Deep in the heart of the Upstate’s equestrian country—where horses outnumber people and parking signs include directions on where to park your horse trailer—sits the small town of Landrum and the Red Horse Inn.
A quaint Main Street filled with antique shops and locally owned (and sourced) restaurants are a surprise for first-time visitors to Landrum. And then there’s the Inn.
The Red Horse Inn
Voted as a top ten romantic inn by American Historic Inns and one of America’s Most Romantic Hotels by Travel and Leisure, this Victorian-inspired bed and breakfast goes beyond the typical B&B experience.
Originally, owners Mary and Roger Wolters had envisioned an equestrian-themed inn on the former Bowater Paper Company property. The avid horse enthusiasts kept a close eye on the property, not wanting it to be developed into a suburban subdivision, and jumped on it when it became available. The two were somewhat dismayed when they discovered that, due to insurance regulations, they wouldn’t be able to offer the equestrian experience they had intended, but Mary still keeps her own horse, My Little Secret, on site, and guests can watch her frolicking in the pasture.
Six guest cottages and six inn rooms are available on the 192-acre property made up of rolling hills, green pastures, and spectacular mountain views.
Mary pays attention to detail—and it shows. Both cottages and rooms are nicely decorated, spacious, and equipped with small kitchens so guests “don’t have to come to the main house for breakfast,” said Mary. She even provides a small basket with washcloths by the front door of each cottage “to wipe off the outdoor furniture.”
Most cottages also have a hot tub and either an outdoor deck or outdoor seating area to take advantage of those magnificent views and peaceful, tranquil setting. There’s also a pet and family-friendly cottage above the stables.
Also on the property, there are miles of trails and picnic areas. Mary has put together excursions so guests know where they can go to experience such things as winery tours, visits to area waterfalls, and even adventure packages that include whitewater rafting and ziplining.
In addition to romantic getaways, the Red Horse Inn also hosts special events, weddings, and conferences. The Inn will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
A small, walkable Main Street adds to downtown Landrum’s vibe and charm. Antique stores are plentiful but they’re not “junky ” antique stores that are sometimes found elsewhere. Notably, Carolina Antiques & More has a great collection of quality antiques and memorabilia such as an old gas pump, a Coca Cola dispenser, and a full-size statue of a wooden Indian.
Downtown Landrum even offers a glimpse into Ohio’s Amish community with family ties bringing in Foothills Amish Furniture, which offers quality handmade hardwood furniture and Dutch Country Foods—a great place to stock up on bulk dry goods, spices, and candy with an Amish-style deli.
Locally owned restaurants are also plentiful. Grab a bite to eat at Stone Soup where owner Suzanne Strickland provides an eclectic menu featuring locally sourced ingredients or the Hare and Hound Pub for a cold beer, tasty reuben sandwich or burger. A stop at Southern Delights and More offers coffee, ice cream or choose one of their fresh baked goods or pastries.
Fox Hunting and Horses
Stately steeds and barking hounds are the norm during the winter months in Landrum with the time-honored tradition of fox hunting. Formal riding attire is still required on most Saturday hunts, so don’t be surprised to see riders donned in tweed coats, tan riding pants, riding boots, and black bowlers. If you’ve always wanted to experience a fox hunt, several area organizations such as The Tryon Hounds arrange hunts on a variety of properties, including The Red Horse Inn.
A drive through the countryside is proof that this is indeed horse country. White picket fences and large barns are commonplace, and if you find yourself in need of a horse to sit atop, there are several stables in the area, although most are just across the state border in Tryon, North Carolina.