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Beyond Charlotte: Things to do in Fort Mill SC!

Updated: Mar 14

Nestled in the northernmost part of South Carolina, just at the border of North Carolina near Charlotte, is the charming town of Fort Mill. With a rich history, thriving local businesses, top-rated attractions, and delightful food and accommodations, Fort Mill is a must-visit for travelers. So, cross the NC line into South Carolina and explore the best things to do and see in Fort Mill SC!


Fort Mill South Carolina
Fort Mill South Carolina

History

Lake at Anne Springs Close Greenway
Lake at Anne Springs Close Greenway

Fort Mill is more than just a bedroom community of Charlotte, North Carolina. The town has a rich history dating back to the early 1700s, during which it served as a vital location for settlers and a significant point on trade routes. You can take a trip back in time by visiting the Anne Springs Close Greenway, a beautiful 2,100-acre nature preserve, which was once a working farm. It now offers hiking trails, lakes, equestrian facilities, and a historic grist mill, where you can learn about the wheat and corn production techniques used in the past. Anne Springs Close Greenway even has some more historical items. For example, Famous Preacher Billy Graham who is from the Charlotte NC area, his grandfather's cabin is located here. This is not the original location of the cabin; it was moved here for preservation. There is also an old plantation house that has a place in the history of the civil war. Near the edge of the Greenway if you look closely, you can also spot some bricks in the ground. This was the original Nations Ford Road, which helped travelers get from the south to Washington DC. It was a major travel and trade route during the 17 and 1800's.

Kingsley area where the Paper Mill used to be
Kingsley area where the Paper Mill used to be

Anne Springs Close ancestry also owned almost all of Fort Mill at one point, from the plantation in the 1800s and then on into the 1900's when a paper mill opened up in Fort Mill (the Kingsley area). That family has always been a real prominent in the area.


Now remember back to the 1980's to the time of Tammy Faye Bakker and her husband Jim Bakker. You remember those names, and all the controversy of that time? Fort Mill South Carolina was home to their Heritage USA water/theme park. Fort Mill is the area they called home, and they recorded their TV shows in Charlotte NC. Up until the past 10 years you could remnants of this park, but now residential areas have been built on the land. If you drive down Regent Park, you will still notice the large condo building that was where everyone stayed while visiting the park instead of staying at a hotel closer to the interstate. Chatty Cathy's Coffee Shop is located in the area, and you can walk around Heritage Lake on Heritage Lake Trail. Still a neat place to drive by, just knowing what was here 40 years ago.



Attractions

Fort Mill South Carolina has several notable attractions that you cannot miss when you visit. If you are staying in Charlotte North Carolina, you must travel to Fort Mill to see these sights. Here is the list below.

Anne Springs Close Greenway
Anne Springs Close Greenway
  • The Carowinds amusement park provides enjoyment for all ages with its thrilling rides, waterpark, concerts, and events throughout the year. What is funny about Carowinds is half of it is South Carolina, the other part is in North Carolina. They are not open all year, but offer SCarowinds for Halloween, and a Christmas season decoration, before closing down until Spring. In the spring and summer take a ride on their roller coasters.

  • Carolina Thread Trail offers over 260 miles of trails, linking cities and towns across the Carolinas, and it passes through Fort Mill.

  • Lake Wylie- near Tega Cay South Carolina. This is just a hop skip and a jump away. Drive out to the Nivens area where there is a boat ramp where you can take your boat out, or even canoe, kayak or paddle board out on Lake Wylie.

  • As mentioned before, the Anne Springs Close Greenway is a great place to spend a day, Hiking, fishing, and so much more.

  • There are 2 mini golf places nearby. Mr. Putty's Fun Park in Tega Cay (they also have a rope climbing course. In Indian Land there is High Seas Miniature Golf

Downtown picture, Puckerbutt Pepper Company can be seen
Downtown picture, Puckerbutt Pepper Company can be seen
Viator
  • The historic downtown Fort Mill is another must-visit destination, with its beautiful architecture, quaint shops, and restaurants.

  • Fort Mill History Museum showcases the town's history, including its role in the American Revolution and the American Civil War.

  • The Clebourne House in downtown Fort Mill is a beautiful site, mainly used for special events. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Don't forget to visit the Fort Mill Farmers Market and stock up on fresh produce, handmade soap, and other goodies from local vendors.

