• Five Oaks April 2024
  • YMCA Apr 2024
  • SCCT April 2024
  • CCES Feb 2024
  • Prisma Health Jan 2024
  • Int'l Ballet April 2024

Author Archive

10 Bakeries That Are Creating Instagram Worthy Cakes In Greenville, SC

Posted on | 3 Comments

Looking for amazing cakes in Greenville, SC? The art of cake decorating and baking is often harder than it looks. Great bakers, make the process seem effortless, and that misconception has led to many a reality show. Just like on the show “Nailed It”, oftentimes even bakers can misjudge the difficulty of a cake’s design. That’s when reliable recommendations and photos of past work become so important. We have a list of bakeries in Greenville our readers have recommended.

Oftentimes, the decorating of a cake can be just as difficult as saying no to orders, you aren’t sure you can pull off. If I sound like I know, it’s because I spent several years working in a bakery, and know-how important cakes can be to a milestone event. Check out these awesome local bakeries that will make your guest’s mouths water, and your photos the envy of everyone on Instagram!

Birthday Party Guide, Upstate, SC

For even more birthday party ideas, be sure to look at our Ultimate Guide to Birthday Parties in Greenville!

Doux Anni number cutout cake
Image Credit | Doux Anni
(more…)

15+ Awesome Places to Go Fishing in Greenville, SC & The Upstate

Posted on | 2 Comments

Are you looking for places to go fishing in Greenville, SC and around the Upstate? Fishing is a super fun activity to do with the kids, and we have a list of great fishing spots for families. So, grab your fishing pole, tackle, and line because we are sharing a list of great places for fishing in Greenville, SC, and the Upstate.

Where to go fishing in Greenville, South Carolina and throughout the Upstate.

There is something quite magical about the moment when a small child wrestles a tiny fishing rod with a wriggling bream at the end. Their smile can be seen from outer space. No matter if the poor tiny thing will be tossed back or become dinner, everyone remembers their first fish. Read on for some great fishing lakes under an hour’s drive from Greenville where you can take your kids for their next worm-and-hook adventure.

(more…)

Enjoy Craft Beer and Beautiful Food at The Southern Growl in Greer, SC

Posted on | No Comments

Have you been to the Southern Growl and tried their delicious food or craft beer selection? The Southern Growl has grown from a little craft brew shop tucked away in a strip mall to a stand-alone force to be reckoned with in the Upstate. Not just for their craft brews, but with their weekly menu specials. Others have seen their success and tried to duplicate it, but The Southern Growl is GOAT. Find out why, when we “Grill” the folks at this Upstate Brewery!

The Southern Growl in Greer, South Carolina

Everyone can find a menu item to enjoy, even a vegan! The location off Wade Hampton in Greer has a lovely outdoor dining space, with an area for kids ( two and four-legged) to get their wiggles out while you enjoy your menu selection.

The Southern Growl in Greer, SC

Owner name: Matt Bowes

Do you have kids eat free night? No

Do you offer outdoor dining? Yes – Heated, Open Air

What makes your spot unique?
The Southern Growl Beer Company’s facility is expansive, yet cozy with an oversized heated patio and enormous lawn. We pour from a huge selection of 70 taps, featuring 24+ beers brewed on our 10 bbl brewhouse, cocktails, wine, ciders, meads, and sodas. The food menu is concise, exceptionally executed, and changes frequently to highlight what we feel are the tastiest sandwiches of every season.

What dish is the most popular?
The weekly burger and chicken sandwich specials

What dish are you the proudest of?
Two things I’m most proud of are our in-house bakery making all our buns, loaves, crackers, and desserts fresh each day and our house-brewed IPAs, especially “Bury Me In Strata.” The name speaks truth and highlights my favorite hop, Strata.

It’s my first time at your restaurant, what do you suggest we order?
TSG Beertenders are seriously knowledgeable and we strive for excellence in all we do. Best advice: Talk to the Beertenders to help you find the perfect beer (or 4 beers with a flight) and sandwich to fit your mood.

Where do you love to eat when not at work?
That’s a tough choice as there are so many incredible eateries in the area. However, I most often find myself craving Pita House, Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine, La REATA Mexican Restaurant, Sully’s Steamers, and Yee-Haw Brewing Company is killing it right now too.

