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The Perfect Spot for a Book, Coffee, & Treat in Downtown Spartanburg

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Local mom Jennifer Curry reviews the Hub City Bookshop and Little River Coffee Bar in downtown Spartanburg. These two wonderful businesses are conveniently located right beside each other and provide the perfect place to read, drink coffee, and eat a treat! For more ideas of things to do in downtown Spartanburg see our guide.

Located in the heart of downtown Spartanburg in the historic Masonic Temple resides three thriving businesses. Anchored by the award-winning Hub City Bookshop, these local businesses have become a focal point for the booming downtown movement by creating a spot for local residents and families to gather, share ideas, and shop.

Hub City Bookshop Spartanburg SC

Hub City Bookshop

Hub City Bookshop is more than just a local independent bookstore. They are known for the wide range of regional books and creative nonfiction titles published through Hub City Press. Known for supporting local authors as well as quality pieces, Hub City Bookshop has gained quite a reputation in the literary community.

It all started 20+ years ago, when three local Spartanburg writers (John Lane, Betsy Teter, and Gary Henderson) met to discuss the area’s struggles since the close of the textile mills. Rather than dwelling on the current difficulties, they formed the Hub City Writers Project (modeled after the Federal Writers Project). Together, they published the Hub City Anthology. The book was a success.

After, Hub City Writers Project continued to publish works specific to place – by people in the region about the region under Hub City Press books.

Hub City Bookshop Spartanburg SC

In the meantime, the only local independent bookstore in Spartanburg closed, so the three founders approached the mayor to see about forming a local independent non-profit bookstore (with all the proceeds going to support creative writing education and independent book publishing). He agreed. A location was decided upon, and two other local businesses joined alongside the Hub City Writer’s Project to create a space for local events, coffee, and desserts. They made history.

Now that you understand the history and significance of our local bookshop, you should know that it is truly a wonderful store that offers a diverse range of books and book related products. In addition to featuring the Hub City Press works, they also sell popular bestsellers, new releases, children’s books, young adult books, regional authors, and more. If they do not have it in the store, they can order it for you.

Hub City Bookshop Spartanburg SC

Little River Coffee Bar

Another unique local business in the Masonic Temple is the Little River Coffee Bar. The establishment is known for selling Little River Roasters coffee – a local business that is socially and ethically responsible. From knowing the farms where the beans come from to roasting it locally, Little River Roasters is a Spartanburg favorite.

Since this coffee shop not only serves the best local coffee and cold brew, the fact that it is attached to a bookshop and bakery makes it stand out. The Coffee Bar has several different sitting options – perfect for individuals working or for groups of friends wishing to chat. In addition to serving excellent coffee, they also host open mic nights and other events.

Looking for more great coffee in Spartanburg? Here are some of the best coffee shops in Spartanburg, SC.

A Great Place for Parents and Kids

Hub City Bookshop and Little River Coffee Bar are great local businesses your family will enjoy supporting. Families can take time to peruse the outstanding collection of children’s books and young adult books at Hub City Bookshop. They applied and received a grant from the James Patterson Foundation for $6000 allowing them to increase the size of their children’s section (guaranteeing there will be a book your reluctant reader will love).

Families can purchase a book knowing they are supporting a local nonprofit, and then head next door for coffee and treats. These businesses are what make Spartanburg special and more reasons for you to love where you live.

What’s your favorite local business in Spartanburg?

Books on Broad

Looking for other bookstores? Here are 10+ Bookstores Near Greenville, SC.

2023 Festivals That Will Have You Celebrating This Fall In Spartanburg, SC

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Leaves crunching underfoot, the smell of pumpkin spice wafting from a coffee cup, and all things apple-related usher in the fall season. Another thing to look forward to during the close of summer is festivals, and we have the best fall festivals near Spartanburg, SC! There are no shortages of celebrations in Hub City, so let’s get to planning the fun you and your family can have this fall!

This list is provided for informational purposes, and events may change or be canceled at the last minute. Therefore, please be sure to confirm the status of an event before heading out.

For more fall festivals and other events not listed here, check out our Events Calendar.


You Can Fish, Boat, Play on a Unique Playground or Simply Relax at Anchor Park on Lake Bowen

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Are you looking for a place on the water where the whole family can enjoy fishing, water sports, and a fenced-in playground? Whether it’s spending time on the lake or enjoying a picnic in the shade we’ve found the perfect spot. We’ve included all the info you’ll need for spending the day on Lake Bowen and at Anchor Park.