  • Visit the train caboose in downtown, it is a great photo spot and pays tribute the railroad that runs through the middle of town.

  • One of the best things I like to do is walk downtown on Main Street. Grab some food at Hobo's or Improper Pig, walk down to Puckerbutt pepper company to see their spicy hot sauces, known for having the hottest pepper in the world. Most importantly just being out on a warm spring day or in the summer people watching especially on the weekends. For a small downtown area, it is really fun to explore.

  • On the South Carolina side Fort Mill is just next door to the larger city of Rock Hill. The Catawba River is located under the bridge on the way to Rock Hill, where you can also find many water activities to fill your day. From fishing, to rafting you can spend the day on the river by yourself or with a tour.

Food

After a day of exploring the town's history and attractions, it's time to indulge in the local cuisine. Fort Mill South Carolina has plenty of delicious options, including seafood, barbeque, pizza, and vegetarian. You do not need to travel to Charlotte North Carolina for an amazing meal.

  • Poppyseed Kitchen has a great breakfast and lunch items. I just love their Monte Cristo.

  • Local Dish is a farm-to-table restaurant with a relaxing patio and delicious comfort food, where local ingredients from Carolinas' farms transform into artfully plated dishes.

  • You can visit the Flipside Cafe, a local favorite that serves gourmet hamburgers and cocktails.

  • Captain Steve's has great seafood and is always busy. Just check their website because they have odd hours, but you will not be disappointed.

Improper Pig and Hobo's can be seen in this picture
Improper Pig and Hobo's can be seen in this picture
  • Improper Pig in downtown has amazing bar-b-que, I just love their bar-b-que egg rolls, they are the best thing I have ever had. There is another location in Charlotte, but this is not a chain restaurant.

  • Hobo's located in downtown has amazing burgers and great adult Milkshakes. The perfect location, where you can dine inside or outside.

  • The Peach Stand looks like a convivence store from the outside, but on the inside, it is something more. With a bakery, butchers' shop and a restaurant, it is definitely worth a quick stop.

Travel Up

Events

Picture from the Fort Mill downtown area, Scarecrow Crawl.
Picture from the Fort Mill downtown area, Scarecrow Crawl.

The most popular event in Fort Mill South Carolina is the Strawberry Festival. It happens on a long weekend, usually the first weekend of May. They have a variety of events to attend, and of course eat tons of strawberries. From a 5K to naming Miss Strawberry Festival to concerts and much more. This is one of the must-see events of Fort Mill. This event draws travelers from beyond Charlotte North Carolina. It is more than a local event.


Check out the York County Website that way you can see other events they have during the year. I love their concert series in September, the shut down the downtown area and set up a stage at the end of the street, you can walk to all the shops and food places in the downtown area. Get some great food and drinks and enjoy the night.


They have built a new amphitheater in the town park, where the have concerts during the summer. Also, for Christmas and Halloween the town goes wild with decorations. It is a sight to see, I just love their Scarecrow Crawl.


Accommodations

Finally, when you visit Fort Mill South Carolina, you'll need a place to stay. There are plenty of top-rated accommodations in the town and nearby areas, including hotels, motels, and vacation rentals. Of course, travelers can stay in Charlotte North Carolina since it is just across the border, but I love staying close to Fort Mill.

  • The Courtyard Marriott Charlotte/Fort Mill, located conveniently off I-77, is an ideal option for families and couples. It features a heated indoor pool, modern guest rooms, located in the Kingsley area where there are plenty of places to eat and shop. Check out Carolina Ale House- Buffalo chicken wrap is amazing, and is a great more budget friendly option if you want more than just something quick.

  • Holiday Inn is a great option also, and it's across the street from Baxter Village. I just love shopping and taking a walk around Baxter. Go to Cupcrazed Cakery, they have been on the Food Network.

  • Check out VRBO and Airbnb, there are several rentals in the area and some on lake Wylie which would be so great and relaxing to stay there.

  • KOA Campground is also nearby if you are the type that likes to camp. Click on their link to learn more.

If you're planning a trip to the Carolinas, don't miss out on the charming town of Fort Mill in South Carolina. From its rich history and top-rated attractions to its delicious food and accommodations, Fort Mill has something for everyone. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, history buff, or simply seeking to relax, Fort Mill is sure to exceed your expectations. So, travel beyond Charlotte North Carolina and visit Fort Mill.






















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Guest
Nov 19, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Very informative article and I will have to go to some of these places.

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