Acadian Discoveries: Lakes

One of the perks of living in upstate South Carolina is the bevy of lakes within striking distance. As hot as the summers can get, we frequently take advantage of this fact. While there are many lakes to choose from, the top three contenders around Greenville are Lake Keowee, Lake Jocasse, and Lake Hartwell. Lake Keowee is about 45 minutes away, just past Clemson. Like many of our lakes, including Jocasse and Hartwell, Keowee is a man-made reservoir used to generate hydroelectric energy. Spanning nearly 29 square miles, it offers plenty of room for all of your boating needs. Be sure to ask around about the Jumping Rock located somewhere towards the middle of the lake. Lake Jocasse, located about an hour away from Greenville, covers just shy of 12 square miles, but what it lacks in breadth, it more than makes up for with depth. It was created by flooding a large valley, reaching a maximum depth of 300 feet. If you are a trained scuba diver, you’ll be able to hone your craft without driving 4 hours to the ocean. Obviously, less experienced swimmers should stay closer to shore.

Lake Hartwell holds a special appeal for us Acadians. For one, it is the closest lake, only 25-30 minutes away on the edge of Anderson. More telling, though, is the fact that Portman Marina is owned by David Freeman, the brother of Acadia’s founder and developer, Caleb Freeman. Fortunately, the lake and marina are excellent in their own rights, nepotism aside. Hartwell spans 87.5 square miles, stretching from South Carolina to Georgia. After a long day on the water, Portman Marina offers two fantastic restaurants to choose from. The Galley is its oldest establishment, offering a wide array of surf and turf, as well as a wood fire oven. However, the Freeman family’s personal favorite is Nami, Portman’s Asian bistro. Run by head chef Fukahara, Nami provides the absolute best sushi in the upstate, along with equally delicious entrees and small dishes. Definitely try their gyoza, tempura, and Dynamite Yaki. To finish off your evening, you can fuel the fires of the Crème Brule recipe war between The Galley and Nami. They are both quite nice, so even if you can’t decide which is your favorite, you’ll be the real winner.

To learn more about the array of lakes around the Upstate, visit the listings on the State Park Map here, or visit the Hartwell, Jocassee and Keowee sites. Be sure to tune into the Acadia Community Blog every Thursday to learn more about the wonderful adventures all around us.

Independence Day Wrap-up

As always, Acadia enjoyed another fantastic Fourth of July bash yesterday. Most of the day was spent around the pool to help escape the summer heat. There was an impressive flotilla of inflatable creatures on display along with plenty of other pool toys. A fierce clash of wills and manual dexterity was found around the appropriately stars-and-stripes themed cornhole set, as well as an intense water polo match. Of course, we had to keep our energy up for all the festivities.

The neighbors pulled out all the stops to keep the crowd fed throughout the day. We of course enjoyed the usual grill fare- hot dogs, hamburgers, and bbq chicken- but there was also rarer treats to be had, such as a refreshing couscous mix featuring avocado, corn, and strawberries. Sadly, the desert table did not survive the day. As is tradition, we ended the evening with our fireworks show. While there are certainly larger shows out there, we pride ourselves on lighting as many incendiary devices as possible without requiring a license. While there is still plenty of summer fun to be had, we are already looking forward to next year for more explosively entertaining Americana.

Community centered events such as this are what keep more and more people joining the Acadia Community. To learn more about Acadia and to join in all of the festivities, visit us at our website here, and set up a tour to discover life in balance for yourself.

Acadian Discoveries: Charleston

Charleston is South Carolina’s oldest city and a premiere tourist destination. It is always a good idea to head towards the wind and waves of the coast to combat the summer sun, but Charleston is a treat any time of the year. The colonial history of the city itself is a draw for many people with the Charleston Museum an obvious starting point. You can also explore the city itself to find the Charleston Market, the Dock Street Theater, and more. Fort Sumter is also within striking distance, where the opening shots of the Civil War were fired. Of course, it is always nice to take a bike and simply explore the architectural sights of the city at large, such as the famous row houses of Rainbow Row on Tradd Street.

Art is a central pillar of Charleston’s culture. The city boasts several excellent museums, such as the Gibbes Museum of Art. The College of Charleston is home to the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, which houses its own exhibits. You can also find exquisitely hand-crafted reed baskets from the Gullah culture, a unique blend of Southern and West African influences found only on the coast of South Carolina. The most well-known artistic attraction in the city, though, is the annual Spoleto Festival. Founded in 1977, this 17 day festival showcases a breathtaking variety of opera, jazz, classical music, dance, and theater. Since 1979, it has also included Piccolo Spoleto, a companion festival which focuses on local and regional artists of all stripes.

