Newberry Opera House

Newberry Opera House

I recently made my fourth trip to the Newberry Opera House in South Carolina. Newberry is located about halfway between Columbia and Greenville on I-26. The opera house was built in 1882 and remodeled about a decade ago with a USDA Rural Development Grant. It has brought the small community to life with live performances several nights a week from September to May. Newberry College is the other landmark in town along with the old courthouse and square.
Accommodations used to be quite limited, but with the construction of the Hampton Inn on the square and several new motels on the interstate, you now have several options. We chose the Hampton Inn for its convenience, comfort, and style. Although it is a modern building, it was constructed to blend in well with the architectural style of the opera house. There are several restaurants and antique shops near the square for dinner and an early evening stroll. The big department store on the square recently burned an left an empty shell.
The opera house books a full season of concerts comparable to those in Myrtle Beach that includes: beach, bluegrass, big band, broadway, classical, country, folk, jazz, and pops genres of music. The prices are very reasonable, particularly in comparison with big city venues. An overnight trip to Newberry makes a nice mini-vacation.
We drove down via US 1 to I-20 to I-26 and came back via I-77 to I-85 to I-40 and didn’t notice much difference in travel time for either route, although the route through Columbia had much less traffic. It’s about a 4 ½ – 5-hr trip from Raleigh so it’s closer than Myrtle Beach or Charleston. It’s too far for a day trip, but an easy trip for a weekend. We went on a weeknight to see the Canadian Brass, which in the least year has been reformed with four new members. The concert was excellent, and so have been all of the others I have attended. We usually see charter buses for the concerts, but they were missing on this trip. The auditorium was full anyway, and the audience was very enthusiastic.
If you are looking for a quiet, relaxing get-away with top flight entertainment, I highly recommend Newberry. The weather was cool and overcast on this trip so these photos are from a previous trip.


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