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Anderson (and Anderson County)

Anderson and Anderson County

Anderson is known as “The Electric City” as it was the first city in the United States to have a continuous supply of electric power.  Recently named one of Airbnb’s Top 10 trending destinations worldwide, Anderson is in the midst of one of its most significant growth patterns in decades. The County features a business landscape comprised of over 230 manufacturing companies, 1,050+ retail businesses, 1,200+ professional service companies and 545 hospitality-based organizations.  Downtown is an epicenter for destination dining and shopping, while nearby Hartwell Lake offers fishing, boating and outdoor activities. Other amenities include pristine golf courses, over 60 parks, and the Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center that features one of the largest concert venues in South Carolina. Anderson is a community ripe for business, ready for visitors and brimming with entertainment.

Facts + Figures

27,293

City Population

198,293

County Population

$47,356

Median Household Income

  • Food Scene
  • Arts + Culture
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Business Climate
  • Education

Food Scene

From anchor restaurants like J Peters and the iconic Skin’s Hotdogs, to other local favorites such as Maki Sushi Bar and Sullivan’s Metropolitan Grill, Anderson provides a menu of options for your ultimate dining experience.  Enjoy award-winning cuisine from around the world or sample good old-fashioned Southern favorites with flair.

Anderson offers a variety of craft beer hotspots and distilleries.  Located downtown, award-winning micro-distillery Palmetto Moonshine is the first micro-distillery in South Carolina to produce Palmetto Moonshine, South Carolina’s first legal moonshine, and Palmetto Whiskey, South Carolina’s most-awarded craft whiskey. Other options for those seeking libations with a local flavor include Growler Haus and Brews on Main offering craft beer and wine, Carolina Bauernhaus Ales, a farmhouse brewery and winery specializing in hand-crafted ales, and Viva Wine Bar, a popular destination for friends to unwind over their favorite bottle of wine.

Arts + Culture

Honored with South Carolina’s highest award for public art, the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award casts light on Anderson’s success in sprinkling artwork throughout the community.  Visitors enjoy public art installations such as a rotating sculpture exhibit and a scavenger hunt of 22 bronze life-sized Carolina Wrens. Among the state’s leading arts destinations, the Anderson Arts Center offers year-round exhibitions, comprehensive arts programming for all ages, and community based public art projects such as SculpTour, a collection of pieces from regional artists that can be found downtown.

Anderson’s reputation as a cultural tourism destination is supported largely by its expanding calendar of events and destination venues.  Anderson University is home to the Rainey Fine Arts Center and Henderson Auditorium, where community and school performances are held, and the Vandiver Gallery, a rotating exhibition space. The Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center features one of the largest concert venues in South Carolina and hosts a variety of sporting events, tournaments, festivals, trade shows, community meetings and more.  Downtown venues collectively host more than 120 events per year including weekly concerts, outdoor theater productions, movie nights and food festivals.

Educational entertainment options are offered at nearby venues such as Anderson’s award-winning library system, the Anderson County Museum, the Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum, the Ruth Drake Museum of Belton and the Reviva Museum of Iva.  Lovers of architectural history can visit the Woodburn and Ashtabula Plantations, houses built in 1830, or the Farmers Society Hall, a classic Greek Revival building built 200+ years ago in the Pendleton Historic District.

Other cultural attractions include:

Outdoor Activities

One of Anderson’s most popular venues is Hartwell Lake.  Named a Top 100 Bass Lake in America and a three-time Bassmaster Classic Host, Hartwell Lake is a place where champions fish. The lake is surrounded by 25,000 acres of land devoted for recreational use.  Designated parks such as Sadlers Creek and River Forks provide residents and visitors with camping, picnicking and swimming options along with boat docks and playgrounds.  Hartwell Lake has a total of nine campgrounds and 524 campsites; options are endless along this camper’s paradise.

Leisure activities are plentiful in Anderson.  Golf courses feature challenging champion layouts for even the most seasoned players.  Destination farm venues welcome visitors to pick fresh produce, bond with animals at a petting zoo, or host gatherings.  The Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center is another anchor for recreational tourism in Anderson.  Its outdoor amphitheater is one of the largest concert venues in South Carolina, drawing national performers to take stage among a terrace that holds over 12,000 attendees. The 64-acre sports center includes seven softball and baseball fields, three soccer fields, eight tennis courts, miles of paved walking paths, a disc golf course, and picnic areas.

In addition to being a premier venue for private events, Downtown Anderson’s Carolina Wren Park hosts outdoor concerts series including the Piedmont Natural Gas Block Party along with seasonal events such as Shakespeare in the Park, Holiday Ice, and FreshTaste.

Business Climate

Anderson County’s pro-business climate lends to a healthy business mix comprised of over 230 manufacturing companies, 1,050+ retail businesses, 1,200+ professional service companies and 545 hospitality-based organizations.  The region’s strategic location puts businesses in the center of the Atlanta-Charlotte corridor and within 50 miles of 15 colleges and universities. Anderson County also offers one of the lowest costs of living in the United States, facilitating cost savings for residents and employers.

Anderson’s economy is powered by established industry and retailers and hospitality businesses kick things into high speed.  Area hotels and destination events attract tourism dollars that further support local businesses.  Cranes are in the air in downtown Anderson as it will soon welcome its newest hospitality addition, Home2Suites by Hilton.

A variety of factors make Anderson a great choice for business: location, infrastructure, cost of living, proximity to higher education institutions, incentive opportunities and more. Anchored by industry and elevated by small businesses, Anderson sparks business success.

Anderson County’s major employers include:

Education

Anderson County is made up of five public school districts that consistently rank in the top school systems in the state. Parochial schools including St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Anderson Christian School, Oakwood Christian School and New Covenant School offer education from a Christian perspective. In addition, the Montessori School of Anderson provides residents with a facility for the Montessori method of teaching.

Ranked one of the best regional colleges in the South by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, Anderson University anchors the heart of the city’s urban core. The University is now the largest private college in South Carolina and offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in over 75 areas of study.

Tri-County Technical College (TCTC) is a public community college in Pendleton with campuses in Anderson, Easley and Seneca. TCTC offers associate degree programs for those interested in everything from mechatronics to veterinary technology. Located in close proximity to downtown Anderson, Forrest College offers associate degree programs with nine areas of specialization and a number of diploma programs.

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