With so much to take in, it is important to keep your energy up. Fortunately, Charleston has a fantastic food scene. From the steaks at Hall’s Chophouse to the Southern-flavored fine dining of Husk, there is something for everyone. Considering the coastal setting, it is no surprise that you can find delicious seafood in abundance. 167 Raw is a prime choice for all of your nautical needs, but there are countless other options that are sure to please. One of Charleston’s more hidden gems, though, is Xiao Bao Biscuit. Found in a cleverly renovated gas station, this restaurant provides an excellent selection of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and other Asian dishes. You can find many options that faithfully hold to their cultural roots as well as delicious fusions. To top it all off, order one of their expertly crafted cocktails to finish the night on top.

To learn more about Charleston, and to see all of the wonderful things that this beautiful city has to offer, visit their travel information website here, and be sure to check the Acadia Community Blog every Thursday to learn more about the wonderful adventures all around us.

Indian Rock at Acadia

Indian Rock

Acadia is a truly special community because of our abundance of protected parks and nature trails. In fact, a third of our 354 acres is preserved as such. With over 100 acres of green space to explore, there is always something new to enjoy. Many neighbors already enjoy the extensive trail system that follows either edge of Hunters Creek, which flows into the Saluda River. However, there is a hidden gem upstream.

As you pass through a perpetually shaded clearing hidden beneath the trees to the left of our Chapel Bridge, you will come to a path. Following it carefully across the creek using the stepping stones, you will arrive at Indian Rock. Indian Rock earned its name from the discovery of several arrowheads around the site. This beautiful, moss covered rock formation is found right next to a small waterfall. There is also a small band of walking trails near Indian Rock, so be sure to check out all the unique areas of Acadia. You may even find an arrowhead for yourself, so keep your eyes peeled.

To learn more about the abundance of natural and man-made amenities in Acadia, visit our website here and discover Life in Balance, for yourself.

Acadian Discoveries: Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Gatlinburg, TN

The Smoky Mountains of Tennessee provide a haven of activities for both couples’ getaways and family adventures. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are twin cities of entertainment, with Gatlinburg providing more for visiting couples and Pigeon Forge attracting families to its exciting theme parks. Driving to the cities themselves is a treasure, allowing you to witness the beautiful scenic areas just off the highway, as well as the soaring Blue Ridge Mountain Range.

Gatlinburg is the first city you will come to on your journey, as it is the gateway to Pigeon Forge. Gatlinburg is a popular tourism town, with Ober Gatlinburg drawing skiers to the only ski resort in Tennessee. With 8 slopes, 3 chair lifts and an abundance of wildlife, Ober Gatlinburg is the perfect resort for any level of skier. As you move in to the town center, you will see the wide variety of man-made attractions. The Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies provides a unique mix of animals and activities for the entire family. Waddling with penguins, splashing with the rays and even sleeping with sharks are just some of the unique opportunities that this aquarium provides. As well as skiing and seeing the beautiful assortment of fish, Gatlinburg also offers several unique shopping opportunities from the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts loop to the Mountain Mall.

Continuing along on your journey, we will drive down the road to our next destination: Pigeon Forge. Pigeon Forge is the ultimate family activity center, mainly centered around it’s iconic theme park, Dollywood. Dollywood, originally “Rebel Railroad”, has had many names over the years, culminating in “Dollywood”, when the actress and singer bought in an investment in 1986. The park has a wonderful mix of rides, all revolving around the “War of Northern Aggression” theme. This southern theme park houses 8 roller coasters, ranging from “kiddie” to “adult”, and is broken in to 10 mini villages, each with their own niche. Along with Dollywood, Pigeon Forge houses many arcades, concert venues, and restaurants. One of the most popular “dinner and a show” type venues is Dixie Stampede. Also owned by Dolly Parton, this restaurant/theatre is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Opening with an introduction from Dolly Parton herself, the true beauty of this venue is it’s simplicity. The menu offers a four-course meal with a soup to start, the choice of 2 entrees, 2 default sides, 2 choices for desserts, a choice of water, tea or coke, and no silverware. Thats right, no silverware, dinner is eaten by hand! As well as dinner, you also witness a spectacular blend of comedy and intense action in the rodeo style show, as your main event.

This variety, this spectacular blend of activities, is the reason that Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are two of the most visited tourist destinations in the US. To discover all of the adventures that you can get in to on your visit, go to the Gatlinburg City website here. Be sure to visit these beautiful and fun cities, and experience all of the magnificent things that they have to offer. Also, visit the Acadia Community Blog every Thursday to learn more about the wonderful adventures in the Southeast.

