Picturesque, Progressive and Charming
Cheraw offers the best of small town life. An easier life style, low cost of living and a great climate combine with Cheraw’s architectural legacy to produce a beautifully livable town. After more than 250 years of practicing southern hospitality, Cheraw knows how to welcome visitors and new residents so that they feel right at home.
Neighbors in the historic district enjoy walking to restaurants and churches on tree shaded streets. New developments offer attractive, affordable housing on generous lots, only a short ride away from jobs, schools and shopping. A 50+ active retirement community in the planning stages adds an attractive new choice for residential living.
Country acreage is available, too. Cheraw is on the same sand hills ridge as the equestrian centers of Camden and Aiken and the area is increasingly becoming known for small horse farms. Bridle trails crisscrossing Cheraw State Park and Sand Hills State Forest make riding here a pleasure.
The cost of living here is low, including low home owner’s insurance rates, thanks to the town’s exemplary fire and police protection. Property taxes in Cheraw are far below the national average, and total South Carolina taxes rank in the lowest third in the nation.
Most major civic groups have organizations here, and all welcome new members. Religion has always played an important role in the community life of Cheraw, and almost all major faiths are represented in town. Church suppers, BBQ’s and town festivities make it easy for new comers to make new friends.
Local garden clubs work on a number of community projects, and the town maintains an active beautification program. Cheravians have always loved their trees, and Cheraw was named the first Tree City USA in South Carolina, an honor it has received every year since. The Cheraw National Register Historic District encompasses 213 acres in the center of town. Gardens, welcoming doorways and white columns give the town an elegant feel.
The Cheraw Arts Commission presents programs and facilities for the performing, visual and literary arts as well as opportunities for marketing and purchasing local artwork. The Theater on the Green is home to “On Stage,” the town’s amateur theater group, and Matheson Library provides a focus for Cheraw literary life. Art and writing workshops foster creativity, and adult programs at Northeastern Technical College encourage life long learning.
Cheraw native Dizzy Gillespie is celebrated with a statue, home site park and The South Carolina Jazz Festival, which is held the third weekend in October. The Cheraw Spring Festival on the first weekend in April, Independence Eve Celebration in July, Cheraw Alive Summer Series and December Christmas festivities round out a year’s worth of family fun.
Outdoor activities are pleasant on most days in any season, but there are winter days when you need a coat and summer days when air-conditioning is welcome. Folks in Cheraw get very excited on the very rare occasions that snow falls. First frost is usually the last of October and the last frost at the end of March, giving Cheraw a long growing season.
Cheraw is in a great location for short getaways. For city life, Columbia and Charlotte are less than two hours away. Myrtle Beach and the Atlantic Ocean are also an easy two hour drive. Pinehurst golf courses are an hour’s drive, and the Appalachian Mountains and historic Charleston are just three hours away. There are four major airports within a two hour drive. Cheraw is in the center of the South Carolina Cotton Trail and a part of the Olde English District, both of which offer a variety of sites and experiences to explore.
Cheraw is also a good place to work. Cheraw is proud of its work force and its relationships with both the international companies and home grown industries, shops and restaurants that call Cheraw home.
The historic downtown with its new Centennial Park and 18th century Town Green, restored facades and shade trees is home to art, antique and gift shops. A cluster of unique restaurants offers choices from Southern buffets to seafood. Cheraw is also served by major grocery and retail chains and favorite fast food restaurants along the Chesterfield Highway.
Come for a visit. Begin your exploration at the Cheraw Chamber of Commerce and the Cheraw Visitors Bureau at 221 Market Street in the center of town. Pick up the free Visitors Guide detailing shops, lodging, restaurants, and things to do. They also have free brochures on the Cheraw Historic District, Old St. David’s Church, Cheraw native Dizzy Gillespie, and Confederate and Revolutionary War sites. Pick up keys to the Lyceum Museum and Old St. David’s Church here as well.
Be sure to see the Town Green with its four antebellum buildings. One of these, the c. 1825 Lyceum houses a small museum depicting Cheraw’s history. Linger awhile at Old St. David’s Church. Begun in 1770, it served as a hospital for four armies. America’s oldest Confederate Monument is located in the graveyard.
Watch a game of little league. Take a walk on the boardwalk at the State Park. Try a little southern cooking. If it’s summer, be sure to get some Chesterfield County peaches or a watermelon to take home. Camp by the lake or play a round of golf. Then come again - maybe next time to stay!