Lake Keowee runs about 300 shore miles and covers about 18,400 acres with pristine water. It’s large enough and deep enough to attract fishing, water sports and leisure cruising and yet, small enough to navigate without fear of getting lost. This is in contrast to Keowee’s neighbor to the south, Lake Hartwell, which is about three times as large and its endless forks and coves can confuse even the most experienced boater.
The area around Keowee is seeing explosive development and with that, a lot of new places, faces and spaces. If you’re planning to spend a day — or days — in, on or around Keowee this summer, use this checklist to cover your bases.
Lighthouse on Lake Keowee — 1290 State Road S-37-15, Seneca
*Dock your boat in one of the slips and gnosh on everything from shrimp-and-grits to pork ribs and crab cakes at the Lighthouse, then stroll down the hill to the Cabana for a signature “Orange Crush” cocktail.
The Tiki Hut — 156 Keowee Marina Drive, Seneca
Nestled inside the Keowee Marina, a short walk from the boat ramp, The Tiki Hut caters to both the boat crowd and landlubbers alike, who come in search of lake-friendly fare such as burgers, po-boys, chicken fingers and quesadillas.
Black’s Smokehouse — 1528 Blue Ridge Blvd., Seneca
About a five-minute drive from the South Cove County Park boat ramp, Black’s Smokehouse offers smoked chicken, pulled pork, wings, ribs and brisket along with sides and a selection of sandwiches including one called “The Stack” that is piled high with pork, brisket and bacon. They also offer smoked meats by the pound — just called ahead to make sure they haven’t sold out.
According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Keowee is a good place to catch bass and according to the latest reports, June is a good time for fishing. One professional guide says topwater lures are best early in the morning and late in the evening and plastic worms will work if fished in the deep water during the day.
Given its location in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lake Keowee is a nature lover’s dream with mountain views and pristine water. Whether it’s parking and pitching a tent at one of South Cove County Park’s 41 waterfront sites or swinging your RV into Keowee Falls RV Park, there are plenty of options for those who’d rather “rough it” around the lake.
The 1,000-acre Keowee-Toxaway State Park features 5.5 miles of hiking trails. The Natural Bridge/Raven Rock Trail is a particularly popular hike that includes a couple of waterfalls. The park also offers a non-motorized launch for canoes, kayaks and paddleboards.
Motor boat rentals
- 8 Waverunners ($395/day+tax/gas)
- 5 Bennington tritoons ($420/day+ tax/gas)
- 2 Hurricane deckboats ($420/day+tax/gas)
- 6 pontoons and 2 tritoons. Daily prices vary by model.
- 6 ski/deck boats. Daily prices vary by model.
- 3 pontoons, 1 tritoon. Prices vary by model.
- 1 center console. Prices vary by model.
- Kayaks ($65/day)
- Paddleboards ($65/day)
- Kayaks ($75/day)
- Paddleboards ($75/day)