The Cassie’s Run Dog Park

Acadia 2010.Clayton 027

Acadia is a great neighborhood for man’s best friend.  With 4 miles of walking trails, there is plenty of room for our dogs to roam around. Of course, we do have leash laws to keep our pets safe. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to let the family dog have a little more freedom. We will soon have just the place for that freedom, at the end of Cassie’s run, our pet trail right on the edge of the Saluda River. We are building a true pet park surrounded by a 4 foot tall wooden fence with a large 8 foot entrance gate. With all of the events that Acadians get to enjoy throughout the year, it is only fair that our dogs have a place to congregate as well.

For more information about the Cassie’s run dog park and for everything new that is coming to Acadia, visit our website here.

2016 Saluda River Rally: The River is Calling

Saluda River Rally

This weekend, Anderson County will be hosting their 7th Annual Saluda River Rally. With a starting line located at Dolly Cooper Park, this rally provides everyone, from all walks of life, the opportunity to kayak and tube down the refreshing Saluda River. While the event itself is free, the Area 14 Special Olympics athletes will gladly be accepting donations at their booth on-site.

The two-day event schedule is pictured above, and has information about the different paddling or tubing options. Whether you bring your own kayak, or rent one for free from Grady’s Great Outdoors and Sunrift Adventures, you’ll be sure to have an amazing time down the 2.5 mile course. With music, food and games, and outdoor exhibitors, this free festival is a must go for the outdoor enthusiast.

To learn more details about the vendors and performers at the rally, or just to see more information about this wonderful event, visit the Saluda River Rally website here.

 

 

Acadian Travel: Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain is a truly wonderful city to visit. Not only offering a taste of Spanish culture at large, it is also the center of Catalan culture found in the Basque region of eastern Spain. It is an ancient city whose roots trace all the way back to the Barca family of Carthage; you may have heard about the exploits of a certain Hannibal Barca involving elephants and the Alps. Barcelona is right on the Mediterranean coast, so you can easily sunbathe or cool off in the clear blue sea. Of course, the city itself has even more to offer.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Barcelona is the food. Tapas style restaurants are ubiquitous and extremely delicious. Tapas involves a wide range of small, easy to share dishes, so you can taste a wide variety of flavors. While they often capitalize on the Mediterranean for fantastic seafood dishes, you can find plenty of other fair; keep your eyes peeled for any ox tail soup. Of course, you’ll need a place to stay. Take a look at the hotel Casa Camper located near Las Ramblas, one of the main boulevards through the middle of the city. In addition to its great service, it has a great view from its top balcony and a beautiful vertical garden in a central courtyard.

Be sure to keep an eye out for anything bearing the name and distinctive style of Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona’s most famous architect. You can tour his villa and the beautiful gardens surrounding it in the Park Güell overlooking the city from Carmel Hill. The premier Gaudi attraction, though, is the Basilica Sagrada Familia, a stunning church in the middle of the city. Standing at 558 feet tall, there is certainly plenty of the Basilica to see, so be sure to give yourself several hours to take it all in.

Once you have seen all of the wonderful things that Barcelona has to offer, visit the Acadia Travel Concierge and let them set up your own personal getaway to this beautiful modern city.

Acadian Travel: Acadia National Park

For 100 years now, Acadia National Park has been a showcase for the great abundance of wildlife that the Northeastern United States has to offer. On July 8th Acadia National Park will be celebrating it’s 100th anniversary. In commemoration of this milestone, 2016 will be a year of community-based, world welcoming celebrations. From arts and music, to quiet reflection and internal questing, 2016 will be a year of discovery for many wishing to explore Acadia National Park.

To find out about all of the wonderful activities that will be happening this year, or just to see the wonder on a day to day basis, visit the Acadia National Park’s “About the Centennial” page here.

Once you have seen all of the festivities for 2016, visit the Acadia Travel Concierge and let them set up your own personal adventure.

Acadian Discoveries: Artisphere

artisphere

“Fine art, music, food & fun” are just a few of the descriptors that are attributed to this annual Greenville exclusive event. Artisphere is one of the largest festivals held in Greenville, attracting artists from all over the United States.  From May 13 through May 15, you can explore downtown Greenville and enjoy the works of artists from both upstate South Carolina and the world at large.  The visual arts are showcased at an open-air Artist Row in the West End, while Main Street boasts several stages to enjoy a wide variety of performing artists.  Of course, none of this should be undertaken on an empty stomach.  Artisphere’s Culinary Arts Cafe is centrally located on E. Broad Street and offers a smorgasbord of delicious fare, including mediterranean, barbeque, mexican, japanese, and more.

To find out more about this wonderful event or to check out the artists that will be featured, visit the Artisphere site here. Be sure to head downtown this weekend to enjoy the array of artists and all they have to offer.