Spartanburg, SC, is known for its blossoming spring, cozy rains, and warm winters. It’s a city of slow candlelight dinners, colorful nature reserves, kids’ playgrounds, and an abundance of history.
Taking a stroll down in Spartanburg will bless you with the mesmerizing Hatcher Garden and Woodland reserve. The city’s center will take you amid the profound Spartanburg Historic district, with history propelling at every step.
While with kids, Spartanburg has multiple playgrounds and parks with beautiful trails and colorful gardens to proffer. Some of the significant destinations for children include Big Air Trampoline Park, Cleveland Park, 295 parks, etc.
Have a muse for history and historic tales? The city of Spartanburg is named the hub-city of South Carolina because of the hundreds of railway lines throughout the town. The city also has the Spartanburg Art Museum, The Johnson Gallery, Spartanburg Regional Museum of History, the Children’s Museum of History, and many more.
With history and a modern ambiance, the city also offers relaxing nights and evening picnics at the Glendale shoals preserve, the Croft State Park lake, Milliken Arboretum, and Clifton Park waterfall.
If you are in South Carolina and want a wholesome destination, Spartanburg has it all covered. I have listed nine fun things to do in Spartanburg SC for you!
Table of Contents
9 Exciting Things To Do In Spartanburg SC
Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve
Starting with this majestic tranquility, the Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve is a healing junction for travelers in Spartanburg. With over 10,000 trees, shrubs, and 30+ wildflowers blooming year-round, this garden covers twelve acres of greenery.
Although the Hatcher garden reaches its supreme beauty in bloom (season), it still bestows visitors with flowers and greenery throughout the year. They quote, “enjoy from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year, free of charge!”
With wildlife, forest, and trees, the garden also offers beautiful ponds, vibrant and colorful ambiance, paved vintage trails, pavilion, small waterfalls, wooden vintage bridges, and whatnot! Hatcher Garden and Woodland Reserve’s blueprint consists of multiple destinations within:
- Garden of hope and healing
- Thomas W. Bartram Trail
- Water-wise demonstration garden
- Butterfly garden
- Conifer display garden
- Altrusa native plant garden.
Individuals usually have pre-wedding photoshoots and romantic dates at the location. In addition, it’s a place that constantly collaborates with different health organizations—Alzheimer group support, victim assistance group, mental health group, to help people heal through nature.
Usually frequented with events, this month’s bucket list includes:
- 2021 Summer plan sale
- Art in the garden—meet the artists, the ideologists behind the beauty. Then, celebrate the evening with live concerts, music, and nature.
Spartanburg Art Museum
If acknowledging art is your quest, the Spartanburg Art Museum has so much to offer. With painting exhibitions every day of the year, this art gallery also provides educational tours featuring art classes and events every now and then.
Visitors of all ages can learn more about the art of ceramic molding, needle felting, jewelry making, drawing, and paintings in the museum. There’s a huge creative learning curve Spartanburg art gallery offers.
- Art school: Whether you prefer onsite workshops or online art tutoring, the museum has multiple virtual and real art classes for enthusiasts alike. The programs include to-go courses, tours, art school classes, ceramic studio, etc.
- Events throughout the year: Spartanburg Art Museum hosts 40+ events in the gallery throughout the year. Most of the events held are free of cost, but you need to reserve your presence before the affirmed date. Currently in the town? Visit the curatorial events for a free exhibition.
- Exhibitions in the museum: The museum is open throughout the year except for Sundays, Mondays, and any required public holidays. In fact, on Thursdays, the museum is open until 7 PM for you to enjoy art peacefully in the evening.
The Spartanburg Art Museum is open for all the artists, irrespective of their popularity, and supports contemporary arts.
Similar locations to visit:
- Chapman cultural center: Theatres, aesthetics, live ballet, art, educational classes, tours, exhibits, etc.
- The TJS Gallery—Johnson collection: A cozy gallery to witness and learn the art.
- Hub City Railroad Museum: Experience the beautiful railroad lines of the city and restored artifacts, caboose, and railway depot free of cost.
