Pecan Trail Florence SC: How To Make The Most Of Your Visit

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Imagine savoring pecan pie martinis, pecan-encrusted grouper, or a slice of White Russian pecan pie. 

These are some of the pecan specialties you’ll find on the Pecan Trail, Florence, SC.

Originally known as a railroad hub, Florence is gaining fame as the home of the South Carolina Pecan Trail. 

With a wide variety of local restaurants, stores, and markets featuring pecan-related products, this charming town is a culinary gem.

While exploring the food in South Carolina, we stopped in Florence for a nutty adventure. 

Discover the unique SC pecan trail, participating restaurants, and scrumptious flavored pecan specialties in Florence.

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Why Pecans Are Special to Florence and South Carolina

Pecans the Best Things to Do in Florence SC on Pecan Trail by Authentic Food Quest
Tasty and delicious pecans

While pecans are not native to South Carolina, pecan trees thrive in the state.

Currently, pecans are found in 15 Southern US States including South Carolina, with Georgia and Texas being the main pecan producers. In fact, the US is the world’s largest pecan producer.

We were surprised to learn that Florence was once home to the largest pecan shelling operation in the world. 

Even though the facility moved, the retail operation remains in Florence, at Young Plantations, a fun stop on the South Carolina Pecan Trail.

In 2003, the SC Pecan Festival was created in Florence. Bringing together the local community and stimulating the economy, the festival has grown in popularity over the years. 

With Florence South Carolina being only about 60 miles away from the ocean, the festival attracts locals and visitors from all over the region.

The pecan festival in Florence SC takes place on the first Saturday of November in the historic downtown area. 

The multi-block event includes food and craft vendors, music and entertainment, and kids’ activities.

And Florence keeps the pecan tradition alive year-round with the SC Pecan Trail. 

RELATED: The 10 Best Charleston Food Tours To Taste Southern Cuisine

What Is The Pecan Trail And How To Join the South Carolina Pecan Trail

Pecan Swag Best Things to Do in Pecan trail Florence SC
by Authentic Food Quest
Get stamps in your Pecan Trail passport and earn cool swag

The Pecan Trail in Florence SC is a route of 18+ businesses offering pecan specialties that highlight the nut’s culinary culture.

To get started, pick up a SC Pecan Trail passport which will serve as your guide to participating stores and restaurants. 

You can get one at any of the stops we’ve highlighted below or simply go to the Florence Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

At each stop, get the passport stamped whenever you make a passport-approved purchase. It only takes four stamps to earn your first swag, a nutcracker. This tool comes in handy when you buy fresh pecans in their shells.

With eight stamps, you’re up for a stylish “pecan-colored” drawstring bag. 

And if you’re determined to achieve a fully stamped passport, the South Carolina Pecan Trail t-shirt is the grand prize.

Simply return the stamped passports to the Florence visitors bureau in person or send it in by mail for your pecan swag.

What is the best time of year to visit the Pecan Trail? The trail is available year-round, though fall is a great time to visit for the pecan festival and blooming pecan trees.

Please note that the SC Pecan Trail restaurants change from time to time. Those listed below may no longer be on the official passport trail at the time of your visit.  

Where To Stay On The Pecan Trail In Florence SC

Hotel Florence Best Hotel in Downtown Florence Pecan trail Florence SC by Authentic Food Quest
Beautifully restored interior at Hotel Florence

While exploring the South Carolina pecan trail, we recommend to book your stay at Hotel Florence

Located in downtown Florence, we found it conveniently walkable to many of the restaurants featured on the trail. 

It is also a stop on the pecan trail with its cozy bar Victors.

This boutique hotel is filled with history and character. Converted from three historical buildings, the hotel offers a look into Florence’s past contrasted by chic modern furnishing and luxury amenities. 

With luxurious rooms, a fitness center, a spa, complimentary Wi-Fi, and daily treats between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm, you’ll enjoy your home away from home.

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Best Stops On The South Carolina Pecan Trail

Restaurant Pecan Trail Florence South Carolina by Authentic Food Quest
A lot of restaurants offer irresistible pecan treats

The number of participating restaurants on the pecan trail SC is quite impressive. When we looked at our passports, we were amazed to find 18+ local restaurants and establishments putting pecans in the spotlight.  

