What To Do In Rock Hill, SC | We Have 27 Things For You to Check Out!

Located in York County, South Carolina, the city of Rock Hill lies along the beautiful Catawba River and is just 75 miles from the Blue Ridge Mountains. Though the city was founded in 1852 after a major railroad company decided to build a line through the area, it was not incorporated until long after the Civil War in 1892.

Rock Hill got its name from the rock that was cut through to complete the Charlotte Columbia rail line.

About 30 minutes south of Charlotte and an hour north of Columbia (the state capital), Rock Hill anchors what is known as the “Olde English District” in South Carolina. It is the site of several Revolutionary War battles and the Catawba Nation, South Carolina’s only federally recognized tribe.

Rock Hill played several important roles for the Confederacy during the Civil War. The railroad that ran through the city provided a place for troops and supplies to be transferred to and from the battle front lines.

It was also a place where the sick and wounded were cared for and where a temporary Confederate headquarters was set up to prevent General Sherman from marching his troops through the city.

Rock Hill was also a prominent location during the Civil Rights Movement where sit-in protests, Freedom Riders, and Civil Rights acts of resistance garnered attention from the entire nation.

In addition to Rock Hill’s rich history and historical sites, the city is also a hub of culture, nature, education, and the arts.

Are you planning an exploration of Rock Hill? Check out the best and fun things to do in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Take a Pleasant Walk at Glencairn Garden

Picture from: visityorkcounty.com

Though the peak season for the flowers in this beautiful downtown garden is late March through early April, it is filled with lovely blossoms and greenery year-round. The Glencairn Gardens began in 1928 as David and Hazel Bigger’s backyard garden.

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Today, the once private area now encompasses 11 acres in downtown Rock Hill and is home to South Carolina’s largest event, the annual spring Come-See-Me-festival.

Some of the garden’s interesting attractions include the picturesque Come-See-Me tiered fountain, the Vernon Grant Wall of Whimsy, and the Veterans Garden.

This is a must-see location for anyone visiting Rock Hill.

Glencairn Garden
725 Crest Street
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 329-5620
http://glencairn.yorkmg.org/

Visit the McCrory’s Civil Rights Sites

Source: knowitall.org

In 1960, nine black students decided to stay put when they were asked to leave a McCrory’s Five & Dime lunch counter without being served.

The students were arrested, but the awareness their actions brought to the world influenced others to stand up and take action. At this historic site you can honor the group which became known as the Friendship Nine.

McCrory’s Civil Rights Site
135 East Main Street
Rock Hill, SC 29730

Enjoy a Light and Sound Show at Fountain Park

Image from: Official Website

Fountain Park is a great spot to visit because of its enormous fountain, which is well known for its exquisite lighting and sound performance. As darkness falls, the vibrant lights gracefully change hues, harmonizing with the water’s movements in the fountain. The spectacle is particularly magical during that festive period when the Christmas illumination is put up.

If you intend to see the park in the daytime, don’t be discouraged; it is charming and has plenty of greenery and gorgeous flowers.

Fountain Park
300C Main Street
Rock Hill, SC 29730

Take a Tour of the Catawba Cultural Center

(Corn Husk Doll Making)
Photo credit: Official FB Page

The Catawba Indian tribe has had a presence on the banks of the Catawba River for 6,000 years and is the only tribe in the state that’s recognized by the United States government. Once a thriving community spanning much of the Carolinas, the tribe now resides in a small enclave along the banks of the Catawba River.

The Catawba Cultural Center highlights the long history and the tribe’s culture through many interactive exhibits. The center is located in the only reservation school that’s left in the area and inside this historic building you’ll find a library, artifacts, pottery, and a trading post.

Catawba Cultural Center
1536 Tom Steven Road
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 325-2427
https://catawbaculture.org/

Look at an Old Telephone at the Comporium Telephone Museum

Picture from: Official FB Page

Comporium Telephone (an independent phone company that still provides phone service to the city) highlights the changes in communications since Rock Hill Telephone Company began in 1894.

Visitors will enjoy a brief video of the company’s history and the opportunity to operate an old school switchboard.

