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10 Things to Know Before Moving to Spartanburg, SC

10 Things to Know Before Moving to Spartanburg, SC Written by Brittany Slagle

Founded in 1787, Spartanburg has a long and storied history as a military center.  A part of its history includes the American Revolution, World War I, and World War II. Located in a county with a population of fewer than 200,000, Spartanburg is a relatively small city with a population of just around 40,000.

The ideal residents would be those who want to enjoy the best of both urban and rural living. It has the feel of a suburb, with its wide streets, liberal populace, and abundance of outdoor activities.

Let’s talk about ten things to know before moving to Spartanburg, SC!

1. Proximity to other cities

From your home base in Spartanburg, you can easily explore the world. The major airport in Charlotte is just an hour’s drive from Spartanburg.

The travel time between Spartanburg and Columbia is roughly one hour. Atlanta, Georgia, can be reached in about two hours. Both Augusta, Georgia, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina, are reachable in under three hours. All of these destinations are only examples of the nice areas you can explore around here!

2. Start a business or get a job in the healthcare industry

Corporate offices and international brands are flocking to Spartanburg. BMW, Milliken, Denny’s, Michelin, Toray, American Credit Acceptance, Advance America, Adidas Group, and Indorama are just a few of these firms.  The downtown area of Spartanburg has seen a proliferation of new businesses in recent years, including eateries, breweries, gourmet ice cream and toffee shops, and more. It’s ideal for those seeking to enter or advance their careers in some of the nation’s most dynamic industries.

Job seekers can choose from a wide range of fields in Spartanburg, including healthcare, education, finance, and many more. With over 5,000 workers, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System is the largest employer in the area and one of the most innovative healthcare networks in the country. People are beginning to move into the city in large numbers as a result of the downtown renovation, which has led to a rise in both employment prospects and commercial activity.

3. The city has a mild climate 

Spartanburg has a mild year-round climate, thanks to its moderate winters and occasional snowfall, as well as its prolonged spring and fall seasons. January brings average lows of 30° to 54° F, while July highs of 96° F are not uncommon.  Roughly 50 inches of rain falls on Spartanburg every year.

The city is a great destination if you want to get away from the cold and snow. If you are uncomfortable in high humidity, though, you might want to look elsewhere.

4. Go out for dinner at Initial Q or The Kennedy

The city of Spartanburg is home to a wide variety of successful eateries. Classic Southern fare like barbecue can be found at local eateries, along with a wide variety of international fare from France, Thailand, Mexico, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, and Ecuador.

Spartanburg’s dining options are diverse, and not just in the cuisines they serve. There are some eateries out there that provide farm-to-table experiences, using only the freshest and finest products.

Initial Q is a fantastic smokehouse and bar in Spartanburg. True Southern hospitality can be found at The Kennedy. The menu at The Kennedy was designed with flexibility and accessibility in mind, with a wide selection of small plates and other options.

5. Check out the Chapman Cultural Center or the Spartanburg Youth Theatre

Spartanburg boasts a thriving art and culture community for those who want to immerse themselves in the arts. Visit the Chapman Cultural Center, which houses the Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg, the Ballet Spartanburg, the Carolina Foothills Artisan Center, the Music Foundation of Spartanburg, the Spartanburg Art Museum, the Spartanburg Little Theatre, the Spartanburg Youth Theatre, the John F. Green Spartanburg Science Center, and more! 

Downtown Spartanburg is home to the Hub-Bub, a popular hangout for aspiring singers, authors, and actors.

6. It has a large concentration of college students

Some of the best schools in the Upstate can be found in Spartanburg. Spartanburg High School, a four-time National Blue Ribbon School, Spartanburg Charter School, West View Elementary School, and Maccraken Middle School, all with excellent reputations, and Pine Street Elementary School, a national model for its arts-infused curriculum, to name just a few. Seven separate school districts cover all of Spartanburg County. 

Converse College, Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic, Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg Methodist College, University of South Carolina Upstate, Wofford College, Virginia College, and Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) are just some of the colleges and universities located here. When compared to other South Carolina metro areas, Spartanburg has the largest concentration of college students.

7. Living here costs 19% less than the national average

With a cost of living index of 81.2, Spartanburg has a cost of living that is 19% lower than the national average.

Spartanburg’s real estate is becoming increasingly popular among those relocating from other places due to its low taxes and relatively low cost of living.

There are different kinds of home types available to meet the needs of first-time homebuyers, growing families, empty-nesters, and retirees alike. The city’s median home price is $202,813.

8. Attend the Retrofest or the Spring Fling festival

Spartanburg hosts many festivals and celebrations throughout the year that focus on bringing people together and celebrating local culture. These happenings occur at random intervals all through the year. 

On the first Saturday of every February, the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium hosts Retrofest, the largest disco event in the Southeast. Spring Fling is a festival held annually on the first Saturday of May, typically featuring live music, rides, and other activities.

Every Saturday from 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM during the summer and fall, the historic Magnolia Street Train Station plays host to the Hub City Farmers’ Market, an outdoor market exhibiting local/organic produce and goods. Red, White, and Boom is an annual Fourth of July festival in Barnet Park with patriotic music and fireworks.

9. Enjoy the outdoors with your family at Lake Craig or Croft State Park

On a steamy summer day, Lake Craig at Croft State Park is the place to be. Plan a hike in the sun with your loved ones. You and your loved ones can take part in several exciting outdoor pursuits. Fishing, canoeing, picnicking, hiking, boating, and even equestrian amenities can all be found at Lake Craig. Croft State Park is a fantastic destination, with two lakes, an equestrian facility, and 12 miles of hiking and horse paths spread across its 7,000 acres. 

If your family is looking for more outdoor fun, Paris Mountain State Park is worth the hour’s drive west. Within less than an hour of driving, you can reach mountains, biking, camping, and fishing spots. Myrtle Beach, the closest beach, is only a three-hour drive away.

10. The city has a great cycling system

Although the Spartanburg Area Regional Transit Agency (SPARTA) bus system is convenient, getting around town is easiest by car. You can also get from one place to another using a taxi service or ride-hailing app. 

Another choice is to ride a bike. Spartanburg is one of the best places to go biking in South Carolina, thanks to its extensive network of bike paths and the BCycle bike-share program.

Final Thoughts

Living in Spartanburg offers its residents a low cost of living, a great outdoor scene, proximity to other cities, a thriving economy, and a ton of events to attend.

If you’re looking to live in a city with the best of rural and urban living, you’ll love it in Spartanburg.

Learn More About Living in Spartanburg, SC

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