Have you heard of Spartanburg? It’s a city in South Carolina that positively surprised me. I read about it while I was searching for interesting and new places to visit. And I discovered many fun things to do in Spartanburg, SC.
It represents a blend between old and modern times, bursting with positive energy and welcoming citizens. There are both historical sites to visit as well as some natural beauties that will take your breath away.
The numerous parks provide many opportunities for both an active and more relaxing holiday. Culture is very present around the city, as well.
Especially the Cultural District, located downtown, is full of attractions. These include museums, parks, and amphitheaters where sports competitions and events are organized.
If you’re traveling with your kids, you should know that there are many fun attractions for them, too. And most of them are free or very affordable. While you’re there, I encourage you to grab some shopping opportunities and bring new products back with you.
So, are you ready to dive deeper into everything this city has to offer? If you are read on as I have gathered a lot of fun and exciting things you can do!
What Are The Best Things To Do In Spartanburg SC
Explore the Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve
Nature is an inseparable part of my travels. Therefore, I was very happy to find special landscapes and wildlife in the Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve.
Spread across around 12 acres of land, it houses many plants and animals. No wonder it’s considered to be a natural beauty meant for relaxation of the eyes and mind.
The place has a large garden with more than 200 plants species like trees, flowers, and shrubs. You can take a peaceful walk around it and become familiar with all of them.
Aside from it, I had a chance to visit some of the forests, creeks, ponds, and even a roaring waterfall. And the experience for me was phenomenal.
Understandably, beautiful birds and other wildlife species live in nature. Occasionally, you can catch a glimpse of them during your exploration.
Due to all of this, this is an attraction that should rightfully earn a spot on the list of fun things to do in Spartanburg SC. Not to mention that it’s available to the public and the entrance is free. You can find it at the address 832 John B White Sr Blvd, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
Take your little ones to the Children’s Museum of the Upstate
If you’re traveling with kids, this place is a must. It’s recommended for kids that are either five years old or below as it offers many interesting activities for this age group.
Mostly, they’re interactive and educational. This way, the little ones can learn new things in a fun way. For infants, there are even crawling areas like the Palmetto Basics Toddler area where they are taught about healthy choices.
Also, there is a healthcare section where your kid can take the role of a caregiver, a doctor, and a patient and play in an imaginative way.
Have I piqued your interest already?
Then, you should know that this place is located at 130 Magnolia St, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
Go to the Hub City Railroad Museum
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The little lover of trains in your family will have a great time in the Hub City Railroad Museum with you by their side. This free attraction offers an insight into Hub City’s history.
And it has many of the original objects that were placed inside the train station when it was functional. I am sure the kids will love the replica of the station as it’s very detailed. A fun fact is that two men made it in as much as 700 hours.
Aside from exploring the exhibits, there are other fun activities that you can try. Moreover, you can ring the locomotive bell that dates back to 1940, try operating a telegraph system, and go shopping in the railroad shop.
If you want to take a break outside, the place has picnic areas. I really liked them as they are very comfortable with green grass all around them and numerous tables.
You can reach the museum and see everything it has to offer at 298 Magnolia St, Spartanburg, SC 29303.
Walk across the Historic District
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This is a meaningful historical area that even found its place on the National Register of Historic Places. Therefore, it’s the right spot for those that want to get lost in history and learn many new things about the city and the whole area.
As in the past, it was comprised only of the Morgan square, it still houses the monument of Daniel Morgan. However, as the years went on, it was expanded. Modern times brought various industries like the textile one together with railroads in this district.
What’s special is that the architecture remained in the Roman style and it reminds me of ancient times despite the modernization. The buildings date from the 19th and 20th centuries. They include the Masonic Temple, the Cleveland Hotel as well as the waterworks building.
All of this justifies why it’s one of the best things to do in Spartanburg SC. So, make sure you walk across it when you visit the town.
Relax at Cleveland Park
Located within the historic center, Cleveland Park is one more of the fun things to do in Spartanburg SC that you shouldn’t miss. This is because it has something for people of all ages. So, it represents a great place for spending some quality time with family or even alone.
You can visit the playground, island gazebo, the areas for a picnic as well as the scenic trails meant for longer hikes or walking. Since the park houses the John B. Event Center, many events and community projects, and programs happen there. So, you may get a chance to be a part of one of them.
As for some other special features of the park, I recommend seeing the Amphitheater, Multipurpose Room, Horseshoe Pit, and grill areas. Those that wish to exercise during the trip, will find pleasure in the outdoor equipment for fitness, as well.
Additionally, you should know that you can rent the facilities of the park for different parties, birthdays, and the likes. You can find this place at 141 N Cleveland Park Dr, Spartanburg, SC 29303.
