Blake Walsh

30 Best Things to Do in Rock Hill, SC

  • Published 2023/02/28

Located near the Catawba River, Rock Hill is the largest city in York County, South Carolina.

It is a charming and well-built city.

Rock Hill has great geographical features and boasts a rich and fascinating history.

There are as many as 31 parks that are used for recreational purposes where you can spend some fun family time.

The city is an educational hub and is home to three colleges, including the famous Winthrop University.

Interested in finding out what more this city has in store for you?

Here are the best things to do in Rock Hill, South Carolina:

Look at a Planetarium at the Museum of York County

The Museum of York County is a great place to visit if you’re visiting Rock Hill with kids.

Its most notable feature is the beautifully constructed Settlemyre Planetarium, where you can gaze at the various planets in the Milky Way galaxy.

There are also other exhibits, which are very interesting and focus on a lot of heritage aspects.

On special days, the museum hosts several traveling exhibits that focus on a variety of themes like nocturnal organisms, domestic animals, and more.

There is also a special kid’s room, which has a cute little kitchen area, puppets, blocks, and more.

Other interactive exhibits are also placed in playrooms.

It’s a very cool and quaint little place, which will be a fun visit for adults and children alike.

Take a Pleasant Walk at Glencairn Garden

Pretty flowers of Glencairn gardens in Rock Hill

MCphotoman /

Glencairn Garden is essentially a botanical garden that hosts a variety of species of plants, including rare and endemic ones.

The gardens are all well-landscaped, the lawns are well-manicured, and you can see greenery all around.

The walking paths are short, well-built, and placed at regular intervals, making it a great place to take a peaceful walk.

There is also a spring festival hosted here.

A wooden bench on the grounds of Glencairn Garden

Hlecroy, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Some of the flowers that are grown here are very colorful and bright to look at with a pleasant fragrance.

It’s an excellent place for a photoshoot.

All the scenic beauty looks like something straight out of a postcard.

There are also fountains and swings placed at regular intervals.

Many families also host cute little picnics here, and you can pack in some snacks and beverages for a great date.

Enjoy a Lights and Sounds Show at Fountain Park

Daytime at Fountain Park in Rock Hill

Jon Bilous /

Known for its vast fountain, which is known for its beautiful lights and sounds show, Fountain Park is an excellent place to visit.

It’s especially colorful at night, when the lights keep dimming and exhibiting themselves in various colors and go in sync with the water in the fountain.

The show is incredibly wonderful to watch during Christmas time.

Most visitors and tourists who visit swear that the fountain is especially more beautiful when the Christmas lighting is put up during that time of the year.

Christmas decorated Fountain Park

digidreamgrafix /

Fountain Park is a great place for a casual stroll where you can spend some time with yourself or with a close loved one.

The best part is that there is no entry fee, and it’s open to the public.

Do not despair if you’re planning to visit the park during the day as well, since it’s really beautiful and there are a lot of green spaces and wonderful flowers growing.

The grounds of Fountain Park

Nolichuckyjake /

Treat the Kids to an Interactive Experience at the Main Street Children’s Museum

Focusing mainly on kids and children, the Main Street Children’s Museum has various fun and interactive exhibits for kids to enjoy.

Children can learn while they play at this quaint little place.

Some of the activities include a sailing ship, a treehouse, an extremely large pumpkin, a small cottage, and a castle.

The staff is warm, friendly, and loves hanging out with the kids.

It’s a great place to visit if you’re out on a family trip and you also have your parents along with you.

It’s the perfect place to bond the grandchildren and the grandparents together.

The amenities are all well-maintained and super clean.

Kids love this place a lot.

Play Softball at Cherry Park

Cherry Park is one of the many wonderful parks on the long list of parks in Rock Hill.

The softball fields here are very famous and well-kept, and many people come to play baseball.

It is another sport that you can try your hand at and enjoy here.

The playground is also great, with swings and slides for kids to play in.

The park is dog-friendly as long pets are kept on their leashes.

You can also enjoy a bike ride here.

Pack snacks from the nearby local outlets and have a small picnic here.

The picnic areas include tables and grills, so you can also bring some meat if you’re interested in having a barbecue.

Take a Tour of the Catawba Indian Cultural Center

Focusing on the special Native American tribe of Catawba of South Carolina, the Catawba Indian Cultural Center is a great place to visit if you want to learn about the tribe and get some information and insights.

It pays a special focus on the history and culture of this tribe.

Once an active community throughout the entire Carolina State, it has been reduced to a small community on the banks of the river Catawba.

The cultural center consists of a museum where artworks and other exhibits are on display.

An interesting aspect of the tribe is their beautiful art of pottery and use of really intricate techniques to create some really detailed patterns on their art pieces.

The Catawba Indian Cultural Center is open to the nominal public, and you can take a tour through the place.

Look at an Old Telephone at the Comporium Telephone Museum

The Comporium Telephone Museum, though set in a very modest space, is home to some really interesting artifacts.

It will take about an hour to completely go through all the exhibits.

The place is truly worth a visit, and you’ll see many exhibits and artifacts related to communication like phones and more.

They also have cotton mills and diners on their exhibit list.

There are also some interactive exhibits, and the kids can touch and play with their phones.

This small and quaint place is educational and worthwhile to visit.

Splash about in the Water at SouthTown Wake Park

An awesome water park, SouthTown Wake Park is a great place to visit with family and friends.

It has great sceneries and scenic views and is filled with fun outdoor recreational activities.

Jump and frolic about in the waters, or play a game of disc golf.

The floating obstacle course in the water is greatly made and awesome for wakeboarding.

You can also ride their main cable and enjoy.

It is highly recommended by most tourists who visit and is a great place to spend a fun day.

Take a Walk Down Freedom Walkway

Honoring and dedicated to the civil rights movement of South Carolina, Freedom Walkway is exactly what its name suggests.

With a special focus on those who fought for their civil rights and for their freedom, this entire walkway is adorned with placards and plaques, which provide information about the movement.

The heartwarming story of the Friendship 9— the nine black students from Friendship Junior College had staged the sit-in on Main Street—is also commemorated here.

As you walk through the same streets where they were arrested because of their ethnicity, though they had tried to sit for the peace, you get filled with immense pride.

There are many such heartwarming stories that focus on the freedom movement, and Freedom Walkway is a powerful symbol for liberty.

The red brick walls are adorned with various forms of public art that focus on the themes of liberty and justice for all.

Play Tennis at Confederate Park

A wonderful park with picnic areas, basketball courts, and tennis courts, Confederate Park is especially popular among families.

The playground also has parks and swing sets.

The picnic tables are well set and great for a field trip.

There’s plenty of parking available, and it’s quite near the city and the neighborhood.

The restrooms are also clean, and the amenities are well-maintained.

There’s also an amphitheater here, which is a really great treat for the eyes.

Go Wine Tasting at Cat’s Paw Winery

A beautiful quaint winery hidden in the woods, this hidden gem is perfect for the connoisseurs of wine tasting.

All those who’ve been to Cat’s Paw Winery describe it as a great place, especially for those who appreciate the art of making fine wine and enjoying it.

All the wines are brewed and made at this facility using organic produce.

The art of winemaking is a really intricate and beautiful process, and these people have definitely aced it.

Some of the most tries include their strawberry, watermelon, peach, and Merlot wines.

Get a Glimpse of Rock Hill’s History at the White Home

View of the White Home from outside the fence

Nolichuckyjake /

The White Home is a house that was transformed into a history museum.

Between 1837 and 2005, the White family’s several generations lived at the residence.

It went from a bungalow to a two-story home throughout the years.

Exterior of the White Home

Nolichuckyjake /

This attraction provides self-guided and guided excursions, a souvenir shop showcasing authors and local artists, and a conference center for special occasions., a group in charge of running the museum, acquired and preserved it for the city’s people.

The corporate offices of Historic Rock Hill can be found here.

Catch BMX Exhibitions at the Rock Hill Outdoor Center

Once a decommissioned chemical facility, the Rock Hill Outdoor Center hosts the highest level of track cycling and BMX competition.

Racing fans worldwide visit the velodrome and dirt track, but they were built so that everyone may use them.

Many other cycling events have been added, making this an ideal location for various cyclists.

The Rock Hill Outdoor Center is a must-see for professional cyclists and die-hard followers of the sport.

Families on a budget wishing to spend the day outside won’t be short of fun options, either.

The facility has something for every level of two-wheeled enthusiasts, whether you are a novice or expert, a mountain biker, or a track specialist.

Go Camping at Ebenezer Park

Located on the north coast of Lake Wylie, Ebenezer Park is a 26-acre park.

Ebenezer Park features 67 well-equipped campsites that include water, sewage, electricity, fire rings, and picnic tables for those who enjoy camping.

Winter or summer, the park is always available to the public.

Make a reservation in advance to avoid disappointment.

You can find out all you need to know about camping right here.

Boating and fishing are additional options while you’re there.

If you plan on fishing at Lake Wylie, you’ll need a South Carolina fishing license.

You may get a fishing license and start at the various grocery stores, sports goods stores, or bait and tackle shops in the region.

Enjoy a Variety of Water Adventures at the Catawba River

The waters of Catawba River

Joe Herlong /

In Rock Hill, you can’t miss the Catawba River when seeking outdoor activities.

Also, it’s an excellent venue for camping and retreats with nature.

You may go kayaking, boating, fishing, and swimming here.

Each activity has a list of recommended paths and launch places.

Rocky downstream of Catawba River

Simply Photos /

You may learn how to get involved with each activity by visiting Catawba River Keeper’s website.

However, keep in mind that the river is heavily relied upon by many people.

The Catawba River flows through 24 North and South Carolina counties and provides drinking water to almost two million people.

In other words, while you’re there, treat the area with respect.

A heron near the waters of Catawba River

Joe Herlong /

Dare to Overcome the Physical Obstacles at Adventure Air Sports Rock Hill

Bring out the daredevil in you as you visit Adventure Air Sports Rock Hill.

This indoor family entertainment center features a wide variety of physical activities, both good for staying fit and having fun.

From slick slides to arcade machines, this center has all sorts of attractions to keep you and your kid engaged.

Improve your stealth and balance as you play a challenging round of dodgeball.

To up the ante, try out the zipline or maneuver your way around the ninja course and its obstacles.

Adventure Air Sports Rock Hill is on Cherry Road.

No matter your age, you are welcome to stop by and get your blood pumping with adrenaline.

Go on a Self-Guided Historic Tour along Rock Hill Downtown Historic District

A building at Rock Hill Downtown Historic District

Bill Fitzpatrick, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ready to start your own historical adventure while staying outdoors?

Then, Rock Hill Downtown Historic District has the best spots for you!

This district has about twelve historic buildings that represented the success of downtown Rock Hill from 1870 to 1935.

Before becoming the city it is today, Rock Hill once thrived in its railroad trading industry.

As the years went by, the business and commerce of the city grew and, with it, an influx of commercial buildings and stunning churches.

As you scroll East Main Street and Oakland Avenue, you may see a mix of architectural designs, including Gothic Revival and Neo-Classical.

Some of the notable buildings in the Rock Hill Downtown Historic District include Andrew Jackson Hotel, Bass Furniture Company, and McFadden Building.

Hang Out at Old Town Amphitheater

Rock Hill’s Old Town Amphitheater is one of the go-to event venues for many community organizations.

Adjacent to the city hall, this park has a vintage clock tower and a fountain.

But lying at the core of this recreational site is its historic amphitheater.

On a normal day, the amphitheater is an ideal venue for idle relaxation and reflection.

But if you’re lucky, you might just get to see the park turn into an intimate gathering for concerts, holiday celebrations, and the like.

Old Town Amphitheater sits on East Black Street.

Take in the Sights and Scenery at Canaan Zipline Canopy Tour

Tired of the same old nature hiking and strolling?

Why not try riding a zipline?

Canaan Zipline Canopy Tour is an extension of Camp Canaan that gets you on a different tour of Rock Hill’s natural attractions.

The zipline runs across and back the Catawba River, passing through dense trees and wildlife habitats.

It offers both a day and night tour, too!

You can find the Canaan Zipline Canopy Tour’s 70-foot tower on Sand Island Road.

Browse through the Vehicles Displayed at Rock Hill Fire Department & Museum

Rock Hill Fire Department & Museum is a family-friendly destination you shouldn’t miss out on.

This interactive museum features historical equipment and photographs from the past decades.

Its learning center is a massive hit among the youngsters residing or visiting Rock Hill.

The museum is also an ideal birthday and party venue.

To get to Rock Hill Fire Department & Museum, drive along South Elizabeth Lane.

Catch a Soccer Game at Manchester Meadows Park

For traveling sports enthusiasts, Manchester Meadows Park is home to FC Carolina United, a soccer team based in Rock Hill in the National Premier Soccer League and Charlotte Independence II.

Opened in 2006, the stadium can set up to 750 fans and is nestled on 70 acres of land, featuring 8 soccer fields, pavilions, walking trails, and a playground.

You can catch the FC Carolina United play here, or any tournament happening when you’re in town.

There are also concessions on site to grab a snack and drinks while enjoying a game.

You can find Manchester Meadows Park off East Mount Gallant Road.

Escape the Rooms at Escape Eight

For groups of friends, co-workers, or families, a fun and adrenaline-pumping activity awaits you at Escape Eight.

A room filled with mysteries and puzzles to solve, you have 60 minutes to get it done so you can get out of the room a champion!

The facility features four themed escape rooms such as The Abandoned Orphanage, Sherlocked, Room 136, and Mystery At The Museum.

Choose from any of these rooms and start your adventure by solving mystery puzzles!

Escape Eight is located off Dave Lyle Boulevard.

Grab a Beer and Pizza at Rock Hill Brewing Company

Craft beers served directly from the tank paired with delicious hickory-fired pizza are a great idea to chill out after a long day in Rock Hill.

And yes, Rock Hill Brewing Company doesn’t disappoint!

Nestled in a historic building downtown, the brewery partners with Millstone Pizza and Tap to serve mouthwatering pizza made with the best local ingredients.

Its award-winning selection of rotating beers is directly poured from its stainless tanks; inspired by American, German, and Belgian styles.

Get your slices of pizza, pour your beer, and have a good time at Rock Hill Brewing Company!

Schedule a Massage at Pure Escape Resort

Loosen your knots after a long day and relax at Pure Escape Resort.

The spa offers therapeutic massage services, including hot stone massage, Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal massage, as well as foot scrub with hot towels.

Here, you’d be able to relax and feel the warm ambiance making you feel calm and comfortable surrounded by a welcoming and tranquil atmosphere.

Pure Escape Resort also offers skincare services like facials and body treatment, waxing, and more.

The spa is located in Northlake on Lakeshore Parkway.

Buy Fresh Produce at the Old Town Market

Every Saturday from May to November, local farmers, vendors, and artisans gather at the Old Town Market to see their locally produced goods.

Buy fresh and organic fruits, vegetables, plants, herbs, flowers, meat, poultry, handcrafted items, food, and many more.

There are also special market days happening in December, so if you’re in Rock Hill during these days, make time to drop by.

You might find something special as a souvenir or a gift for your loved ones back home!

The Old Town Market aims to support and promote all local small business owners and farmers.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit the Brattonsville Historic District

Houses along Brattonsville Historic District

Bill Fitzpatrick, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Basically a vast site that encompasses several historical buildings on its grounds, this old frontier farming plantation can give you great insights into the Revolutionary War and its effects.

You need to spend at least one full day at the Brattonsville Historic District so that you can complete a visit to each and every building.

For example, there is a plantation house where you can take a self-guided tour and look at what frontier farming means.

The largest event held at Historic Brattonsville is definitely the annual Battle of Huck’s Defeat, which focuses on the exemplary revolutionary war that took place in the ancient period between the British people and the patriots.

It’s really interesting to look at since reenactments of that day are also done in the form of plays and more.

Take a Fun Roller Coaster Ride at Carowinds

People touring the Carowinds

Xx Creations, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most famous amusement parks in North and South Carolina, Carowinds is the perfect place to go if you’re visiting with friends and family.

With extremely thrilling and exciting rides and roller coasters, along with water attractions, you can spend an entire day frolicking here.

Moreover, they also host concerts and other performances, including events like summer nights and more.

A rollercoaster at Carowinds

Martin Lewison, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

To avoid lines and ensure that you get a ticket, you can also book their tickets on the website in advance.

They also have a section called the Carowinds Camp Wilderness, where you can bring your own RV and spend an entire night, or you can rent one of their many cabins.

Try Golfing at the Miniature Golf Course at Mr. Putty’s Fun Park

Miniature golf is always a fun sport to play.

This course has as many as 18 holes, and they also let you have your choice of the balls that you want to use.

It is kid-friendly and family-friendly as well.

Most tourists who visit swear that is one of the best mini-golf courses that they have ever visited.

The customer service is great, and the staff is excellent.

The course is well-maintained and challenging.

Alongside this, there are other fun activities that you can enjoy too, like ax throwing.

Those who enjoy getting an adrenaline rush can also try rock climbing or take part in dodging an obstacle course to race to the end.

There is also a spooky haunted house to visit for the not-so-fainthearted.

Go Swimming at Windjammer Park

Housing Lake Wylie inside its huge premises, Windjammer Park is great if you want to spend some time in and around the water.

You can go swimming in this little peninsula or at one of the many beaches.

You’ll need to acquire a permit if you’re planning to visit, since it’s required in order to enter the premises.

The tables are covered, and the restrooms are clean.

It is also a great place to catch a sunset on the horizon when the entire sky is orange and the water is blue and turquoise.

It makes for a stunning backdrop for pictures, which is exceptionally great if you’re a nature photography enthusiast.

The playground is small but has enough to keep your kids entertained.

It comes with a slide, swings, and a little climbing wall.

Final Thoughts

There is something for everyone in Rock Hill, which boasts a rich history, outstanding sports facilities, and southern hospitality.

Even if you’re simply passing through, you will quickly discover why Rock Hill is one of the Midlands’ fastest-growing cities.

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