosting “Lakeside Theatre Live” productions put on by RPM Productions. They have scheduled four wonderful plays and musicals this season. The first show is based on a true story of a local hero, “See you in Saint-Lo” and those show dates are May 12, 13, 14, and 19, 20, 21 and start at 8:30 pm. The second will be “Lady Pirates of Captain Bree”, a musical comedy it appears July 14, 15, 16, and July 21, 22, 23 at 8:30 pm. On August 18,19, 20, and 25, 26, and 27, “Swiss Family Robinson” will grace the stage and lastly the new Mel Brooks musical, “Young Frankenstein” will run October 13,14,15 and 20, 21, and 22.
Live bands are scheduled nearly every Saturday starting in May and Lakefront Karaoke will be held every Friday on the patio.
A new music festival called “The Lady Hart Festival” will take place in the fall at the Shores at Asbury. It will kick off with a battle of the bands contest in September and be hosted in October.
Tips on Visiting the Shores at Asbury
Reserve your tickets online because you can sign the required waiver, save time, and you can save a couple of dollars off your admission ticket versus if you buy it at the resort.
Check the Shores of Asbury Facebook page because they typically offer deals on admission tickets during the week.
When you and your kids are playing on the Aqua Zone, be sure to keep an eye on them, especially if it’s crowded. There are lifeguards stationed on the course and dock but with a lot of kids playing, a smaller kid could accidentally get pushed in the water unexpectedly. And if you have big kids, tell them to watch out for the smaller ones.
Plan to stay awhile. You can hang out at the beach before or after your time on the Aqua Zone and swim in the lake or just chill and play games. It’s a beautiful spot.
Bring water (a lot of it), sunscreen, a change of clothes, a hat, and towels, and be sure to drink a lot of water and reapply that sunscreen.
The Aqua Zone closes daily from Noon-1 pm and 3-4 pm for safety checks and lifeguard breaks. Just be aware and plan your day accordingly.
Before you go, take a look at the rules. I always try to read up on the regulations of places before I go so I’m not surprised by anything once I get there with my kids, who just want to play.
Tickets & Admission to The Shores of Asbury
There are a few different ticket options per person (all of these are based on online ticket purchases): a one-hour time slot is $17.98; a two-hour time slot is $24.98 and an all day session is $34.98. Wet & Wild Wednesday tickets are $15.98 for a one-hour time slot. A family four-pack all-day pass is $120. A parking pass is $4.67 if you’re going for the Aqua Zone.
If you just want to enjoy the sugar white sandy beach, you can do that! A day pass is $10/person and that allows you to play and relax all day. A parking pass for beach use is $9.33.
The Shores of Asbury does offer birthday parties and corporate events. Birthday parties are for two hours, include cupcakes, a kids meal, and reserved covered tables, and costs $359. More information on other types of events and details are on their website.
Hours are 11 am – 8 pm daily, closed Noon-1 pm, and 3 – 4 pm for safety checks and lifeguard breaks. The restaurant is open daily 11 am – 10 pm.
The Aqua Zone will likely be open until the end of September, weather permitting.
The resort hosts all kinds of events so stay tuned to their Facebook page for the latest updates and to see their daily specials at the Aqua Zone.
The Shores of Asbury
1600 Asbury Park Road, Anderson, SC