Southern Charm

Marion—population 6,938—is a charming and historic South Carolina town located in the northeastern corner of the state between the Great and Little Pee Dee Rivers. Out of the way? Not at all. Marion’s location—47 miles from the state’s Grand Strand and just two hours from Columbia and Charleston—makes it an ideal getaway for those looking for a bit of Southern charm.

The town is named after the South Carolina Revolutionary War hero General Francis Marion, otherwise know as “the Swamp Fox.” Many homes in the historic downtown area date to the late 1800s, and commercial buildings date to the early 20th century.

Visitors walk streets lined with ancient oaks, crepe myrtles, dogwoods and elms, or stroll through the spacious public square in the town’s center. Around the square, they discover charming shops and the Old Opera House, which houses a 300-seat auditorium. Restaurants like family-friendly Magnolia on Main or Martini and More are great places to stop and refuel.

Active visitors enjoy biking and hiking the 2-mile trail that begins at a historical train depot and ends at Catfish Creek Canal west of the town center. Additionally, a local organization, called Betwixt the Rivers, offers private and group river tours along the Great and Little Pee Dee Rivers.

Special events in Marion include a Foxtrot Festival each spring. In early December, the town prepares for the holidays with a spectacular Christmas tree lighting celebration, parade and songfest.

Marion boasts two historic homes that operate as bed-and-breakfast inns. At The Grove, guests relax in spacious rooms accented with original and period furnishings. The Rosewood Manor, built in 1895, re-opened this spring after an extensive renovation. A favorite spot for weddings and special events (see page 322), the house occupies a beautifully landscaped, 2-acre city block in the heart of Marion’s historic district.

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