Boasting beautiful natural landscapes and rich history, Spartanburg in northern South Carolina is warm, welcoming, and offers plenty of things to see and do from art galleries to outdoor activities. The Downtown Cultural District is the beating heart of the city and features several interesting attractions from the Spartanburg Regional History Museum which documents the history of the region to the lakeside Cleveland Park amphitheater which hosts a variety of sporting events. Here are some of the top spots to visit and places to eat on a visit to the charming city of Spartanburg.
1. Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve
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Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve is a 12-acre botanical garden open freely to the public during daylight hours year-round that features an abundance of perennials, shrubs and mature trees, several tranquil ponds, and a network of walking trails. The woodland preserve features dense forests, meandering creeks, seasonal flower gardens, reflective ponds, and a cascading waterfall and is home to an array of birds and wildlife. Visitors can explore the gardens and preserve on one of the many walking trails or paved pathways and enjoy picnics and ranger-led educational programs on the indigenous plant life in the region.
832 John B White Sr Blvd, Spartanburg, SC 29306, Phone: 864-574-7724
2. RJ Rockers Brewing Company
© RJ Rockers Brewing Company
RJ Rockers Brewing Company is a locally owned microbrewery in Downtown Spartanburg that produces handcrafted beers in bottles, cans, and on draft that have been aged in bourbon, whiskey, and rum barrels from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Established in 1997, RJ Rockers is a solar-powered microbrewery that has been producing barrel-aged for over 22 years with an annual capacity of 16,000 barrels. The brewery has a downtown brewpub that sells the range of beers and offers tasting tours Thursday through Saturday. They also host a range of events from live weekly music and big-screen sports games to trivia nights.
226-A W Main St, Spartanburg, SC 29306, Phone: 864-804-8047
3. Croft State Park
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Home to well over 7,000 acres of wooded terrain, the Croft State Park is an exciting recreational destination conveniently located a short distance from Spartanburg’s downtown area. Great to visit at any season, the Croft State Park is home to the 165-acre Lake Craig, a hotspot for paddling and fishing activities. Meanwhile, it also boasts 50 RV and tent campsites, a couple of picnic shelters, and even an equestrian show ring. With that being said, equestrians can enjoy over 20 miles of horseback riding trails, while avid bikers have the same number of biking trails to navigate. In terms of hiking-only trails, Croft State Park has 2.5 miles worth to explore. Interestingly, Croft State Park is also full of history as it once served as a WWII training camp for the army.
450 Croft State Park Road, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29302, Phone: 864-585-1283
4. Glendale Shoals Preserve
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Glendale Shoals Preserve is a 13-acre reserve and natural area situated on the site of the old Glendale Mill on Lawson’s Fork Creek. Dating back to the 1800s, the scenic property has a significant history and was once a large cotton factory known as the Glendale Mill that supported the local mill village and the surrounding area of Bivingsville. Today, the property features the ruins of the mill, an old bridge dating back to 1928, a dam and a waterfall, and numerous hiking trails and is a popular area for outdoor recreation. The Preserve is also home to a diverse array of fauna and flora, including many species of birds.
Emma Cudd Rd, Spartanburg, SC 29302, Phone: 864-948-0000
5. Hollywild Animal Park
© Hollywild Animal Park
Hollywild Animal Park is a non-profit animal sanctuary set on 100 acres of land that is home to more than 500 animals, many of which have appeared in movies and television shows. The zoo provides natural habitats for a wide range of animals from around the world and features an outback safari section where animals such as bison, Watusi cattle, several species of deer, and donkeys roam free. Visitors to the zoo can hand-feed some of the animals in the safari section, and the sanctuary offers a range of educational programs, field trips, scout workshops, summer camps, and community outreach programs.
2325 Hampton Rd, Wellford, SC 29385
6. West Main Artists Co-op
© West Main Artists Co-op
The West Main Artists Co-op is a community-centric arts center that is home to three dozen working artists’ studios and displays their works in a variety of rotating exhibitions. Housed in a 20,000-square-foot red brick building with a steeply sloped roofline and large, ornate windows that was once a Baptist church, the gallery is a unique destination for local art in Spartanburg County. The building houses 32 studios in which more than 40 artists work and exhibitions in the hallways and small gallery rooms which the public can view and purchase. The arts center also hosts an array of educational programs, workshops, and artistic performances.
578 W Main St, Spartanburg, SC 29301, Phone: 864-804-6501
7. Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve
The Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve is a 115-acre nature reserve and urban greenspace that features over five miles of wooded hiking and biking trails, pristine wetlands, rolling grasslands, and interesting geological formations. The park is also home to a diverse array of fauna and flora with animals like wild turkey, deer, beavers, raccoons, fox, and numerous birds and reptiles, and offers a range of recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, picnicking and wildlife watching.
Beechwood Dr, Spartanburg, SC 29307, Phone: 864-948-0000
8. Westgate Mall
Westgate Mall is Spartanburg’s primary shopping market, boasting 954,302 square feet of retail space and housing major anchor stores such as Costco, JCPenney, Bed Bath & Beyond, Dillard's, and Belk. Located on West Blackstock Road off Interstate 26 and US Highway 29, the shopping mall offers center-wide accessible parking, ATMs, modern restrooms with baby changing stations, nursing mother stations, children’s play areas, fire pits, fountains, and a security and police substation.
