A small city nestled in Upstate South Carolina near the borders of North Carolina and Tennessee, Spartanburg is just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains and known as the gateway to the foothills of the Carolinas. Spartanburg is part of the south, meaning you can expect a subtropical climate with humid summers and mild winters, making it a year-round destination.
The city played a significant role in the American Revolutionary War, serving as a hub for transportation and textiles through its railroads and cotton mills. These industries gained Spartanburg the nickname of “Hub City.” Spartanburg’s rich history can be explored through local institutions such as Hub City Railroad Museum and the Spartanburg County Courthouse. Spartanburg is also the home of famous novelist and screenwriter F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Besides discovering history, visitors can enjoy beautiful outdoor escapes, engaging art exhibits, educational science museums and university campuses, and local flavours. Visitors to this charming Southern town are in for a treat as this vibrant community offers lots of fun things to do in Spartanburg.
- Spartanburg, South Carolina
- Top Tour
- 20 Things To Do In Spartanburg
- 1- Visit The Hub City Railroad Museum
- 2- Enjoy The Outdoors At Croft State Park
- 3- See The Collections At The Spartanburg Art Museum
- 4- Hike The Cottonwood Trail At Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve
- 5- Experience Hatcher Garden And Woodland Preserve
- 6- Attend A Performance At The Chapman Cultural Center
- 7- Spend An Afternoon Strolling Through Morgan Square
- 8- Tour The Historic Spartanburg County Courthouse
- 9- Dine At Local Favorites Cribb’s Kitchen and Willy Taco
- 10- Try Out Virtual Reality At The Spartanburg Science Center
- 11- See The Waterfalls At The Glendale Shoals Preserve
- 12- Attend A Baseball Game At Duncan Park Stadium
- 13- Let Your Imagination Run Free At The Children’s Museum Of The Upstate
- 14- Uncover History Of The City At The Walnut Grove Plantation
- 15- Stroll Around The Beautiful University Campuses
- 16- Attend A Festival or Community Event At Barnet Park
- 17- Explore A Site From The American Revolutionary War At Cowpens National Battlefield
- 18- Check Out The BMW Zentrum
- 19- Take A Scenic Drive On The Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway
- 20- Play Golf At The Carolina Country Club
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Looking for a fun way to explore the sights of Spartanburg? Download the Spartanburg Scavenger Hunt and follow your nose!
20 Things To Do In Spartanburg
1- Visit The Hub City Railroad Museum
The Hub City Railroad Museum is a historic site run by The Carolina Railroad Heritage Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and maintaining the state’s railway heritage.
The museum is an important part of Spartanburg’s history because these railways put the city on the map and allowed it to become a transportation hub, gaining the city its nickname of “Hub City.”
Housed in a historic railroad depot, the museum features exhibits and artifacts that highlight the significant role that railroads played in Spartanburg’s development.
Some of these exhibits include vintage train cars and model railroad displays.
The Hub City Railroad Museum is open on Monday and Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm.
The Hub City Railroad Museum is at 298 Magnolia St, Spartanburg, SC 29303.
2- Enjoy The Outdoors At Croft State Park
This state park is just one of the many outdoor places in Spartanburg and has no shortage of natural beauty.
Spread over 7,000 acres, Croft State Park offers visitors miles of hiking and equestrian trails, campground and picnic areas, and a large lake for fishing and boating.
Croft State Park also has some interesting history to it: it is on land used during World War II as Camp Croft, a US Army basic training center and prisoner-of-war camp.
The park is open daily from 7 am to 6 pm, admission starts at $3 per adult.
Croft State Park is at 450 Croft State Park Rd, Spartanburg, SC 29302.
3- See The Collections At The Spartanburg Art Museum
This local art museum celebrates modern and contemporary art through its collection of permanent and rotating exhibitions including works from local, national and international artists.
The Spartanburg Art Museum also hosts educational programs, workshops and events to enhance the experience of its visitors.
The museum is on the campus of the Chapman Cultural Center and is open for visits.
If you are visiting during the third Thursday of the month, be sure to ask about the ArtWalk.
The Spartanburg Art Museum is at 200 E St John St, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
4- Hike The Cottonwood Trail At Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve
The Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve is a 115-acre preserve just minutes from downtown Spartanburg.
It’s the perfect place to run, walk, kayak and canoe.
The preserve features over five miles of trail systems, including Cottonwood Trail.
This trail is popular for its boardwalk, which stretches out over the Lawson Fork Creek and is an easily accessible escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve is open from dawn until dusk.
Dogs are allowed but should remain on a leash.
Cottonwood Trail is at Beechwood Dr, Spartanburg, SC 29307.
5- Experience Hatcher Garden And Woodland Preserve
Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve is an urban-based preserve that has been ranked in the Top 10% of Attractions Worldwide on the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Award.
You can stroll through paths past exotic plants, blooming flowers and tranquil ponds.
Because of the diverse ecosystems, the Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve is home to various bird species and other wildlife.
The garden also hosts events such as Yoga In The Garden and Community Day.
Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve is open daily from dawn until dusk and offers free admission, making it a great budget-friendly activity.
Hatcher Garden And Woodland Preserve is at 832 John B White Sr Blvd, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
6- Attend A Performance At The Chapman Cultural Center
The Chapman Cultural Center houses several artistic organisations under one roof, such as the Spartanburg Art Museum, Ballet Spartanburg, and the Spartanburg Philharmonic, making it a vibrant destination.
One of the best things to do at the Chapman Cultural Center is see concerts, plays and dance performances.
The Chapman Cultural Center is at 200 E St John St, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
7- Spend An Afternoon Strolling Through Morgan Square
Morgan Square is the town centre of Downtown Spartanburg.
The historic spot was named in honor of Revolutionary War hero General Daniel Morgan and is lined with historic landmarks and monuments that showcase the history of the city.
In addition to historic elements, you can find art installations, unique shops and local dining establishments.
If you stroll through the square on a weekend afternoon, you should find most shops and attractions open.
Morgan Square is at 101 Dunbar St, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
8- Tour The Historic Spartanburg County Courthouse
Completed in 1958, The Spartanburg County Courthouse is an iconic architectural beauty in the heart of Downtown just off Main Street.
The building features mid-century modern design elements and a prominent clock tower.
Although historic, the Spartanburg County Courthouse is still in use today, acting as the main location for the administrative and legal decisions within the city.
The courthouse is open Monday through Friday from 8.30 am to 5 pm.
The Spartanburg County Courthouse is at 180 Magnolia St, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
9- Dine At Local Favorites Cribb’s Kitchen and Willy Taco
Both on Main Street, Cribb’s Kitchen and Willy Taco are two popular local restaurants in Spartanburg.
Cribb’s Kitchen on Main is well-known for its farm-to-table menu prepared using locally sourced ingredients.
The diverse menu features burgers, sandwiches and a large craft beer selection.
We recommend making reservations here as this is a popular spot.
Willy Taco is the best place for authentic Mexican cuisine.
Here, you’ll find classics such as guacamole, nachos, and gourmet tacos including the Southern Tide that combines the standard flavors of a taco with those of southern comfort foods.
They also have an awesome Sunday Brunch menu.
- Cribb’s Kitchen on Main is at 226B W Main St, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
- Willy Taco is at 930 E Main St, Spartanburg, SC 29302.
10- Try Out Virtual Reality At The Spartanburg Science Center
This interactive museum is a great place to learn something new and have fun while doing it.
The Spartanburg Science Center offers over 23 exhibits, a live animal room featuring reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and a museum room with an impressive collection of fossils and rocks.
You can explore robotics and virtual reality, or attend a seminar in the science theater.
It’s a fun spot for families and individuals.
The Spartanburg Science Center is open Thursday through Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm. General admission starts at just $5 per person.
Spartanburg Science Center is at 200 E St John St, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
11- See The Waterfalls At The Glendale Shoals Preserve
We heard you’re not supposed to chase waterfalls, but we just can’t help ourselves when it comes to Spartanburg’s stunning Glendale Shoals Falls.
The falls are within the Glendale Shoals Preserve, which is a beautiful property that spans over 13 acres ( ha), features the Glendale Mill, and acts as a home for many plant and wildlife species.
The Glendale Shoals Preserve is open daily from dawn until dusk.
The park does not allow camping, hunting, or pets off of their leash.
The Glendale Shoals Preserve is at Emma Cudd Rd, Spartanburg, SC 29302.
12- Attend A Baseball Game At Duncan Park Stadium
Duncan Park Stadium is a historic sports venue that dates back to the early 20th century.
The stadium was once home to the Spartanburg Phillies, a Minor League Baseball team affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies.
