Spartanburg is both a county and city in Upcountry South Carolina.
In the 19th century, Spartanburg was dubbed the Hub City because it was a railroad center. Today it is the center of an arts revival, historic preservation, and becoming an active lifestyle city.
Spartanburg is a beautiful city with southern charm. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it has a moderate climate that encourages year-round tourism. History buffs enjoy Cowpens National Battlefield, which marks the site where Gen. Daniel Morgan’s troops defeated the English.
Population in Spartanburg: city 39,407, county: 265,790.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
The warmest month is July and the coolest month is January. Most rainfall is in March.
Spartanburg is not as well equipped for snow and ice as more northerly cities; significant accumulations of snow (more than 2cm) or ice on the roads can disrupt activity city-wide. Usually, this includes the closing of local businesses and schools, and happens about once a year on average. Spartanburg's inland location usually protects it from being hit directly from Atlantic hurricanes, though it often receives heavy rains due to passing tropical systems.
A treaty struck with the Cherokee Indian nation in 1753 opened SC’s frontier to settlers. The county has more Revolutionary War sites than practically any locale in the US. After capturing Charleston in 1780, the English troops might have secured victory had they not so savagely violated their own terms for surrender. Subjected to slaughter, torture and humiliation, the rebel patriots fought back with a vengeance.
Six engagements took place in the Spartanburg area in four weeks, beginning in July with the Battle of Cedar Springs. The battles of Gowen’s Fort, Earle’s Ford and Fort Prince immediately followed, leading to a second battle at Cedar Spring and the Battle of Musgrove Mill. Two critical engagements altered the course of the war. At the Battle of King’s Mountain 160 loyalists were killed and 760 taken prisoner. The Americans led by General Daniel Morgan trounced their British opponents in the monumental Battle of Cowpens three months later.
Following the fighting, more settlements grew up in the area and the new district began to form its own government. A new courthouse was built in the middle of the county and the town of Spartanburg was born, named after the Spartanburg Regiment formed at the beginning of the war.
The town was incorporated in 1831, and the city’s industry was flourishing by the middle of the century. It became known as “Hub City” because its many railroads gave it a look of a wheel hub on maps. Major textile expansion began in 1877 and between 1880 and 1910, industrialists built nearly 40 textile mills in the area and, at one time, the county had over a half-million spindles.
During World War I, over 4,000 of the city’s natives served, nearly 2,897 of whom were drafted. Over 100,000 men from across the country trained at Camp Wadsworth, west of the city. During the Second World War, over 200,000 soldiers were trained at Camp Croft, just south of the city, while 18,000 of the county’s men served in battle. The camp’s $2.5 million-payroll further strengthened Spartanburg’s economy. The end of the war marked the slow decline of the mill village as rising wages and the auto-boom of the 1950s spread Spartanburg residents throughout the city. By the end of the decade, mill society was pretty much history.
In the 1970s, a new economic boom arrived in the form of international industry taking us into the 21st century.
Spartanburg is served by two airports: the Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport (SPA) and the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP). Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport is located in Upstate South Carolina, midway between the cities of Greenville and Spartanburg on I-85 (Exit 57).
There's daily Amtrak service to Spartanburg with the Crescent train, operating between New York City and New Orleans.
- 1 Spartanburg railway station, 290 Magnolia St (Just east of downtown).
Two major Interstate Highways intersect a short distance from Spartanburg, making highway travel into the city quite easy. Interstate 85 and the Business 85 Loop run on an east-west axis along the northern edge of the city and Interstate 26 runs on a north-south axis to the west of the city. Major U.S. Highways 29 and 221 also run through the heart of the city.
A Greyhound Bus terminal is located at 100 North Liberty Street.
Downtown traffic can stop-and-go. Downtown bypasses such as Daniel Morgan Avenue and St. John Street make the traffic flow easier.
Spartanburg is serviced by an efficient public transportation system called SPARTA.
There are a lot of beautiful bike tours and routes. Please visit the following homepages for details and recommendations. [dead link], , .
Spartanburg has a lot of bike lanes and bike-friendly roads. Please see the homepage of Partners for Active Living. This is a community-based initiative in Spartanburg. .
