17 BEST Things to Do in Spartanburg, SC

Spartanburg is a happening hamlet in the great state of South Carolina. It’s known as Hub City, as it was once a major railroad intersection in the 19th century. It’s since become a different kind of hub, a cultural center with a rich history and thriving arts scene, with many things to do in Spartanburg as a result.

Spartanburg is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and boasts stunning scenery with plenty of opportunity for outdoor adventure. It’s a warm and welcoming city with Southern hospitality to spare. Learn about all the amazing things to do in Spartanburg here. 

the best Things To Do In Spartanburg

West Main Artists Co-op

Spartanburg Artist Collective - things to do in spartanburg
Photo courtesy of VisitSpartanburg / Best Things to do in Spartanburg
  • Address: 578 W Main St (GPS)
  • Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 am- 4:00 pm

This community arts center is home to 36 working studios of local artists. Their pieces are displayed here in a variety of rotating exhibits, so there’s always something fun and exciting to enjoy in the galleries. 

The 20,000 square foot building was once a Baptist church, which adds some extra architectural interest. They host many events, workshops, classes, and performances here as well. It’s a unique and special destination to engage with the Spartanburg art scene. 

Glendale Shoals Preserve

 things to do in spartanburg
Photo courtesy of VisitSpartanburg / Best Things to do in Spartanburg
  • Address: Emma Cudd Rd (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday 8:00 am- 8:00 pm

Glendale Shoals is 13 acres of verdant terrain in Spartanburg and provides a quiet refuge from the South Carolina City. Trek any of the trails to adventure into the native nature of the region. It’s one of the best spots around for bird watching, with a diverse range of ecosystems and dense foliage making the ideal habitat for many species. 

The surroundings here are picture perfect for those pristine photo ops to share on your socials. It was also once the site of the Glendale mill dating back to the 19th century, of which the ruins can still be seen. The dam and waterfall on-site offer breathtaking scenes as well.  

Hub City Railroad Museum

Hub City Railroad Museum -  things to do in spartanburg
Photo courtesy of VisitSpartanburg / Best Things to do in Spartanburg
  • Address: 298 Magnolia St (GPS)
  • Hours: Wednesday and Saturday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Whether you’re a train enthusiast or not, the Hub City Railroad Museum is an interesting delve into the rich heritage of the area. It showcases impressive engines and serves to educate visitors on the cultural significance of the railroad in South Carolina through exciting exhibits. 

Learn about how the trains of the state impacted the famous peach industry. Ring an iconic locomotive bell from 1940. Operate an authentic telegraph system. A restored Southern Railway caboose is the centerpiece of this museum, and a must-see while in Spartanburg. 

The Cottonwood Trail

  things to do in spartanburg - The Cottonwood Trail
Photo courtesy of VisitSpartanburg / Best Things to do in Spartanburg

Edward M. Griffin Nature Preserve is a vast nature area of 115 acres. It’s home to a wide range of geographical features and terrains, from grasslands to wetlands. On your hike keep your eyes out for native creatures, like racoons, beavers, foxes, and deer. 

It’s the perfect place to pack a picnic and search for a scenic spot to relax and enjoy a bite with a beautiful background. The Cottonwood Trail is one of the most popular treks here, and it includes a charming boardwalk section. Only minutes from downtown, you’ll feel a world away from the city center’s hustle and bustle. 

Spartanburg County Regional Museum of History

Spartanburg County Regional Museum of History
  • Address: 200 E St John St (GPS)
  • Hours: Tuesday -Friday: 10:00 -5:00 pm, Saturday: 11:00 am- 4:00 pm, Closed: Sunday & Monday

Set in the Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg County Regional Museum of History is an exciting attraction full of relics collected over the past 400 years, starting with the Spanish explorers. They cover everything from wartime involvement to decorative arts of the region. 

Housing both permanent and rotating exhibits, these educational and interactive displays take you on a clear journey through time in this Southern city. The Padro Stone is thought to be the oldest item in the entire museum, found originally by a farmer in Inman.  A visit here is the best way to learn about the rich history of Spartanburg and its surrounding areas. 

Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve

Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve
Photo courtesy of VisitSpartanburg / Best Things to do in Spartanburg
  • Address: 820 John B. White Sr. Blvd (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Friday : 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Cost of Admission: Self Guided Tours – Free, Volunteer Garden Guide Tours -$3 per participant, Educational Programs -$5 per student / Teachers and parents are free

This botanical wonderland is 12 expansive acres full of beautiful blooms. There’s a network of trails that take you through dense forest and seasonal flower gardens. It’s a lush landscape for idyllic exploration. There are several tranquil ponds for resting and reflecting as well. 

