Rock Hill is an alluring hamlet chock full of charm and a fantastic city in South Carolina to visit. Rock Hill is the largest city in York County, and the fifth-largest city in the state. Not far from Charlotte, NC there are some notable fun things to do in Rock Hill for everyone!
Stoll through Old Town and see a slowed-down Southern pace of life, while browsing quaint storefronts. Enjoy a kayak on the Catawba River, Stroll down the Freedom Walkway, or venture 20 minutes away for a thrilling day at Carowinds! If you find yourself in Rock Hill, here are a few of the top attractions.
Best Things to do in Rock Hill, South Carolina
1. Kick Back in Ebenezer Park
- Address: 4490 Boatshore Rd, Rock Hill (GPS)
- Hours: Monday- Tuesday: 7:00 am -9:00 pm
If you travel to Rock Hill during the warmer months of summer, spring, and fall, you won’t need to book an expensive hotel room because camping is available in Ebenezer Park. And who needs hotel amenities when there are so many things to do outdoors anyway?
This park is situated right on Lake Wylie and the tenting and RV sites feature modern amenities and fire pits. Nature trails, wide-open fields, and picnic facilities are also on site. Many activities are enjoyed here including kayaking, fishing, and swimming.
2. Take the kids to the Main Street Children’s Museum
- Address: 133 E Main St, Rock Hill (GPS)
- Hours: Monday: 9:00am -5:00 pm, Tuesday-Friday: 9:00–11:30 am, 1:00–3:30 pm
Saturday- Sunday: Closed
If you’re traveling with little ones, the Main Street Children’s Museum is a must-stop when visiting Rock Hill! This museum, which is best suited for kids under the age of six, has fun exhibits and the best thing about it is they’ll be learning while having fun and they won’t even know it!
They’ll interact with a treehouse, a giant pumpkin, a little cottage, a ship, a castle, and favorite nursery thymes that come to life in full-size models. You must book your ticket online to enter.
3. Check out the Local Nightlife
- Address: 2260 Cross Pointe Dr Ste 101, Rock Hill (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:00 am -11:00 pm
No doubt, your days spent exploring Rock Hill and the surrounding area will be exhausting! Fortunately, there are plenty of places to go after the sun goes down where you can kick back and enjoy some music and drinks before turning in for the night.
Hartland’s Bar is a great place to go for a casual atmosphere where you can enjoy some beer and pub grub. At Millstone Pizza & Taphouse, pizza and beer are the main staples on the menu! If you’re hoping to enjoy a livelier evening out in Rock Hill, Patti’s Backstage Karaoke & Dance Club is the place to be!
4. Catch Some Thrills with a Canaan Zipline Canopy Tour
- Address: 3111 Sand Island Rd, Rock Hill (GPS)
- Hours: Friday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Saturday & Sunday: 9:00 am -3:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: Per adventure ticket prices, check here.
If you’re looking for something a little more exciting to do during your visit to Rock Hill, head to Canaan Zipline Canopy Tour to embark on a thrilling sky-high adventure. On-site, you’ll have access to nine unique ziplines with varying challenges.
The longest zipline is 900 feet and there are a variety of tours available including a nighttime tour. As you soar through the sky at top speed, you’ll enjoy views of the landscape below and maybe even spot some wildlife.
5. Get a History Lesson at the Museum of York County
- Address: 4621 Mt Gallant Rd, Rock Hill (GPS)
- Hours: Monday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Tuesday: 10:00 am- 5:00 pm,
Saturday – Sunday: Closed
- Cost of Admission: For ticket prices, click here.
At the Museum of York County, there’s something for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re interested in history, planet earth, or the universe at large, the fascinating exhibits got you covered. Inside the museum, there are exhibits about dinosaurs, the Ice Age, space, and nature and you’ll see many fascinating things including artworks and artifacts from different eras.
The on-site planetarium is where you can see planets and the Milky Way. Every day, there are tours and educational programs available, and visitors enjoy access to a nature trail and gift shop.
6. Visit the McCrory’s Civil Rights Site
- Address: 135 E Main St, Rock Hill (GPS)
In 1960, a historical event took place in Rock Hill that would influence civil rights in the country. Nine black students decided to stay put when they were asked to leave a business without being served.
