It’s one of the fastest growing towns in the region, but Fort Mill still offers a nice change of pace and scenery just 25 minutes south of Charlotte.
Some buildings on Fort Mill’s charming Main Street date back to the 1800s, when the town was first established.
It’s located along the Catawba River and Lake Wylie, so there are plenty of water activities to keep cool on a summer day.
Although the town is no longer the major textile manufacturing hub it once was, Fort Mill is still home to one of the nation’s largest textile manufacturing firms, Springs Global US, Inc. Many of its 22,000 residents work in textiles; others commute to Charlotte for work.
Here are 20 of our favorite things to do in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
(1) Explore the Anne Springs Close Greenway
The greenway, situated on 2,100 acres, offers horseback riding, yoga classes, kayaking, and plenty of other activities.
During the month of July, Anne Springs is holding Sunset Sessions on Friday and Saturday nights for members. You’ll find food and music all while social distancing under a colorful summer sunset.
The greenway has monthly memberships for individuals and families and daily entrance fees from $6 to $15. Access to the trails is open to everyone Monday through Thursday; membership is required for weekend access.
(2) Sip a craft beer at Amor Artis Brewing
The family-owned brewery uses “traditional methods with a modern approach.” The brewery sells beer by the bottle and by the can (take a look at the beautiful labels), and on tap.
It also holds regular in-person and virtual events, including yoga classes, music bingo, and painting classes.
Fun fact: Amor Artis’ labels are created by another Fort Mill business, Tied and Two.
(3) Pick up fresh produce from Tega Hills on-farm store
This Fort Mill farm has been supplying fresh food for local grocery stores and restaurants since 1970. It uses hydroponic systems in a controlled environment to grow tomatoes, greens, cucumbers, and more.
Find Tega Hills’ products at local farmers’ markets, or stop by the farm to pick up your own produce. The farm also has guided tours.
(4) Watch the sunset from Spice Asian Kitchen’s rooftop
The restaurant draws its inspiration from all over Asia — everything from KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) wings to poké and bimimbap bowls and drunken noodles. Don’t forget about the cocktails, too.
(5) Order the shrimp & grits at Local Dish
If you’ve lived in the South for longer than a week, you know just how popular and prevalent shrimp and grits are on Southern menus. Even if you’ve had it a million times before, we suggest giving it another go at Local Dish.
The restaurant credits itself with helping to revamp Main Street in Fort Mill back in 2012. It was the only restaurant on Main Street when it opened.
(6) Ride every rollercoaster at Carowinds (temporarily closed)
A summer must in the Carolinas. Part of the 407-acre theme park is in Fort Mill, but the other part is in Charlotte. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the whole thing is closed.
It’s unclear when the park will reopen. But since its official address puts it in North Carolina, the amusement park likely won’t reopen until the state enters phase three, which could start in mid-July.
(7) Look out over the Catawba River with brunch at The Pump House
Technically in nearby Rock Hill, just a short drive away. The restaurant won Open Table’s Diner’s Choice Award three years in a row. Plus it’s on Forbes’ list of most scenic restaurants in America.
Led by executive chef Michael Griswold, the Pump House team serves Southern food with a twist as its guests dine on the water. Don’t miss your opportunity to grab a slice of its very Southern desert, Cheerwine chocolate cake.
(8) Shop for a new outfit at Broadcloth Boutique
The intersection of Broadcloth Street and Textile Way is the pretty good place for a clothing store. This shop offers Southern styles with a modern twist.
Broadcloth is in the popular Kingsley development. When you’re done shopping, grab a bite at Taco Molino, a popular Mexican street food restaurant.
Pro tip: Check out the store’s new arrivals ahead of time on Facebook.
(9) Stock up on quarantine essentials at Frugal MacDoogal Beverage Warehouse
The first and largest beverage warehouse in the Carolinas is a must stop when visiting Fort Mill. You’ll find specialty wines, liquors, and beers at the enormous warehouse. Many are offered at discounted prices. Frugal MacDoogal also sells cigars.
Check the website and sign up for the newsletter for special features. Right now Heaven’s Door Hwy 61 Barrel has a shoutout on the main page; it was specially blended and barreled for Frugal MacDoogal.
Plus it’s just fun to say Frugal MacDoogal.
Feeling adventurous? This stop is for you. The zipline tours take visitors around the Catawba River with an unbeatable view.
