Things To Do in South Carolina: Spartanburg

Katie McElveen
| January 5, 2024 | 1 Minute Read
Path surrounded by trees and shrubs, with a sign in foreground Andrew Cooke


Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve

Retiring to Spartanburg in 1969, Harold Hatcher spent the rest of his life transforming his yard and, later, outlying parcels of land, into a 13-acre wonderland of “garden rooms” for wildflowers, conifers, hostas and other native species. Today, a network of shady trails connects ponds, a reflection garden, a waterfall and a welcoming play space for children, all within the preserve, which is open 365 days a year.

BMW Zentrum Museum

Aerial view of the circular BMW Zentrum Museum Steve Fincher

German automaker BMW cut the ribbon on their Spartanburg assembly plant (above) in 1994; two years later, on the same site, the company opened Zentrum, the only BMW museum in North America. Not just for gearheads, Zentrum celebrates BMW’s excellence in both engineering and artistry, with its collection of past, present and even future models. Factory tours are also available but require a reservation.

Johnson Collection

Exhibition of paintings at the Johnson Collection Robert C. Clark

Less than 20 years in the making, this remarkable private collection of paintings and other objects created by Southern artists includes works by Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and other luminaries as well as Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, whose Lowcountry scenes were featured in the motion picture Where the Crawdads Sing. In all, the museum’s collection includes more than 1,300 paintings, drawings and other pieces. Admission to the museum (above), which is open Wednesday through Saturday, is free.

Hub City Bookshop

Various book display tables at Hub City Bookshop

For a deep dive into Spartanburg’s culture, stop into this independent bookstore (above), which draws on both local and nationally known writers to fill its shelves with a varied collection of volumes, including Hub City Music Makers, which inspired the city’s interactive Music Trail.


The Kennedy

Since opening in 2018 by South Carolina Chef Ambassador William Cribb, this art deco-inspired restaurant has become Spartanburg’s destination for fine dining. It’s easy to see why: Cribb coaxes deep flavors from local meats, cheeses and produce, then keeps things interesting with herbs, spices and sauces from around the world.

AC Hotel Spartanburg

Dusk at rooftop restaurant at AC Hotel Spartanburg provided by AC Hotel Spartanburg

Open since 2018, this AAA Three Diamond 114-room property (above) is AC’s first South Carolina hotel. Nearly a quarter of a million bricks were laid to create the ornate façade; inside, minimalist rooms are done in cool neutrals. Public areas are built to impress, from the 40 paintings, sculptures and other works on loan from the Johnson Collection to Level 10, a rooftop restaurant that occupies the hotel’s 10th floor.

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