Comporium Telephone Museum
117 Elk Avenue
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 324-4030
https://www.comporium.com/about/museum/

Take a Walk Down Freedom Walkway

Image from: theaventuresabound.com

The Freedom Walkway consists of a walkway and mural that was put together to commemorate equal rights, freedom, and justice for all people regardless of their race or background. Situated near Main Street in Rock Hill, key players in the civil rights movement are also honored.

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Freedom Walkway
139 East Main Street
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 329-8756
https://www.freedomwalkway.com

Get a Glimpse of Rock Hill’s History at the White Home

Source: Official FB Page

The White Home is a historical site and wedding venue. Five generations of the White family lived in the house between 1837 and 2005. Over the years, the home has transformed from a one room cottage into an eighteen-room, two-story house.

The mansion has been beautifully restored and now serves as a museum showcasing the history and culture of the region. Guided tours of the mansion are available for a small fee.

The White Home
258 East White Street
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 329-1020
https://www.thewhitehomerockhill.com/

Bask in Nature at Ebenezer Park

Photo credit: yorkcountygov.com

Ebenezer Park is a beautiful 26-acre park situated along the shores of Lake Wylie.

If you’re looking for a peaceful getaway, Ebenezer Park is a great option. With its serene surroundings you can spend some quality time with nature and relax by the lake. The park is also perfect for families as it offers playgrounds, picnic shelters, and volleyball courts. You can also rent a boat and explore the lake’s beautiful shores. Additionally, the park has well maintained hiking trails offering scenic views of the lake and its surroundings.

The park also has campsites if you want to spend the night.

Ebenezer Park
4490 Boatshore Road
Rock Hill, SC 29732
https://www.yorkcountygov.com/212/Ebenezer-Park

Hike the Piedmont Medical Center Trail

Picture from: businessyab.com

The Piedmont Medical Center Trail is a 3.35-mile linear, paved, multi-purpose path along the Catawba River. The shaded path flanked by trees offers stunning views of the river. The 10-foot-wide path connects Riverwalk at one end to River Park at the other.

The River Park and Riverwalk parking have restrooms. Be aware, the path is vulnerable to floods due to its location in a floodplain, so be cautious after it rains.

You can go for a walk, run, or bike ride on the trail, and if you are with a dog, it has to be on a leash.

Piedmont Medical Center Trail
100 Celriver Road
Rock Hill, SC 29730

Enjoy Some Outdoor Fun at the Rock Hill Outdoor Center

Image from: River Walk Carolina’s FB Page

The Rock Hill Outdoor Center is a recreational complex that features a variety of outdoor activities for people of all ages, including biking, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.

The complex has over 20 miles of trails for hiking and biking with varying degrees of difficulty. There is also a 250-acre lake for boating and fishing with boat rentals available on site. The Rock Hill Outdoor Center is a great place to spend a day with family or friends enjoying the beauty of nature and the thrill of outdoor adventure.

Rock Hill Outdoor Center
1159 Riverwalk Parkway
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 329-5620
https://www.riverwalkcarolinas.com/playing.php

Visit the Museum of York County

(The Naturalist Center)
Source: chmuseums.org

Visiting the Museum of York County is a great way to learn about the natural and cultural history of the area. The museum features several permanent exhibits, including a natural history hall with dioramas and live animal display, a collection of American Indian artifacts, and a historic Carolina Piedmont Village that showcases life in the region in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Museum of York County
4621 Mt. Gallant Road
Rock Hill, SC 29732
(803) 329-2121
https://chmuseums.org/myco/

Explore Downtown Rock Hill

Photo credit: visityorkcounty.com

Also called Old Town for the number of old buildings (some of which were built in the mid-1800s) and historical sites, downtown Rock Hill is also home to little shops filled with unique treasures, galleries, restaurants, cafes, and pubs.

Just walking down the attractive streets lined with greenery is a treat, and one of the best things to do in Rock Hill.

Downtown Rock Hill
East Main Street
Rock Hill, SC 29730

Hang Out at the Old Town Amphitheater

Picture from: pinterest.com

The Old Town Amphitheater is an outdoor venue located in the heart of Rock Hill’s Old Town district. Adjacent to city hall, this park has a vintage clock tower and a fountain, but the highlight is the historic amphitheater. On a normal day it is an ideal spot for relaxation and reflection.

