Go Explore McBee, S.C.
By Nan Bauroth
Nothing says summer like biting into a fresh peach sweetened to ripe perfection by the Southern sun. For many travelers in the Carolinas on their way to Myrtle Beach, the ideal spot to indulge that pleasure is McBee, South Carolina. This rural hamlet at the junction of S.C. Highway 151 and U.S. Route 1 is home to McLeod Farms, whose Roadside Market southeast of town has become a must-stop for delectable peaches and related attractions.
Life’s a Peach
Now celebrating over 100 years in the same family, McLeod Farms runs one of the largest peach orchards in the region, with 650 acres of peach trees that produce 23 varieties of the luscious fruit. According to Gaie McLeod, wife of owner Kemp McLeod and field trip coordinator for the operation, the farm is known for its Mac’s Pride brand peaches, including their own varietal, Cary Mac peaches, sought after for their juicy texture and delicious taste.
Perfect Pit Stop
The farm’s popularity has grown exponentially since enlarging their flagship Roadside Market just outside of town. “We added nice restrooms, making it an ideal stop mid-way between North Carolina and the beach for those traveling the back roads,” McLeod says.
Peach Enchiladas and Ice Cream
Foodies have recently put McLeod’s Roadside Market on the map for its Peach Enchiladas, a sweet treat based on a recipe that won the farm’s annual contest in 2004. “They’re like a little peach pie, only made with croissants dusted with cinnamon and sugar and drizzled with Mountain Dew,” McLeod explains. “I’m amazed how many we sell. We make pans and pans of them every day.”
Year-Round Food and Fun
McLeod’s Roadside Market is open year round, seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. In spring they sell mountains of their fresh strawberries, and during summer offer a wide array of other local fruits and vegetables. Come fall, they boast one of the area’s largest pumpkin patches. Visitors also enjoy stretching their legs in the free Antiques Museum full of vintage cars and farm equipment.
More to Do
Tucked away in the Eastern SC Heritage Region, McBee offers other attractions, including its historic train depot that now houses a railroad museum. Nearby sits the 46,000-acre Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, where amenities include an observation tower, auto tour route, photography blind, hiking trails and picnic areas.
Visit AAA.com/TripTik to plan your road trip to McBee!
(Photos: McLeod Farms; Ardie Arvidson/Hartsville Messenger)
(Go Magazine March/April 2019)