It’s the end of the day, the sun is creating some amazing colors on the western skyline and you are about to pull your boat into a marina, when someone asks the age-old questions.
Where do we eat?
Our own Lady of the Lake, Amy Hammond, is here to give you all of the best tips for dining on Lake Hartwell. Amy is one of our top Associates in our Mountain Lakes office in Clemson, and is not just an expert on houses, but lake life as well.
Hartwell is one of the Upstate’s most popular lakes, and Amy is about to take you on a gastronomic voyage starting with the southernmost part of the lake that spans between South Carolina and Georgia.
The Georgia Side:
The Boathouse Grill in Hartwell: Located next to Hartwell Marina and plenty of room to park your boat. This family friendly grill has constant live music and karaoke. A couple of my favorite dishes are the crawfish stuffed mushrooms and the Philly cheese steak sandwich. A great option for lunch and don’t forget to quench your thirst with a Top Shelf Margarita!
Tilly’s Tiki Bar and Grill: Right at the state line, you’ll find Tilly’s at Harbor Light Marina. They offer live music most weekends. Need to gas up? They’ve got that covered too! Their menu has several options that will satisfy your entire group. Noteworthy options are the wings appetizer and a large selection of tacos. My personal favorite is the blackened grouper taco. Fish, steak, and pasta are all on the menu so each time you go back try something new. There is a large selection of wonderful summertime cocktails to choose from as well. Anything with an umbrella is a good idea.
Big Water Marina/J.R. Cash’s Bar and Grill: From the Hot Lava shrimp (my personal favorite) to the blackened ahi tuna sandwich topped off with a signature bucket drink. Head over day or night and be welcomed with a wonderful family experience. There is a huge pirate ship playground for the kids and regular live music. You can spend the day here admiring the expansive views of the lake. A full service marina that also has new gas pumps that are fast! Need ice and a snack? The ship store has it all.
The Local Pub and Eatery: Located just off the main channel, they are open during the peak season from Wednesday-Sunday and off peak from Wednesday- Saturday. Discover live music, karaoke, and games for the kids. The menu has been created with every palate in mind. I walk in and usually don’t even have to order, they know what I want. The ahi tuna appetizer or the wings are always a good idea. Their salads are amazing! They are notorious for their creative drink specials.
The South Carolina Side:
The Galley Restaurant: Located at Portman Marina, the Galley is a crowd favorite for dinner after a day on the lake. You will need to go home and get a little dressed for the atmosphere here. Finer dining and a fantastic American cuisine style menu. They are open from Tuesday-Sunday. Reservations are always helpful as they get quite busy, especially in the summer. With plenty of room to dock your boat just walk up and enjoy expansive lake views from your table. My go to options on the menu are always a shrimp cocktail as an appetizer and the prime rib is to die for! They have a wonderful wine selection that you can choose from to accompany that juicy steak.
The Grill at Clemson Marina: Head on up the lake on the Seneca River towards Clemson and stop off at this open air option for jumping right off the boat for one of their great burgers and a beer. They also have gas.
A couple of restaurants worth mentioning that have lake access:
Sole’ on the Green at the Clemson Walker golf course on the Clemson University campus has a courtesy dock just off the golf course. Park and stroll down the cart path to Sole’. Enjoy a brunch bloody mary with chicken and waffles or a glass of wine on the back overlooking the Walker course and the beautiful lake backdrop at dinner. It is an experience to look forward to this summer.
Around the bend in Clemson there is a group of courtesy docks with a couple of great options. Pixie and Bill’s is a Clemson tradition and a great spot for date night. When looking at the menu, there is a difficult choice to face. Chicken? Steak? Fish? Pasta? You really can’t go wrong with whichever you choose. I do, however, recommend the lobster bisque to start and you have to finish the night with a slice of the Maker’s Mark Kentucky Derby pie. You can thank me later.
Now that we are all hungry, where are we heading?