18 Best Things to Do in Spartanburg, SC

18 Best Things to Do in Spartanburg, SC
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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 important colleges like the Converse College, the Wofford College, the Spartanburg Community College, and others.

Moreover, it also has a great 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 sight chill.

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

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

Go Geocaching at Croft State Park

River flowing in Croft State Park
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So, what exactly does "geocaching" mean?

This outdoor activity is even more exciting than the word sounds.

Basically, you use a GPS receiver, mobile, cell phone, or any other navigational techniques to seek or hide containers called geocaches at specified locations, which can then be marked by coordinates from all over the world.

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 wonderful nuances.

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

You can also fish at the vast Lake Craig, which is spread over an expanse of 165 acres.

A wonderful playground is also available for young kids.

There's also a very beautiful shooting range.

The bike trails are great, too.

Those with a penchant for thrill and adventure will definitely love this area.

For those with a love for horses, equestrian facilities like rental stalls are also available.

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 / Shutterstock.com

Spread over a vast area of 10 acres, Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve is a beautiful public garden.

Once you set foot here, you'll find that it is no wonder that 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 different types of conifers in a range of plants, like trees or shrubs.

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

Creeping cypresses are also there, including the bald cypress.

What's even more wonderful is that the admission is free, and the garden is open to the public.

The Hatcher family built this garden by raising money in addition to using their own funds.

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

They had a great creative vision, which can definitely be seen in the way the garden was built and in all the beautiful varieties of plants, flowers, and shrubs planted here.

Visit the Spartanburg Historic District

Daniel Morgan monument at Spartanburg Historic District
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A proud member of the list of National Register of Historic Places since 1983, the Spartanburg Historic District is a very important part of the city.

The original district was actually 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
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Today, it's spread over a vast area, mainly focusing on the textile industry.

It also has railroads.

As you check out the beautiful buildings that boast architecture from the 19th and early 20th centuries, you'll mostly find two- or three-story structures.

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 also retained the original facades, so those of you who are architecture enthusiasts will certainly love visiting this place.

Some of the famous buildings that you should definitely have a 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 one-story log house that has survived remarkably well through the years and will remind you of ancient times with its architecture.

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

What makes it even more special is that it was originally built by Jammie Seay, who was a soldier during the Revolutionary War in the second Virginia infantry.

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

It has been a part of the National Register of Historic Places since 1971.

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 / Shutterstock.com

The building basically constitutes Christ at the base.

It comprises a basement and a main floor, along with an attic.

The windows are placed irregularly, but the mill remains intact and sits on the west side of the river, and you can still have a look at it.

The milling operations have stopped since 1975.

Watch a Beautiful Waterfall at The Glendale Shoals Preserve

Glendale shoals Dam
Gregory M. Davis Jr / Shutterstock.com

A 13-acre natural preserve, the Glendale Shoals Preserve is a really beautiful place to visit.

Containing a dam and a waterfall that falls pristinely, it's a great place to take pictures.

Photography enthusiasts will really enjoy the wonderful watersides and picturesque scenes, which are perfect for nature photography.

A garden filled with green plants at Glendale Shoals Preserve
Gregory M. Davis Jr / Shutterstock.com

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

Hiking experts will love hiking through the Glendale Shoals Preserve's popular trails.

Due to the dense foliage and varied landscapes, a lot of birds flock to this area.

Birdwatching is thus another beautiful activity that you can do here.

Ruins of the tall brick building of Glendale Mill
Joseph Creamer / Shutterstock.com

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

The ruins of the mill can still be found, including some ruins 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 young, local, budding 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 housed in the area, the co-op provides hope and inspiration to keep painting to at least 40 artists whose work is displayed at a given time.

Other than that, they also have rotating exhibits that keep changing throughout the year.

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

Other than getting some really cool aesthetic stuff, you will also be doing your bit to support the local artists.

Go Shopping at WestGate Mall

Entrance of the Westgate Mall
Mike Kalasnik from Charlotte, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A hot favorite among locals, WestGate Mall is Spartanburg's main shopping center.

It has all the famous brands that you can buy from, 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 even have to worry about the kids when shopping here, as the mall's play area is great and easily accessible.

Have a Beer 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 of rums and beers.

The best bourbons and whiskeys are also sold here.

The brewery is environmentally friendly and solar-powered.

Most of the spirits here have been aged for more than 22 years to make sure that 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.

So, grab a beer and have fun with your friends or family.

Watch an Event at the Zimmerli Amphitheatre at Barnet Park

Aerial view of Barnet Park and Amphitheater
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com

Barnet Park is especially famous for its beautiful and huge amphitheater with a great seating capacity.

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

A variety of concerts and musicals are also hosted for those interested in music.

Some of the events are even free and open to the public.

Other than this, the gardens are pretty and well-manicured with green lawns.

Explore Hub City Railroad Museum

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

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

This place can also be converted into 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 wonderful place to visit and stay out.

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

Go Biking at Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve

Spartanburg's beautiful Edwin M. Griffin nature preserve is housed over 115 acres featuring lengthy hiking and biking trails, with woods on either side.

It's a really delightful place.

Moreover, the geography is diverse, and you pass through wetlands, grasslands, and many other interesting geographical features.

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

Some other recreational activities that can be enjoyed here include kayaking, canoeing, and picnicking.

Dine at Wade’s Restaurant

Wade's Restaurant has an old-world feel to it even though it is set up in a modern shopping area.

Since its inception in 1947, the restaurant has served very 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 great food.

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

Make sure that you try one of the many delectable recipes like chicken pie, homemade meatloaf, hush puppies, or turnip greens.

Finish off your meal with their mouth-watering 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's mission is to inspire and educate the community via its 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 a wide variety of contemporary exhibitions or participate in various educational and community events for all ages and backgrounds.

Bring Your Kids to Explore Chapman Cultural Center

You'll always catch an event on any day of the year 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's mission.

Seven non-profit groups operate on the cultural center's property and host a wide range of events and educational programs for tourists each year.

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 More about 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.

You'll see over 23 exhibits, a live animal room with an assortment of reptiles and amphibians, a museum room filled with fossils, bones, skulls, rock and mineral collections, and other educational displays in this small but well-equipped science center.

The Spartanburg Science Center is open to visitors of all age groups.

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

Birthday parties and other evening events may be held at the venue.

In addition, the facility hosts an Adult Lecture Series.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Take a Photo with The Peachoid

The Peachoid water tower in South Carolina
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com

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 Gaffney's most well-known and photographed water tank in the United States.

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

This is just a 28-minute drive from Spartanburg, so grab the chance to take a few snaps with the historic peach of South Carolina!

See Animals Frolic about at Hollywild Animal Park

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

It's located in Wellford, just 25 minutes outside the city.

Your kids will definitely enjoy looking at the different animals that are 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 been used in many movies and TV shows.

Some of the areas in the safari area have been made interactive, and you can hand-feed the animals present.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot to do in Spartanburg for those who enjoy the arts, the outdoors, and history.

Try the ones on this list to get a taste of Spartanburg, South Carolina!