Cyclists of all ages and abilities converge downtown every Friday at noon to take part in an easy-going, end-of-the-workweek bike ride. Meeting place: Mary Black Foundation Offices, 349 E. Main Street, Suite 100. Bring your bicycle and helmet. Bike ride leaves at 12:15. The ride follows the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail to the Duncan Park neighborhood, where each pearson can take as many or as few laps around the 3-mile loop as they choose. Total distance is generally 8 to 12 miles, riding as the pace of the slowest rider. The group returns along the trail together and is back by 1PM.
There are a lot of walking routes in Spartanburg. Please see  for details.
- 1 Spartanburg Regional Museum of History, 200 E St John St, ☏ +1 864-596-3501. Permanent exhibits at the Spartanburg Regional History Museum offer a walk through time from early Spanish explorers like Juan Pardo to the late 20th century. You'll also find exhibits about our rich textile and military history, beautiful handcrafted furniture and other decorative arts from Spartanburg County and the surrounding region.
- Cowpens Depot, 120 Palmetto St, Cowpens. The Cowpens railroad depot was built in the 1870s for the Southern Railway. Local citizens saved the depot from destruction, and moved it to its current location to serve as a community center and museum. The museum houses items donated by crewmen and local citizens emphasizing the naval history of several U.S. Navy warships named for the Battle of Cowpens in the American Revolution.
- Pacolet Museum, 180 Montgomery Avenue,Pacolet. The museum reveals the story of Pacolet. Beginning with the natural resources: the Pacolet River, Granite Quarry and Urban Forest and expanding to the cultural heritage of the Cherokee, Catawba Indian presence, early settlers, American Revolution, textile industry and historic district.
- Walnut Grove Plantation, an 18th-century farmhouse, has been diligently preserved by the Spartanburg County Historical Association. It lies south of Spartanburg near the town of Roebuck and is open to the public for tours as well as during annual festivals.
- The Seay House, another 18th-century home, is a better representative of the typical pioneer home. Its single stone fireplace and simple construction were common traits associated with farmsteads from this period.
- The Price House, the third 18th-century home maintained by the Historical Association, is unique. Its sturdy Flemish-bond brick construction and three stories are less widespread for this area. By carefully examining the original inventory lists of the house, the Historical Association has been able to retrieve period pieces that approximate the original contents of the house.
- Daniel Morgan Square, the city's primary downtown hub, is the original courthouse village. It was founded adjacent to a small spring (now underground) on the western slope of a ridge. The oldest existing buildings on the square date to the 1880s. It is now a thriving center for daytime commerce as well as nightlife.
- The Magnolia Street Train Depot is one of the older buildings in the city and stands as a reminder of Spartanburg's old nickname "the Hub City", referring to the many transportation routes that connected Spartanburg with cities throughout the region. It is now the home of the Amtrak station, the Visitor’s Bureau and the Hub City Farmers Market.
- Glendale Mill: Glendale is a historic textile town on the Lawson’s Fork, five miles (8 km) southeast of Downtown Spartanburg and two miles from the Spartanburg Country Club. The gigantic mill, which had stopped operating in the 1960s, mysteriously burned in 2004 leaving only the original company store and the Victorian mill office. Some village houses were constructed about 150 years ago, and are typical of worker’s houses at other upstate mill villages. Most have been modernized. Village revitalizations include converting the discontinued Methodist Church at the top of the hill (Glendale really is a “mill hill.”) into the Glendale Outdoor Leadership School (GOLS) operated by the Palmetto Conservation Foundation and the restoration of the Victorian mill office down at the Lawson’s Fork shoals into the field center for Wofford College’s Environmental Studies programs (restoration now in progress). The Spartanburg Area Conservancy (SPACE) owns acreage on the bank of the Lawson’s Fork which includes an environmentally friendly park. The Lawson’s Fork shoals at Glendale begins a popular paddling trail for eight miles of white water to the Town of Pacolet. An iron works was located on the shoals during the Revolutionary War, at which there was a skirmish with British forces. The old Spartanburg-Glendale-Clifton trolley line right-of-ways are still evident.
- Beaumont Mill is located just north of downtown and has been renovated to house Spartanburg Regional Healthcare's billing, records, and human resources.
- Converse Mill is located to the east of the city along the Pacolet River. The mill was reconstructed in 1903 after a huge flood washed away the original mill.
- Greer Downtown Historic District is significant for its large concentration of intact examples of early twentieth-century commercial architecture. The commercial buildings in the district signify Greer’s expansion from an agricultural marketplace to include an industrial and manufacturing economy. The park’s visitor center is filled with interpretive exhibits which focus on the Battle of Musgrove Mill and also detail South Carolina’s pivotal role in the Revolutionary War.
- Musgrove Mill State Historic Site: The park’s nature trail highlights the Enoree River, Cedar Shoals Creek and Horseshoe Falls, where legend has it Mary Musgrove, the mill owner’s daughter, hid a Patriot soldier from the British. The park also offers picnicking and a popular fishing pond. Musgrove Mill State Historic Site, located not far off Interstate 26 near Clinton, regularly holds special events, including encampments and living history programs.
- Pacolet Historic Mill District: The Mill Village recaptures the history and culture of the Pacolet Mill community. The village was built with the "vision of providing cultural, spiritual, recreational, educational and jobs for the people who agreed to move here." Although the industry has been removed from the area, the footprints still remain. Designed by landscape architect Earle Draper in the early 1900s, these footprints contain paved infrastructure, an amphitheater that seats 2,500 people on the river and unique concrete pergolas. The present Town Hall once the business office for the industry has been beautifully restored with a mural welcoming people to Pacolet showcasing the entire planned community. Within the historic district there are over 250 arts and craft style homes which is the largest concentration of this architecture in SC. Dating back to 1927, the finest example of arts and crafts style interior is located in Pacolet Mills Baptist Church.
- Lawson's Fork Creek, a tributary of the Pacolet River, was once known for its plentiful wildlife and crystal clear waters. Parks and woodlands line much of its banks (which lie entirely in Spartanburg county) and rocky shoals and natural waterfalls can be found throughout its course. It stretches from the northern end of the county to the southern end, where it empties into the Pacolet.
- Cottonwood Trail, a walking trail that runs along Lawson's Fork, remains home to much of the wildlife for which this entire area was once known. The trail includes picnic areas, a raised path over an extensive wetlands area and sporadic sandy banks. It is used frequently by cyclists, joggers and walkers and is located just east of downtown.
- Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve is located in the midst of an urban environment, but is a welcome oasis of natural beauty. The pet project of a retired social activist, Hatcher Garden has been transformed from an eroding gully into a thick woods and flower garden and serves as a haven for birds and other wildlife.
- 2 The Peachoid. Gaffney (just off I-85). This water tower in the shape of a peach is a familiar landmark for anyone who has driven up and down I-85. Stop and take a picture, or just look out the window as you zoom by.
Spartanburg and its county owns a lot of bike trails and hiking trails. Please see chapter "Get around--by bike".
- Croft State Park, 450 Croft State Park Rd, 864-585-1283
- The Creek Golf Club: 640 Keltner Ave., +1-864-583-7084
- River Falls Plantation: 100 Player Blvd., Duncan-864-433-9192
- Village Greens: 13921 Asheville Hwy., Gramling-864-472-2411
- Woodfin Ridge Golf Club: 215 S. Woodfin Ridge Dr., Inman-864-578-0023
- Yogalicious: 183 Dunbar St, +1 864-707-9088
- RiverBend: Excellent location for shooting skeet or sporting clays, paint ball, organized field hunts, tower shoots, and corporate meetings.
- HomeSpun Bluegrass provides live acoustic music shows twice monthly on the 2nd and 4th Saturday night at 7PM. Bands from the SC and NC area perform traditional bluegrass favorites and southern gospel. Good family entertainment in a relaxed atmosphere with no alcohol and smoking is outside only.
- Hub City Farmers' Market is Spartanburg's resource for fresh produce and local food. The markets are open air, seasonal markets. All of our markets are producer-only markets, meaning everything sold is grown or produced by the person selling it. The Saturday market is open May 9-Oct 31 8AM-noon at 298 Magnolia Street (train station). The Wednesday market is open Mid June - October at Dunbar Street, Morgan Square 3PM-6PM.
- The Hollywild Animal Park, 2325 Hampton Rd., Inman +1-864-472-2038, is a 100-acre (40-ha) animal park that features hundreds of exotic animals, “Outback Safari” rides, feeding stations, concessions and more. Deriving its name from the fact that many of its inhabitants have appeared in movies, TV commercials or posed as cartoonists’ models, a trip to Hollywild always proves to be both interactive and educational.
- Hatcher Garden, 820 John B. White Sr. Blvd., +1-864-574-7724, is a 10-acre (4-ha) public botanical garden and woodland preserve open 365 days a year during daylight hours with no admission fee. The Garden features a series of ponds, walking trails, plantings of annuals, perennials and shrubs, a native woodland of mixed hardwoods, and a diverse population of wildlife. The Garden’s tree collection consists of over 1,200 specimens representing over 100 species. Our mission is to provide a place where the public can come for inspiration, enjoyment, and education through the study of nature. Activities include a self-guided tour of the garden, plant identification and wildlife observation with facilities for picnics and nature studies.
- Duncan Park: 81 West Park Drive; It is a 102.53 acre (40 ha) community park. It has a small lake and wooded one-mile (1.6-km) walking trail. There are 2 baseball fields, a playground, 4 tennis courts, picnic tables, an outdoor stage, and public restroom facilities.
- Cleveland Park: Located at 141 N. Cleveland Park Dr. The park has an event center, a lake with a gazebo, picnic facilities and walking trails. Also there is a miniature train children and their parents can ride on.
Visual and performing artsEdit
- The Chapman Cultural Center, owned and operated by the Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, is the community's preeminent common ground where the people of Spartanburg County and its visitors come together to discover, experience, and celebrate the performing and visual arts, science and history.
- The Hub-Bub[dead link] offers more than 100 nights of art, culture and entertainment a year in the Showroom Gallery and Performance Hall. There are concerts, progressive art exhibits, film, experimental theatre, workshops, community forums and music performances encompassing Americana, Blues, Bluegrass and Roots music to Folk, Jazz, and Indie Rock/Pop. Hub-Bub also hosts one of the nation's most innovative Artist-in-Residence programs. Emerging young artists come to Hub-Bub from all over the country to live upstairs, make their art, and interact with Spartanburg in inventive ways.
- The Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium was dubbed the Showplace of the South when it opened in the 1950s. The facility has also served as headquarters to thousands of major corporate events, conventions, trade and consumer shows, banquets, and other events as a partner to the region’s business community.
- Spring Fling, one of the Upstate’s largest outdoor street festivals, is always the first weekend in May. Thousands of people converge on Downtown Spartanburg for a weekend of fun.
- The Spartanburg International Festival is held each fall in beautiful Barnet Park. More than 8,000 people attend to celebrate and explore the world through food, music, dance, and folk art.
- Martin Luther King Unity Celebration: The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Celebration has grown to over 3000 strong with an annual gathering at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium.
Spartanburg has the highest per capita college student population of any major city in South Carolina. With its six diverse institutions of higher education, Spartanburg is South Carolina's “College Town.” Initiated by Mayor Bill Barnet, the consortium of six institutions of higher education, known as “The Colleges of Spartanburg," includes Converse College, Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic, Spartanburg Methodist College, Spartanburg Community College, University of South Carolina Upstate and Wofford College.
- Converse College has been preparing women to be strong leaders in their professions and in their communities for over 100 years. Here, women come first – in the classrooms, science labs, and music rehearsal halls; on our playing fields and in our student organizations.
- Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic: integrates the duties of a primary care chiropractic provider from a modern-day health care perspective with an appreciation for vitalistic principles – mainly that the body is a self-regulated, self-healing organism.
- Spartanburg Methodist College (SMC) is one of the few colleges in the South devoted exclusively to the freshmen and sophomore years of college. A two-year, coeducational institution related to the United Methodist Church, it strives for a values-oriented atmosphere in the Christian tradition.