Want to spend a mesmerizing evening with your loved one near a lake with candles and wine? South Carolina’s Cleveland Park is probably one of the most soothing locations to visit. Surrounded by the lake and ducks, the park offers something for every age group.
With so many great adventure zones, including hiking, climbing, swinging, and constructed activities on rubber-coated surfaces, the park is a great place for an adventurous family day.
And for those looking to fill in their daily step count, there is a trail of 1.5 miles covering the whole of Cleveland Park.
What’s more beautiful than sitting near the water, enjoying a romantic date with your partner? The Island gazebo in the lake is a perfect destination for couples, kids, families, and open picnics.
Cleveland Park’s limitless greenery, vibrancy, flowers, wooden antics, and lake make it a popular location for weddings and photoshoots.
With a clubhouse, grills, paved alleys, and greenery, Cleveland Park is one of the most popular locations to visit in South Carolina.
Early in the morning and late evening are great hours to visit the famous Cottonwood trail. The trail has 115 acres of greenery and a wooden path encompassing Lawson’s fork waters (1.5 miles), over 50 species of trees, and an exquisite range of biodiversity.
Although the trail is beautiful throughout the year, it’s exceptionally colorful and green at the time of spring and monsoon. You can trail, hike, bicycle, or walk with your dog—it’s a great escape from the city’s rush and chaos.
Apart from the paved path, the cottonwood trail also has a narrow path through the forest—blessing you with tall trees, scattered sunlight through a tall canopy of trees, greenery, wildlife, flowers, and a closer semblance with nature.
Edwin M. Griffin Nature Reserve
It’s a subsection of the long Cottonwood Trail and is often considered the same. However, this nature reserve is closer to the waters and allows recreational activities like kayaking and canoeing in the water, along with biking, racing, or walking.
Spartanburg is full of beautiful trails, and most of them are free of cost. Whether a traveler or a local, starting your morning deep within the forest with your dog will fill you with positivity and a natural aura.
Other trails to visit in Spartanburg, SC.
There are many beautifully constructed trails in Spartanburg. Some of the famous destinations for taking a long walk are—Black Foundation Rail Trail, spread over 1.9 miles, MBF allows you to tour the town from rail to trail conversion, and Milliken Arboretum is a corporate-designed greenspace covering 600 acres of land. The open space surrounds an arboretum. It’s home to hundreds of trees, biodiversity, and trim trails.
Another popular trail resides throughout Croft State Park—It’s an excellent location for camping, sightseeing, campfire, fishing, trailing, trekking, bicycling, etc. The area covers a big creek.
Spartanburg Historic District
Located downtown, the Spartanburg Historic district is a gem for individuals who appreciate history. Almost renowned and renovated, the space features late-nineteenth century and early 20th-century architecture.
The majority of the old buildings are one story tall. Among the tallest are the famous Cleveland Hotel and the Masonic Temple.
Built over Morgan Square, the district features a center of attraction called the Daniel Morgan monument. Every vintage building has been restored to its original facade. If you are an architecture enthusiast, you will love this expanded location the most!
Spartanburg Historic district was also registered in the national register of historic places in 1983. This downtown district looks exceptionally magnificent at night. Enjoy the nightlife surrounding the town with exquisite cuisine, night scenarios, clubs, and beauty.
RJ Rockers Brewing Company and Restaurant
Fan of aged beer and other brewed beverages? RJ Rockers is a small family business serving beers that are 22+ years old and stored in big barrels of rum, and whiskey ported from the US Virgin Islands.
While in the town, visit RJ Rockers for tasting tours from Thursdays to Saturdays. The bar and restaurant offer beautiful nightlife and delicious foods with live music concerts, open mic, and big game nights on TV.
Located in downtown Spartanburg, RJ Rockers proffers handcrafted beers. The whole restaurant is solar-powered to promote eco-friendly usage. There is nothing more beautiful than a relaxing night with beer, calming lights, live music, and friends—plan a small party or gathering at RJ and enjoy the night in the city.
Similar places to visit:
- Mote and Sons Bootlegging Co.: Another great brewery that produces fine rum, whiskey, brandy, and vodka.