See if you can find the cascade of flowing water or spot some native wildlife in your wanderings. There are over 200 species of flora, including perennials and shrubs. You will find pines, cypresses, spruces, junipers, firs, sequoias, and more. This is one of the most popular things to do in Spartanburg. 

Enjoy the Restaurants

Wade Restaurant
  • Address: Wade Restaurant – 1000 N Pine St  (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Friday: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sunday: 11:00 am -3:00 pm, Closed- Saturday

The foodie scene has finally arrived in Spartanburg, so you’re sure to find some good eats in this city, from traditional favorites to fresh farm-to-table treats. The Farmer’s Table, as you may have guessed, is the latter and one of the best Spartanburg restaurants. Each delicious dish is creative and thoughtful, made as sustainably as possible.

The atmosphere is rustic and warm with exposed brick and wooden decor. You’ll find plenty of healthy fare that’s always served up looking almost too good to eat.  

Wade’s Restaurant has been a long standing fixture of the Spartanburg community. They serve up classic Southern comfort food, and have been since 1947. Everything is homemade from scratch using local ingredients, and as such, the menu is always changing based on the seasons.

The atmosphere is bright and friendly, and the fare is made with recipes that have been passed down over many generations. No trip to Spartanburg is complete without a mouthful of the masterful meatloaf here. 

Jammie Seay House

Jammie Seay House
Image by : Bill Fitzpatrick, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Address: 106 Darby Rd (GPS)

This one’s for all the history and architecture aficionados. The Jammie Seay House is the oldest structure still standing in Spartanburg. It’s said to have been built between 1770 and 1800. It has an ancient architectural pattern that was specific to both the era and the region.  

Jammie Seay was a soldier in the Revolutionary War who built this historic one-story log house. It’s open to tours, which feel like a step back in time.

You’ll find a chimney and loft inside, and be sure to note the gabled roof of the exterior as well. It’s a remarkably well-preserved relic of a bygone period that remains full of charm and intrigue. 

OnAgain OffAgain Farm

OnAgain OffAgain Farm
Credit from OnAgain OffAgain Farm / Best Things to do in Spartanburg
  • Address: 262 Hollis Dr (GPS)

OnAgain OffAgain Farm is a unique and adorable attraction in Spartanburg. It’s family-owned and operated, and focuses on raising and breeding alpacas for fur and for pets. The fiber from alpacas is soft, hypoallergenic, warm, and has many uses for clothes and for insulation. 

You can shop at the store on-site for all kinds of gorgeous handmade gifts, from felted soaps to scarves and hats. Alpacas are notably sustainable animals that produce a renewable resource annually.

This is easily one of the cutest things to do in Spartanburg. Another great option for a farm experience in Spartanburg is Strawberry Hills, who have great procuce available all year round.

Milliken Arboretum

Milliken Arboretum / Best things to do in spartanburg
Photo courtesy of VisitSpartanburg / Things to do in Spartanburg

Set on the private campus of Milliken and Company, this arboretum is any nature lover’s dream. It’s one of the largest nationally recognized corporate green spaces in the Southeast. It’s a majestically manicured landscape across 600 acres of terrain. 

It’s open to the public at all times, and well worth a visit. There’s a system of trails that lead around the scenery of what was once a peach orchard and now is home to countless stunning specimens of flowers and plants. They host many events, like 5K marathons, on their all grass course, as well. 

Have a Drink at the Breweries

RJ Rockers
Photo courtesy of VisitSpartanburg
  • Address: RJ Rockers – 226-A W Main St (GPS)
  • Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, Closed: Sunday & Monday

Spartanburg boasts a newly burgeoning craft beer community, and it’s great to see (and taste). RJ Rockers Brewing Company is a locally owned brewery located in the heart of the city and was the first of its kind in Spartanburg. They’re known for creating craft beers aged in whisky, bourbon, and rum barrels. They’ve been keeping the thirsty masses of Spartanburg in delicious drafts from their taps for decades. 

They’re also one of the few solar powered microbreweries in the state. Take a tasting tour to get a peek at how the magic happens behind the scenes. They’re always hosting fun events during the week as well, from trivia to live music.

The signature brew, Son of a Peach, is divine till the last drop. Check out some other close seconds while in town, like Cyclops Cyderi and Brewery or Holiday Brewing. 

BMW Zentrum

Photo courtesy of VisitSpartanburg
  • Address: 1400 SC-101, Greer, SC (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Friday: 9:30 am -5:30 pm
  • Cost of Admission: Free

The BMW Zentrum is a modern museum is a marvel for any and all automobile appreciators. It’s an almost 30,000 square foot facility dedicated to the feat of science and innovation that spawned these classically coveted cars. It will take you through the many evolutions of engineering since the inception of the world class company BMW. 

