Blake Walsh

23 Best Things to Do in Spartanburg, SC

  • Published 2023/04/03

Spartanburg is one of the most populated cities in South Carolina.

The wonderful city boasts some of the most beautiful tourist attractions in the state.

Spartanburg is an educational hub and home to many vital colleges like Converse College, Wofford College, and Spartanburg Community College.

Moreover, it also has a tremendous subtropical climate.

The summers are hot, but the winters are mild, which makes it a great winter destination when the weather is pleasant with a slight chill.

Are you interested in discovering what else this city has in store for you?

Check out this list of the best things to do in Spartanburg, South Carolina:

Go Geocaching at Croft State Park

River flowing in Croft State Park

SHoener /

What exactly does “geocaching” mean?

You use a GPS receiver, mobile, cell phone, or any other navigational technique to seek or hide containers called geocaches at specified locations.

Coordinates from all over the world can then mark the location.

Usually, a geocache is waterproof, small, and contains a logbook.

When you find the geocache, you can then sign the log to prove that you found it.

After this, you need to place that geocache exactly where you found it for the next person.

Geocaching is thus a modern-day take on treasure hunting with all its beautiful nuances.

Some other outdoor activities you can enjoy at Croft State Park include picnicking, hiking, camping, mountain biking, and others.

You can also fish at the vast Lake Craig, over 165 acres.

A wonderful playground is also available for young kids.

There’s also an exquisite shooting range.

The bike trails are great, too.

Those with a penchant for thrill and adventure will love Croft State Park.

Equestrian facilities like rental stalls are also available for those who love horses.

Look at Beautiful Conifers at Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve

Small waterfall and a bridge passing over it at Hatcher garden and Woodland Preserve

Kevin Ruck /

Spread over ten acres, Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve is a beautiful public garden.

Once you set foot here, you’ll find this spot is one of the most visited places in Spartanburg.

The conifer garden inside is especially famous and displays as many as 200 species of conifers in various plants, like trees or shrubs.

Some species you can find here include spruces, pines, firs, junipers, sequoias, and more.

Creeping cypresses are also there, including the bald cypress.

Even more incredible is that the Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve is free and public.

The Hatcher family built this garden by raising money and using their funds.

They were not wealthy or from an affluent class but had a great idea.

They had a great creative vision, evident in how the garden was built and in all its beautiful plants, flowers, and shrubs.

Visit the Spartanburg Historic District

Daniel Morgan monument at Spartanburg Historic District

Page Light Studios /

A proud National Register of Historic Places member since 1983, the Spartanburg Historic District is an essential part of the city.

The original district was in Morgan Square and featured the famous Daniel Morgan monument.

Later, it was expanded for commercial and economic reasons.

Masonic Temple in Spartanburg Historic District

Nolichuckyjake /

Today, it’s spread over a vast area, mainly focusing on the textile industry.

The Spartanburg Historic District also has railroads.

Check out the beautiful buildings with architecture from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The material used in construction will remind you of the ancient Roman style.

Shops at Spartanburg Historic District

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

Moreover, they have retained the original facades, so architecture enthusiasts will love this place.

Some famous buildings that you should look at include the Masonic Temple, the Cleveland Hotel, the Greenwood Building, and the Spartanburg Water Works Building.

Take a Detour to the Jammie Seay House

Entrance of Jammie Seay House

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

A famous historic home in the city, the Jammie Seay House is believed to be the oldest house in present-day Spartanburg.

The house and its building date back somewhere between 1770 and 1800.

It is a single-story log house that has survived remarkably through the years and will remind you of ancient times.

It consists of a loft, a gabled roof, and a chimney.

The house’s builder, Jammie Seay, was a soldier in the second Virginia infantry who fought in the Revolutionary War.

Today, the house is owned by the Spartanburg County Historical Association and remains open for tours.

The Jammie Seay House has been a part of the National Register of Historic Places since 1971.

See a Beautiful Waterfall at the Glendale Shoals Preserve

Glendale shoals Dam

Gregory M. Davis Jr /

The 13-acre Glendale Shoals Preserve is a beautiful place to visit.

Containing a dam and a waterfall, it’s a great place to take pictures.

Photography enthusiasts will enjoy the beautiful watersides and picturesque scenes, perfect for nature photography.

A garden filled with green plants at Glendale Shoals Preserve

Gregory M. Davis Jr /

The preserve is also an excellent place to snap self-portraits amid serene nature.

Hiking experts will love hiking the Glendale Shoals Preserve’s famous trails.

Due to the dense foliage and varied landscapes, many birds flock to this area.

Birdwatching is another beautiful activity you can do here.

Ruins of the tall brick building of Glendale Mill

Joseph Creamer /

The preserve is also essential from a historical point of view, as the famous Glendale Mill used to stand where the preserve stands today.

The ruins of the mill remain in the area, including some from the 19th century.

Visit the West Main Artists Co-Op

The West Main Artists Co-Op is an art center dedicated to bringing the community together and helping budding local artists.