Even though we didn’t have time to visit all the places featured on the pecan trail, we found new and delicious ways to try pecan nuts at the following stops.

Start With Pecan Pancakes At Venus Restaurant For Breakfast

Venus Pancakes Pecan Trail Florence SC by Authentic Food Quest
Enjoy fluffy pecan pancakes – Photo credit: Venus Restaurant and Catering on Facebook

With our pecan trail passport in hand, we started our day at Venus Restaurant, formerly known as Venus Pancake House. 

Venus started out in 1977 as a small, 24-hour diner and has expanded over the years. Find a huge variety of meals from pancakes, omelets,  sandwiches, burgers, soups, salads, and more.

On the menu, you’ll find pecan waffles and pancakes. To get our passport stamp, we chose the Southern Pecan pancakes. 

The fluffy buttermilk pancakes with pecans mixed throughout were a delightful blend of sweet and crunchy. 

For authentic Southern pecan pancakes and a comfortable, family atmosphere, don’t miss Venus.

Shop For Pecan Goods And More at Young Plantations

Young Plantations  Florence SC Pecans Trail by Authentic Food Quest
You can sample various pecans for free at Young Plantations

A great place to buy pecans on the pecan trail is Young Plantations, also known as Young’s Premium Foods. 

Founded in the 1920s, this family-owned business was once the largest pecan sheller (where pecans are removed from their shells) in the world. 

Now, Young’s Premium Foods operates as a retail space selling pecans, homemade desserts and snacks, and pecan-related products.

One of the best parts of Young Plantations is the free sample bar where you can taste test all the scrumptious flavored pecans your heart desires.

We sampled a range of flavors including chocolate-covered, jalapeno, buttered, roasted, and candied pecans. 

Delicious bread and pie samples made with fresh pecans tempted us further. We loved the jalapeno-flavored pecans and the pecan pie muffins. Overall, we were impressed by the incredible selection and flavors.

Young’s is the perfect place to pick up a gift or souvenir. They offer all kinds of beautifully packaged pecan-related gift baskets and boxes. 

The friendly staff is available to offer advice and, more importantly, can ship your gifts or pecan pies back home for you. Plan on spending at least an hour browsing, tasting, and shopping. 

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If you love nuts are looking for a beautiful mix of nuts to give as gift or enjoy at home, consider this premium nut gift tower. From Harry & David, this exclusive premium nut gift tower features a variety of nuts including pecans. It includes 3-boxes of nuts, sweet and savory, and ships all across the country.

Try White Russian Pecan Pie At The Pee Dee State Farmers Market

Pecans Pee Dee Market Best Things to Do in Florence SC pecan trail florence south carolina by Authentic Food Quest
Fresh pecans at The Pee Dee State Farmers Market

While the Pee Dee State Farmers Market is not officially on the pecan trail, you don’t want to skip this unusual market. 

The Pee Dee State Farmers Market is a massive drive-through market set on 55 acres. You can literally drive your car through the market, while stopping to shop at the various vendors. 

This market is open year-round and showcases the freshest and finest produce in the state. 

On the market grounds is Julia Belle’s, a restaurant on the pecan trail. 

Julia Belle’s is a much sought-after lunch spot for Southern cooking and their famous White Russian Pecan Pie dessert.

JuliaBelles White Russian Pecan Pie or Best Things to Do in Florence SC on Pecan Trail by Authentic Food Quest. A stop at Julia Belle's is a fun stop on the South Carolina Pecan Trail
Delectable White Russian Pecan Pie at Julia Belle’s – Photo credit: Julia Belle’s Restaurant on Facebook

The highly recommended White Russian pecan pie adds a unique twist to the classic Southern pecan pie. 

With the addition of white chocolate chips and Kahlua Liqueur, this dessert is described as “heavenly.”

After shopping at Pee Dee Market, stop by Julia Belle’s restaurant and get your passport stamped as you indulge in this decadent dessert.