It is also a great place to catch live music and entertainment in a beautiful outdoor setting. In addition to live music, the amphitheater also hosts a variety of cultural events, including the Juneteenth Festival and the Latin Music Festival.

Old Town Amphitheater
144 East Black Street
Rock Hill, SC 29730

Take a Guided Tour of the Campus of Winthrop University

Image from: Official Website

Winthrop University was founded in 1886 and has a beautiful campus that spans over 450 acres. The campus features a mix of traditional and modern architecture with plenty of green spaces and gardens.

Visitors to Winthrop University can take a guided tour of the university, which includes stops at historic buildings such as Tillman Hall and Dinkins Hall. The university is also home to the Winthrop University Galleries which features a rotating collection of contemporary and traditional art.

Winthrop University
701 Oakland Avenue
Rock Hill, SC 29733
(803) 323-2211
https://www.winthrop.edu/visit.aspx

Go Mountain Biking at the Anne Springs Close Greenway

Source: Official FB Page

Located in nearby Fort Mill, the Anne Springs Close Greenway is where visitors to the Rock Hill area can go if they want to spend a day surrounded by untouched wilderness. This 2,100-acre nature preserve offers more than 40 miles of nature trails and two lakes.

The trails offer a variety of difficulty levels, so whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider, there is a trail for you.

Anne Springs Close Greenway
104 Adventure Road
Fort Mills, SC 29715
(803) 547-4575
https://www.ascgreenway.org

Take the Kids To the Main Street Children’s Museum

Photo credit: chmuseums.org

If you’re traveling with little ones, the Main Street Children’s Museum is a must stop when visiting Rock Hill. This museum, which is best suited for kids under the age of six, has fun exhibits and the best thing about it is that they’ll be learning while having fun and they won’t even know it.

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Main Street Children’s Museum
131 East Main Street
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 327-6400
https://chmuseums.org/childrens/

Play a Round of Disc Golf at SouthTown Wake Park

Picture from: Official FB Page


SouthTown Wake Park is a fantastic water park and a superb location for outdoor adventures with loved ones and friends.

There are many enjoyable outdoor activities there, along with gorgeous scenery. Play a round of disc golf or jump in the water. Excellently constructed and awesome for wakeboarding is the obstacle course on the water. The facility also has a central cable that you may ride and enjoy.

Two artificial lakes at Southtown Wake Park provide riders of all ability levels the best experience.

SouthTown Wake Park
255 East Rambo Road
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 324-3020
https://southtownwakepark.com/

Test Your Skills at the Rock Hill BMX Supercross Track

Image from: Official FB Page

The Rock Hill BMX Supercross Track is a world-class facility that hosts international BMX competitions. While racing enthusiasts from around the world flock to witness the thrilling action at the velodrome and dirt track, these exceptional facilities were purposely designed to be accessible to all. It’s a great place to test your skills on the jumps and turns.

Rock Hill BMX Supercross Track
1307 Riverwalk Parkway
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 326-2441
https://www.facebook.com/rockhillbmxsupercrosstrack/

Enjoy an Assortment of Water Adventures at the Catawba River

Source: Official FB Page

There is no complete list of what to do in Rock Hill that does not include going on water adventures at Catawba River. This scenic river not only offers breathtaking views, but it’s also an excellent venue for camping and nature retreats. Kayaking, boating, fishing, and swimming are just a few of the many activities. You can learn how to get involved with each activity by visiting Catawba River Keeper’s website.

The Catawba River flows through 24 North and South Carolina counties and provides drinking water to almost two million people. Thus, it is essential to treat the area with the utmost respect and care during your visit.

Catawba Riverkeeper
(704) 679-9494
https://www.catawbariverkeeper.org/

Ride a Roller Coaster at the Carowinds Amusement Park

Photo credit: Official FB Page

The Carowinds Amusement Park is a great place to spend a fun day. Located just 30 minutes from Rock Hill in Charlotte, NC, this park features roller coasters, a water park, plenty of live entertainment, and many special events that are fun for the whole family.