Gifting Options: Gift Cards

Food and owners of Southern Growl brewery and restaurant in Greer, SC

What Locals Are Saying About The Southern Growl

Southern Growl is an absolute gem! We frequent it as both a casual hangout and date night spot and it never disappoints. The staff is fabulous at recommendations (and everything really) and the ever-changing menu is superb. Plus there’s a beer for your every mood. Pro tip- the coffee caliente wings are amazing

Monica Pace Greene
Love The Southern Growl! Always an impressive beer selection. And the food is always delicious. We go there a lot! The Staff actually seems to love their jobs too!

Sam Chaffin

Yes!! Those coffee caliente wings are my favorite! My husband and I really like Southern Growl.

Maddie Pace

The southern growl is a go to for us. Their covid safety is still happening, which is rare to find these days. Their food is AMAZING, and their takeout growlers are awesome.

Kristen Pace

100% recommend! There is also a green space where kids can run around.

Kimberly Dawn
Sandwich and fries from Southern Growl in Greer, SC
Southern Growl | Vegan Seitan Wrap

Learn More About The Southern Growl

The Southern Growl
155 North Buncombe Rd, Greer | 864.655.7444

Spend the Day in Simpsonville, SC

Posted on | No Comments

Looking for a little Upstate, SC day trip? The town of Simpsonville, SC is a great place to spend the day with great parks, cute downtown area and excellent restaurant options. We have a suggested itinerary for a day in Simpsonville, plus a list of things to do, places to eat and even places to stay if you’re staying longer than a day.

The residents of Simpsonville, SC are in a great location for getting around the Upstate. Located near both major highways and one of Greenville’s major retail hubs, Simpsonville is the perfect place for busy families to settle down. With an abundance of places to dine and things to do, it’s no wonder new communities are sprouting up all over Simpsonville.

Things to do in Simpsonville

Looking for more places to spend the day with your family? Here’s our list of Day Trip Towns, just a short drive from the Upstate.

Spend A Day In Simpsonville

With all the entertainment, shopping and dining options in Simpsonville it’s easy to spend the day in this town and not have a need to leave. If you aren’t sure where to start the day, we have a sample itinerary to get you started!

Starting the day : We suggest grabbing breakfast at a favorite of one of our readers:

Authentique French Creperie, 107 West Curtis Street

OMG! Authentique French Creperie. SO GOOD. I don’t like crepes, but theirs are AMAZING. I always take out of town visitors there. They have weird hours though, so make sure you check online before you drive over!

Carolina R.

After breakfast: Head over to the zip line & playground at City Park, or enjoy the seasonal farmers market!  

If the weather isn’t cooperative, you can enjoy a matinee showing at the local IMAX theater.

For lunch: Stroll up the street to all the restaurants and shops of Main Street, and grab a frozen treat afterward at the Ice Cream Station.

If you are enjoying a day out without the kids a stop at a Sweet Sippin’ event would be a great way to end the day. They offer all kinds of different food and drink pairing events, live music events, game nights and more.

Upstate Pinbal arcade
Upstate Pinball & Arcade Museum

Things To Do In Simpsonville, SC

Upstate Pinball & Arcade Museum: Play 50+ nostalgic pinball and arcade games for one low price- no coins needed! Family fun for all ages.

Head to one of the Simpsonville Parks: Simpsonville has a bunch of parks that offer everything from zip-lines to Frisbee golf and even a train ride!

During summer months you can participate in the Park Hop Scavenger Hunt that includes area parks. Kids have the chance to earn prizes with this free program.

  • Heritage Park | 861 Southeast Main Street
    This park is part of the Heritage Park Amphitheater that hosts festivals, concerts and other events throughout the year. We also like this park because of all the shady seating options for parents to sit in while the kids play on the large playground. There is also a a miniature steam engine train that guests of the park can enjoy for just $3 per ticket (kids under 2 ride free with a paying adult).
  • City Park | 100 Park Drive
    City park is a favorite among locals for its large ADA compliant playground and all the seating it provides parents. There’s a Frisbee golf course, restrooms, picnic shelters, a special sensory playground and more.
  • College Street Park | 330 West College Street
    This small neighborhood park offers guests a merry-go-round, swing set, jungle gym and baseball and basketball facilities.

Regal Simpsonville IMAX Theater | 780 South Street | 864.462.7342

Simpsonville Farmers Market | 405 East Curtis Street (temporarily located at Simpsonville City Hall, 118 NE Main Street)

Held every Saturday from mid May through the end of September, 8 Am – Noon. In the past there have been 30 plus local vendors at the market, selling everything from seasonal produce, locally roasted coffee, artisan cheese, soaps and more.

Five Forks Branch Library  | 104 Sunnydale Drive | 864.234.4904

One of the newest library branches in The Greenville Library system, this location has it all. The kids area is enclosed and even has it’s own covered outdoor play area. Teens have there own space and grownups can check-up on their email with the free WIFI. Patrons with a valid library card can even check out a laptop for use on site.

Where Are The Best Places To Eat In Simpsonville

Scuffletown Food Truck Park

Check out the new and super cool Scuffletown Food Truck Park

Stella’s Southern Bistro | 684 Fairview Road | 864.757.1212

A favorite of our readers, Stella’s is a great place to grab a gourmet meal.

Upscale, Stella’s Bistro is some of the best door I’ve ever put in my mouth. The service is beyond excellent and the seasonal menu means there are always new things to try.

Elyse M.G.

Sidewall Pizza  | 117 Southeast Main Street | 864.757.9191

Greenville’s most popular locally owned pizza chain has another location in Simpsonville. Be sure to sign up for their awesome birthday club. It’s free and you receive a free pizza on your birthday!

Love Sidewall Pizza Company!

Heather H.

Maple Street Biscuit Company  | 2815 Woodruff Road | 864.283.0946

Delicious biscuit sandwiches, fresh squeezed orange juice and more are on the menu.

Come hungry because the portions are huge! Go early, because they can get really busy on the weekends.

Unterhausen – The Castle Cellar Pub | 103 East Curtis Street | 864.757.8801

This hidden gem of Simpsonville is tucked away in the basement of a castle. OK, maybe not really a castle, but pretending is fun right? Once you enter, you’ll forget that you didn’t cross a moat to get in. The intimate size of Unterhausen. the German beer and the delicious Bavarian food will have you wondering how it took you so long to discover this place.

Bobby’s BBQ and All Purpose Seasoning | 1301 North Main Street, Fountain Inn | 864.409.2379

I’d be doing you a great disservice if I didn’t include one of the Upstate’s best places for BBQ, just because it sits a few feet outside the town limits. Located across from Heritage park, Bobby’s BBQ is a family owned restaurant that is unique for a few reasons. They pride themselves on the quality of their food. But that’s not why I find them especially unique. One visit to this place and you will see, that everything they do is done with love and care for the community they feed. Let me ask you, how many BBQ places have you seen offer a vegan option? That’s right, I said Vegan, at a BBQ place. For most Pit-masters that would be blasphemy. Bobby’s offers guests a vegan jack fruit “pulled pork” style sandwich, because they know that not everyone eats meat. And that’s OK at Bobby’s.

Something else I love the Nelson family for, is not even on the menu.

How many times have you been caught out and your infant has a wardrobe emergency that threatens to ruin your trip out? Like a messy bathroom-type emergency. Most parents have experienced that type of “what do I do now?” moment. Owner Sarah Nelson had this happen and decided if she ever owned a business she’d do something to help parents. In each restroom at Bobby’s is a cart, stocked with zip-lock bags separated by size with a diaper and a change of clothes.

Any place can serve food.
Most places can serve good food.
But when a place shows patrons it cares about people to the extent that the Nelson family does… Well, they’ve found a customer for life in me. The fact that they serve up pulled pork tacos doesn’t hurt either. 

Where To Stay In Simpsonville

Use this map from STAY22 below to find hotels and vacation rental homes available in Simpsonville, SC.

