Spartanburg Methodist College is a cozy liberal arts college tucked into the bustling area of Spartanburg, South Carolina. The surrounding city is energetic and charming and has officially been dubbed a “college town” thanks to a total of seven higher education institutions scattered around town. This means there is a very large student population within Spartanburg, but what do they do in their free time? What is there for a student to do to get out of their dorms and into the real world? Here is a list of the top activities for Spartanburg Methodist students on and off campus.
First and foremost, what is there to do on campus? Many students living on campus, especially those from out of town, may not have easy access to transportation, and the last thing you want is to be stuck in your dorm on a homework-free night figuring out ways to turn ramen into a five-star meal. Get out! There are always events going on around campus to keep students busy, including school-wide block parties, movie nights, cookouts, game nights and more! SMC also offers a number of academic events to stretch your brain and get you ready for the workforce. Pair these with the SMC athletic events and plays, and you will never get bored on campus. The assortment of offered activities can be seen on the SMCX Instagram page, so go check it out now!
Right down the road from Spartanburg Methodist College is the charming area of downtown Spartanburg. Though not known for its size or glamour, the City of Spartanburg offers a lot for the bored student. The city has an art presence that’s bursting at its seams, adorning the town with local art and fantastical murals throughout the city. Local stages like Fr8Yard, RJ Rockers and the Chapman Cultural Center help draw publicity to Spartanburg’s local artwork. Downtown Spartanburg also holds annual events and festivals such as the International Festival, the Spring Fling, Dickens of a Christmas and Music on Main.
Finally, the best part of downtown is the free mini golf. Tucked away in the alleyways of downtown Spartanburg is the cutest little minigolf course you’ll ever see. It’s free to the public on one condition: You must complete a scavenger hunt through the various shops that populate the town before receiving the clubs and golf balls. This gets you familiar with all the great small businesses in the area and offers you a peaceful game of mini golf as a reward. Downtown Spartanburg may not be the flashiest city, but its culture keeps the city feeling alive.
Speaking of the alleyways of downtown, there is another gem to be found between two improvised walls. Fr8Yard is a locally owned outdoor bar and restaurant, or biergarten, constructed out of recycled shipping containers, hence the name Fr8Yard. The bar holds weekly music and comedy events on its outdoor stage, and sports fans flock in to watch the games projected onto the side of a neighboring building. There is also plenty of room to dance if you feel so inclined — we won’t judge. During the summer, Fr8Yard also hosts movie nights, and even better, pets are allowed. The ultra-casual feel of this biergarten makes it almost impossible not to relax and enjoy yourself on a night out of the dorm.
Need a new blouse? Shoes? How about some sushi or pizza? Or maybe you just need to get your steps in. Whatever you need, there is no reason not to go to Westgate Mall. Westgate is just a seven-minute drive from Spartanburg Methodist college, making it a quick and easy hangout spot for students. It offers a variety of popular stores such as Forever 21, Bath & Body Works and American Eagle, and its food court fails to disappoint even the pickiest of eaters with sushi, pizza, Chinese, chicken wings and even a Chick-Fil-A. Westgate is my personal favorite place to kill time and chill with friends even if I don’t want to spend a cent, so check it out whenever you get bored of rearranging your dorm room for the fifth time this week.
Chapman Cultural Center
The Chapman Cultural Center is located at the pulse of downtown Spartanburg and is a great place for any fan of the arts, including bored students. The Chapman Cultural Center hosts popular plays, concerts, local art exhibits, ballet classes and an interactive science lab for the kiddos. My personal favorite event at the Chapman Cultural Center was the Nostalgic Spartanburg Philharmonic show in which a local orchestra spent the whole night playing nostalgic TV theme songs. The Cultural Center is also responsible for most, if not all, of the art pieces and murals around town, and it neighbors a beautiful amphitheater called Barnet Park where it hosts outdoor events. While it’s not every student’s cup of tea, The Chapman Cultural Center offers a more artistic and sophisticated experience.
RJ Rockers Brewing Company
Now let’s talk about another bar! One of the oldest brewers in the state, RJ Rockers is a local brewing company with some of the best beer around. RJ Rockers also serves up tasty pizza, burgers and nachos for those with the munchies. Much like Fr8Yard, RJ Rockers hosts live music every week as well as events, and the best part is that students receive specials on food and drinks every Thursday with a valid student ID. Who doesn’t love cheap food and drinks? So, if you’re trying to escape your annoying roommate on a Thursday night, spend some time at RJ Rockers in downtown Spartanburg.
For the outdoorsy students who can find a ride, Spartanburg Methodist College sits within an hour and a half drive of 10 wonderful state parks. These parks offer a variety of amenities, including boat access, fishing, hiking, swimming and camping. Additionally, certain parks stand out among the others for their breathtaking mountain views and waterfalls, including Jones Gap, Caesar’s Head and Table Rock. Croft State Park is the closest park, just 25 minutes away from Spartanburg Methodist College, and serves as Spartanburg’s official backdoor into the wilderness. The park offers boat access, equestrian activities, fishing and two hiking trails. It’s not the biggest or flashiest state park, but it offers students the closest opportunity to escape the pressures of school and find serenity in nature.
As a small town housing seven higher education institutions, Spartanburg has a big order to fill keeping students busy. Fortunately, Spartanburg Methodist College and the City of Spartanburg offer a variety of things to do on those boring nights, so get out of your dorm and get exploring! You never know what new adventures you may discover.