The Pee Dee
- Grand Strand Weekend
- South Carolina for Kids
- South Carolina Bar-B-Que
- A Midlands Weekend
- Civil War Adventures
- South Carolina Waterways
- Three Days in Horse Country
- South Carolina for Seafoodies
- South Carolina Kitsch
- Gullah and African American History
- Upstate Weekend
- South Carolina’s Top Ten for Golfers
- South Carolina’s Offbeat Festivals
- Southern Comforts
- Lowcountry Romance
Named for the Pee Dee River running through it, this region in the extreme northeast of South Carolina—always called “the Pee Dee,” not just “Pee Dee”—is largely off the tourist radar screen. That’s a shame, because it offers a particularly relaxing, rolling landscape and a plethora of charming small towns. The nice homes dotted throughout those towns testify to the Pee Dee’s former status as a key cotton and tobacco-growing area, activities aided immensely by the river’s ability to conveniently transport goods to market.
Though today the Pee Dee is one of the most economically depressed areas of the state, it does have pockets of fast growth, and cotton fields still line the state highways throughout. And of course stock car fans can make the pilgrimage to the grandfather of all tracks, Darlington International Raceway.
The region’s location near the intersection of I-95 and I-20 is both a blessing and a curse for the Pee Dee. The increased traffic has brought development along those routes, but often to the detriment of the nice small towns in the surrounding area. I encourage you to use state roads, such as Highway 9 and Highway 52, whenever possible to get the real feel of the place.
Though Florence is by far the major city in the region—largely due to its location astraddle the aforementioned interstates—it has comparatively little to offer. Where possible, stay off the beaten path to explore the region further.
Getting to the Pee Dee
The airport serving the Pee Dee is Florence Regional Airport (2100 Terminal Dr., 843/669-5001, www.florencescairport.com, airport code FLO), which hosts Delta and U.S Airways. However, most travelers drive to the Pee Dee or arrive at larger airports in the region, such as Greenville, Charleston, or Charlotte.
Interstate highways I-95 and I-20 intersect in the Pee Dee and they are by far the dominant arteries. Other major highways include U.S. 1 from Camden to Cheraw; Highway 301, which largely parallels I-95 to the east; and Highway 52 from Cheraw, through Darlington, to Florence.
Two cities in the Pee Dee have Amtrak (www amtrak.com) passenger train stations: Florence (807 E. Day St.) and Dillon (100 N. Railroad Ave.), near the North Carolina border.
© Jim Morekis from Moon South Carolina, 4th Edition