This section contains affiliate links from STAY22.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Greenville SE / Simpsonville
642 Fairview Road | 864.962.3228

  • Free Breakfast
  • Free WIFI
  • Pool (seasonal) & fitness center
  • Service animals only

Days Inn by Wyndham
45 Ray East Talley Court | 864.963.7701

  • Free Breakfast
  • Free WIFI
  • Pool (seasonal) & fitness center
  • Pet Friendly

WoodSpring Suites – Greenville/Simpsonville
3025 Grandview Drive | 864.962.9500

  • In-room kitchen
  • Free WIFI
  • Pool (seasonal) & fitness center
  • Pet friendly

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
3821 Grandview Drive | 864.962.8500

  • Free Breakfast
  • Free WIFI
  • Pool (seasonal) & fitness center
  • Service animals only

Seasonal Fun In Simpsonville

Here are some of the common seasonal events that happen annually in Simpsonville:

  • Fair at Heritage Park | May
    This 11 day county style fair includes rides, food, live music and other attractions.
  • Simpsonville Independance Day Celebration | June
    A free celebration with live music and fireworks at Heritage Park
  • Simpsonville Labor Day Festival | September
  • Halloween at Heritage Park | October
    A free and safe way to celebrate Halloween for thousands of kids in the Upstate. The event offers kids candy, inflatables, games, performances and special visits from kid’s characters.

What’s Happening This Month in Simpsonville?

april 2024

sun21apr12:00 pmsun7:00 pmRed Cross Babysitter's Training for ages 11-15 years oldPresented by Danee's Training Services LLC12:00 pm - 7:00 pm(GMT-04:00) Pelham Fall Clubhouse, 6 Chatley WayPrice:$115 and optional $60 CPR add-on

tue23apr10:00 amtue10:30 amBouncing Babies @ Five Forks BranchFive Forks Library10:00 am - 10:30 am(GMT-04:00) Five Forks Library Branch, 104 Sunnydale DrivePrice:Free

thu25apr10:00 amthu10:30 amStorytime @ Simpsonville Branch10:00 am - 10:30 am(GMT-04:00) Simpsonville (Hendricks) Branch, 626 NE Main Street Simpsonville, SC 29681Price:Free

sat27apr7:45 amsat11:00 amFountain Inn Police Department 5th Annual Superhero 5k for Autsim7:45 am - 11:00 am(GMT-04:00) *Location details in descriptionPrice:Varies

sat27apr4:00 pmsat8:15 pmBridgeWay Station Grand Opening CelebrationThis is a FREE event!4:00 pm - 8:15 pm(GMT-04:00) *Location details in descriptionPrice:Free

It’s Berry Season! Celebrate With These Berry Festivals Near Upstate, SC

Posted on | No Comments

Are you planning to celebrate the berry season with one of the many berry festivals near Greenville, SC? South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia have several berry festivals is spring and summer worth a visit to. What better item to celebrate with a festival than juicy, sweet berries?

Strawberries, Blueberries, and Blackberries are celebrated nationwide; luckily, we have a handful of festivals that are accessible to the Upstate! If you’re a huge fan of these vitamin-packed gems, you can plan your summer vacation to include part of a festival a little further from home!

RELATED: The Best U-Pick Berry Patches and Fruit Farms Near Greenville | Spring Festivals in Greenville, SC

(more…)

Movies, Arcade Games, Bowling, and More at The Big E: Gaffney, SC

Posted on | No Comments

Have you visited the awesome indoor entertainment complex, The Big E, in Gaffney, SC? We sent Local mom Rebecca Parrish for a fun day with her family! She shares what her family loves about The Big E in Gaffney, SC and all of the activities you will find there.

The Big E in Gaffney, South Carolina

What You’ll Find at The Big E: Gaffney, SC

Our family took a quick 45 minute road trip north on I-85 to exit 90 to visit Gaffney, South Carolina. Nestled next to the Gaffney Outlet Marketplace (A Simon Center), locally known as the “yellow mall”, The Big E in Gaffney, SC is an entertainment center promising fun for every age. It is a great place to spend the day and enjoy new experiences with your child, or a spot for birthday party joy.

The Movie Theatre

The Big E Gaffney features eight (8) movie theatres screening wide-release new blockbuster movies. They strictly enforce rating policies for ticketing. The theater is comfortable and has a high quality sound system, digital projection, and stadium style seating. You can purchase tickets ahead of time through The Big E online theatre portal, where you will find showtimes, movie ratings, and run times for each moving showing. Ticket prices run from $$8.25 – $10.25, which is slightly more affordable than some other movie theatre chains.

