First off, where is the event? Spartanburg is located in the Upstate of South Carolina. Weather in March can vary greatly here, but it’s generally very temperate. Spring usually comes early, which is another perk of living in the sunny South! While you’re in Spartanburg, be sure to see some of these sights when you’re not at the Convention site:
- Got a car buff in the family? Visit the BMW Zentrum. Admission is free to the 28,000 sq.ft. museum. On the same site, every X3, X5, and X6 BMW is built. Tours of the factory are available for a small fee.
- The Beacon Drive-In is another must-see in Spartanburg. In its 65th year, the Beacon is known for its Chili Cheese A’Plenty burger and for having some of the best sweet tea in the south!
- If you or your child has ever dreamt of getting up close and personal with zoo animals, then you won’t want to miss Hollywild. Over 70 acres of free-roaming animals allows your family a chance to visit with zebras, donkeys, bison, emus, and more. Making the park all the more inviting is its special Convention rate of $7 with TTD credentials.
- Junior Rangers? Bring your passports! The National Park Service is alive and well in Spartanburg! They maintain the Cowpens Battlefield, the only site of a “double envelopment” maneuver in the American Revolution. If the Battlefield doesn’t scratch your history itch, then visit the Spartanburg History Museum or the Hub City Railroad Musuem, both of which focus on the rich history of the area.
Nearby Greenville is about 30 miles away. In recent years, Greenville has garnered national attention for its revitalized downtown district. Anchored by the Peace Center for the Performing Arts, downtown Greenville features a picturesque strip of shops and restaurants. It’s also known for its single-A ballpark, Fluor Field, home of the Greenville Drive, and Falls Park.
Other sites of interest in Greenville:
- Mice on Main, a scavenger hunt down Main Street
- Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, one of the foremost collections of religious art in North America
- The Children’s Museum of the Upstate
- Paris Mountain State Park
- Jones Gape State Park
- Caesar’s Head State Park
The mountains of Western North Carolina (the area surrounding Asheville) are about an hour away from Spartanburg. Asheville itself is home to George Vanderbilt’s 8,000 acre estate, the Biltmore House. Hikers will enjoy Chimney Rock park or Grandfather Mountain, and shutterbugs will want to swing by the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, 469 miles known as “America’s Favorite Drive.”
Other sites of interest in Western North Carolina:
- Health Adventure, a child-friendly science experience
- Carl Sandburg House, one-time home of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
- The Grove Park Inn
- Cherokee Indian Reservation
- Brevard, NC
Other quick trips around the area:
- Atlanta, GA – 170 miles
- Charleston, SC – 215 miles
- Charlotte, NC – 68 miles
- Myrtle Beach, SC – 243 miles
- Pigeon Forge, TN – 175 miles
As you can see, in addition to the full Convention schedule, there are many other ways to keep your boys and girls busy. Consider it a Spring Break!
(Special thanks to those Facebook followers who assisted in the compilation of this list and to Peggy Summy for her work in compiling those submissions for us to work with!)