Lunch at Tubb’s Shrimp & Fish For A Hearty Southern Meal

Rosemary and Claire at Tubb's the Best Things to Do in Florence SC on Pecan Trail SC by Authentic Food Quest
Digging into Southern food at Tubb’s Shrimp & Fish

One of the most popular lunch spots in town is Tubb’s Shrimp and Fish.  Fortunately, it is also on the pecan trail and a stop we really enjoyed.

The restaurant is known for fish and seafood, prepared in a Southern and Lowcountry style. In this old refurbished gas station, we enjoyed delicious, incredibly fresh seafood. 

The one thing you’ll absolutely want to do is leave room for dessert. We are glad we did. 

Tubb’s sweet potato cheesecake topped with pecans is to die for. Sweet potatoes mixed with creamy cheesecake filling are loaded with flavors of the season. And the pecans with marshmallows makes it irresistible.

Go hungry and enjoy the rich flavors at Tubb’s Shrimp and Fish. 

Taste “Pecans Gone Wild” Beer At Seminar Brewing

Pecans Gone Wild Seminar pecan trail florence south carolina
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Intriguing smokey pecan beer

Seminar Brewing, located on the northern side of Florence, is a great stop to enjoy more than 15 beers served on tap. 

There are many ways to taste Seminar’s beers, from flights of four or six beers, all the way to a full 64 oz. growler. 

I was thrilled to order a simple 4oz glass, just enough to taste this unique pecan beer and leave room for dinner.

The “Pecans Gone Wild” beer is a wild smoked brown ale made with pecans. I found it tasty with a strong ale flavor and a nutty hint. 

The place is bright and spacious, with a large counter to enjoy food and drink. In the back of the room are large tanks and small round tables where beer drinkers can sample the craft beer of their choice. 

There is also room in the back with a playground set up for kids to play while the adults enjoy their beers.

Alternatively Enjoy Afternoon TeaTime at Top Hat Special-Teas

Top Hat Special Teas Pecan Trail Florence SC by Authentic Food Quest
Eat your meal out on the lovely patio – Photo credit: Top Hat Special-Teas on Facebook

If you are not a beer drinker, you may want to check out Top Hat Special-Teas on the pecan trail. 

This delightful gem in downtown Florence’s historic district offers a variety of eclectic tea offerings, a casual atmosphere, and some of the best lunchtime fare in Florence. 

Here, you’ll want to order the Pecan Scone with Devonshire cream and lemon curd. They are baked to order – so be sure to get your order in as soon as you sit down at your table!

Top Hat Special Teas serves a variety of delicious sandwiches, or opt for their four or six-course afternoon tea, which requires a reservation at least 24 hours in advance.

RELATED: Soul Food in Myrtle Beach: 3 Best Restaurants for Fried Chicken and More

Dine At Town Hall Restaurant in Downtown Florence, SC

Town Hall Restaurant Chocolate Pecan Pie for Best Restaurant Downtown Florence SC on the Pecan Trail SC by Authentic Food Quest.
Oozing chocolately, vanilla and pecan goodness

With a menu that changes with the seasons, the Town Hall restaurant is farm-driven and Southern-inspired. 

Using locally and responsibly raised meat, pork, and seafood, the menu features an amazing selection of starters and entrees with familiar and unexpected ingredients.

Modern and airy in design, the restaurant is welcoming and the staff is friendly and professional. With guidance from our waitress, we focused on Southern specialties from the starters menu.   

One of the menu highlights was the deviled eggs, made with a twist. In a creative manner, the chef topped traditional deviled eggs with gulf oysters for a wonderful explosion of fresh flavors and textures.

Although we were stuffed, we wanted to earn our last stamp in our pecan trail passport. The chocolate pecan pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert was the perfect finish.

Sip On Pecan Pie Martinis at Victors

Victors for Best Things to Do in Florence SC Pecan Trail by Authentic Food Quest
Victors, a fun stop on the pecan trail

On the first floor of Hotel Florence is Victors, a popular stop on the pecan trail. The bar is known for offering premium beers and more than 200 wines. 

