There are plenty of ways to experience Carolina Panthers Training Camp in Spartanburg, S.C. Whether you’ve made the trip all 23 years or this will be your first time driving through the rolling hills of the Carolinas to Spartanburg, there are still few NFL experiences that can compete with Panthers Training Camp and 24 hours in the Hub City.
Get in the true spirit of training camp and hit some of the area’s hiking, jogging and biking trails. Spartanburg was South Carolina’s first Bicycle Friendly Community, and you can rent a bike from one of the city’s five B-Cycle stations if you don’t want to bring your own. And you’ll want to get your fitness goal in, because there’s a lot of great food on today’s itinerary.
Shower up and head over to the fan favorite Krispy Kreme a stone’s throw from the Wofford campus. Or check out any of a number of other downtown breakfast options, such as Downtown Deli and Donuts, Hen House Brunch, The Crepe Factory and Cakehead Bakeshop. If smoothies or juice is more your speed, Health in Hand Juice Bar is a must-visit. While you’re enjoying your first (or second) cup of coffee, check out the news of the day on Panthers.com. Watch yesterday’s practice highlights and trending videos and read up on all the latest developments.
With practice starting in less than 30 minutes, you’ll want to get a good viewing spot on the hill before it begins. You can find easy parking and shuttle service on our shuttle map (p. 14). Make sure to apply your sunscreen, grab your lawn chairs and hats and go hit the merchandise stand to gear up with the newest Panthers swag. Make sure to sign your kids up for a chance to be a Panthers Pal for the day at the Academy Kids Field, and then settle in for practice. Take plenty of selfies and tag #PanthersCamp on all of your social media accounts.
Before practice wraps, head over to the autograph zone on the side of Field One to get a prime autograph spot before the rest of the crowd. Remember to bring along a pen or sharpie and your training camp guide with an autograph page on the back!
Now that practice is over, your stomach soon will be roaring like a Panther for a great lunch, and you can find it in downtown Spartanburg. And the options are impressive. Several spots offer your favorite pub/sports bar food: from pizza and wings to sandwiches and salads. But downtown Spartanburg also boasts great Italian, sushi, Thai, Vietnamese, fresh small-plate fare, and even poke’. While you’re deciding, you can check out the Spartanburg Music Trail – use your smartphone (via SpartanburgMusicTrail.com) to guide you through musical stops with Pink Floyd, Elvis Presley, the Marshall Tucker Band and some Amazing Grace. You’ll see lots of public art around, too, including 28 6-foot-tall fiberglass light bulbs painted, sculpted and otherwise altered by 36 local and regional artists in the “Lighten Up Spartanburg!” exhibit.
After lunch, drop by Dottie’s Toffee or Hub City Scoops for some frozen dessert. Then, walk over and play nine holes of free miniature golf at Sparkle City Mini Putt between Main Street and Broad Street. The course features holes inspired by Spartanburg restaurant icons such as the Beacon and Sugar & Spice, nods to the city’s railroad and textile history, its seven colleges, and its status as a bike and arts town. Visit local boutiques specializing in women’s and children’s fashions, children’s toys, hiking and camping clothing and goods, Spartanburg-made souvenirs, a local olive oil shop, and the home of locally made Blue Moon spices. Don’t forget to pick up a book at the local independent Hub City Bookshop.
The city’s cultural district – encompassing four square blocks radiating from the intersection of Main Street and Church Street – contains galleries, live performance venues, theaters, artist studios, museums, arts centers, arts schools and public art pieces. You should also plan to stop in at the Spartanburg Art Museum at the Chapman Cultural Center on St. John Street, where the exhibits are constantly changing. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Or take in the new art gallery and art museum in the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts on Wofford’s campus: open 1-5 p.m. daily, except 1-9 p.m. Thursday; closed Sunday and Monday. Featured this summer is an exhibit of paintings by Sir Winston Churchill.
Venture back downtown to sample the evening fare – Cribbs’ Kitchen for gourmet burgers and specialty items; Renato’s for authentic Italian; Delaney’s for Irish fare and beer; Lime Leaf for Thai and other Asian offerings; Lemongrass for authentic Vietnamese; or Miyako’s for sushi.
There’s plenty to do downtown as the day comes to a close. Live music on Morgan Square or head to The Peddler for a diverse array of local musicians. Check out RJ Rockers Brewery, with a range of microbrew choices and frequent live music shows Wednesday through Saturday. Live music can be found in a variety of other venues downtown as well. Feeling in the mood yourself? There are also karaoke and open mic nights at Main Street Pub and Brickhouse Pizzeria.
On your way out of town the next morning, be sure to check out Strawberry Hill, the largest strawberry farm in South Carolina in Chesnee.
For more fun ideas and trip information, go to VisitSpartanburg.com or the Visitor’s Center located on 105 N. Pine Street, right near Wofford’s campus.
Spartanburg Quick Hits
You may be looking for something a little less fulsome, then check out these quick bites on things to do in Spartanburg that sets us apart from anywhere else.
• Get an RJ Rockers Beer or stop by Hub City Tap House (South Carolina’s only Cyderi)
• Go to the Beacon Drive-In and get a Chili Cheese A Plenty to find out why every president since Reagan has stopped there.
• Feast at Willy Taco, which is run by a South Carolina Chef Ambassador.
• Take a run or ride at Croft State Park, which offers 12 miles of trails.
• Eat healthy at Hub City Co-op. Imagine a locally owned and sourced Trader Joes.
• Visit a locally owned book store (Hub City Book Shop).
• Get some nature on: Glendale Shoals or Cottonwood Trail.
• Walk the Music Trail to learn about Spartanburg’s unique place in music history.
• Enjoy the Arts. There more than 100 artists in a mile radius of the Panthers Camp. Learn more at the Chapman Cultural Center.