The tours can accommodate different age groups and experience levels. They even offer night tours.
Canaan is a Christian non-profit that also offers camps, retreats, and adventure programs. Its mission is to “help others discover their purpose, find hope, and grow in a community of faith.”
(11) Do tapas and wine at Corkscrew
The wine bar with Fort Mill, Charlotte, and Huntersville locations has a massive wine list, plus five different charcuterie boards, including a vegan option with avocado, tofu, and fruit.
If wine isn’t your drink of choice, you’ll also find beers by the can and rotating beers on tap.
(12) Play all 18 holes at Fort Mill Golf Club
The championship golf course was founded in 1948. The first nine holes at the course were designed by the legendary Donald Ross.
While social distancing and Covid precautions are in place, it’s still open. It costs $50 for 18 holes, $30 for nine.
(13) Dine al fresco at Napa at Kingsley
The West Coast found a home down south at this Napa Valley inspired restaurant.
The scratch kitchen offers pan-seared beef tenderloin, fig and prosciutto flat bread, and shrimp and lemon gnocchi. Guests can also try Napa’s charcuterie board and, of course, an extensive wine list. It boasts the largest wine on tap system in the state.
(14) Enjoy fresh peaches from Springs Farm drive-thru peach stand
Georgia is known as “the peach state” but South Carolina actually grows more of the juicy summer fruit.
Spring Farms sells peaches, strawberries, and cucumbers. It also runs farm tours.
If you want Springs Farm produce on the regular, join its CSA program. You’ll get a fresh box of produce each week. The program is full for this year but keep an eye out for next year’s registration.
(15) Test your limits at PuckerButt Pepper Company
Remember the one chip challenge? The pepper used to make that one incredibly hot chip was the Carolina Reaper. It’s the hottest pepper in the world and it’s grown in Fort Mill at PuckerButt. Proceed with caution.
At PuckerButt you’ll find hot sauces, with heat levels ranging from “this has a nice kick” to “my mouth is on fire, please help me.” If you’re really feeling brave, try The Silencer. The online description says, “One drop is all it takes. Silence those who have harmed you!”
You can also buy seeds to grow your own Carolina Reapers.
(16) Grab coffee and/or take a pottery class at Olive’s Mud Puddle
The art gallery/coffee shop has a little bit of everything. Change up your work from home routine and grab a coffee, pastry, and a socially distanced table at the artsy shop. It also serves beer and wine.
Or bring Olive’s Mud to your home with one of its take-home pottery kits, perfect for a date night or family activity.
The shop holds regular art classes for both kids and adults and gallery exhibits showcasing local artists.
(17) Stroll along Main Street
Fort Mill’s charming Main Street is located right along an old railroad track. Unlike most downtowns, you’ll find free parking and plenty of it.
We suggest barbecue at Improper Pig, then a salted Carmel milkshake from Hobo’s, and finally a stop by Crossings on Main (check out the Fort Mill mural before you go). The eclectic gift shop has been around for 28 years and sells a little bit of everything, from local art to baby clothes.
(18) Watch the game at Wing King
Don’t let the name fool you. Although you will find classic and delicious wings at Wing King, you can also choose among a variety of street foods. The restaurant serves fish sandwiches, cheesesteaks, loaded potatoes, seafood baskets, and even quesadillas.
Wing King prides itself on being a friendly, neighborhood stop where regulars, and visitors, can kick back, eat, drink, and watch the Panthers game.
(19) Celebrate summer at the South Carolina Strawberry Festival
On the first full weekend of May, national strawberry month, hundreds of people gather to celebrate their favorite berry.
This year the festival was virtual because of Covid restrictions. Most years the festival hosts baking contests, the crowning of the Strawberry Queens, strawberry games, and of course lots of actual strawberries. This year all of these events took place online.
You can still check out a few of the festival events and participate in activities, like this strawberry word search, on the festival’s website.
(20) Satisfy your sweet tooth at Cupcrazed Cakery
The shop just a couple miles from Main Street sells cupcakes, cake pops, brownies, and lots of other sugary treats. It’s been featured on Food Network’s Top Places to Eat list.
Look out for specialty creative deserts such as s’mores pop tarts and cookies and cream scones.
Deals: Stop by the shop on a Tuesday to get cupcakes, brownies, and cheesecakes for $2 each.