205 W Blackstock Rd, Spartanburg, SC 29301
9. Anderson Mill
© Anderson Mill
Located at the intersection of the North Tyger River and Anderson Mill Road near Fairmont in Spartanburg County, Anderson's Mill is a historic water-powered gristmill dating back to the late 19th century. Resting on the banks of the North Tyger River, the mill was formerly known Nicholl’s Fort, Nichol’s Mill, and Tanner’s Mill, and is now named after Jim Anderson who purchased the mill in 1831. Anderson Mill is the oldest standing mill in South Carolina and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
5255 Anderson Mill Rd, Moore, SC 29369, Phone: 864-978-6528
10. Spartanburg Art Museum
© Spartanburg Art Museum
Showcasing exceptional works of regional and contemporary visual arts, the Spartanburg Art Museum is a fantastic destination for visitors of all ages as it inspires and engages all those who enter with well-curated exhibits. The museum is nestled in the center of downtown Spartanburg and holds the distinction of being the Upstate region’s only contemporary art museum. Admission to the museum is free and will treat guests to a great range of exhibits. Meanwhile, the museum also hosts regular classes from basics in sketching to graphic design classes, and even weaving classes. While classes do charge a fee, they are a great way to cultivate the skills of budding artists.
200 E. Saint John Street, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29306, Phone: 864-582-7616
11. Wade’s Restaurant
© Wade’s Restaurant
Located in the Pinewood Shopping Center, Wade’s Restaurant is a long-standing old-school fixture that has been serving classic Southern comfort food since 1947. The family-owned and operated restaurant has bustling, vibrant energy with a friendly vibe and serves an ever-changing menu of hearty, homemade food made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients. The award-winning eatery uses age-old recipes that have been passed down through the generations for traditional Southern dishes like homemade meatloaf, chicken pie, slow-cooked turnip greens, fried flounder, and hush puppies, and mouth-watering pecan pie. Wade’s Restaurant is open for
1000 N Pine St, Spartanburg, SC 29303, Phone: 864-582-3800
Located in the Drayton Mills Marketplace, Pi-Squared is a family-friendly pizzeria that serves artisan-style wood-fired pizzas and fresh salads in a warm and welcoming setting. The bustling pizzeria serves a wide range of pizzas with a choice of toppings ranging from meats and seafood to different cheeses, vegetables, and imported ingredients like buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto. Pizzas are accompanied by a range of freshly prepared salads made with locally sourced ingredients, and a selection of draft beers and casual wines, milkshakes, and fountain sodas. Pi-Squared is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
1802 Drayton Rd, Spartanburg, SC 29307, Phone: 864-586-2525
13. Chapman Cultural Center
© Chapman Cultural Center
There is no denying that the Chapman Cultural Center is a leader in arts and science education in Spartanburg. It is their dedication to the humanities and the sciences that have propelled the Chapman Cultural Center into the landmark destination it is today as they host regular education opportunities, host art showcases, and raise support for grant opportunities, public art projects, and various study fellowships. The Chapman Cultural Center is home to a number of galleries and museums that showcase the works of local Spartanburg artists as well as the works of students in the county. There are also exhibits on science and history to be discovered.
200 East Saint John Street, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29306, Phone: 864-542-2787
14. TJC Gallery (The Johnson Collection)
© TJC Gallery
With a sincere and heartfelt desire to celebrate and shed light on the robust cultures and deep history of the American South, The Johnson Collection, or TJC Gallery for short, showcases exhibits, loaned artifacts, and artwork, as well as publications that do just that. The gallery has been praised by many publications, and it has developed a reputation for being the spark of a “quiet art historical revolution”, as well as being a definer of the word “regional”. Visitors to the TJC Gallery can peruse an extensive collection of art from the American South, which dates as far back as the late 18th Century, or as early as the present day. The TJC Gallery is also home to a private art collection that is specifically designed to increase appreciation for Southern art within the region as well as beyond it.
154 West Main Street, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29306, Phone: 864-594-5834
15. Hub City Railroad Museum
© Hub City Railroad Museum
Under the watchful helm of the Carolina Railroad Heritage Association, the Hub City Railroad Museum is a paradise for railroad and train enthusiasts. The museum is situated in what was once the Southern Railways Depot and beautifully displays the history and significance of the railroad in upstate Spartanburg. Filled with vintage train memorabilia, model trains, as well as a painstakingly restored caboose, the museum is a great addition to any vacation itinerary. Amongst the many things visitors can learn about at the Hub City Railroad Museum, guests can also deep dive into the history of various railways and the effect they had on Hub City.
298 Magnolia Street, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29306, Phone: 864-963-4739
16. The Children’s Museum of the Upstate - Spartanburg
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Designed to be a safe space where children of all backgrounds and ages can come to dream, learn in fun ways, and simply enjoy being a kid, the Children’s Museum of the Upstate takes great care and pride in the curation of programs and experiences within its walls. Undeniably a top-tier attraction, this museum creates a barrier-free world for every visitor and encourages playing together through two floors of play space. While some children may prefer to spend their time climbing the museum’s treehouse, others can spend the day playing doctor, playing with water tables that recreate the rivers of Spartanburg, or exercising their minds at the museum’s STEAM-based and hands-on learning lab.
130 Magnolia Street, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29306, Phone: 864-233-7755
17. Ciclops Cyderi and Brewery
© Ciclops Cyderi and Brewery
Born in the home of its owner and brewer, Kolby Garrison, in 2014, the Ciclops Cyderi and Brewery has come a very long way since its inception. Though the Garrisons never expected to be full-time brewers, their passion for the perfect cider and beer kept growing, and with it, so did Ciclops. Today, each of the beers and ciders produced by Ciclops is a reflection of the team’s character – fun, absurd, and absolutely memorable. A visit to the brewery allows guests to sample as many of the cidery and brewery’s offerings as they’d like. The tasting room regularly offers 30 beers on tap which are comprised of Ciclop’s brews and ciders as well as fantastic offerings from around the nation. Pair your choice of beverage with delicious grub from the Ciclops Cyderi and Brewery menu to complete the experience.
197 East Saint John Street, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29306, Phone: 864-541-7379
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