A Bowling Alley

The Big E also has a large bowling alley with 16 lanes where they feature open bowling ($5 per person plus $3.00 per person for shoes) and cosmic bowling ($6 per person) on weekends. You can choose to rent a lane by game or by the hour. Big E has mixed and youth leagues, and they participate in the Kids Bowl Free program in the spring and summer.

The bowling area also has flat-screen TVs and an area for food and beverages. The concessions include a variety of snacks and fries, pizza, wings, and “plates” like chicken tenders and hot dogs/corn dogs.

Bowling at The Big E in Gaffney, South Carolina

Playland Indoor Playground

Younger children will love the indoor playland which involves climbing up levels, over rope bridges, on swings, and down slides. They even have a Ballocity Blast Center, where hundreds of foam balls are propelled out of mini air cannons. The playland is padded, which is always a plus. Parents are welcome to hang out in the cafe area located nearby while their children play. The cost is $7 per child for an unlimited day pass. Be sure to bring socks, but they do have them for $3.00 in case you need to purchase a pair.

The Arcade

The playland shares space with the 60 game arcade area, which houses lots of arcade games (including old favorites like Skee Ball to high-tech games like a Star Wars simulator), and the bumper cars (my personal favorite). Don’t leave the Big E without taking a spin on these spinning, neon-round cars.

The best part about playing is the ease of it; the Big E Gaffney sells a “ Big E Fun Card” that parents can load with an amount of money. This card is used at each of the attractions and the arcade, so rather than keeping up with dollars and loose change, kids or adults just use the card. We found this so simple and a lesson for our child about making smart choices about what he wanted to try. They often run promotions for Fun Cards, which is a good way to get extra bang for your buck!

Bumper cars at The Big E in Gaffney, South Carolina

Laser Tag

By far, our favorite part of our Big E adventure was Laser Tag. For $8 per person, you get an amazing, action-packed game lasting about 10-15 minutes. Individuals are suited up with high-tech vests that react with vibrations and sound, and laser guns (called phasers) that you reload as you play on the multi-level course with teammates. Black lights, glowing barriers, fog, and music add to the excitement; and spectators can watch the action on a screen outside the arena. At the end of the match, points are tallied and a winner is revealed. My son is still buzzing from his victory!

Mini Golf and Zip Line

Outside, the complex includes an adventure mini golf course and a challenging zip line. The day we ventured out, it was too cold and windy to try these. However, the area looked fun for a future warm day when we have some funds for fun!

Host Your Birthday Party at The Big E: Gaffney, SC

Having a birthday party at The Big E would make a epic memory for you kids. You can have a Mini Golf Party, Playland Party, Movie Party, or a Bowling Party. You can even add on laser tag. Parties for up to 10 guests cost around $205. You’ll get access to one attraction, pizza, drinks, ice cream, and arcade cards. You’ll also get a party host to make everything go seamlessly.

Plan Your Trip to The Big E: Gaffney, South Carolina

The Big E Gaffney
1100 Factory Shops Blvd.
Gaffney, SC 29341
864.489.1515
Hours vary by day and by attraction.

Does a family outing to The Big E Gaffney sound perfect for your crew?

Meet Rebecca Parrish
Rebecca Raulerson Parrish is a former English teacher turned non-profit administrator who currently works with Women Giving for Spartanburg and Five Twenty Consulting. She serves on the board of the Spartanburg Little Theatre and is proudly balancing books as Treasurer for the Jesse Boyd Elementary PTSO. A native of Lakeland, Florida, Rebecca loves living in Spartanburg, where she enjoys lots of adventures (and four seasons) with her husband, nine-year-old son, dog, bird and three pet chickens.

Things to Do This Month Near Greenville, SC

Posted on |

Are you looking for things to do this month or even this weekend in Greenville, SC? From concerts to shows to children’s programming, sporting events, festivals, and free events, there is almost always a great answer when you’re searching for things to do near you, at least there is when you live in South Carolina’s Upstate!

Things to do in April in Greenville, South Carolina

What’s happening this month in Greenville, SC?


Never be bored, and never miss an event your family will love! We’re highlighting some of the coolest, most unique, most interesting, and most popular events this month. But don’t forget to check out our FULL event calendar for even more amazing options. Here’s what to do this month near Greenville, SC.


(more…)

Things to Do Outside in Spartanburg, SC

Posted on | No Comments

Are you looking for things to do outside in Spartanburg, SC? Spartanburg has some of the most beautiful parks, playgrounds, gardens, waterways, and outdoor spaces to explore in the Upstate. Below you will find a comprehensive list of guides and Kidding Around reviews of places and activities we recommend your family explore while enjoying the natural beauty that Spartanburg County has to offer.

Things to do Outdoors in Spartanburg, SC
Sparkle City mini putt

Looking for other things to do in Spartanburg? Check out our Giant List of Things to do in Spartanburg, SC!

We also have a huge list of Things to do Indoors in Spartanburg if you’re wanting to avoid the heat or rain.

Cleveland Park Gazebo and Pond Spartanburg SC

Parks and Playgrounds in Spartanburg, SC

Kidding Around Spartanburg Ultimate Park Guide

With our diversity of needs and desires, Kidding Around Spartanburg has put together a guide to help you find the park best for your family in Spartanburg County. ~Deborah Pope

Best Playgrounds in Spartanburg

You don’t have to venture far from the upstate to enjoy a day outdoors with your children. With these playgrounds offering such a different atmosphere, each one will create a brand-new adventure. ~Erika Morelli

Cleveland Park

Just off of Ashville Highway and right inside the city limits of Spartanburg is Cleveland Park, a large, beautiful old park with a new playground. It is one of my family’s favorite places to go for outings! Our kids love not only the amazing play structures but also the footpaths around the park where we can walk and enjoy the beautiful scenery together. ~Christina Goshorn

Tyger River Park

This park is perfect for a long day of fun in the sun, there is just so much to do! A FREE splash pad, two large playgrounds, over 60 ft climbing structure, and so much more.

Tyger River Playground


Downtown Memorial Airport Park

If you have a plane lover in the family, this is the perfect park for them. Located right beside the airport, your kids can watch planes come and go while playing on the play structures and splashing in the free splash pad.

Va-Du-Mar McMillian Park 

Located in Boiling Springs, this park has EVERYTHING! Seven sports complexes, soccer and football goal posts, Sholley Creek Disc Golf course, large play structures, and more. 

Va-Du-Mar Mcmillan Park playgound toddlers

Stoneledge Park

This park it situated right beside Shipwreck Cove in Duncan. It has some nicely shaded areas to rest while watching your kids play on the playground structures. 

Croft State Park in Spartanburg, SC
Croft State Park in Spartanburg, SC

Croft State Park  

Wooden dock, clear lake, tiny minnows sparkling in sunny shallow waters, tall trees, horses, hiking trails, and a playground.  Sound good?  Then you’ll want to check out Croft State Park the next time you’re looking for a family adventure. ~Maria Bassett

Anchor Park at Lake Bowen

Anchor Park offers a fenced-in playground area to enjoy while your family fishes, enjoy the lakeside views, and you may even decide to rent a boat while there.  

Happy Hallows Park  

One of Spartanburg’s lesser-known parks is also one of its best.  Tucked away in the historic neighborhood of Converse Heights, Happy Hollow Park spans one block at the corners of S. Fairview and Glendalyn Avenue.  Small and secure, Happy Hollow Park provides a safe and shady place for children of all ages to play. ~Juliet Wright

Stewart Park

Located near the Beacon Restaurant, this smaller park offers basketball courts, a playground, and a splash pad! 

Subaru Bike Park

The Vic Bailey Subaru Bike Park is located along Spartanburg’s Mary Black Rail Trail. The park has features for bikers of all skill levels from beginners to advanced including a pump track, easy street, and advanced skill features like table-top jumps, a vertical wooden bridge, and more. ~Maria Bassett

Hot Spot Skate Park

Looking for a place to take the kids where they can grow their skateboard skills? Hot Spot Skate Park is the place! Located at 339 Union Street in Spartanburg, Hot Spot features a variety of street style steps, ramps, ledges, rails, half-pipes, and bowls for kids ages 6 and up. ~Nikki Hulton

