When Carolina Panthers Training Camp roars into Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., team logos pop up throughout the city, and around the Upstate. Whether you have multiple trips under your belt or are here for the first time, there’s something new and exciting for you to do in Spartanburg. Few NFL experiences can compete with Panthers Camp and 24 hours in the Hub City (or more).
There’s going to be a lot of great food on the itinerary, so let’s get some fitness in. Take a trek to one of our hiking, jogging or biking trails and get active. Spartanburg is the state’s first Bicycle Friendly Community, and you can rent a bike from one of five B-Cycle stations. If you’re feeling more of a no-wheels adventure, head to the Cottonwood Trail, Mary Black Rail Trail or Croft State Park for miles of walking and hiking trails.
It’s time to get ready because the Panthers usually take the field in an hour. About a Cam Newton pass from Wofford is Krispy Kreme, a fan favorite likely to be full of fellow Panthers fans before and after practice. For something a little more local, a variety of delicious breakfast options can be found at Downtown Deli and Donuts, The Crepe Factory and Little River Coffee Bar, and Health in Hand Juice & Smoothie Bar can hook you up with health-conscious smoothies. Fuel up for the day with breakfast and a cup (or two) of coffee from Little River, Bella Latte or Starbucks – one near the practice fields and another downtown, which just opened earlier this year.
Now that you’re full from breakfast, you’ll want to head to Wofford to get a good spot for practice. Make sure you check Panthers.com for the important highlights and developments following each day’s session. Put on your sunscreen, grab a seat and settle in. If you’re the social media type, make sure to tag #PanthersCamp on all your blue-and black-clad selfies.
Before practice ends, get to the autograph zone before the rest of the crowd. Don’t forget your pen or sharpie and a training camp guide, complete with an autograph page!
Take a breath. Cool off a bit. Practice is over, and we’re pretty sure your stomach is growling or will be soon. Luckily for you, everything from pub food to sandwiches and salads can be found around Downtown Spartanburg. There’s Italian, sushi, Thai, Vietnamese, poke and fine dining. If you have trouble deciding (don’t worry, we’ve been there), check out the Historic Downtown Walking Tour or Spartanburg Music Trail to get a taste of Spartanburg’s impressive history while you figure it out.
Every meal needs sweets to cap it off, right? We’ve got suggestions for the sweet tooth. Hub City Scoops and Spill the Beans have ice cream, handy during the Spartanburg summer. If you’re up for more fun outside, head to Sparkle City Mini Putt, the state’s only free putt-putt course, featuring holes inspired by Hub City food icons like the Beacon and Sugar & Spice, as well as Spartanburg’s railroad and textile history. If you want to be inside, visit one of several local boutiques specializing in everything from fashion to children’s toys. If you’re looking for something unique to take home, try Olive and Then Some or Blue Moon Specialty Foods for one-of-a-kind foods and kitchen gear.
Check out Spartanburg’s downtown cultural district Ð home to art galleries, live performance venues, artist studios, museums and public art pieces. The Spartanburg Art Museum inside the Chapman Cultural Center is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat. Back Downtown, The Children’s Museum of the Upstaterecently opened a location on Magnolia Street.
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere! Venture back Downtown to start the evening with a quick drink at Growler Haus, featuring more a laundry list of craft beer, or FR8Yard, one of Spartanburg’s most unique spots. The outdoor biergarten offers a giant screen, great drinks and bar food, not to mention a good time. You’ve probably heard of RJ Rockers Brewing Co. and they’ve added a restaurant as well, The Silo. But did you know there are two other local breweries, Ciclops Cyderi and Brewery and New Groove Artisan Brewery? All three are brewing up inventive takes on classic beer styles and tackling new brews all their own.
You can’t go wrong with a dinner in Spartanburg. The Lemongrass Kitchen features Vietnamese cuisine, Renato’s has authentic Italian, and Delaney’s has unique Irish fare. SC Chef Ambassador William Cribb opened The Kennedy this spring, joining another local favorite Cribb’s Kitchen. For dinner with a view, try Level 10 atop the AC Hotel Spartanburg, or Bar 1884 on Magnolia Street. Level 10 sits offers fresh cuisine and modern cocktails; Bar 1884 puts a fresh twist on Asian-American dishes and features an extensive handcrafted cocktails and wine list.
Rest up because we’re not done yet!
Get an early start and grab a bite at one of the breakfast spots you weren’t able to check out yesterday! Once you’ve eaten, explore! Head to Strawberry Hill in Chesnee, the largest strawberry farm in the state. Or, check out Walnut Grove Plantation in Woodruff to get lost in the Revolutionary War history of Spartanburg County and how Spartanburg influenced the birth of the country.
Before you go, try one of Spartanburg’s iconic burger spots.
The Beacon, featured on TV numerous times, sits just outside Downtown, serving up combos Òa-plentyÓ from just below a red and white-striped light tower. Ike’s Korner Grille is in a small space, but you won’t regret checking it out, especially if you’re into vintage bar memorabilia. You can’t go wrong with a chili cheeseburger, French fries and a sweet tea. Sugar N’ Spice, still with drive-in spots for parking, isn’t far, either. The restaurant has been serving up Southern classics for years.
For other fun ideas and trip information, feel free to stop by the Visitor’s Center at 105 N. Pine St. or VisitSpartanburg.com. Once you visit, you’ll know why There’s Only One. Spartanburg.