For more ideas on outdoor activities this summer check out our list of Things to do Outside in Spartanburg, SC.

About Lake Bowen

Lake Bowen covers over 1,500 acres and contains approximately 33 miles of shoreline. Anchor Park on the lake includes picnic pavilions, fishing, a playground, two boat ramps, and the Lake Bowen Warden’s Office.

Anchor Park at Lake Bowen

Water sports on Lake Bowen

If you plan on use of any type of watercraft, be sure to call the Warden’s Office in advance at 864.592.2240. There are office hours posted, however, the office isn’t always open during those hours. If the warden goes out on the lake, the office will be closed. This is the only way to obtain a permit to be on the lake, so call ahead.

Boat permits are issued through the Spartanburg Water system that owns the lake. Rates start at $25 seasonally for non-motorized boats. Life jackets are required and a loaner system has been set up at the boat dock if you forgot one.

If boating isn’t what you had in mind, the park has tons of shade trees and a modern playground. The play area is divided into two age-appropriate sections and is completely fenced-in with picnic shelters and a green space.

Picnic shelters at Lake Bowen

The picnic shelter is rather large , containing eight large family-size picnic tables and two charcoal grills. If you want to reserve the whole shelter, it can be reserved by calling 864.583.7361. The restroom facility is nearby just outside of the fence on the opposite side of the playground.

Fishing on Lake Bowen

While there’s no fishing pier structure, there is plenty of shoreline to fish from. Just make sure you have your fishing license handy. Obtain one from the Warden’s Office or online at SCDNR.com. We didn’t have a chance to do any fishing this time, but I hope to do so in the near future.

This park really is lovely. There are plenty of benches and even a few that swing. The open green space is perfect if you want to bring along a cornhole set for some friendly family competition. We brought our hammock, but never had a chance to set it up. Pesky summer storms! There are plenty of trees, I just didn’t notice if any were close enough together.

If you pack a picnic, you really could spend the whole day relaxing here. There’s even an ice machine in the park to help make sure those sodas stay frosty!

I hope you’ll plan a day on Lake Bowen soon. I know we are looking forward to going back.

Lake Bowen Spartanburg County Parks

Visit Lake Bowen

8515 Highway 9, Inman
Visit the Lake Bowen website.

Daily park hours: 6 am – midnight- Restrooms close at 7 pm and open at 6:30 am
Office hours for purchasing land permits: Monday – Friday 2 – 4 pm
Office hours for purchasing boating permits: Sunday – Friday 12 – 4 pm, Saturday 8:30 am – 5 pm

What’s your family’s favorite thing to do at Lake Bowen?

RELATED: Renting a Boat on Lake Cooley Needs to be on Your Summer Bucket List

Check Out This Scoop – Hub City Scoops, that is!

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“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”  If you’re a parent, never have truer words been spoken.  Going to an ice cream shop is one of the hallmarks of a happy childhood.  There is just something about staring at vats upon vats of delicious frozen possibilities and colorful toppings that makes a kid scream with delight, and let’s face it – parents have their own inner shout of glee, too.  If you are looking for a sweet treat and that iconic ice cream parlor feel, check out Hub City Scoops on Main Street.

Here’s the Scoop

Located downtown in a bright cheerful space, Hub City Scoops atmosphere is clean and inviting. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the products and happy to answer questions and provide samples and suggestions.

Hub City Scoops’ menu provides plenty of tantalizing choices.  Rotating about 28 flavors of super premium ice cream, options include traditional cups, cones, milkshakes, coke floats, and sundaes.  There are also unique offerings, such as their ice cream flights with a side of waffle cone chips, ice cream cookies, and dessert nachos.  The Hub City Scoops Facebook page and Hub City Scoops Website, list the hours of operation and a complete menu with photos of specialty treats, and the flavors of the day allowing you to make a mental list of must-try samples.


So, the next time you’re in the market for a sweet treat or special outing, don’t hesitate to give this family-friendly shop a try!

Hub City Scoops also offers birthday party options! Beginning at just $125 for a party with 10 people, they include set-up and clean-up, ice cream, and more!

Try a Scoop for Yourself

Hub City Scoops
138 E. Main Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306

Monday – Saturday 11 am – 9 pm
Sunday 12 – 8 pm
Hub City Scoops Facebook

Have you visited Hub City Scoops yet?

More Ice Cream!

Lake Cooley Needs to Be on Your Summer Bucket List

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Would your family like to spend time by a beautiful lake in Spartanburg but you’re not sure where to go? Whether you like fishing, kayaking, or just somewhere peaceful and relaxing, we’ve got just the place for your family! 

We have everything you need to know about Lake Cooley, including how to obtain a fishing license, how to rent a kayak, and more.

About Lake Cooley In Wellford, SC

Lake Cooley is a 330-gallon watershed located in Wellford, just about 10 minutes north of Wade Hampton road. This hidden gem is home to the Lake Cooley Outdoor Education Center. The center is a two-story building that includes a classroom filled with live & mounted wildlife. Please contact the Outdoor Education Center to make an appointment to visit. The ground level of the center houses the 40-person rental facility.

Lake Cooley

Water sports on Lake Cooley

Several different styles of kayaks and paddleboards are available for rent on a first come first serve basis. The rates start at ten dollars for a two-hour rental and are currently available Thursday through Sunday. Swimming at the lake is prohibited to the public, so keep that in mind when the temptation to go for a swim arises.

  • May 28th and 29th
    8 am – 8 pm
  • May 31st – September 6th (closed July 4th)
    Thursdays and Fridays: 12 pm – 8 pm
    Saturdays and Sundays: 8 am – 8 pm

The current rates and hours can be viewed on the Lake Cooley website.

Things you will need to bring include a driver’s license, a credit/debit card or exact change, and a life vest for children under 10 (not provided). Lifevests for children and adults over 10 are available.

If you are fortunate enough to have your own kayak, then you’ll need to purchase a permit decal from SJWD in person Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm. The office is located on Highway 29 in Wellford. The permit is $40 for Spartanburg County residents, is good through December of the year purchased, and is only valid for Lake Cooley.

Spending Time With Your Family on Lake Cooley

Our family recently spent a day on the lake. My son received a kid-size kayak for Christmas, and this was his kayak’s maiden voyage. He used his kayak, and we rented a tandem kayak. If you are bringing children under 10 and plan to use a rental, you will need to provide a life vest for them to wear. They are required the entire time you are on the lake. Also, be sure to allow plenty of time to check-in, fill out waivers, and get fitted for life vests.

Our day on the lake was memorable. Our son took to his kayak like it was second nature and the toddler was surprisingly well behaved. Towards the end of the rental time, she was getting ready to jump off the kayak and go swimming (which is prohibited, even though you might see it happening).

I like this lake because it seems like the boat traffic is minimal. Most of the traffic was kayaks or paddleboards. We did see a few pontoon boats, but they were anchored. We were already planning our next trip to the lake before we had left.

Lake Cooley kayaks picnic shelters Spartanburg

Fishing on Lake Cooley

If you are a fishing enthusiast, you’re in luck. There are two fishing piers at the lake and they also offer specialty fishing kayak rentals. Small fish are plentiful around the shore and make the perfect bait for the bass fish that lurk deeper in the lake, just be sure to bring a net. I can’t say I’ve caught one, but the bass have taunted me while swimming past my hook.

A freshwater fishing license can be obtained from the SCDNR website and is only $10 for an annual license. Children do not need a license if with a licensed adult.

Events at Lake Cooley

The Discover Your Watershed event, hosted by USC Upstate in May, is a great way to meet the environmental and conservation groups in the community. There are activities for kids, free giveaways, and the opportunity for everyone to receive a free boating permit from SJWD.

Picnic Shelters and Grills at Lake Cooley

If you pack a picnic or would like to grill at the lake – there are two picnic shelters available for rent as well as two picnic tables available first come first serve. There are also restrooms available. Not to worry if you forget snacks or refreshments! The rental area has drinks, bagged snacks, and frozen treats for just $1 each.

The Playground at Lake Cooley

As if we haven’t already given you enough reason to head to Lake Cooley, the playground is all the more reason. This is a great, small playground with lake views and right next to a huge picnic shelter.

This lake has everything you could want, and it’s conveniently close. I hope that you decide to check Lake Cooley out this summer. I promise you won’t regret a day on the lake with your family.

Lake Cooley
100 Cooley Dock Road, Inman | 864.949.1002

Plan an Inexpensive Birthday Party for Your Child for Under $100 in Spartanburg, SC

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Need to plan an inexpensive birthday party in Spartanburg, SC? Birthdays are special. Do you want to celebrate your child’s big day in style but can’t spend a fortune on a party venue in Spartanburg? Believe it or not, you can throw a birthday party for your child for $100 or less! Here’s our list of inexpensive birthday parties in Spartanburg.