Marvel at the art in Artists Collective Center
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Among the places to go in Spartanburg SC is the Artists Collective Center, as well. Art lovers, like myself, will enjoy seeing all the original exhibits of local artists.
It connects all of them, giving them a space to express themselves and create something marvelous. The nice thing is that aspiring artists are more than welcome.
I was surprised to see that there are more than 30 studios with the works of around 40 artists displayed at different periods during the year.
Also, I liked the appearance of the building. It’s made of red stones and is as big as 20,000 square feet. This became even more meaningful when I learned that it once represented a Baptist Church. Due to this, it looks old, which contributes to the unique art experience.
You can reach it by going to 578 W Main St, Spartanburg, SC 29301.
Capture the beauty of Glendale Shoals Preserve
Believe me, places like Glendale Shoals Preserve make you grateful that you brought your camera with you. It’s full of picturesque scenery and spots where you can take marvelous photos and capture exciting videos.
Or you can simply enjoy the natural beauties and escape from stressful everyday life.
I liked that it’s very large, occupying around 13 acres. Thanks to this, you can freely embark on an adventure, go hiking, and observe the wildlife. Bird watching is a hobby that you can master here.
This is because various bird species live in this area due to the greenery and forests.
Not to mention that the waterfall and dam give the place a touristy feel, but also contribute to its originality.
Connected to this, there are attractions for history lovers, as well. The Glendale mill that existed there in the past can still be seen through the ruins that remain of it. It’s accompanied by other landmarks and ruins from the 19th century.
So, go to the address Emma Cudd Rd, Spartanburg, SC 29302, and spend an amazing day at this preserve.
Eat delicious meals at the local restaurants – one of the best things to do in Spartanburg SC
It’s true. Spartanburg has many nice local restaurants where you can try delicious meals. They range from all parts of America, making them even more special.
After a day filled with adventure and exploring, lunch or dinner at such a place will come as a cherry on the top and complete the whole experience.
During my stay, I visited Mon Amie, Ike’s Korner Grill, and Willy Taco, and they were all great. In some of them, you have an option for takeout, as well.
So, it’s up to you to do a little research and pick a place that matches your taste in food. The rest is in the hands of the hospitable citizens of Spartanburg.
Explore Mary Black Rail Trail
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Many people mentioned this trail to me before I went to Spartanburg so I had to see what the hype was about. And it didn’t disappoint at all.
This is a place for people that want to be active during their trips and do something physical like walking or running. As the name suggests, it’s a trail that is 6.1 kilometers long and anyone can use it.
In the past, it was the southern rail line of Norfolk. But now it’s paved and made to be flat so that more people can easily access it.
The fact that it passes through the industrial neighborhood contributes to its originality.
The good thing is that on it, you can run, hike, walk alone or with your dog, and even practice road biking. Both tourists and local citizens love it because of these options.
Therefore, you should give it a try.
Visit Anderson’s Mill
Anderson’s Mill represents a historical place that is meaningful to the locals in Spartanburg. It was built in the 19 century and since then it has been in use for many years until 1975.
So, visitors can now simply go there and see it. Even though the windows don’t have a regular position, the whole building looks fine. It consists of a basement, main floor, and an attic, making it a compact and interesting attraction.
Due to its historical significance, those that follow and love history, especially this area’s past, will find great pleasure in the visit. And don’t forget your camera. There are many opportunities for exciting shots.
You can reach it at 5255 Anderson Mill Rd, Moore, SC 29369.
Have fun at Hollywild Animal Park
No matter the age, everyone likes to do something interesting during their travels. For me, those moments remain the happiest memories.
So, I was very pleased to discover some of the fun things to do in Spartanburg SC, including this one.
The Hollywild Animal Park is an amazing and unusual place. It’s a sanctuary for many species of animals.
Spread on 100 acres, it houses over 500 animals from all over the world. To make it more comfortable for them and more appealing to visitors, there are separate habitats for different species.
They can even roam free in the wide safari area. There, the visitors can feed them and see them up close.
What’s interesting is that many of them have been a part of movies and TV shows. Therefore, I met famous animals while I was there.
For those that are curious and want to learn more, the zoo organizes numerous educational and community outreach programs, workshops, camps, trips in the field, and many more.
I recommend this place to everyone, especially those that are young in spirit or travel with their kids. You can find it at 2325 Hampton Rd, Wellford, SC 29385.
Take a Tour of RJ Rockers Brewing Company
Do you like drinking products made in a brewery? I always enjoy a glass of wine after a day filled with many activities. So, when my friends recommended RJ Rockers Brewing Company, I decided to visit it at once.
And I had a great time. This is, in fact, a business that’s family-owned. As it’s located downtown, you can easily access it by different means of transport.
Once you get there, you’ll see that it has some of the best wines in the area. Also, it offers some fine Bourbons and whiskeys for those who want stronger drinks.
This is understandable considering the fact that the owners follow recipes that are very old and have been constantly enhanced over the years.
Another interesting detail is that there are special tours for tasting the drinks, which you can book. Believe me, they are truly worth your time and money.
After such a tour, I attended one of the music nights and my experience was complete. These nights represent a way for customers to meet each other and enjoy themselves while sipping delicious wine.
Finally, this place has a comfortable and cozy atmosphere. This is thanks to the solar power that it utilizes.
Are you wondering how to get to it already? You can find it at the address 226-A W Main St, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
Visit the OnAgain OffAgain Farm
The OnAgain OffAgain Farm is on the list of things to do in Spartanburg SC for a reason. First and foremost, it’s a really fun place to visit. It’s home to alpacas that have won many awards.
A family owns it and has operated it as a farm for alpacas since 2009. With those cute creatures around, I forgot about all of my problems for a while.
To accompany the alpacas, there is stock, as well. The whole purpose of the farm is to raise and breed all of these animals for pets and fiber. It offers fiber that is warm, hypoallergenic, and versatile.
Therefore, with it, you can make garments and insulate something. There is also a store with products of the fibers. They range from yarn for rugs, fleece, and balls to soaps and even products that are hand-knitted.
Not to mention that gardeners and farmers can find fertilizers there that originate from the animals’ poo.
This farm is located at the address 262 Hollis Dr, Spartanburg, SC 29307.
Try Many Exciting Activities in Croft State Park
This is another park that’s worth your attention when it comes to fun things to do in Spartanburg SC. It’s a special place as it was once a military base for training.
That’s why there is a lot to do there. And the 7,000 acres make this easier together with the fact that the park is near the center.
Biking and hiking are the main activities that people go for. The 20 trails in the park are made for this purpose and provide some exciting scenery. Another exciting thing is the option to try horseback riding. I know I truly enjoyed it.
If you prefer to relax more, though, you have picnic and camp areas at your disposal. They are accompanied by a large playground for the little ones.
Not to mention that the area has two beautiful lakes. They are perfect if you want to take a boat and go fishing. Just have in mind that you should check the prices for every activity before indulging in one.
You can reach Croft State Park at the address 450 Croft State Park Rd, Spartanburg, SC 29302.
Browse Through Trendy Camera Models at the Spartan Photo Center
Fans of cameras rejoice! The Spartan Photo Center is a family-owned store that sells different types of cameras and accessories. It’s been on the market for over 30 years. And locals seemed to like it a lot.
I understand them completely as I ended up buying a smaller digital camera from there myself. All the praises go to the staff, as well.
If you’re interested in the offered brands, the store sells Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Leica, Pentax, and similar. However, there are also professional prints, canvases, printed mugs, and t-shirts that you can purchase.
So, with all these products, this is an appealing place that should be on your list with the things to do in Spartanburg SC.
The store is located at the address 108 Garner Rd, Spartanburg, SC 29303.
Shop at Westgate Mall
Wherever I go, I always like to buy something no matter how small it is to remind me of all the places I’ve been to. So, if you’re like me, shopping at Westgate is a must.
I say that because it truly is one of the largest shopping malls in the area. Plus, it’s stacked with stores from popular brands that offer everything from A to Z.
With that being said, some of the brands you’ll see there are Bath & Body Works, H&M, JC Penney, Costco, Foot Locker, American Eagle, and more.
You can find a lot of deals and discounts, as well, such as freebies, clothes at half prices, and more. It’s a good idea to check them online and plan which store to visit so that you don’t miss a great deal.
Also, there are plenty of state-of-the-art facilities that make the shopping experience pleasant and relaxing. Further, I especially liked that the parking was accessible. The ATMs were easy to find and were convenient, too.
No wonder that both tourists and Spartanburg locals want to spend some quality time there.
When you’re tired of all the shopping, you can grab a bite at some of the restaurants and food stores. Westgate Mall is home to some famous ones like Chick-fil-A, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Great American Cookies, and similar.
If you’re visiting with kids, there won’t be a problem. The shopping mall is kid-friendly and they will be safe and entertained while you’re off buying something new for yourself and your loved ones.
You can find Westgate Mall at the following address 205 W Blackstock Rd, Spartanburg, SC 29301.
Admire BMW’s Prowess at BMW Zentrum For More Things To Do in Spartanburg SC
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Are you a car aficionado? A trip to what is considered BMW’s largest outpost outside of Germany is something you shouldn’t miss. Also, it’s the only museum of this kind in South Carolina and pretty much in North America.