3 Amazing Parks in Boiling Springs Your Kids Will Love

No matter what part of North Spartanburg you live in, these parks are all worth the short drive it takes to get your family out of the house. Each park is perfect for playdates with friends, picnics with families or even quiet solo walks. ~Jennifer Curry

Water Parks & Splash Pads Near Spartanburg

Once it gets to be summer (and 90 degrees) in Spartanburg, it’s time to find the nearest or best water park to cool off. That’s why we have created this list of 11 water parks and splash pads that are near Spartanburg. This list includes some free splash pads connected to playgrounds as well as larger water parks that are worth driving to (one even is connected to a hotel). ~Erika Morelli

Park Hop

Park Hop has come to Spartanburg, SC and now you can join the fun with this FREE park scavenger hunt with prizes for the kids! Since 2013 the kids of Greenville County have been discovering the local parks and earning prizes with this annual summertime event.

Kids in Parks

Kids in Parks is a user-friendly website that includes an always-expanding list of nationwide locations that are considered TRACK trails. It allows families to search for locations near their hometown or even for an out-of-town adventure. That includes 160 TRACK Trails in 10 states, Washington DC, and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation with dozens of locations just a short drive away in North Carolina and Congaree National Park in South Carolina.

Camping in Spartanburg, SC

Places to Sleep Under The Stars In and Around Spartanburg

Ready to enjoy some camping in Spartanburg? With all of the natural beauty surrounding us in the Upstate, the best way to enjoy it is by immersing yourself. We have a guide to all the places you’ll want to check out when looking for a place to camp near Spartanburg.

Kings Mountain State Park

Kings Mountain State Park offers both tent camping and RV camping. There are designated tent camping spots, as well as primitive camping spots to reserve. 

Croft State Park

Croft State Park has primitive camping spots for organized groups of up to 100! They also have RV spots that are packed with gravel with electrical and water hookups.

Gardens to Explore in Spartanburg, SC

Hatcher Garden

Just a couple miles off of I-26 in Spartanburg, amongst shopping and restaurants on the busy main thoroughfare of John D. White, Sr. Blvd, is a 10-acre botanical garden and woodland preserve.  The beautiful space is full of ponds, waterfalls, wildlife, trees, and gardens with a wide variety of leafy and flowering plants.  Hatcher Garden is open free to the public and should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Spartanburg. ~Maria Bassett

Gardens Near Spartanburg

We are lucky to live near so many beautiful and diverse gardens. Here is a list of some of the best gardens and arboretums in Spartanburg and around the Upstate. ~Kristen Alcock

Hiking and Nature Activities in Spartanburg, SC

Drayton Mill Trail

Drayton Mills Trail & Beaumont Mill Village Pathway– This paved trail can be accessed at a couple of points, the easiest is probably the large parking lot across from Drayton Mills. Or, start at the small parking lot for the Beaumont Mill Village Pathway beside Adam’s Park on East Boundary Drive. This is where the Story Walk trail starts if you have kids who would enjoy that.

Check out this video of the Story Walk trail.

Cottonwood Trail Preserve

The Cottonwood Trail is the perfect space for your children to experience the seasons in the Upstate.  Lush and green in the summer, crackling with autumnal colors in the fall, sparse and atmospheric in the winter, and brimming with new life in the spring, your children can observe the seasonal changes while exploring the great outdoors. ~Juliet Wright

Parks and Trails for Winter Hikes

Enjoy the South Carolina winter’s cooler temperatures and the great outdoors with a wintertime hike. There are several parks and trails perfect for cool weather hikes for the whole family near Spartanburg. ~Hope Evans

Lake Cooley 

Lake Cooley has so much to offer, including boat and kayak rentals, fishing, a playground, plenty of spaces for picnics, and even the Lake Cooley Outdoor Education Center! 

Mary Black Rail Trail

This trail offers 4 miles of perfectly flat ground to get outside and exercise or take a leisure stroll. The trail is perfect for biking, and is actually a converted trail rail! 

Winter Hiking in Spartanburg, SC

This list of trails offers the best trails for hiking during the cool winter months in Spartanburg. 