Kick Off the Fall Season with a Fun Day at Strawberry Hill

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Are you looking for a family-friendly corn maze to visit? Would your kids love to pick their own pie pumpkin to turn into a jack o lantern at home? Strawberry Hill in Chesnee has all these fun fall activities and more for your family to do when you visit this farm that covers over 1000 acres. Whether you want to just grab some fresh produce or go for some fun, we have all the info you’ll need to know before you go.

For more fall fun, don’t miss our Guide to Fall Things to Do in Spartanburg.


POSTPONED:The Enchanted Chalice Renaissance Faire

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Do you have a rambunctious bunch you need to keep entertained? Are you looking for a place to take your Lil’ fairy? Then we have the event for you! Read on to learn the Enchanted Chalice Renaissance Faire details so you’re family can get in on the fun!


One Museum You’ll Want to Visit if Your Family Loves to Travel

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Are you planning a trip to Atlanta and looking for fun things to see and do? Do you have a fan of airplanes in your family? Are you planning a flight with your child and would like to show them what they can expect to see on a plane? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, we have all the info you’ll need to plan a trip to the Delta Flight Museum at Atlanta-Hartsfield airport.

What is the Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day?

Our family took advantage of the Smithsonian Magazine Museum day, by using our vouchers for the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta. This event provides free admission to a Smithsonian affiliated museum for the day. You can read all about it here.

Heading towards an airport is an exciting thing in my opinion! The sense of adventure, excitement and the unknown are why I love travel. My son had four plane trips under his belt by the time he was six months old, although he doesn’t remember those first adventures. A trip to the Delta Flight Museum would be a great introduction to the world of flight for children.

Delta Flight Museum Atlanta, GA

About the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta

The museum is located on the outer edge of the Atlanta-Hartsfield airport. When you pull up, you’ll need to stop at a security gate and there you will receive stickers that identify you as visitors to the museum. When you enter the huge hangar, you’ll need to proceed through a security check complete with a metal detector and x-ray machine. From there you’ll proceed to the “ticketing counter”, where admission to the museum is $15 for adults, $10 for children and free for children four and under.

The museum is stroller friendly with plenty of room between exhibits. The only exception is the two opportunities where you board a plane.

Right past security, don’t forget to grab your preflight checklist and scavenger hunt sheets. The museum showcases Delta’s history, including several full-size planes, uniforms from all different destinations throughout the years, and different memorabilia.

Inside the museum, you’ll have the chance to board a retired 767. On board, you’ll be able to see a collection of different items from Delta’s history, while the front of the plane has been left intact. Take a seat and watch the “in-flight” movie of how this plane came to rest in the museum. I feel like this is an excellent opportunity to familiarize young children with what they can expect on an actual flight. Today’s planes might be a little bit more modern, with more leg room, but the subtle differences will probably go unnoticed by children. The seats have tray tables that open, window shades that move and emergency manuals in the pocket in front of you. Even on a day as busy as when we were there, we sat as long as we wanted, and no one was hurrying us along.

After you see everything in the museum hangar, head across the parking lot to visit the 747 Experience. This exhibit is a full size 747 airplane, that you can board. Inside you’ll learn all about these aircraft and have the opportunity to sit in the upper deck and imagine you are jetting off to an exotic locale. In order to view this exhibit, you need to leave plenty of time. They stop allowing people to board 45 minutes prior to the museum closing.

For an additional $425, up to four members of your family can spend an hour in the flight simulator experience that was once used to train Delta pilots.

Delta Flight Museum Atlanta Hartsfield Airport

Visit the Delta Flight Museum

We enjoyed our time at the museum and have a few tips to make your trip go smoothly.

Make sure you check the website for current museum times and any events that may close it to the public.

Food and drink are not allowed in the museum, with the exception of baby bottles.

Make sure you enter this address into your GPS – 1060 Delta Blvd, Atlanta, GA. In Google Maps or your GPS, type in “33.655043, -84.420127” as your destination and you will be led to the Museum’s Security Gate entrance. The address I first entered for the museum, led us to the short-term parking lot, and wasted a lot of our time.

Because you are entering Delta’s corporate office area, regulations require every member of your party 18 and over present an ID at the security gate of the parking lot.

Ticketing information and current museum hours can be found here.

Delta Flight Museum
1060 Delta Boulevard, Building B, Department 914
Atlanta, GA

We hope your family enjoys the Delta Flight Museum as much as we did. If you go, let us know how your family liked the museum!