Panthers camp: How to explore Spartanburg like a local

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Thousands of Carolina Panthers fans are in Spartanburg for the team’s annual training camp.

So what can you do in town when you’re not cheering on the Panthers?

From places to eat, sights to see and things to do, the Hub City is packed with plenty of ways to make your visit a touchdown.

Where To Eat

The Beacon 255 John B White Sr Blvd – They say you haven’t really been to Spartanburg unless you’ve dined at The Beacon. This classic drive-in restaurant has its own language and ordering your food is as much fun as devouring it.

“The Beacon’s been here longer than I’ve been alive. It opened in 1946 and a lot of people grew up coming to the beacon. It was their hangout,” said Owner and Operator Steve Duncan.

Order the double chili cheese “a plenty” if you’re really hungry. It’s a double cheeseburger topped with chili served with a heaping pile of fries and onion rings. When you step up to order, they’ll ask you to “call it” which means tell me what you want. You can order any meal “a plenty” which means they’ll pile the plate with fries and onion rings.

Pokenori 119 N Church St – Spartanburg is home to the hottest new trend in food: the sushirrito. It’s exactly what it sounds like sushi served like a burrito. This newly opened restaurant serves the handheld delicacy to order. You can also try another trendy food item: poke (pronounced POH-keh). It’s a raw fish salad that has all the goodness of a sushi roll in a bowl.

Dottie’s Toffee 155 W Main St – Satisfy your sweet tooth at this confection shop. Serving locally made treats including all kinds of desserts and ice cream, this shop is a real treat. You can’t miss trying the shop’s hand-made almond-chocolate toffee, a recipe passed down from the owner’s late grandmother Dot Smith.

What To Do

Sparkle City Mini Putt Located between East Main and East Broad street in downtown – A nine-hole mini golf course in the heart of downtown Spartanburg. It’s free to play. You can get clubs and golf balls at any of five downtown businesses: Paisley PawThe Local HikerGrowler HausDottie’s ToffeeLittle River Coffee Bar.

The nine-hole course features holes inspired by iconic Spartanburg restaurants like The Beacon and Sugar & Spice, plus nods to the city’s railroad and textile history.

Speed Factory Indoor Karting 130 E Daniel Morgan Ave – If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you can put the pedal to the metal at the Speed Factory. The indoor go-kart track lets you race your friends through loops and turns. They provide the helmet and the go-karts. All you need to bring is your need for speed.

RJ Rockers 226-A W Main St – After a few hours in the summer heat, you may want to cool down with some locally made craft beer at RJ Rockers. The brewery offers a variety of drink options including their flagship Son of A Peach, Brown Eyed Squirrel and the Panther Pale Ale.

“It’s always exciting to have them back. They always bring a huge amount of fans with them and it’s nice to see people walking around in blue black and silver and frequenting our establishment for a cold beverage after watching a hot practice,” said founder and brewer Mark Johnsen.

Things To See

Lighten Up Spartanburg art project Various locations around town –  Explore Spartanburg by finding all 28 of these custom lightbulb art pieces around town. The six foot tall fiberglass lights bulbs were decorated by local artists and sponsored by local businesses. They’re scattered around town for a tour that will take you all over downtown. The interactive tour app can be found at


The Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center For The Arts 130 Memorial Drive – Located right on the Wofford College campus, this stunning building is home to the creative arts. It houses two custom-made Chihuly sculptures, several art galleries featuring student artwork and pieces by visiting artists, plus two theaters.

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