Cheraw, S.C., is a charming town located in the heart of Chesterfield County in the northeast corner of South Carolina. It’s full of beauty, history and some of the friendliest folks you’ll ever meet.
From its historic downtown area to the magnificent Pee Dee River, Cheraw’s legacy combines the stories of Native Americans, colonial settlers and a piece of jazz history, making it a captivating destination for anyone regardless of their lifestyle.
There are a lot of communities in the region that share similar traits to Cheraw, across Chesterfield County, and neighboring Marlboro and Darlington counties, in particular.
These are the areas within the South Carolina Pee Dee that United Country Real Estate | The Michael Group serves. We are here to be your guide. With extensive real estate knowledge of all the lifestyle and country properties in the area, our roots are firmly planted in these amazing communities.
Let’s take a closer look at the appeal of this part of South Carolina for residents and visitors alike.
South Carolina holds a massive part of American history as many early Native American tribes called this place home. It is one of the original 13 colonies and it played a large part in the Civil War. The Cheraw and Pee Dee people occupied the land for many years, and the names have remained attached to the area ever since.
The American Revolution brought conflict to town. After an accidental explosion by the Confederate forces of the business district and the Chesterfield County courthouse during the Civil War, many town records were destroyed, making tracking down historic property details nearly impossible. But there are still plenty of historical homes and buildings throughout the area.
Jazz music also is tied to Cheraw as legendary trumpeter and jazz king Dizzy Gillespie was born here. He worked alongside other icons such as Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, and his impact on the music world is still evident today.
There’s a lot to see and do across South Carolina’s Pee Dee Region. We mentioned Dizzy Gillespie’s claim to fame, so it’s fitting that each year in October, Cheraw celebrates his birthday with music, art, dancing and more at the South Carolina Jazz Festival. The proud native and his iconic trumpet are still a large part of the “Chee-raw” culture.
Of course, that festival is just one of many ongoing events across Chesterfield County, where holidays and other special gatherings are always put in the spotlight. This includes the popular Cheraw Spring Festival, Pageland Watermelon Festival, Patrick Pinestraw Festival and other well-attended events throughout the year.
History buffs can check out various museums and historic sites, while art enthusiasts and antique lovers can browse the offerings around town. Start with these points of interest in the county.
Over in nearby Darlington County, the place to be is the Darlington Raceway for auto racing thrills and fun for the whole family. To settle down from all that racetrack adrenaline, head to Kalmia Gardens, a 56-acre botanical wonderland in Hartsville. Or check out Williamson Park in Darlington for picnics and nature walks. The 93-acre Byerly Park is also worth visiting for its multiple sports facilities, and its Neptune Island Waterpark is amazing for summertime fun.
Neighboring Marlboro County offers historical insights into Bennettsville at the Marlboro County Museum, and Lindsay Park is great for baseball, softball and horse shows. As for events, the county’s Clio Cotton Festival is the longest running one, with food, crafts and entertainment each October. The county’s biggest claim to fame may be Blenheim Ginger Ale. While you can no longer physically tour the plant, you can get a virtual tour experience on the company’s website. Plus, the tasty beverage is always stocked on shelves statewide.
Northeastern South Carolina is steeped in natural beauty with endless opportunities for outdoor activities and adventures. Throughout the entire landscape flows the incredible Pee Dee River, an important staple to the community and the perfect waterway for boating, fishing and relaxation.
Over in Bennettsville, Lake Paul Wallace boasts picturesque spots for picnics and excellent fishing opportunities, either from a boat or the pier. Whether you’re an avid angler or someone who simply cherishes a quiet lakeside afternoon, you’ll find your vibe at this lake.
A gem in the crown of South Carolina’s wilderness is Cheraw State Park, an expansive and beautiful piece of land that offers an 18-hole golf course, camp sites and the gorgeous Lake Juniper with trails throughout the park. Stretching across both Chesterfield and Darlington Counties is the Sand Hills State Forest, a haven for avid hikers and those passionate about horseback riding. Its diverse ecosystem of pines and oaks attracts both casual nature lovers and serious ecologists.
For those who appreciate equestrian events, horse or dog training, or even just camping, Cheraw’s H. Cooper Black Memorial Field Trail and Recreation Area is the place for you. Spread across 7,000 acres, this park is renowned for retriever competitions and excellent amenities for horses and their riders. If you are more of an avian aficionado, the Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge in McBee has an immense bird population, including the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Here, you’ll be able to witness the sand dunes, timbered acres and grasslands, and appreciate the stunning South Carolina landscape.
Finally, Lake Darpo in Society Hill (Darlington County) is a 20-acre lake and nature park with RV camping, picnic areas and pedal boats for all daytime visitors to enjoy.