About Clemson

Clemson and the Surrounding Area

Hartwell Lake, Clemson University South CarolinaClemson University and the surrounding area offer everything a college student needs. Plenty of outdoor — and indoor — recreation is within a 30-minute drive.

If you’re looking for outdoor entertainment, the campus borders the 900-plus-mile shoreline of Hartwell Lake where swimming, skiing and sailing are favorite pastimes. The mountains are less than an hour away and provide areas to canoe, kayak, white-water raft, hike, camp, snow ski and fish.

Indoor recreation is a lot closer to home, and Clemson’s downtown provides many dining and shopping possibilities. Plus it’s walking distance from campus.

  • Whether students want to grab a quick burger or sit down and enjoy a quiet dinner of steak or seafood with the family, there are plenty of places to choose from.
  • Local staples and late-night eats that include Mexican, Italian, burgers, wings, sub sandwiches and pizza contribute to making Clemson the bustling college town it is.
  • Only a five-minute drive from campus, U.S. 123 has an even wider range of cuisine.
  • Fast-food favorites are almost always open.
  • When your parents are in town, have them treat you to one of Clemson’s fabulous fine-dining restaurants.
  • As with all great small towns, there are definite “must eat” local joints.

Downtown Clemson South CarolinaAlong with great food, Clemson’s downtown is packed with shops where students, parents, visitors and fans of all kinds can get their Clemson gear. Once you come to Clemson, you’ll never be the same … and neither will your wardrobe.

  • Even if you’ve never really loved the color orange, it will seep into your wardrobe as you gather more and more Clemson gear from the local shops. T-shirts, sweatshirts, sport jerseys, hats, and any and every tailgating necessity imaginable are just the beginning of your love affair with the color orange.
  • For the ladies, there are several boutiques that are a must-hit for those girls trying to break in their inner Southern belle. Pearls, monogrammed purses and other accessories will be the envy of all the other college girls.
  • For those dorm room and apartment necessities, the neighboring towns of Anderson, Central and Seneca all offer a number of shopping options. Anderson is only a 20-minute drive down U.S 76/ S.C. 28 (a.k.a., Clemson Boulevard) from Clemson and is easily accessed off of exit 19-B on Interstate 85. Seneca is about a 15-minute drive down U.S. 123, away from Greenville.


Anderson has every store you’ll need to hit to cover every dorm room need from televisions to bed sheets to paper towels. And all are located on Clemson Boulevard. When hunger strikes, there are numerous local and chain food joints to feed your growling stomach.


Greenville South CarolinaGreenville is about 45 minutes east of Clemson and accessible by either I-85 or U.S. 123. The city has been recognized as one of the top fastest up-and-coming cities in the nation and offers infinite possibilities for food, shopping and other activities. Lined with gorgeous Crepe Myrtles and oak trees, downtown has an old-town charm with modern flare. From fine dining to wine tasting to minor league baseball, Greenville has so much to offer. One visit won’t do it justice.

  • Cuisines ranging from Thai, Indian, Mediterranean, Japanese, Italian and especially Southern combine to make Greenville a melting pot of culinary adventures.
  • Falls Park located in the heart of downtown, offers a beautiful, lush setting for an evening walk or a morning jog.
  • Not far from the park, Greenville’s minor league baseball stadium, Fluor Field, resides in the West End. Little brother to the Boston Red Sox — with the stadium modeled after Fenway Park — the Greenville Drive is a lot of fun for a small amount of money.

Student fall festivals

  • Clemson downtown is transformed at the beginning of the fall semester and football season. The Welcome Back Festival, taking place the Monday before classes begin, expands along the whole length of College Avenue. Local businesses set up booths and give out wares to students — just another show of how interconnected the city and University are.
  • The First Friday Parade also takes place in the heart of Clemson’s downtown. The parade celebrates the beginning of the football season by pulling out all the stops. Downtown transforms into a frenzy of orange and purple, with an atmosphere of contagious excitement. Tailgaters line the streets, and as the season kicks off, it’s easy to see why we call it the Clemson family.

Outdoor recreation

Hartwell Lake
South Carolina Parks and Recreation

Cities and counties of interest

Pickens County
Anderson County

Health care in and near Clemson

Sullivan Center (on-campus health services)
Doctor Finder (search for local physicians who meet your specific needs)
Clemson Urgent Care — (864) 654-6800
Greenville Hospital System
Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital System (in Greenville)
AnMed Health (in Anderson)
Oconee Memorial Hospital (in Seneca)
Palmetto Health Baptist Hospital (in Easley)
Cannon Memorial Hospital (in Pickens)