Florence County and the Pee Dee Offers Outdoor Fun for Families This Summer!
OK, we all kind of expected the pandemic to be ebbing by this summer, but that hasn’t happened yet. But there are still safe opportunities for fun and exploration in Florence County and the Pee Dee!
Hot weather equals summer water fun, so let’s start with the Splash Pad at the Environmental Discovery Center at Lynches River County Park. The Splash Pad is filled with all kinds of whimsical, colorful, and fun water sprinklers including a dumping bucket, multiple water loops, and water cannons. It’s currently open Tues-Sat from 11am-6pm (closed from 2pm-3pm for cleaning) and Sundays from 1pm-6pm. Cost is $3/child (1-17 years of age), and one adult gets in free with a paid child admission.
In addition to the Splash Pad, the 676-acre Lynches River County Park features a swinging tree top Canopy Walk that offers visitors a panoramic view of the park. Other popular activities include canoeing, nature trails and picnicking. The park is open daily 9am to sunset.
Speaking of rivers, the Friends of Revolutionary Rivers (FOREVR) offers the natural, historic, and recreational resources of the SC Revolutionary Rivers National Recreation Trail located within the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. You can also book a platform campsite accessible only by water – talk about seclusion! If you need help with paddling or rentals, give RiverRats a call.
Back in the city, the Florence Family YMCA offers both an indoor and outdoor pool for plenty of summer fun – slides included, but you’ll need to bring your own towels! They are also offering swimming lessons and summer camps, and many additional programs for children and adults. Visit their website for membership information.
Looking to stay dry but stay outside? Check out the golf offerings in town. Or how about disc golf? Florence County Parks & Recreation has a 9-hole course at Mars Bluff Community Park. You can stop by their office (710 S. Irby St.) for a frisbee to try it out! And for more recreation opportunities such as tennis and baseball, check out both the City and County recreation programs.
If you’re looking to couple recreation and arts, check out the newly developed Alex Palkovich Sculpture Trail. His public works of art can be found across South Carolina, with the greatest concentration at Florence Veterans Park. In total, you will find 20 of Alex’s sculptures and busts in Florence County!
Another way to explore art and recreation together is to plan a visit to a place Southern Living Magazine has dubbed “Paradise Found.”
Moore Farms boasts a dynamic 65-acre botanical garden nestled among fields of corn and soybeans near Lake City. The garden is a careful blend of exuberant plant displays, bounding meadows and enduring vistas of grey-green pines botanical garden. While the garden does not have regularly scheduled visiting hours, they offer several open house days per year as well as classes, professional workshops and special events.
And lastly, if you’re looking to explore the Pee Dee you can hop on over to Neptune Island WaterPark in Hartsville and experience water slides, a lazy river, wave pool and splash pad. Oh, and bring your fins or tails for a mermaid meet-and-greet every Monday! Visit their website for hours and admission information.
While in Hartsville, consider a walk-through Kalmia Gardens, which recently renovated some of its boardwalks and infrastructure for an even better strolling experience. This 35-acre private botanical garden features seven of eleven plant communities found in South Carolina. The Garden is open to the public, and open dawn to dusk every day.