BMW Zentrum is partly a museum and partly a walkthrough of the manufacturing process. That’s why the Zentrum easily excites car enthusiasts and fans of the brand.
I learned a lot about the car manufacturer’s vast history and its rise to power. For instance, I had no idea that BMW’s efforts for an electric car started in the ‘70s or that the company nearly merged with Mercedes. It truly is a wild history which you’ll appreciate even more.
There are plenty of exhibits, including notable ones from racing vehicles to traveling cars to admire. One of my favorites has to be BMW’s Isetta.
It’s such an iconic car that has a lot of meaning for the entire company and the automotive industry as a whole.
Not only that – you have a chance to visit restored old-timers and state-of-the-art tech, which is included in the company’s newest models.
Moreover, the museum is open from Monday to Friday from 9:30 AM and closes at 5:30 PM. It doesn’t work on weekends. It’s located at 1400 SC-101, Greer, SC 29651.
Transportation in Spartanburg SC
Getting to this South Carolina city can be quite easy as multiple options are available at your disposal. Since Spartanburg is distanced from where I live, I used air transport. Luckily, the city is close to not one, but three airports.
Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport (SPA) is situated in the southwest parts of Spartanburg. There, one can find plenty of local aircraft as well as corporate aircraft from some of the city’s biggest businesses.
Moreover, Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) is another option. You can find it just between the cities of Spartanburg and Greenville as the name, itself, suggests in Upstate SC.
The third alternative is Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU), which is the most visited airport in the state and serves the wider area.
If you’re heading to Spartanburg SC by car, take the nearest highway. From Columbia and Asheville or Hendersonville that would be I-26W. If you’re coming from the Charlotte side, you can take I-85S or I-85N if you’re traveling from Greenville.
Regardless, then you can take Exit 69, Business I-85. This will bring you straight to South Carolina’s Spartanburg.
Furthermore, you can arrive in Spartanburg by train. The city’s very own Magnolia Street Station is a frequent destination for many trains. Now you can find Amtrak and the Convention and Visitors Bureau situated there.
The station is real proof of resilience. It was built in 1904, and after a fire in 1996, the locals restored it and it still stands strong.
You can check out some bus routes from certain service providers that can also help you reach Spartanburg SC. Speaking of buses, you can find affordable public bus services in the city, too.
Spartanburg Area Regional Transit Agency, or often abbreviated to just SPARTA, offers public bus services in the city and outside it.
Accommodation in Spartanburg SC
Before you decide on the things to do in Spartanburg SC, you have to decide on the accommodation. You’re in luck as this city has something for everyone.
When I visited Spartanburg, I experienced the amazing southern hospitality in the truest sense of the word. The hosts do their best to offer quality services with a smile and help make your travel smoother and better.
You can choose between gorgeous hotels (even popular hotel chains have premises there), comfortable bed-and-breakfasts (B&Bs) and inns, adventurous campgrounds, and fun motels.
With that being said, accommodation in Spartanburg SC is pretty affordable compared to other places in the States. You can definitely find hotels for around fifty bucks.
For starters, a three-star hotel may cost you on average around $110 for a night, and even less. You can find a four-star hotel for something less than $190 per night.
Understandably, the other options are way cheaper than that. It depends on the accommodation, itself, the distance from the main facilities, and more.
Things to Do Near Spartanburg SC
While you’re in the area, it’s a nice idea to visit some small towns and places located near Spartanburg. They may not be as rich with activities, but they’re still a lovely sight if you have some time to spare on your trip.
Some of them have nice springs and natural beauties to enjoy in whereas others offer historical buildings that date many years in the past.
The good news is that most of the sites are open to the public and you can embark on a journey to uncover the way people were living in the past.
Here are some nearby places to check out:
- Boiling Springs
- Glenn Springs
- Campbell’s Covered Bridge, which represents the last bridge that’s covered in the whole South Carolina state
- Walnut Grove Plantation, which is open for public tours and exploring
Conclusion Regarding Things to Do in Spartanburg SC
Undeniably, Spartanburg SC is a fun vacation destination that both kids and adults can enjoy. This versatile part of South Carolina offers something for everyone.
From captivating museums and popular shopping venues to vast parks and comfy restaurants and cafes, there are numerous things to do in Spartanburg SC.
Don’t think for another second and start planning your next trip to this lovely city. Feel free to come back to this post and reminisce the top attractions that have caught your eye.
Have you been to Spartanburg before or will this be your first time? Which attraction is your favorite from the list? Get in touch with us and write to us about your experience in Spartanburg SC.
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