Panthers fans… Spartanburg has gotten more exciting since the last time we welcomed you for the team’s training camp at Wofford College. We’ve added new restaurants, attractions and ways to adventure. And they all await you before or after you take in a Panthers practice.
Whether you’re a longtime Panthers fan who has been to training camps before, or you’re visiting for the first time for Panthers Training Camp 2021, let us help you plan your visit with these new Spartanburg County favorites, or this list of some favorites from Panthers Camps past.
Flock Shop, located along the Mary Black Rail Trail, is Spartanburg’s home for all things fried chicken, including their take on Nashville Hot Chicken. The menu is guaranteed to have your favorite piece of fried chicken, along with chicken tenders and chicken sandwiches. The classic “Freebird” sandwich is served just with pickles, and the Coop de Ville takes it up a notch with a pepper relish, slaw and lemon aioli. Flock Shop’s sides and sauces are all barbecue-inspired, featuring grits, hushpuppies, collard greens, pimento mac and cheese and more. And for the spice-averse, don’t worry, everything at Flock Shop comes with varying levels of heat, from “No Heat” to “Flockin’ Hot.”
Initial Q Smokehouse, which shares a space with boutique bowling alley UnderPin Lanes N’ Lounge, puts an upscale twist on classic barbecue favorites, including offering ingredients and meats you don’t typically find on the menus of barbecue joints. Initial Q’s menu offers things like rabbit, Brussels sprouts fired in duck fat and more. They also offer something called the Triple Pig Nachos, which are nachos but traditional tortilla chips are substituted for house-made pork rinds, and topped with smoked pulled pork, crispy pork belly and all the nacho favorites.
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.
Heirloom: A Milltown Eatery is about a 10-minute drive from Wofford, but the food is well worth the trek. Heirloom elevates traditional Southern cuisine into something modern while embracing Spartanburg’s agricultural prowess. The restaurant’s menu and décor is inspired by mill town families’ gathering each day around the dinner table to share food and good company. Heirloom’s dishes celebrate local farmers and ingredients and a pristine execution on each plate.
Mata’s Mexican Bar and Grill was opened by a father-son team, serving up traditional Mexican dishes and adventurous spins like the huevos con chorizo (eggs with a spicy, flavorful sausage) and for dessert, the caramel-filled churros.
The Vic Bailey Subaru Bike Park, also along the Rail Trail, will require you to have your bike with you during your trip to see the Panthers, but trust us, it’s worth it. The Park is usually humming with cyclists tackling the parks’ wooden-banked turns, rollers, jumps and an elevated half-log trail. The Bike Park allows riders of all skill levels to cruise through the trees or soar through the air before taking a break in the Rest Garden and watching the other riders. If you’re looking for a more consistent pace of action, drop into the pump track or Straight Rhythm to test your skills.
UnderPin Lanes ‘N Lounge is housed in a historic former department store, and is home to eight bowling lanes, a set of arcade games and a full bar with top-notch drinks. Best of all, it shares space with Initial Q Smokehouse (see above).
Craft Axe Throwing is behind Spartanburg favorite RJ Rockers Brewing Co. The game is simple, you throw hatchets at a giant dartboard-like target to score points. Opened in early-2020, Craft Axe Throwing offers lane reservations available for varying group sizes.
Mayfair Art Studios is an eclectic art space showcasing the work local amateur and professional creatives. Inside the former Arcadia Mill, the studio hosts a series of exhibitions and events that offer a glimpse of Spartanburg’s artistic side.
The Black Lives Matter Mural was pained in the summer of 2020 on Broad Street in Downtown Spartanburg. The collaborative, socially-minded art brought together nearly a dozen artists from around Spartanburg. Each artist created a visual story with the letters of the phrase Black Lives Matter to showcase their personal stories and the stories of their community.
The Artists Collective Spartanburg is home to dozens of working artists from Spartanburg and the surrounding area, all creating in a 20,000-square-foot former Baptist Church building. Thirty-two studios showcase the work of more than 50 artists in sculpture, painting and more. There’s a gallery shop and artists’ work can be purchased online, and there are monthly workshops available for anyone looking to embrace their artistic side.
Chaser the Border Collie, known as the “world’s smartest dog,” was immortalized in the form of a bronze statue in Downtown Spartanburg by the Hub City Animal Project. Chaser had the largest vocabulary of any nonhuman animal, able to recognize more than 1,000 words.
If you’re thinking of extending your stay in Spartanburg, we have a list of hotels ready to showcase their comfortable accommodations to you.