To earn a passport stamp, have the bartender whip you up a Pecan Pie martini. And, if want a non-alcoholic option, simply ask for a delicious pecan mocktail instead.

These intriguing pecan cocktails can start your evening in downtown Florence, or help you wind down after a day on the pecan trail.

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In Summary

On your travels to South Carolina, don’t miss the SC Pecan trail. Stay for a couple of days and take in all the fun things to do in Florence. 

You’ll be charmed by this quaint, historic town and enjoy warm Southern hospitality. 

When recounting our adventures on the pecan trail, we had a hard time choosing our favorite pecan-inspired flavor. The sweet and savory range of pecan flavors and unusual combinations only left us wanting more. 

As we looked through our passports, we were surprised to see that we only visited five stops on the pecan trail.  

You’ll be surprised on your visit by the dynamic pecan-centric scene on the pecan trail Florence SC.

Do you love pecans? Have you been the SC pecan trail Florence? Please tell us in the comments below.

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Disclosure: Our time in Florence, South Carolina was in partnership with Discover South Carolina Tourism All views and opinions expressed are our own. Full bellies and happy taste buds too!

32 Comments on “Pecan Trail Florence SC: How To Make The Most Of Your Visit”

  1. This is such a fun way to explore the food of a city, and I love how you can earn swag for points! I’m not sure if I’ve had pecans before, they’re not that popular in Europe, but the sweet potato cheesecake topped with pecans sounds amazing!

    • Pecans are America’s only native nut and that’s why they are so popular in the U.S. They are an important part of our culinary heritage and worth seeking out on your travels to the U.S. Winning swag and tasting different pecan related items is a fun way to explore Florence, South Carolina. Thanks, Claire

  2. Now this is different. Not just plantations but a complete trail. All that Pecan cake and pies sound like a perfect way to understand and appreciate the taste of Pecan. Cheers

  3. Wow! I found some interesting in your piece that I was not aware of before. I didn’t know there is a place in the sought of California which is called Florence! I thought Florence in Italy is the only one. I also didn’t know about pecan. I saw pecan in some shops but I have never tried and I always thought it is some kind of walnuts. In Iran, we don’t have pecan and we have walnuts. I want to try pecan pie. It sounds tasty

    • So glad you discovered Florence, South Carolina (not to be confused with Florence, Italy) 🙂 Pecan pies come in all sorts of variations and they are quite tasty and rich. The pecan nuts themselves are pretty good. If you’ve never had them before, they are worth seeking out. Do they make walnut pies in Iran? Would love to taste those in exchange. Thanks, Mansoureh for stopping by.

  4. We really do need to head back to South Carolina for a visit. A White Russian pecan pie sounds perfectly delicious. I can see why it is called “heavenly”. So a visit to Florence may be required. Possible for the annual pecan festival. But the sweet potato cheesecake may be a good reason to visit Tubb’s. Or the Pecan Pie Martini a reason to stop at Victors. I am sure we would enjoy lots of other things in Florence other than eating!

    • There is so much to explore in Florence and the pecan trail is certainly one of the highlights. Plan to spend enough time to make the most of the amazing pecan related treats and outdoor activities. The warm and welcoming locals will certainly add to your experience. Thanks, Linda.

    • The pecan trail is a really fun idea and a great way to explore the charming city of Florence. The creativity of all the pecan inspired flavors is amazing. Hope you get to South Carolina soon, this experience is a must do!

  5. What a great way to spend the day. Everything about it sounds delicious. I can always manage a slice of pecan pie 🙂

    The pecan martini sounds like the perfect way to end the day. Did you try one ?

  6. This all sounds so delicious! I adore Pecans and now know they are our native nut. You would have to roll me out of town after eating through your pecan-centric itinerary. I love the idea of Pecan flavored cocktails but that sweet potatoe pie has my name all over it.

    • You are right, Elaine, “roll” out of town We only hit 5 out of 21 stops. To make the most out of the experience, plan for several days. Besides the Pecan Trail, there are many outdoor activities to help keep fit and “make room” for even more pecan inspired delights! Hope you get to Florence, SC soon. Cheers.