Popular rides include everything from carnival style attractions to massive high-speed roller coasters. The water park allows guests to unwind while drifting along a lazy river, activate their boogie-boarding skills on a fun racer, and speed down a huge 6-story waterside.

Carowinds Amusement Park
14523 Carowinds Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 29277
(704) 588-2600
https://www.carowinds.com/

Fly High in a Hot Air Balloon

Picture from: businessyab.com

An Eagle’s Wing hot air balloon ride will give you a bird’s eye view of the whole beautiful area. You can see the Charlotte skyline, Kings Mountain, and the beautiful landscape of rural York County. Eagle’s Wings “flies” year-round.

Eagle’s Wings Hot Air Balloons
1105 Christopher Circle # 4814
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 230-1178
https://eagleswingshotairballoons.wordpress.com/

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Visit Historic Brattonsville

Image from: chmuseums.org

Situated a half hour from Rock Hill, historic Brattonsville provides a glimpse of a frontier farming plantation as well as early American history that encompasses the experience of both the Scot-Irish and African-American people.

The historic site also covers the Revolutionary War and life in 18th century South Carolina. The 800-acre site contains more than 30 historic buildings from the colonial and antebellum era as well as a plantation house, a number of museums, and more than eight miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.

In addition, the site is home to an annual Revolutionary War reenactment that portrays the Battle of Huck’s Defeat, a pivotal encounter between the British and Patriot soldiers resulting in a Patriot victory.

Historic Brattonsville
1444 Brattonsville Road
McConnells, SC 29726
(803) 684-2327
https://chmuseums.org/brattonsville/

Sample the Wine at Cat’s Paw Winery

Source: Official Website

A beautiful quaint winery in the woods, this hidden gem is perfect for a wine tasting. At Cat’s Paw Winery all the wines are meticulously crafted on site using organic ingredients. Among their notable offerings are strawberry, watermelon, peach, and Merlot. At Cat Paw’s Winery you can indulge in the rich world of wine while surrounded by the serene beauty of the wooded landscape.

Cat’s Paw Winery
1567 Fayrene Road
Rock Hill, SC 29732
https://www.catspawwinery.com/

Grab a Beer and Pizza at Rock Hill Brewing Company

Photo credit: Official FB Page

Situated in a charming historic building downtown, Rock Hill Brewing Company serves its own craft beers and hickory-fired pizza.

Rock Hill Brewing Company
121 Caldwell Street STE 101
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 980-2337
https://millstonepizzaandtap.com/rockhill-brewing/

Have Lunch at the Flipside Restaurant

Picture from: Official Website

Located in Rock Hill’s historic downtown, this little dining spot features burgers, sandwiches, charcuterie boards, and the famed “Army’s Pimento Cheese” served as an appetizer with crispy fried pretzels.

The Flipside Restaurant
129 Caldwell Street
Rocky Hill, SC 29730
(803) 324-3547
https://www.theflipsiderestaurant.com/flipside-restaurant

Make a Dinner Reservation at the Pump House

Image from: Official FB Page

This former industrial pump house-turned refined tablecloth restaurant features a locally sourced Southern inspired chophouse menu, handcrafted signature cocktails, and a Wine Spectator wine list. If you dine on the patio (which you definitely should if weather permits) you can enjoy views of the picturesque Catawba River.

The Pump House
575 Herron Ferry Road
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 329-8888
https://rockhillpumphouse.com/

Spend the Night at the East Main Guest House

(The Fountain Suite)
Source: Official Website

East Main Guest House is a renovated turn-of-the century B & B with three guest rooms (two of them with fireplaces) and a separate one-bedroom carriage house. The exquisite accommodations are walking distance from all downtown attractions and restaurants.

East Main Guest House
600 East Main Street
Rock Hill, SC 29730
(803) 366-1161
https://eastmainguesthouse.com/

Photo credit: hercampus.com

Final Thoughts

There is something for everyone in Rock Hill, South Carolina, which exudes Southern hospitality and boasts a wealth of history and outstanding outdoor activities. So, what are you waiting for? Plan a trip to Rock Hill and get ready to be amazed by all that the city has in store for you.

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