The students were arrested but the awareness their actions brought to the masses influenced others to stand up and take action. At this historic site, you can honor the group which became known as the Friendship Nine.
7. Explore Downtown Rock Hill
- Address: E Main St, Rock Hill (GPS)
Every town has a downtown area, and the downtown district of Rock Hill is one definitely worth exploring! Also called Old Town due to the number of old buildings, some of which were built in the mid-1800s, and historical sites, downtown Rock Hill is also home to little shops filled with unique treasures, galleries, restaurants, cafes, and pubs.
Just walking down the pretty streets lined with greenery is a treat and one of the best things to do in Rock Hill. And you never know what you’ll come across because the town is known for hosting many events throughout the year including parades and concerts.
8. Explore Fountain Park
- Address: 300 E Main St, Rock Hill, SC (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7:00 am – 12:00 am
There’s no shortage of parks around Rock Hill but Fountain Park has something unique to offer visitors. As the name suggests and as you probably guessed, the park is home to a fountain, but this isn’t just any old fountain! It’s a beautiful fountain that serves as the centerpiece of the park.
The water that shoots out of the fountain’s jets moves around in patterns like they are dancing in the wind.
Sometimes the water shoots over 100 feet into the air! The park is quite scenic too. In fact, the area was once an unsightly old parking lot that was transformed into a beautiful green space where people come to relax and enjoy the wide-open spaces. Throughout the year, several festivals and events take place in the park.
9. Spend the Night at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Rock Hill
- Address: 578 Galleria Blvd, Rock Hill (GPS)
- Booking.com– Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Rock Hill
One of the top hotels to stay at in Rock Hill is the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Rock Hill. At this lovely property, you’ll enjoy access to complimentary Wi-Fi, free bicycle rentals, a gym, an outdoor pool, and comfortable rooms equipped with flat-screen televisions, air conditioning, and private bathrooms.
The best thing about mornings at this hotel is the delicious buffet breakfast that’s served each morning!
10. Check out the Comporium Telephone Museum
- Address: 117 Elk Avenue, Rock Hill (GPS)
- Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 10:00 am-2:00 pm
The Comporium Telephone Museum is a fascinating place focused on the early days of the telephone. Inside this museum, you’ll see many exhibits showcasing artifacts related to the history of telephone communication including the first telephone in the town and a Mack truck from the 1920s.
You’ll also learn about early phone operators, switchboards, and how repairs were done to the lines years ago. There’s no admission to the museum and it’s only open four days a week so make sure to check the website before you visit to make sure it’s open that day.
11. Visit the Rock Hill Fire Department Museum
- Address: 214 S Elizabeth Ln, Rock Hill (GPS)
- Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9:00am – 1:00 pm, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am– 1:00 pm, 2:30 – 4:00 pm, Saturday- Monday: Closed
- Cost of Admission:
The Rock Hill Fire Department Museum is a great place to visit for all ages. Not only does the museum detail the history of the department itself but it also touches on fire safety and the history and culture of firefighting in general.
On display are an antique fire truck, a real ambulance, and models of a home and fire station. On-site, you’ll also find a gift shop and an authentic fire pole. To visit this museum, you’ll need to book in advance on the website.
12. Immerse in the Arts or Catch a Show at the Gettys Art Center
- Address: 201 E Main St, Rock Hill (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
The primary purpose of the Gettys Art Center is to grant a welcoming space for artists to work and share their creations with the world. Inside, you’ll find a number of artists’ studios and throughout the year, a variety of events, including concerts and other performances, take place at the center. Be sure to check the schedule to see what’s going on during your visit!
13. Enjoy Lunch or Dinner at The Flipside Restaurant
Located right downtown, The Flipside Restaurant is said to be the best restaurant in Rock Hill. This laid-back bistro specializes in traditional Southern cuisine and is also known for specialty cocktails.
Soups, salads, pasta dishes, and seafood dishes are among the items served and the restaurant is open every day for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
14. Get Out in Nature at the Anne Springs Close Greenway
- Address: 104 Adventure Rd, Fort Mill (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Saturday: 7:00 am -5:00 pm, Closed: Sunday
- Cost of Admission: Adult (13+)- $12.00, Child (5-12) -$6.00,
Trailering In (per horse) $20.00
Located in nearby Fort Mill, the Anne Springs Close Greenway is where visitors to the Rock Hill area can go if they want to spend a day surrounded by untouched wilderness. This 2,100-acre nature preserve has more than 40 miles of nature trails and two lakes where you can enjoy fishing, kayaking, and swimming.