  7. My mom’s family roots are in Lancaster SC, about an hour up the road from Florence. She is absolutely in love with pecans. Her pride and joy is a northern hardy pecan tree that she has planted at the family farm in Ohio. It produced nuts for the first time this year too. I would absolutely love going on the Pecan Trail with her and sharing some of these experience. She has a bit of a sweet tooth and never says no to pecan pie.

    • That is so wonderful to hear. Your mom would absolutely adore Florence. Spend a few days to explore the region and eat all the amazing pecan inspired flavors. Highly recommend Hotel Florence as a place to base yourself. Perfect gift experience for mom. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I love pecans…yes seriously and I havent heard of the Pecan trail before. Would so love to do this now. A reason for me to check out Florence. 🙂 I fancy some of that Delectable White Russian Pecan Pie right now, that looks like its the kind of pie which will melt in my mouth.,

    • As a pecan lover you will love all the delectable flavors in Florence, SC. Hope you have a chance to visit soon. The town is charming and the locals are so friendly. You’d absolutely love the White Russian pecan pie and more. Thanks, Danik for stopping by.

  9. O..M..G..! I would never eat pecans out of the shell like I do cashews but growing up in the south, I LOVE Pecan Pie! So Sign me up, give me my Pecan Passport, and send me out to eat all the amazing Pecan inspired foods while drinking Pecan flavored cocktails or beer on the Pecan Trail.
    I just learned about a similar program in Ohio I think that is based on Donuts and they do the whole passport thing too! I am going to get so fat eating all these amazing foods. When I go to Florence, South Carolina I am definitely going to eat all those desserts, especially the White Russian Pecan Pie! That looks so good!

    • Hope you are traveling to Florence, SC soon, because it sounds like the Pecan Trail has your name written all over it. The creativity and unique flavors created from pecans is quite a culinary feat. Had no idea about the donuts trail in Ohio? Is there a particular reason why the donut trail is based there? The history of pecans in Florence, goes way back, over 100 years and the Pecan Trail pays homage to that.

  10. I had no idea pecans were the only major nut tree native to North America. I eat pecans on a regular basis and this trail is something I’d totally love to do! I see some pecan pie martinis in my future. 🙂 Thanks for putting this small town on my radar.

    • You are most welcome, Lara. You’d love the Pecan Trail in Florence, SC. We were just as surprised to learn that pecans are the only major nut tree native to North America. It’s always good to know more about what we love 🙂 Cheers.

  11. Such an awesome read! I’ve been to a pecan farm before, but not of this magnitude. I would love to have tried the pecan pie muffins with the jalapeño nuts. Yum!! I’m sharing this post to our Travel the South site. Nicely done ladies!

    • Thank you so much Melody. So glad you enjoyed the article and thank you for sharing it to your site – Travel the South. That’s amazing you’ve visited a Pecan farm. Unfortunately, that was not part of the Pecan Trail, however, all the inspired pecan flavors were amazing. Hope your travels take you to Florence, South Carolina for an indulgent pecan visit 🙂

  12. I love pecan pie, so I think I’d get into some serious trouble on this Pecan Trail. But, it’s not just the pecans and pie on this trail, all the other foods and drinks looks amazing. I’m dying to try that sweet potato cheesecake and the craft beer.

  13. Did you make it to all 21 locations? I’ve never heard of the Pecan Trail, but I love pecans. That White Russian pecan cake looks mouth-watering! And one of my favorite Southern treats is Pralines, but I didn’t see that in your list.

    • There is no way we could make all 21 locations…lol. As a pecan lover you would love it. We had Pralines at Young’s Plantation , so you can be rest assured all your favorite pecan related treats are there. Thanks, Tami.

  14. LOVE pecans, I would do a pecan themed getaway lol. I want the White Russian pecan pie, the pecan beer, and the sweet potato cheesecake, please. And the free snack bar at the plantation.

    • This sounds like the perfect trail for you Evelyne. Not only will you have a delicious time, Florence is also a charming Southern town worthy of discovering. Hope you can get to South Carolina soon for the amazing pecan trail. Cheers.


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