Discover a hub of activity in downtown Spartanburg. While its nickname harkens to the heyday of train travel — when seven rail lines converged here — today’s Hub City comprises a designated Downtown Cultural District that’s the center of visual, literary and performing arts.
Chapman Cultural Center is the focal point, providing a venue for Ballet Spartanburg, Spartanburg Little Theatre and Spartanburg Philharmonic. Spartanburg Science Center, Spartanburg Art Museum and Spartanburg Regional History Museum are here, too, all under one remarkable roof.
If you love visual arts, check out contemporary exhibits at Upstate Gallery on Main and iconic Southern artwork at The Johnson Collection; modern masterworks connected to the legendary Black Mountain College are on display at AC Hotel Spartanburg.
Delve into the city’s railroad roots at the Hub City Railroad Museum, a cool spot to train watch. Take little ones to The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, then head to Imagination Station, a local toy store many of today’s parents loved as kids. That puts you close to other fun retailers like Market on Main, a creative collective, and The Local Hiker.
Book it to the old Masonic temple, now Hub City Bookshop, where you’ll find the definitive collection of Southern literature. While there, grab a cuppa joe from Little River Coffee Bar or head to this local fave’s sister, The Pharmacy Coffee, in the historic Montgomery Building.
Downtown Spartanburg gives voice to live music. You’ll love the local lineup — and local brews — at RJ Rockers. There’s a robust performance roster (and addictive Pretzel Nugz) at Fr8yard, a two-story outdoor biergarten. If metal and punk are your jam, get it at Ground Zero.
Many a local crooner found national fame, including The Marshall Tucker Band, Pink Anderson and The Sparkletones, source of the community’s other moniker, Sparkle City; travel the Spartanburg Music Trail to find out more.
Do date night at Peddler Steakhouse, The Tulip Tree, Level 10 — sit outside to drink in the view — or The Kennedy, which features locally sourced small plates amidst art deco décor. Attend supper club at Citizens & Southern, an event center located in a circa-1900 bank building — be sure to steal a selfie in its iconic vault.
Don’t miss Cribb’s Kitchen, Downtown Deli & Donuts and Blue Moon Specialty Foods. The humble burger gets plenty to brag about here: The Wall Street Journal lauds hamburgers at the Beacon Drive-In — order them “a-plenty,” aka buried in onion rings and fries — and Food Network designates Nu-Way’s Redneck Burger as best in the state.