These days, it’s home to the Spartanburg High School baseball team and the Spartanburg Post 28 American Legion Baseball team.
In addition to baseball, The Duncan Park Stadium is also host to community events and concerts depending on the season.
Duncan Park Stadium is at 1000 Duncan Park Dr, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
13- Let Your Imagination Run Free At The Children’s Museum Of The Upstate
The Children’s Museum Of The Upstate is a great place to take the kids to escape the South Carolina heat and let them burn off some steam.
The museum is specifically designed to engage little ones, so you can be sure your kiddos will have a good time.
The Children’s Museum of the Upstate features hands-on activities and interactive exhibits to keep them at the center of all the fun.
Some of the most popular exhibits are Duke Energy’s Treehouse and the Spartanburg Regional Health Center.
The Children’s Museum Of The Upstate is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.
General admission is $9, or $7 for South Carolina residents.
The Children’s Museum Of The Upstate is at 130 Magnolia St, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
14- Uncover History Of The City At The Walnut Grove Plantation
Just outside Spartanburg in Roebuck, Walnut Grove Plantation is a significant place when it comes to American history.
The plantation was originally owned by the Moore family, who played an essential role in the Revolutionary War.
Visitors can browse artifacts and exhibits that follow the life of the Moore family as well as their ties to the war and the state of South Carolina.
The Walnut Grove Plantation is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 12 to 5 pm.
The Walnut Grove Plantation is at 1200 Otts Shoals Rd, Roebuck, SC 29376.
15- Stroll Around The Beautiful University Campuses
Academic institutions bring a diverse, youthful and intelligent atmosphere to any town.
Converse University and Wofford College are both in Spartanburg and do just that.
You can explore the campuses and learn information about recreation, historic buildings, and new events happening at the college.
You can visit the websites of both of these institutions to schedule a guided tour, which will give you insider information and is often led by the students themselves.
- Converse University is at 580 E Main St, Spartanburg, SC 29302.
- Wofford College is at 429 N Church St, Spartanburg, SC 29303.
16- Attend A Festival or Community Event At Barnet Park
This lush urban park is one of the top spots for Spartanburg’s community events and festivals.
The Barnet Park is across from the Chapman Cultural Center and features an outdoor amphitheater, fountain, and walking trails making it a great backdrop for fun activities.
Concerts performed by local and well-known artists are performed here.
Barnet Park is at 248 E St John St, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
17- Explore A Site From The American Revolutionary War At Cowpens National Battlefield
Cowpens National Battlefield is a short distance away from Spartanburg in Gaffney.
This historic site was once a ground for the Battle of Cowpens, which took place during the American Revolutionary War.
During this battle, American forces, led by General Daniel Morgan, won a decisive victory over the British army in 1781.
The Cowpens National Battlefield features trails, exhibits, and monuments for its visitors to explore.
The battlefield is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm.
Cowpens National Battlefield is at 4001 Chesnee Hwy, Gaffney, SC 29341.
18- Check Out The BMW Zentrum
This a unique museum and one of the only foreign car museums in the US, bringing the past and future of BMW together.
You’ll be in awe of the vintage cars, motorcycles and prototypes for future designs.
Browse the museum (admission is free) or book a guided plant tour.
The BMW Zentrum is open Monday through Friday, from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.
The BMW Zentrum is at 1400 SC-101, Greer, SC 29651.
19- Take A Scenic Drive On The Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway
The Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway, also known as South Carolina Highway 11, is a scenic stretch of 120 miles that follows the southernmost peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Along the drive are charming small towns, pristine lakes, beautiful state parks and lovely mountain views.
The highway is a gateway to fun activities such as hiking, bird watching, waterfall viewing and photography.
Spend the day enjoying the drive and stopping for activities and a picnic along the way.
The drive takes about four hours, and you can start at Campobello, just north of Spartanburg.
The Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway is at SC-11, Campobello, SC 29322.
20- Play Golf At The Carolina Country Club
The Carolina Country Club is on the southern portion of Spartanburg along Foster Creek and G. Johnson Lake.
The golf club was established in 1905 and offers a lush, well-maintained course for its players.
In addition to golfing, the Country Club provides exceptional dining, social events, and a variety of recreational activities such as swimming and racket sports.
Be sure to reserve a tee time in advance by calling the club.
The Carolina Country Club is at 2355 Carolina Country Club Rd, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
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