There’s also the opportunity to learn about the fascinating history of the area.
15. Take a Stroll down the Freedom Walkway
- Address: 139 E Main St, Rock Hill (GPS)
- Hours: Opens 24 hrs
The Freedom Walkway consists of a walkway and a mural that was put together to commemorate equal rights, freedom, and justice for all people regardless of their race or background. Situated near Main Street in Rock Hill, key players in the civil rights movement are also honored.
Besides beautiful artwork, you’ll also see panels featuring information about the history of the civil rights movement and what is still being done today.
16. Enjoy Some Outdoor Fun at the Rock Hill Outdoor Center
- Address: 1159 Riverwalk Parkway, Rock Hill (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
Situated on the banks of the Catawba River, The Rock Hill Outdoor Center is where visitors enjoy a wide variety of activities including kayaking, fishing, cycling, hiking, canoeing and so much more.
It offers the best way to safely enjoy the river and its immediate surroundings. As you wander this sprawling outdoor space, you might also spot some wildlife or find the perfect place to lie in the shade and just enjoy being outside in the fresh air.
17. Visit the Catawba Indian Cultural Center
- Address: 1536 Tom Steven Rd, Rock Hill (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Cost of Admission:
The Catawba Indian tribe has had a presence on the banks of the Catawba River for about 6,000 years and is the only tribe in the state that’s recognized by the United States government.
The Catawba Indian Cultural Center highlights this long history and the tribe’s culture through many interactive exhibits. The center is located in the only Reservation School that’s left in the area and inside this historic building, you’ll find artworks, artifacts, pottery, and jewelry.
On-site you’ll also find several walking trails including The Yehasuri Trail which has been there since the early 1800s. Along the trail, you’ll find a garden, an archaeological site and a model of a house from the 1800s, and stunning views of the river.
The on-site craft store sells handmade pottery and other beautiful items made by native artisans. Admission to the center is free.
18. Go Hiking along the Piedmont Medical Center Trail
- Address: Rock Hill, SC (GPS)
At only 2.5 miles, the Piedmont Medical Center Trail is long enough to get a good hike in and short enough to still have time left in the day to see and do other things around Rock Hill. The trail runs along the river and as you walk along it, you’ll see pretty scenery and find benches along the way where you can rest and enjoy the sights.
19. Go Kayaking on the Catawba River
Kayaking is a very popular activity in Rock Hill and the best place to enjoy it is on the scenic Catawba River. Paddle down the river and enjoy various sights and sounds along the way.
You never know what you might see in the water or along the shore! Rockin’ River Adventures has a variety of kayaks available for rent. You can also rent tubing equipment for a different kind of river adventure!
20. Enjoy the Beautiful Surroundings at Glencairn Gardens
- Address: 725 Crest St, Rock Hill (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
Although the Glencairns Gardens is located in downtown Rock Hill, when you’re inside this park, you feel like you are far from the hustle and bustle of any downtown area!
The most popular attraction in the park is the yearly flower bloom that takes place from late March to early April but the gardens are stunning any time of year! The gardens have been around since the late 1920s and were once the private gardens of the bigger family.
Today, the 11-acre site is open to the public and it plays host to many events throughout the year. As you explore the site, you’ll see a beautiful fountain, the Veteran’s Garden, and a variety of plants including azaleas, camellias, and dogwood. The park is open every day from sun-up to sun down and there’s no cost to enter.
- Address: 14523 Carowinds Blvd, Charlotte (GPS)
- Hours: For the all time season operation hours , check here
- Cost of Admission: For tickets and passes informations, click here
Known as the thrill capital of the Southeast, this famed amusement park is a must-visit in Charlotte. It’s just a short drive over the Carolina border from Rock Hill, and makes for a great thing to do!
Beloved by many, people travel from all over to seek adventure here. There are so many different rides for all the daredevils out there, including Fury 325 the world’s fastest and tallest giga coaster and the first coaster in the world to try four inversions, the Carolina Coaster. They also have an on-site water park, Carolina Harbor, complete with water slides and wave pools.