- Wade’s restaurant: For delicious, southern-tasting food, visit this restaurant. Wade’s restaurant is another antique spot serving delicious food in a warm interior.
Croft State Park
Croft State Park is a popular adventurous location for individuals who enjoy adventure, wild camping, creeks, and nature. This nature preserve is spread over 7000 acres and was once the army training camp.
The creek offers promising fishing hours. Aside from providing affordable boat rentals, the location is perfect for site camping. Just imagine nights in the wild, stargazing, or just enjoying near a bonfire. You can first trail throughout, fish for the next few hours, and campfire at night.
Croft State Park covers 165 acres of Lake Craig. It’s considered one of the cleanest lakes in town, and locals love to catch fish there. The park is frequented with benches to sit and is also a popular location for kids and family picnics.
Not just the lake, Croft State Park also has wooden trails, a family cemetery, church cemeteries, mountain hiking routes, and whatnot! So it’s a perfect location for adventure.
During my visit, I participated in geocaching, a game where you look for containers with a wood log through GPS services. We all had an awesome time looking for treasure hunts.
Big Air Trampoline
While it might seem that Big Air Trampoline is just for kids, it’s actually a really fun destination for adults looking for a wild night. Imagine a whole day with your friends jumping, bull riding, fighting, climbing, and simply enjoying?
Well, if that’s your platter—Big Air Trampoline has some great package deals for groups. Visit their official website to learn more about the booking and charges.
Not only this, but the Big Air Trampoline also offers cosmic nights—vibrant neon lights, loud, boosting music, bass, lasers, and showdown! The whole area’s light is turned down and is replaced with neon blues, purples, and pinks.
- Every adult is allowed an entrance with fair ticket rates ($25/night).
- Kids below 15 must visit with their parents.
- The cosmic night starts around 7 PM and goes long until 10 PM.
- It’s enjoyed every Friday and Saturday on the premises.
Big Air Trampoline is a great location to hold a group/birthday party for your kid. It’s fun, safe, and creative. When you book a birthday package from Big Air Trampoline, they will offer you a reserved party room, party host, printables, disposals, large pizzas, ten friends (jumpers), and full access to the complete game zone.
The night gets wild when you book a lock-in party. The whole place locks you inside at around 10 PM/12 AM up until 7 AM. After that, you can reserve a room, sleep on a couch/trampoline, party anywhere, start cosmic night on-demand, purchase and eat at the cafeteria, and whatnot.
In this lock-in event, you can enjoy the facilities however you’d like; the night is long, and the Big Air trampoline is wild!
Spartanburg is a warm city, and enjoying the water is one thing you shouldn’t miss. Clifton Park gives you complete access to the creek—you can swim, relax, fish, and float near the steady waterfall as long as you’d like.
Clifton Park has a small but long waterfall—presenting you with beautiful picturesque scenery to behold. Individuals especially prefer the view from the bridge above the waterfall. The bridge connects to a long trail for walking, bicycling, and hiking purposes.
It’s a great picnic spot for families, friends, and kids. You can cook right beside the waterfall. The creek associated with it offers sandy coasts—giving a beach-like experience to explorers.
Wrapping Up The 9 Exciting Things To Do In Spartanburg
Away from the chaos, one can find plenty of things to do in Spartanburg. The city is full of blissful surprises with nature to soothe your soul, adventures to climb, and homemade beer to enjoy the night.
If you are in South Carolina, this city should be a must-visit! Start your morning with the Cottonwood trail.
My itinerary had me rolling in the city. So here’s my simple tour of Spartanburg. Spend a day in the waters in Clifton Park. In the evening, drive downtown the historic district and enjoy RJ Rockers beer. The next day, carry on the trip to Hatcher Garden and Cleveland Park. After that, have dinner at Wade’s restaurant and stroll the city on foot.
Winter, spring and rainy seasons are the greatest times to visit Spartanburg. So grab some warm clothes and watch the city unfold itself to you.
After South Carolina, North Carolina is a great state to visit. If you plan a trip to North Carolina, here’s a quick guide to 13 must-try restaurants in Mooresville, NC. Also, if you visit Fayetteville, don’t forget to eat in these seven best Fayetteville restaurants.
Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever