Whether you’re looking for a unique day trip or making your way to the Carolina Panthers’ training camp this summer, Spartanburg, SC offers a rich rotation of dining, drinks and things to do that make it a true hidden gem.
Affectionately known as Sparkle City amongst locals, Spartanburg is about an hour and a half away from Charlotte and is perfect for an impromptu weekend getaway. My grandparents live in the area, so I’m able to travel down there fairly frequently.
Here are a few of my favorite things to eat, drink and do:
Wofford College, 429 N. Church St., Spartanburg
The Panthers’ 24th training camp will be held at Wofford College from July 26-Aug. 13. The training camp is free to the public, with each session lasting about two hours. Ranked in the top five in the league for fan friendliness by Peter King of Sports Illustrated, it’s perfect for die-hard Panthers fans.
1201 Union St. B, Spartanburg
Spartanburg is known for its rich history, so antique malls are the city’s bread and butter for shopping. Vintage Warehouse is no exception – with an eclectic mix of handmade soaps, clothing, art and furniture, it’s the quintessential catchall destination for the avid antiquing fan.
820 John B. White Sr. Blvd., Spartanburg
Though I love shopping and hitting all the antique stores Spartanburg has to offer, I love to take in the beauty and tranquility of the area at Hatcher Garden. This beautiful place was named Best Local Tourist Attraction for the second year in a row by the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. And the best part? It’s totally free and open to the public during daylight hours.
137 W. Main St., Spartanburg
I’m always super hungry after my Sparkle City adventures, and luckily for me, Spartanburg has an array of amazing eateries and bars to visit. I’m never up early enough for actual breakfast, but my go-to brunch spot is The Crepe Factory, right in the heart of downtown. Breakfast crepes are served all day and my personal favorite is the St. John St., with scrambled eggs, dry-aged chorizo, fresh salsa and queso fresco – the perfect pick-me-up.
Happy Friday the 13th! Today’s: *COBB SALAD Fresh greens, tomatoes, crisp applewood bacon, roasted chicken breast, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, chives, crumbled Blue Cheese, and our House dressing 10.95 *TROPICAL PARADISE CREPE Mango Curd, Vanilla Coconut Mousse tucked inside a warm crepe and topped with fresh pineapple, toasted coconut and walnuts 9.95
8881 Warren H. Abernathy Hwy., Spartanburg
If you’re anything like me, eating is your favorite pastime, so a minimum of three square meals is essential. And when it’s time for lunch, Le Spice has it covered. French and Thai influences converge for cuisine that’s one of a kind and so delicious. Try the Turkey BLT: a pared-down, yet totally scrumptious spin on all the flavors that make Le Spice distinctive.
212 S. Pine St., Spartanburg
Though I love a good café or sit-down eatery, I have to give a shout out to one of the best burger joints in town. Sugar -n- Spice is a Spartanburg icon – my grandparents had one of their first dates there more than 50 years ago! The BBQ, sweet tea and hot fudge cake are the tastiest trio at this classic drive-in.
121 W. Main St., Spartanburg
Another local favorite downtown, Renato’s Italian Restaurant is an excellent destination for family dinners or romantic nights out. Though it’s a bit more upscale than several of the surrounding restaurants (and boasts a strictly-enforced dress code), it’s totally worth it. Authentic Italian fare like the Ravioli Con Funghi Porcini and the Filletto Al Gorgonzola are to die for.
117 W. Main St., Spartanburg
After a full day of eating and taking in Sparkle City’s sights, I love nothing more than hanging out with an ice cold beer or cocktail. And Delaney’s Irish Pub is one of my favorite places to go. An Irish and American fusion, this Main St. joint has a ton of beers on tap and live music to seal the deal.
226 W. Main St., Spartanburg
Specializing in rich craft beers with hometown vibes, The Silo at RJ Rockers brings Deep South influence to downtown. RJ Rockers and HenHouse Brunch merged to offer the perfect amalgamation of casual bar ambiance with fresh, nearly gourmet flavors. Their Poutine and Chicken Not Pie (big enough to share with all y’all) are ideal for passing around the table as you sip your go-to brew.
252 W. Main St., Spartanburg
Last but certainly not least, Main Street Pub & Eatery is an instant classic with food that’s out of this world and beer that’ll bring you back again and again. Though the atmosphere is super relaxed and laid-back, the flavors are anything but. Main Street strikes that perfect balance between upscale and laid-lack with a stripped-down, dive bar twist. Pair the Pimento Cheese Rounds with any one of their twenty-plus beers on tap, and you’ll see what I mean.
Feature Photo Courtesy of The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce