The town of Spartanburg, South Carolina is known as the Hub City for its location as a railroad hub. It gained popularity as the site of textile mills, which fueled the economy. These days, it’s home to both Wofford College, Converse College, and the University of South Carolina Upstate.
It also plays host to the spring training for the Charlotte Panthers NFL team, held annually at Wofford. The BMW headquarters is also nearby, on the way to Greenville. Whether or not you’ll be going to a football game, you’ll find plenty to enjoy in the Sparkle City.
Things to Do in Spartanburg
Spend some time getting to know Spartanburg’s past, which will inform your experience in town.
Carolina Panthers Training Camp– Held seasonally on the Wofford campus, watching the practice games is free and open to the public. You can park nearby or take a shuttle from downtown. There are tents with snacks and souvenirs for sale. Bring your own chair. Cummings Street
Chapman Cultural Center– This large complex has both the art museum and history museum, with exhibits from early Native American settlement to the present. It’s also home to the science center and ballet. 200 East St. John Street
Croft State Park– Once operated as a World War II training base, the state park now offers activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, equestrian trails, and picnic shelters. It’s only five miles from downtown. 450 Croft State Park Road
Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve– The community garden that is free to visit with a one-mile walking path and benches for quiet reflection. 832 John B. White Sr. Boulevard
Hub City Railroad Museum– Visit the small but impressive museum at the historic Southern Railway depot, which is still a functioning Amtrak station. Artifacts include a Pullman blanket and maps from the railroad. 298 Magnolia Street
Sparkle City Mini Putt– This free mini-golf course is run by the city and has obstacles based on landmarks around Spartanburg. Pick up balls and putters at one of five downtown businesses. 118 East Broad Street
Spartanburgers Baseball– Catch a baseball game of this summer collegiate team that’s a part of the Coastal Plain League. 1000 Duncan Park Drive
Walnut Grove Plantation– This estate was built 1765 through a land grant. The grounds and house are now open for tours. After the original family, it was inhabited by sharecroppers until the 1960s. 1200 Otts Shoals Road, Roebuck
Where to Eat in Spartanburg
First-time visitors might be surprised to learn about all of the culinary delights to be found in Spartanburg.
Broadway Bagels Cafe- Start your day with a New York-style bagel at this restaurant, along with paninis, pastries, and coffee. 1200 East Main Street, (864) 591-0058
Papa’s Breakfast Nook– A favorite of the college crowd, this 24-hour diner has dishes like the Trash Can omelette, buttermilk biscuits, pancakes, and sandwiches. 191 East St. John Street, (864) 582-6655
The Pharmacy– Located in the historic Montgomery building from 1925, this stylish coffee shop has coffee from Little River Roasters, toast, sandwiches, and “prescribed drinks” or cocktails in the later hours. 187 North Church Street, (864) 913-1010
Beacon Drive-In– Open since 1946, this massive restaurant has been featured on countless shows and visited by celebs. It sells more sweet tea than anywhere else and is known for its chili cheeseburger. 255 John B. White Sr. Boulevard, (864) 585-9387
Flock Shop– Set in an old auto repair shop near the walking trail, the menu includes Southern favorites like fried chicken with Alabama white sauce, pimento mac and cheese, and craft beer and cocktails. 970 South Pine Street, (864) 707-2470
Wade’s– The legendary meat and three has been open since 1947 with cafeteria-style and seated options. Don’t miss the fried chicken and yeast rolls, but be prepared for a long wait, especially on weekends. 1000 North Pine Street, (864) 582-3800
The Kennedy– The best restaurant in town is inspired by the 20s in the decor and artwork in the dining room. The menu has a little bit of everything, including unique cocktails and dishes like the lobster roll and crab fried rice. 221 East Kennedy Street, (864) 586-5554
Monsoon Noodle House– The Asian fusion restaurant is popular with the lunch crowd and has options like ahi tuna, Thai soup, and noodle bowls. 129 West Main Street, (864) 582-0618
The Tulip Tree– The longtime restaurant is known for its craft cocktails using local spirits and globally inspired dishes. On weekends, take advantage of outdoor seating to watch live music. 121 West Main Street, (864) 285-4659
Where to Drink in Spartanburg
It wouldn’t be a college town without some watering holes, would it? You’ll certainly find the coed-friendly spots downtown, but you’ll also find venues appealing to older visitors.
FR8Yard– The sunken outdoor beer garde is an offbeat place to watch live music or games on the big screens. It has old minor league baseball seats and shipping containers for seating. The pet-friendly space is perfect for a beer and hot dog. 125 East Main Street
Level 10– Located on the top level of the AC Hotel, this bar and restaurant is popular with visitors for its views of downtown Spartanburg. Come for a steak and glass of wine, but make a reservation on weekends. 225 West Main Street
Nu-Way Lounge– Spartanburg’s oldest bar dates back to 1937. There’s a regular crowd that comes back for cold pints of Pabst Blue Ribbon and the heaping burgers, named the best in town. 373 East Kennedy Street
Underpin Lanes and Lounge– The basement level bar and bowling alley has eight lanes, along with beer and cocktails. There is also a food menu if you get hungry. 127 West Main Street
Bond Street Wines– The downtown wine shop has both sales and tastings. Grab a glass or bottle to enjoy on the patio. 145 West Main Street
Where to Stay in Spartanburg
AC Hotel Spartanburg– While the building looks historic, it’s actually new, built in 2017. The 10-story hotel features the artwork from the Johnson Collection, including pieces from Black Mountain College. There’s a bar and a rooftop steakhouse, a fitness center, and a pool. 225 West Main Street
Hampton Inn Spartanburg Hotel– Convenient to the Westgate Mall, this hotel has amenities like an indoor pool, daily breakfast, and free parking. 801 Spartan Boulevard
Inn on Main– This bed and breakfast is one of the few in town, set in a 1904 mansion with daily breakfast, high-speed Internet, and convenient access to nearby colleges. 319 East Main Street
Sonesta Select Spartanburg– Guests enjoy large suites, a seasonal outdoor pool, and a fitness center. There’s also a restaurant. 110 Mobile Drive
Spartanburg Marriott– The large hotel is where the Panthers players usually stay, so it’s a popular option. It’s in the heart of downtown and has onsite dining, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool. 299 North Church Street
Rentals- You can also stay downtown or near Wofford with rentals like this Spartanburg condo.
Book your stay in Spartanburg with our preferred partner.