Downtown Spartanburg

Things to Do in Downtown Spartanburg

We went out on a hot summer day for some visits around Spartanburg, SC. We had a great time each place we went! We spent our day inside the city limits and had an enjoyable family experience in this picturesque, friendly location. ~Christina Johnson

Sparkle City Mini Golf

A FREE mini golf course in the heart of downtown! Sparkle City Mini Golf is located near Hub City Scoops. You can borrow a club and ball from several local businesses.

Hub City Farmer’s Market 

When talking to friends and acquaintances who live in Spartanburg, I’ve noticed that one particular attraction has come up repeatedly in conversation: the Hub City Farmers’ Market. This local market meets on Saturdays from March-December at Northside Harvest Park from 8 a.m.-noon.  The market boasts an invigorating, exciting atmosphere with an emphasis on health, all while supporting local businesses and farms. The food and handmade goods sold there are all locally grown and produced. ~Christina Johnson

Blue Duck E- Scooters

Looking for a unique and fun way to explore downtown Spartanburg? Look no further than Blue Duck Scooters. You can rent scooters for $1 plus 25 cents per minute, then drop them off once you’re done at multiple places throughout the city.

Stewart Farms in Enoree, SC
Stewart Farms in Enoree, SC

Outdoor Activities to Enjoy in Spartanburg, SC

Disc Golf Courses Throughout Spartanburg

If you haven’t tried Disc Golf (frisbee golf), now is a perfect time. There are multiple courses throughout Spartanburg, many of them scenic and shaded so you can play throughout the summer months as well! Play as a family, or even on a day date with your loved one. 

Stewart Farms 

Whether it is strawberry picking, sunflower galore, or pumpkin patch season, there is always something going on at Stewart Farms in Enoree. They offer a u-pick for both strawberries and pumpkins, along with lots of other goodies and groceries in their store. 

Textile Mill Sites to Explore 

The Upstate was one of the country’s hubs for the textile industry, with remnants of those mills being renewed through a transformation into places to explore their ruins, including Glendale Shoals in Spartanburg. 

Swim With These Spartanburg, SC Pool Memberships

Have a family of swimmers that crave the water when the temperature starts to warm up? Check out this list of pool memberships throughout Spartanburg so you can soak up the sun poolside all season long. 

Shipwreck Cove

Waterpark! Say no more. Shipwreck Cove in Duncan will have you spending all day by the pool, or getting drenched under the splash pad. This water park has a lazy river, waterslides, and more!

Outdoor Dining in Spartanburg, SC

Dining Options Outdoors in Spartanburg, SC

This comprehensive list of places that offer outdoor dining in Spartanburg, SC is loaded! There is something for everyone to enjoy while hanging out on the patio or even under the stars while enjoying your meal! 

Dray Bar + Grill

You can enjoy dinner under the stars at Dray Bar + Grill, who offer an expansive patio as well as seating out amongst the mill area where you will find the location. They occasionally offer movie nights and other events outdoors as well!

Outdoor Festivals in Spartanburg, SC

Kite Flying at Spartanburg Soaring Kite Flying Festival

Kite Flying is mesmerizing when it is just one kite, now imagine dozens whipping and gliding through the air. You can see that and more at Spartanburg Soaring!

Spring Festivals in Spartanburg, SC

This list of Spring Festivals in Spartanburg has a little something for everyone to enjoy as the weather begins to warm and we are all itching to get outside!

Fall Festivals in Spartanburg, SC

As the crisp, cool air and autumn begins to make its way into the Upstate, these Fall festivals will have you heading outdoors to enjoy the beginning of the season. 

What are your favorite things to do outdoors in Spartanburg, SC?

Your Fur-Baby is Welcome at These Pet-Friendly Hotels: Greenville, SC

Posted on | No Comments

Are you planning a trip to Greenville and need pet-friendly hotels? Greenville, SC is super dog friendly, so of course there are some wonderful hotels that allow pets. We asked readers for places they recommend in the Upstate where Fido will feel welcome too! Some of these places even have special services and pet menus, so your pet can live a life of luxury during your vacation.

Pet friendly hotels in Greenville, South Carolina

Pets are a member of the family, but sometimes traveling with them can be a logistics issue. There are plenty of Greenville hotels that accommodate dogs, and other pets. So pack your bags and get ready to enjoy an adventure with your four-legged bestie.

(more…)