Spartanburg (and Spartanburg County)
Spartanburg and Spartanburg County
There’s only one Spartanburg. In fact, it’s the only city of its name in the country and it lives up to its unique reputation. Downtown Spartanburg is home to a thriving cultural arts district, an up-and-coming food scene, and a handful of colleges and universities. Beyond the City, Spartanburg offers abundant outdoor amenities (check out Croft State Park and the Daniel Morgan Trail System) and a collection of charming towns, like Landrum and Woodruff, each with their own unique character. On top of that, Spartanburg County has one of the highest rates of foreign investment in the country, which has created a large international business community.
Facts + Figures
Median Household Income
- Food Scene
- Arts + Culture
- Outdoor Activities
- Business Climate
Spartanburg’s food scene is continually evolving, with innovative concepts and high-end restaurants joining a host of local staples and popular classics countywide. From down-home cooking to foodie experiences worthy of Instagram, Spartanburg has something for all tastes. Get an authentic taste of Spartanburg at Wade’s Restaurant serving up delicious meat-and-threes with options like fried chicken, green beans and all the fixings, or at Sugar & Spice, a local icon serving up delicious burgers, fries and onion rings. These Southern classics have been joined by the modern twist on mill town fare served up at Heirloom, the gourmet street food at the open-air biergarten Fr8yard, and the high-end new American eatery The Kennedy. Thanks to Spartanburg’s abundance of international companies, an impressive roster of global cuisines have joined the scene as well, from Mezcal, serving up traditional Mexican food, tapas-style, to Bar 1884, offering Asian-forward plates with a twist and a rooftop view. Browse a full list of local restaurants here.
Also plentiful in Spartanburg County are local breweries where residents and visitors can find delicious hand-crafted brews, like those from RJ Rockers Brewing Company, Ciclops Cyderi & Brewery and New Groove Artisan Brewery.
An active agricultural scene makes for a great variety of farmers’ markets and produce stands in the area, including Spartanburg’s Hub City Farmer’s Market, the longest-running market in the Upstate, and smaller markets in Inman, Cowpens, Landrum and Woodruff.
Arts + Culture
You can’t spell “Spartanburg” without “art.” With a mix of rich public art and a dynamic music and festival scene, Spartanburg’s arts and culture offerings are among the best in the South. The epicenter of Spartanburg County’s cultural experiences is its Downtown Cultural District. The downtown district is thriving with daily cultural experiences of live music, public art, stage performances, historic sites, and art galleries. One highlight is the presence of diverse public art and mural installations which can be seen while walking throughout the city. Another popular cultural attraction is Chapman Cultural Center located in the Cultural District. This cultural campus is home to a 500-seat theater that hosts over 300 music, dance, and theater performances a year. Along with 3 museums and galleries, an open-air plaza, and open seven days a week, Chapman Cultural Center is the leading entertainment destination in Spartanburg.
The Johnson Collection in downtown Spartanburg counts iconic masterworks among its holdings, by an astonishing depth and breadth of artists, whose lives and legacies form the foundation of Southern art history. The AC Hotel Spartanburg also functions as a showcase for modern masterpieces created by artists associated with the experimental arts enclave of Black Mountain College. A selection of 40 works curated from the Johnson Collection’s holdings is on permanent view throughout the first floor and mezzanine. The Spartanburg Music Trail showcases the region’s deep musical heritage by honoring the Spartanburg musicians who have made a national or international impact in the world of music.
A sample of other cultural attractions and events include:
Spartanburg was recognized as South Carolina’s first bicycle-friendly community in 2007 and created the first bike-sharing program in the Southeast in 2011 with B-Cycle Spartanburg. The community embraces miles of open bike lanes and trails, including the widely-used Mary Black Rail Trail and its many recreational opportunities, as a way to explore the region while getting some exercise at the same time. The city is home to the Spartanburg Regional Criterium, a one-night series of cycling races on the USA CRITS circuit, as well as the Assault on Mt. Mitchell, a self-paced ride from downtown Spartanburg, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, to the summit at Mt. Mitchell State Park in North Carolina, traveling more than 100 miles. Joining Spartanburg’s cycling options is Blue Duck scooters, with a fleet of 100 rentable electric scooters available in Downtown Spartanburg.
Not into cycling? Grab your kayak, canoe and hiking boots to explore Spartanburg’s blueways and greenways. Croft State Park is perfect for a weekend camping trip, with 50 campsites for RV or tent camping, while Glendale Shoals Preserve is ideal for an afternoon stroll, complete with 13 acres of scenic property along Lawson’s Fork Creek, with a waterfall that cascades over a dam, and significant plant, animal and bird life. Spartanburg’s premier outdoor concert and special events venue, Barnet Park doubles as a cultural and outdoors hotspot with seven acres of land and a 2-mile paved walking trail. For a weekend stroll, Hatcher Garden is a stunning botanical garden and woodland preserve that will leave any nature-lover inspired.
Spartanburg is home to a diverse business climate, with major, international companies and small, locally-owned businesses found countywide. Plus, Spartanburg’s status as a hub for higher education and creativity means our county is innovative and home to many talented people. The county’s ideal geographic location allows business to easily access major metropolitan areas like Charlotte, a 1.5-hour drive away, and Atlanta, a 2.5-hour drive away. Spartanburg is the home of BMW’s only North American facility, thanks to the city’s high quality of life, strong talent pool and strategic location. As a result, since the mid-’90s, more than 100 automotive suppliers and companies have located in the region. Spartanburg County’s other major employers include:
Spartanburg County is comprised of more than 44,000 students in seven school districts. The county operates more than 39 public elementary schools and four career centers, and its private schools include Oakbrook Preparatory School, St Paul the Apostle Catholic School, Spartanburg Christian Academy and Spartanburg Day School. The region is also home to the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind.
Spartanburg’s international business climate is fueled by the region’s diverse higher education institutions. Home to seven different colleges and universities, Spartanburg is known as a college town for its plethora of learning opportunities and vibrant campuses. Explore Spartanburg County’s K-12 schools and higher education institutions below:
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