Monday, April 25, 2022
Few things in life are more joyous than the first few days of Spring after a long Winter.
Just imagine it with us: feeling the warm, golden rays of sun on your skin, hearing birds chirping with glee, seeing flowers blooming, and smelling fresh air after being cooped up in the house since around Thanksgiving. Yeah, that’s the good stuff.
This year the groundhog gave us the good news of an early spring, so don’t waste any more time. Start planning your first sunny day getaway of the year now! If you’re looking for a bit of travel inspiration, how does a little trip to Spartanburg sound?
Can you hear that? Sssssssshhhh, listen. If you concentrate just hard enough, you can hear the sounds of live music throughout Downtown Spartanburg.
April means the return of a popular musical staple, and in 2022, the debut of another.
Music on Main, the City’s longtime live music series, brings the energy at Morgan Square every Thursday from April through July from 5:30-8:30 PM. The series features a host of talented musical acts performing genres varying from rock to bluegrass to funk to R&B.
The newer musical series is Flashback Fridays, highlighting music from the last five decades Friday nights on Morgan Square. This series will inspire more than a few throwback-fueled playlists.
These performances are right in the heart of Downtown Spartanburg, so not only will you get to take in the beautiful picturesque views of our charming town, but you’ll also be just a hop, skip, and a jump away from loads of other places to have a good time.
It is all too easy to eat rich, hearty, stick-to-your-bones meals in the winter, isn’t it? Things like beef stew, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and soups are always yummy, but they’re just extra delicious in the colder months.
Though as much as we love those comfort foods, every year when spring rolls around and fruits and vegetables start coming into season, we ditch those heavy meals for lighter (and healthier) options that seem to almost cleanse our bodies and give us life anew. (Essentially we start inhaling peas and pineapples on a pseudo-detox after eating nothing but cream cheese-based foods for 4 months. Sorry, not sorry.)
If you’re craving those nutrient-dense foods, too, mark your calendars for the first weekend in April when the Hub City Farmer’s Market opens for the season! Open every Saturday morning from 8:00am-Noon, come shop local produce, meats, dairy, bread, and artisan goods.
The HCFM is perhaps one of the best ways to get to know our town. Meet the farmers and artisans dedicated to providing quality goods to the greater-Spartanburg area, and chat with some locals for expert recommendations for things to do while you’re visiting.
Then in May, farmers markets pop up countywide, including markets in Landrum, Inman and Woodruff, each showcasing fresh produce, handcrafted goods and local artisans.
And springtime means the kickoff of ready-to-eat peaches! The Shed at Strawberry Hill USA in Chesnee offers some of the reddest and ripest peaches and seasonal fruits in the entire Upstate. Try before you buy at the fruit sampling table, order an all-American hot dog and banana split at their cafe & ice cream parlor, then enjoy the fresh air as you spend a lazy afternoon in one of their rocking chairs.
Okay, we still aren’t done talking about food. (And probably never will be!) We stand by our suggestion to visit the Hub City Farmers Market for all the great things we already talked about, but we don’t expect you to cook all the goodies you’ll pick up right away, especially if you’re just visiting and don’t necessarily have access to a full kitchen.
Seriously, these spots have been around for 50+ years. Restaurants don’t stick around that long unless their food is truly something special.
To enjoy an authentic taste of spring in Spartanburg while you’re in town, hit up some of our farm-to-table restaurants which use the same locally sourced, in-season ingredients you’ll find at the market—literally!
Monarch Café and Fresh Food Store, a Black-owned café on Spartanburg’s Northside, offers healthy foods and moderately-priced breakfast, lunch and “lite-bites,” and the Fresh Food Store features produce, dairy, meats and more from local and regional farmers. Monarch also offers cooking demonstrations and classes highlighting fresh produce.
Head to walkable downtown Landrum (one of Southern Living’s best small towns) for the Farmers Market Skillet at Stone Soup Market & Cafe when your brunch craving hits. While you’re up there, we also highly recommend trying any (or all) of the house-smoked meats from Southside Smokehouse, an American comfort food restaurant by 2018 SC Chef Ambassador Sarah McClure.
The Tulip Tree highlights elevated farm-to-table cuisine, and offers a casual fine-dining atmosphere. Its menu is full of ingredients sourced from the Carolinas and Georgia. There’s beef braised with local brewery RJ Rockers Good Boy Stout, sweet tea-brined roast chicken, smoked Carolina trout and apple salad sliders, and of course, their take on shrimp and grits.
Or go in a different direction and savor the flavors of Spartanburg with a meal at some of our longest-standing eateries. We’ll be honest, their food isn’t exactly “springy,” but it’s pretty dang tasty and we believe you can’t technically say you’ve been to Spartanburg unless you’ve eaten at at least ONE of these staples. Seriously, these spots have been around for 50+ years. Restaurants don’t stick around that long unless their food is truly something special.
Okay, we admit it. We love sitting around on the couch under a fuzzy blanket in our favorite pajamas binge watching TV as much as the next person, but at a certain point (like when we’ve finished all the season finales) enough is enough.
Walnut Grove Plantation opens for tours in the spring, offering glimpses into the centuries-old house and outlying buildings. Once you’re up to speed on what life was like in the South Carolina backcountry in the late 1700s, go explore the surrounding nature trail, view the property’s cemetery (also a great fall activity), and have your first picnic of the season at the onsite pavilion.
After all, a little educational experience and exercise won’t hurt after a few months of mind-numbing television, right?
No one experiences winter boredom more than kids. They aren’t seeing their friends every day, they can’t go outside and play, and they don’t find cleaning their rooms to be the most thrilling activity in the world. So when spring fever hits them, it hits them hard.
After months of being trapped in the house, we don’t blame your family for wanting to venture out in the world.
Of course, the entire family is welcome for the annual weekend of family-fun at Spring Fling. This three-day festival offers nonstop entertainment for children and adults alike with the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Criterium Cycling Race, live music, food truck rodeo, and kid-zone.
After months of being trapped in the house, we don’t blame your family for wanting to venture out in the world. While all these events are great starting points, they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Check out our list of spring events for even more spring events, and bookmark our family itinerary for additional ideas on making the most of your visit.
As daylight stretches later and later into evening—extending both our days and our quality of life—we start looking for just about any excuse to stay outside. Grilling, washing the car, planting a garden, taking the dog for an extra long walk, you name it.
Looking for something a little less rugged. We’ve got you covered there, too. Take it easy in our parks, preserves, and gardens instead. With paved walking paths and picnic pavilions abound, you can still spend some quality time with Mother Nature without having to break a sweat.
So pack up your kayak, lace up your hiking boots, grab your fishing rod, adjust your bike seat, and pack your favorite lunch because we’ve got miles and miles of blueways and greenways just begging to be explored.