History Rich Itineraries
½ Day History Tour
- Start your morning with an overview of Spartanburg’s history at the Spartanburg Regional History Museum, where you will find exhibits about our rich textile and military history, beautiful handcrafted furniture and other decorative arts from Spartanburg County, as well as a variety of changing exhibits.
- Visit the Hub City Railroad Museum and learn how Spartanburg got its nickname, the "Hub City".The museum is open Saturdays from 8am-2pm and Wednesdays 10am-2pm.
- Have lunch at Nu-Way (Spartanburg's oldest bar) in Downtown Spartanburg. Their "Redneck Cheeseburger" was voted best burger in the state by the Food Network Magazine.
Full Day History Tour
- Make your way up Highway 29 to Cowpens National Battlefield, in nearby Cherokee County. Brigadier General Daniel Morgan won the Battle of Cowpens, a decisive Revolutionary War victory, over British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton on January 17, 1781.
- Head back into downtown Cowpens for lunch at Oma’s Café and Cake Shoppe.
- Next head over to the Cowpens Veteran Memorial Park, which honors the military men and women who have served our country.
- After your visit in Cowpens, head to the former textile town of Glendale and see what is now housed in the old mill church as well as the Victorian mill office. See where the ironworks once were and take a stroll across the Glendale Bridge, which is now closed to motor traffic.
- Not far from Glendale is the Town of Pacolet, which has so much rich history from Catawba and Cherokee Indians to textile history. You can learn about all of Pacolet’s history at the Pacolet Museum. (If your group has 50 or more people, Pacolet will package a full day tour for your group.)
- Pacolet also has large collection of arts-and-crafts style homes-over 250 to be exact, which makes it the largest concentration of this architecture in South Carolina. On your way out of Pacolet, be sure drive through the Pacolet Historic Mill District and see these homes.
2-Day History Tour
- Begin the day by driving to Nazareth Presbyterian Church, where you can see graves that date back to the 1760’s (listed on the National Register of Historic Places). Established in 1765 and organized in 1772, Nazareth is one of South Carolina's most historic churches. Portions of the present building date from 1832. Soldiers from the Revolutionary War and almost every other are buried in the cemetery.
- Next, make your way to Walnut Grove Plantation, which is a plantation home that dates back to the 18th century. The home was also a muster site during the Revolutionary War. In late 1781, Loyalist William "Bloody Bill" Cunningham killed three Patriot soldiers at the plantation and sparked a small skirmish with local militia, which is reenacted each year in early October. The house is open as a public museum April through October - Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. & Sundays, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. November & March - Saturdays, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- After visiting Walnut Grove, have lunch at the historic Beacon Drive-In, the second oldest drive-in still in operation and the only one left with car hops.
- After lunch, drive through some of Spartanburg’s Historic Districts. Hampton Heights has a large collection of homes that retain their historic and architectural integrity from the early 20th century and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Converse Heights is another Historic District located in the City of Spartanburg. It was one of Spartanburg’s first suburbs with most of the houses built between 1905 and 1950.
- For the genealogy fans, head to the Kennedy Room at Spartanburg Headquarters Library. They house an extensive collection of books, maps, media clippings, manuscripts, microform and access to several online genealogy databases.
3-Day History Tour
- Travel to historic Downtown Greer, or also known as simply Greer Station, a community shared by Greenville and Spartanburg with more than 40 buildings listed on the National Register and the downtown area itself is designated as a National Historic District. While there, be sure to visit the Greer Heritage Museum, open Fridays and Saturdays, 10am-4pm.
- Stop for lunch at The Great Bay Oyster House or Rivera’s on Poinsett St., Mimi’s on Main St. or any of the number of restaurants on Trade Street.
- Stroll through the downtown area, which covers approximately 12 square blocks, with retail, dining, and entertainment establishments, including the recently opened Acme General Store in the old Leader Department Store building, with candy, toys, hiking and outdoor wear, and be sure to stop for dessert at their old fashioned ice cream counter.
- Then head around the corner and down Randall St. to the City Park, which serves as a beautiful landscape to walk around or just relax in swings.
- Take Hwy. 101 out of town and at the intersection with I-85, visit the BMW Zentrum, and learn about the history of BMW. Plant tours and driving experiences are also available (schedule in advance).
Featured History Articles
Finding local history at four Spartanburg County museums
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Local Cemeteries: Two and a half centuries of history
If Spartanburg is your hometown you may recall Spartanburg’s greatest annual festival: the Spring Fling!Read More
Spartanburg’s World-Class Maestro
“Conducting, or ‘waving my arms’ as some people call it, is only ten percent of my job,” said Sarah Ioannides.Read More
From the Spartanburg Insider's Blog
- Farmers Market 04-May-2015
- Eating the Thai Way in Spartanburg 04-May-2015
- Finding local history at four Spartanburg County museums 03-Mar-2015
- To the Mountaintop with the founder of The Assault on Mt. Mitchell 09-Feb-2015