Visit Clemson University! Here is Where to Stay, Things to Do, and Where to Dine

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Are you planning to visit Clemson University? Whether you are visiting your Clemson University student, checking out the campus as a prospective student, or coming into town for an event or Clemson University game, we have a guide to help you and your family enjoy the area. In this guide, you will find suggestions for where to stay, things to do, and where to dine near Clemson, South Carolina

Visiting Clemson University in South Carolina

Where is Clemson University?

Clemson University is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Pickens and Anderson County in South Carolina. The campus is surrounded by lakes, mountain ranges, and state and national parks, making it a haven for outdoor lovers. The Upstate, South Carolina area is full of gorgeous landscapes, and the City of Clemson began as the Town of Calhoun in 1892 and has grown into the college town it is today. The main campus of Clemson University is located at 105 Sikes Hall, Clemson, SC.

Things to Do On the Clemson University Campus

Many residents of Greenville, South Carolina visit Clemson University for a day trip. The campus welcomes visitors to come walk or bike and enjoy the scenery.

Clemson Memorial Stadium

Most commonly known as Death Valley, Clemson Memorial Stadium is a favorite among Clemson students and fans. During football season, the stands are packed with orange-and-purple-clad fans cheering on the Tigers. Be sure to purchase tickets for a football game during your visit and see what it means to be a Clemson Tiger.

Bowman Field

Meet up with some friends at Bowman Field, a large expanse of greenery stretching from Tillman Hall to downtown Clemson. On a nice sunny day, you’ll likely find people studying, resting, spending time with friends and family, and enjoying athletic activities.

The Brooks Center for the Performing Arts

If you want to catch a play, hear an acapella group, or see other theatrical performances, then be sure to check the calendar and purchase tickets for one of the shows at The Brooks Center for the Performing Arts. The center hosts world-class acts in addition to classes, workshops, and summer programs.

Carillon Gardens

For another good spot to study, rest, or spend time with friends and family, wander over to Carillon Gardens. With plenty of paths and benches, you’ll be able to enjoy the beautifully landscaped park.

Hendrix Student Center

While you’re on campus, be sure to drop by Hendrix Student Center to grab lunch at the East Side Food Court and then grab handcrafted ice cream at the ‘55 Exchange.

Clemson University Barnes & Noble Book Store

Stop by the University Barnes & Noble Book Store for some Clemson paraphernalia to take home to show off your Tiger pride.

Clemson University Walker Golf Course

If you’re a golfer, you need to spend a few hours on Walker Golf Course. This is an 18-hole championship golf course is located on Clemson University’s campus. Be sure to pay attention to the signature Tiger Paw 17th hole while you’re there! You’ll notice the new visitor’s center being created adjacent to the John E. Walker Sr. Golf Course, so that is something to look forward too.

Things to Do Near Clemson University

South Carolina Botanical Garden

The South Carolina Botanical Garden is 295 acres of incredible plants, flowers, and landscaping. It’s also located just off-campus and is open 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset. If you plan ahead, you can schedule a tour at the Geology Museum, but you can visit the museum and do a self-guided tour. Just remember that the Bob Campbell Geology Museum is closed on most university holidays. Agriculture and life sciences are a huge part of Clemson Universities history, so the garden that was created here is one of the best in the state.

SC Botanical Garden flowers in Clemson, South Carolina
SC Botanical Gardens

Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell is one of South Carolina’s most-known lakes and is a great place to spend a couple of hours, or even a full day, during your visit. Clemson University even has a premier lakefront property where the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness Complex is situated. Sailing, kayaking, camping, paddle boarding, volleyball, and swimming are activities you can enjoy while visiting the complex.

Visit an Escape Room

Not too far from Clemson University, you’ll find The Escape Quest, a locally owned and operated escape room with unique puzzles. This would be a really fun activity for a group of friends or your family while visiting the campus.

Hiking near Clemson University

Located only 30 miles from Clemson, Jocassee Gorges has more than 50,000 acres of lush, protected forestlands and waterfalls. Whether it’s Jumping Off Rock Overlook or the Beech Bottom Falls trail, you’re guaranteed to see some beautiful landscape on your hike.

Issaqueena Trail

The Issaqueena Trail, located near Central, SC, is a roughly 5-mile long loop. Hiking this trail gives you great views of the lake and the Clemson Experimental Forest. You can also check out Stumphouse Tunnel while you’re nearby.

Clemson University is only 30 miles from Greenville, SC, and there are many hiking trails near Greenville. Be sure to check out our Hiking Guide Near Greenville for an extensive list of hiking trails.

Inside the tunnel of Stumphouse Tunnel using a flashlight.
Stumphouse Tunnel near Clemson University

Places to Eat Near Clemson University

The Esso Club

The Esso Club is absolutely one of the most iconic places in Clemson. Students, parents, and Clemson fans gather at the restaurant and bar every weekend, especially on game days. 

129 Old Greenville Highway #1, Clemson 

SunnySide Cafe

Be sure to grab breakfast or lunch at SunnySide Cafe during your visit. Reviewers rave about the french toast and the friendly atmosphere.

101 Market Street, Clemson

Rick Erwin’s Clemson

If you’re looking for a nice dinner out one night, Rick Erwin’s Clemson would be a great choice. Rick Erwin’s restaurants are known for their fine dining and extensive wine lists. They are also known for their steaks and seafood, so if those are foods you enjoy, definitely consider ordering a plate with one of them.

127 Market Street, Clemson

If you plan to head into Downtown Greenville, don’t miss our Guide to Where to Eat in Downtown Greenville for Tourists. We highlighted some local favorites that you’ll definitely want to check out!

Places to Stay Near Clemson University

There are many places to stay near Clemson University. Some hotels offer discounts to visiting families.

Hotels closet to Clemson University

As a STAY22 affiliate Kidding Around earns when you book through these links.

Vacation Rental Near Clemson University

If you’d rather stay in a vacation rental, check out this gorgeous Lake Hartwell Vacation Home Rental near Clemson. You’ll save money by booking direct with StayGVL. Use promo code KAG22 for an additional 10% off! The fully furnished rental is a beautiful duplex with options to rent the whole duplex if you’re traveling with another family or just one side of the home if you need less space. We love the location because it’s close to Clemson and also the relaxing fun of Lake Hartwell.

More Rentals and Hotels Near Clemson University

Use this map from STAY22 to locate vacation rentals and hotels in the Clemson University area.

As a STAY22 affiliate Kidding Around earns when you book through these links.

If you’d prefer to stay in downtown Greenville, here’s our list of Where to Stay in Downtown Greenville, SC.

What are your plans while you visit Clemson University?

Shannon Pruitt
About the Author
Shannon moved to the Upstate after college, and other than a brief few years in Florida, has stayed. A former teacher, she is now the mom of one beautiful girl and works from home as a writer, web designer, and brand strategist. She believes tacos don't have to be reserved for Tuesdays, shamelessly listens to crime podcasts, and fuels herself on a daily cup of coffee (or two). You can find her on Instagram @shannonroyalpruitt

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