Sitting just outside the Nantahala National Forest, Lake Jocassee in South Carolina features pristine and clear waters surrounded by mountains. Most of the land and area surrounding Lake Jocassee is undeveloped and untouched creating an intimate and truly natural setting. Visitors to the area can enjoy all types of water sports from skiing to swimming to fishing and visit Devils Fork State Park, the only park on the lake. Lake Jocassee also provides an ideal setting for a wedding with several venues to choose from.
Devils Fork State Park Outdoor Pavilions
Because Lake Jocassee is so remote and undeveloped, only one park -- Devils Fork State Park (no website; 161 Holcombe Circle, Salem, SC 29676; 864-944-2639) -- offers public access to the lake and options for an outdoor wedding venue. Two open-air picnic shelters are available for rent for $30 to $38 a day plus a $2 per person park entrance fee for guests ages 15 and over. Both picnic shelters may be reserved online. Parking is available at each of the shelters and both overlook Lake Jocassee.
Devils Fork State Park Gathering Room
Devils Fork State Park also allows guests to rent an indoor gathering room that accommodates up to 25 guests banquet style and comes with AV equipment and free Wi-Fi. Rental fees vary depending on the time of year, and reservations can be made online. Devils Fork State Park also features 20 cabins and private villas that overnight and out-of-town wedding guests may rent. Cabins and villas include one, two and three-bedroom accommodations.
Victoria Valley Vineyards
Just minutes from Lake Jocassee, Victoria Valley Vineyards (victoriavalleyvineyards.com) features 47 acres, plus other facilities like a wine tasting room, deli, gift shop and terrace overlooking the vineyards. Open year-round, the vineyards and facilities may be rented for private weddings and receptions. Weddings can take place inside the vineyard’s chateau, on the outside porch and terrace or on the grounds. Victoria Valley can arrange for catering and meals and of course, can provide the wine for the occasion. Rental rates vary depending on the size of the wedding and any extras involved.
Three Pines View Lodge
Also located minutes from Lake Jocassee in Salem, the Three Pines View Lodge (threepinesview.com) features boutique, environmentally-friendly accommodations with mountain views. The main lodge may be rented for smaller weddings, which can take place inside in the main common room area, outside on the expansive porch overlooking the mountains or on the grounds near the organic garden. Prices vary depending on the time of year and number of guests, and the staff can arrange for meals or catering. After the wedding, the newlyweds and guests can stay at the fully-furnished rooms including five bungalows and a four-bedroom house.
Lindsey Thompson began her writing career in 2001. Her work has been published in the Cincinnati Art Museum's "Member Magazine" and "The Ohio Journalist." You'll also find her work on websites like Airbnb, Chron.com, and USAToday.com. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.