Southern hospitality defines downtown Fountain Inn. Established as a layover point along an early-1800s stagecoach road connecting Charleston to Greenville, the fledgling community provided lodging nearby a refreshing spring — a location that became known as “the fountain inn.” The name stuck, and friendly folk here have been welcoming visitors ever since.

Today’s Fountain Inn retains a small-town vibe while revitalizing its historic city center. Main Street exudes a boutique atmosphere filled with local restaurants and homegrown retailers. A fountain at Rotary Park serves as the city’s motif, while nearby Commerce Park includes the Farmers Market & Pavilion.

A new Fountain Inn Splash Pad is nestled between shops, giving kids — and kids at heart — a place to play. Culture comes to town via The Younts Center for Performing Arts, with its vibrant season of community theater, chorale and symphony performances as well as national acts.

Main Street is lined with vintage brick storefronts. The Black Tulip is a lifestyle shop that’s as charming as the women’s apparel and home décor it carries. Ladies of all ages love the cute, trendy clothing and accessories at Southern Sisters Boutique; note the pressed-flower jewelry handcrafted by one of the sisters. The Sock Ministry provides finishing touches for the well-dressed gentleman.

The delightfully named I Declare! carries personalized gifts and home accessories. B.W. Burdette & Son Hardware is a one-stop home improvement shop. Find unusual art and vintage items at Unique Creations Upstate — this is the place for commissioned gifts.

Local flavor is strong in downtown Fountain Inn. Cucina 100 in the old general store brings new flair to Italian favorites with a popular chef’s specialty board. Regional chains J Peters and Growler Haus have a Main Street presence.

Most of us can’t stop talking about the fresh fare at Tacos & Bla Bla Bla and we adore the lobster mac and cheese at Orion’s Bar & Grill.

Sweet Catherine’s is a sassy Southern café that uses locally sourced ingredients — the pimiento cheese is not to be missed. Local fave Bobby’s BBQ enjoys national acclaim; this smoking business has earned media mentions in outlets ranging from ABC News to Forbes magazine, but here in the 864 we just say “Yum!”

Steam Coffee & Cream serves up open mic nights and pop-up galleries for local artists along with coffee and ice cream. Another sweet spot is Gio’s Pastry Shop, a mom-and-pop specializing in handmade Italian pastries and cookies — the authentic sfogliatelle is hard to spell but oh-so-easy to love!  

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