- Spartanburg Community College[dead link] is a public, suburban, two-year comprehensive, open-admission institution of higher education serving the citizens of the upstate counties of Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union in South Carolina.
- University of South Carolina Upstate
- Wofford College, a liberal arts college.
Spartanburg has a wide range of dining options, from soul food to Asian fusion. Most of the innovative options are located in and around downtown, although some of the best eateries are located in odd corners of the county.
- Venus Pie Pizza, 400 E Main St. Delicious, low cost, non-chain pizzeria serves oversized thin-crust slices, calzones, cheese bread, and more. The inside is a little run-down, but it's clean and has a certain integrity to it. It's much better and cheaper than the Mellow Mushroom 2 doors over, but doesn't have as many specialty pizzas.
- The Beacon Drive-In, “world famous” for its greasy a-plenty platters and very sweet tea, this restaurant is more of an institution than a greasy spoon. It is said to be the world’s largest seller of iced tea. Be prepared in advance so that J.C. doesn’t have to wait to call your order. “Walk and talk!”
- Wade’s Restaurant started off as a roadside barbeque joint but has evolved into a country-cooking mecca. No one can beat their yeast rolls and for “greasy greens” they are the best place this side of momma’s kitchen. Avoid on holidays and Wednesday nights unless you want to wait outside.
- Wasabi Sushi is on the complete other end of the spectrum. Fresh, tasty and reasonably priced, Wasabi has a wide variety of genuinely tasty Japanese dishes. Don’t skip the appetizers, they’re really good and they help make the sushi worth the wait.
- Monsoon Noodle House and Lime Leaf, both located on Morgan Square, are home to some wonderful Asian fusion dishes. Lime Leaf has a Thai focus but doesn’t stop there and Monsoon is all over the spectrum. Stay late for drinks at Lime Leaf.
- Papa’s Breakfast Nook is Spartanburg’s 24-hour “breakfast and more” diner. Although the “more” can sometimes hit the spot, the breakfast side of the menu takes the pancake. Make sure to at least consider the Pecan Pancakes and the Trashcan Omelet, but really it’s all good. The home fries are delicious!
Spartanburg has a number of great watering holes that can suit any taste.
- 1 Nu-Way Lounge, 373 E Kennedy St, ☏ +1 864-582-9685. Is a mainstay for a certain crowd of Spartans, who go there for the cheap beer, fried food and eclectic music. As the oldest bar in Spartanburg, it has a following and a certain down-home cheap-wood-veneer flair.
- 2 Delaney’s Irish Pub, 117 W Main St, ☏ +1 864-583-3100. Has some of the best local brews around and serves a good sandwich to boot. It’s located on Morgan Square
- Wild Wing Café, a Morgan Square restaurant and bar, frequently has bands playing into the wee hours of the morning and good drink specials.
- 3 Carriage House Wines, 196 W Main S, ☏ +1 864-582-0123. Offers an alternative to the bar scene by offering a fine selection of great wines. Go there for some samples and some wonderful recommendations from the staff.
- 1 The Inn on Main, 319 E Main St. A fantastic bed and breakfast located downtown in a beautiful turn-of-the-century mansion. Each room is uniquely decorated with local themes (textiles, railroads, agriculture, etc) and a full breakfast is included.
- 2 Spartanburg Marriott, 299 N Church St, ☏ +1 864-596-1211. Downtown’s high-rise hotel, featuring ballrooms, suites and other plush accommodations.
An hour and fifteen minute drive north on Interstate 26 will take you towards the city of Asheville in the scenic Appalachian mountains where you can take a hike along the Appalachian Trail or drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway. This drive is beautiful in the late summer and early fall.
|Routes through Spartanburg|
|Charlotte ← Gastonia ←||N S||→ Greenville → Atlanta|
|Asheville ← Hendersonville ←||W E||→ Columbia → Charleston|
|Charlotte ← Gastonia ←||N S||→ Greenville → Atlanta|
|Charlotte ← Gastonia ←||N S||→ Greer → Greenville|
|Boone ← Blowing Rock ← Jct W E ← Jct W E ←||N S||→ Jct W E → Jct W E|