Set in a 20,000-square-foot building made with red stones, it is also a beautiful work of architecture.

Since it was initially a Baptist church, the ethnic and ancient vibes of the building are still guarded and give a serene feel as you walk through the different art galleries.

With as many as 32 studios in the area, the co-op provides hope and inspiration to at least 40 artists whose work is displayed at a given time.

Besides, they also have rotating exhibits throughout the year.

If you consider yourself an art connoisseur, you should visit the art gallery and buy one of these beautiful paintings.

Besides getting some cool aesthetic stuff, you will also do your part to support the local artists at West Main Artists Co-op.

Go Shopping at WestGate Mall

Entrance of the Westgate Mall

Mike Kalasnik from Charlotte, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

WestGate Mall is Spartanburg’s main shopping center, a hot favorite among locals.

It has all the famous brands like Bed Bath & Beyond, JC Penney, Belk, Costco, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and more.

Boasting essential facilities and amenities, including accessible parking, modern restrooms, and ATMs, it’s an excellent place for a shopping spree.

You won’t have to worry about the kids when shopping here, as the mall’s play area is excellent and easily accessible.

Bring the family to WestGate Mall!

Sample the Beers at RJ Rockers Brewing Company

This locally owned family business is located in the downtown area of Spartanburg.

RJ Rockers Brewing Company might be small, but it offers the best rums and beers.

The best bourbons and whiskeys are also sold here.

The brewery is environmentally friendly and solar-powered.

Most spirits here have been aged for more than 22 years to ensure you get the most refined taste.

Tasting tours are also available in RJ Rockers Brewing Company from Thursdays to Saturdays.

Many trivia nights or music sessions are also conducted here and are very well-organized.

Grab a beer and have fun with your friends or family.

Catch an Event at the Zimmerli Amphitheatre

Aerial view of Barnet Park and Amphitheater

Kevin Ruck /

Barnet Park is especially famous for its beautiful huge amphitheater with an excellent seating capacity.

The Zimmerli Amphitheater hosts many events throughout the year and one major international festival that is a must-attend.

Various concerts and musicals are also hosted for those interested in music.

Some of the Zimmerli Amphitheater events are free and open to the public.

Besides, the gardens at Barnet Park are pretty and well-manicured.

Explore the Hub City Railroad Museum

As its name suggests, Hub City Railroad Museum is dedicated to railways and train engines.

You can find a variety of displays here, including a red engine and a training model.

The Hub City Railroad Museum is also a good picnic spot.

There’s a beautiful grassy area where tables are set up, and you can head here if you are carrying a picnic lunch.

It’s a beautiful place to visit.

Explore the various train engines and settle down with sandwiches and cola on the picnic tables.

Ride a Bike at Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve

Spartanburg’s beautiful Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve spans over 115 acres featuring lengthy hiking and biking trails with woods on either side.

It’s a delightful place.

Moreover, the geography is diverse, encompassing wetlands, grasslands, and other interesting geographical features.

You can also witness many species of plants and flowers bloom here, alongside different species of fauna like deer, beavers, foxes, raccoons, and even wild turkeys.

Some other recreational activities here include kayaking, canoeing, and picnicking.

Grab a Meal at Wade’s Restaurant

Wade’s Restaurant has an old-world feel even though it is in a modern shopping area.

Since its inception in 1947, the restaurant has served delicious and classic delicacies.

All the food here is homemade, with a distinct Southern cuisine taste.

Using fresh and locally sourced produce, Wade’s Restaurant offers excellent food.

It also has a friendly interior and gives you a great vibe.

Try one of the many delectable recipes like chicken pie, homemade meatloaf, hush puppies, or turnip greens.

Finish off your meal with their mouthwatering pecan pie.

Immerse Yourself in Local Art at Spartanburg Art Museum

When visiting a new place, you should always add a city’s museums and art galleries like this one to your itinerary.

Spartanburg Art Museum inspires and educates the community via exhibitions and educational programs.

In 1907, local artists Josephine Sibley Couper and Margaret Law established the arts organization due to their efforts.

Today, the Spartanburg Art Museum occupies a whole floor of the Chapman Cultural Center’s 3,000-square-foot gallery area.

Visit the museum to see contemporary exhibitions or participate in multiple educational and community events for all ages and backgrounds.

Bring Your Kids to Explore Chapman Cultural Center

Exterior of Chapman Cultural Center

PegasusRacer28, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You’ll always catch an event at Chapman Cultural Center, one of Spartanburg’s most popular attractions.

The cultural center is a local arts agency and a top cultural destination in Spartanburg County.

Science, arts, and humanities are at the heart of Chapman Cultural Center.

Seven non-profit groups operate on the cultural center’s property and annually host various events and educational programs for tourists.

Join a student art show at Coldwell Banker Caine Youth Art Gallery, or catch a play in its 500-seat auditorium.

The center provides something for everyone, with various recreational and educational options.

Learn about the Natural Sciences at the Spartanburg Science Center

At the Spartanburg Science Center, visitors may learn about the world via interactive displays, live animals, and educational events that captivate and educate.

Over 23 exhibits, a live animal room with various reptiles and amphibians, and a museum room filled with fossils, bones, skulls, and rock and mineral collections.

This small but well-equipped science center has other educational displays.

The Spartanburg Science Center is open to visitors of all ages.

It also has a media center with a virtual studio where students may get help with their STEM projects.

You can also hold birthday parties and other evening events at the venue.

In addition, the facility hosts an Adult Lecture Series.

Take a Stroll at Cleveland Park

Cleveland Park is famous for the Cleveland Park Lake and its lush scenery.

With fields and walking trails, Cleveland Park lets visitors experience the simple lifestyle in Spartanburg.

Ducks also find their way to Cleveland Park Lake, an excellent attraction for the little ones, especially during a late afternoon picnic.

You can also fish in the lake to catch fish with friends and family.

Cleveland Park is along Cleveland Park Drive.

Grab a Meal at Willy Taco

Willy Taco is a Spartanburg staple; don’t miss this gem on your visit.

This restaurant is famous for its mouthwatering enchiladas, tacos, and Tex-Mex entrees.

Don’t forget their margaritas as well, especially if you’re with friends or family.

Their drinks menu and savory Mexican food make Willy Taco an excellent lunch or late-night restaurant.

Their Spartanburg branch is along East Main Street.

Start Your Day Right at Mon Amie Morning Cafe

Enjoy a casual vibe with the early morning at Mon Amie Morning Cafe, another Spartanburg favorite.

Try their stellar food, coffee, and delightful brunch items.

Their bestsellers include eggs benedict, pancakes, French toast, and shrimp n’ grits.

Mon Amie Morning Cafe also has a simple and enjoyable aesthetic, perfect for families with kids.

This cafe is along East Main Street, a convenient stopover before exploring the rest of Spartanburg.

Enjoy Recreation at Duncan Park

Sports field at Duncan Park

PegasusRacer28, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Duncan Park is a great open space in Spartanburg, especially for outdoor lovers.

Compared to Cleveland Park, Duncan Park offers a more rustic experience.

You can walk along the muddy banks of its small lake and see the critters and trees along the way.

Likewise, you can play softball and tennis in the park.

This park is along Union Street.

Bring Your Dog to Rail Trail Dog Park

Rail Trail Dog Park is a popular dog park in Spartanburg County.

Hundreds of dog owners visit the well-maintained dog park every week because it is orderly and convenient.

It also has extra amenities, including a dog pool and a hose to cool off your dog in the summer.

The Rail Trail Dog Park also allows for socialization; its safety standards are up to par.

Likewise, its benches and shaded areas welcome pet owners as well.

This dog park is along Union Street.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Tour Anderson’s Mill

Anderson's mill in Spartanburg

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

One of many historically significant attractions in Spartanburg, Anderson’s Mill has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1988.

It was constructed during the late 19th century.

Its foundations are even older and can be dated as far back as the 18th century.

Rusty exterior of Anderson's Mill

Wirestock Creators /

Anderson’s Mill comprises a basement, main floor, and attic.

The windows are placed irregularly, but the mill remains intact and sits on the west side of the river.

The milling operations have stopped since 1975.

You can find the mill in Moore, South Carolina, 13 minutes from Spartanburg.

Take a Photo with the Peachoid

The Peachoid water tower in South Carolina

Kevin Ruck /

Georgia is known as the “Peach State,” yet South Carolina produces more peaches than its southern neighbor.

In 1984, peach became the state’s official fruit, and the yearly harvest of over 90,000 tons has won it a seat at the table.

South Carolinians could always have peaches instead of apples.

A roadside attraction called the Peachoid features South Carolina’s tastiest harvest.

The Peachoid is the most well-known and photographed water tank in the United States.

As a tribute to Cherokee County’s peaches, it is decorated with 20 colors and 50 gallons of paint.

The water tower is in Gaffney, South Carolina, just a 28-minute drive from Spartanburg.

Grab the chance to take a few snaps with the historic peach of South Carolina!

See Animals at Hollywild Animal Park

Hollywild Animal Park is one of the most incredible places to visit near Spartanburg, especially if you’re on a family vacation.

It’s located in Wellford, South Carolina, just 25 minutes outside the city.

Your kids will enjoy looking at the different animals kept here, including cattle, deer, bison, and more.

It is a nonprofit animal sanctuary and houses as many as 500 animals.

The animals kept here are also quite famous and have appeared in many movies and TV shows.

Some safari areas have been turned into interactive zones where you can hand-feed the animals.

Final Thoughts

Spartanburg has many attractions and activities for those who enjoy the arts, the outdoors, and history.

Discover the best things to do in Spartanburg, South Carolina!

What are you waiting for? Book your trip today!

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