It’s the only factory they have in the United States, and offers a look into their long history and transportational significance. Take a tour to see the body shop and assembly that produces 7,000 cars per day. You’re sure to see some rare models inside this one-of-a-kind stop as well, including the infamous Bubblecar. 

Spartanburg Science Center

  • Address: 200 E St John St (GPS)
  • Hours: Thursday & Friday : 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, Saturday: 11:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Cost of Admission: $5.00 per person, adults & kids (ages 5 and up)

The Spartanburg Science Center is dedicated to exciting, engaging, and educating all who enter. It’s home to an extensive array of interactive exhibits centering around many different types of science. It’s a hands-on space, making it fun for visitors of any age. There are live animal exhibits as well as a fossil, bone, rock, and mineral displays. 

They host live lectures and experiments that bring out the geek in all of us, so be sure to check their schedule. Operate a robotic arm, dive into the world of virtual reality, or build the lego creation of your dreams. There are endless fun ways to play with science here in Spartanburg. 

Proud Mary Theater Company 

  • Address: 578 W Main St ( GPS )

Proud Mary Theater is a nonprofit performance space that celebrates the voices and stories of the LGBTQ+ community in Spartanburg. They offer a variety of shows, including compelling dramas, hilarious comedies, and campy musicals. 

They put on powerful performances to honor diversity and inclusion, whether it’s original local works or avant-garde pieces. They’ve won many awards in the area, and are beloved by locals and visitors alike. Check out what they have on deck while you’re in town and take yourself to see a real theatrical treat. 

Lawson’s Fork Creek 

Lawson’s Fork Creek 
Photo courtesy of VisitSpartanburg

This lovely babbling waterway runs lazily alongside Spartanburg for 15 miles and offers a few opportunities to get your paddle on. There are several mill villages, railroad trestles, and 19th century bridge abutments to spot as you flow down the crisp creek.

Also, you’ll see some local wildlife living along the banks, such as Blue Herons, deer, and opossums. There are a few sections that are too difficult or dangerous to navigate, so be prepared to portage accordingly. 

There are four easy access points, at US 221, Sydnor Road, Glendale-Whitestone Road, and Goldmine Road. If you’re an angler there are chances to fish here, as well. Largemouth Bass, Black Bullhead, and Black Crappie are the most common catches. Plan your route and pick your vessel, either canoe or kayak, and get out on the water for some rollicking recreation on Lawson’s Fork Creek. 

Spartanburg Historic District

Downtown Dining at Morgan Square
Downtown Dining at Morgan Square | Photo courtesy of VisitSpartanburg

Wander the streets here to witness amazing examples of ancient architecture. It was originally made up only of Morgan Square and later expanded to include the surrounding areas featuring railroad and textile industries.

The statue of Daniel Morgan is an iconic monument within the city. The mostly two-story buildings predate the 19th century and feature a Roman style design. 

Be sure to see the Cleveland Hotel, the waterworks building, the greensward’s building, and the Masonic Temple for excellent examples of this. They’ve been beautifully preserved and restored, maintaining many of the original facades for a fascinating excursion in Hub City. Spartanburg Historic District has been on the National Register of Historic Places since the 1980s.

Croft State Park  

Croft State Park
Photo courtesy of VisitSpartanburg
  • Address: 450 Croft State Park Rd (GPS)
  • Hours: Daily: 7:00 am- 9:00 pm
  • Cost of Admission: $3 adults; $1.50 SC seniors; $1 children age 6-15; age 5 & younger free

The stunning and expansive piece of Spartanburg wilderness was once an army training base. Lucky for us, it’s been repurposed and is one of the most beautiful ways to spend a day in this South Carolina city. It’s roughly 7,000 acres of rugged wooded terrain easily accessible right from downtown. 

There are 20 miles of trails for both hiking and biking. There are two lakes that can be used for fishing and boating, or simply a nice stroll around the sparkling waters or a picnic nearby.

It’s also famous for its equestrian facilities, making it a magical place to go horseback riding. If you’re looking to connect with nature, there are 50 campground sites in the park. 

Things to Do in Spartanburg Map

About Natasha

Natasha moved to North Carolina for college years ago (but she's not trying to age herself here). Her days were spent reading a book on the beach and enjoying a cold glass of sweet tea in between classes at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Upon graduation, she met her partner, Cameron, and they traveled the world together crossing 85 countries and seven continents. After, many years of international travel they settled down a bit and launched Lost in the Carolinas to share their experiences about and travel tips on South Carolina and North Carolina.

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