Looking for things to do in Rock Hill South Carolina? You have come to the right place! This vibrant community is home to a variety of attractions, from beautiful parks and gardens to historic landmarks and cultural centers there is something for everyone in the family to love.
There are hiking and outdoor activities museums, festivals, and more, this vibrant community is a hub of fun and entertainment. If you’re into water sports, the Catawba River is perfect for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. The Riverwalk is also a great spot for a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the riverbank. And for history buffs, there’s no shortage of landmarks and museums to explore Rock Hills’ past.
No matter what you are looking for Rock Hill is the cutest small town near Charlotte NC and you are going to love getting away for the weekend, or even longer!
15 Best Things to Do in Rock Hill SC
Visit the Glencairn Garden
One of the most popular attractions in Rock Hill is to take a visit to the Glencairn Gardens. These big beautiful gardens are open all year round and there is plenty to keep you entertained. You can spend your day walking around the many paved paths or relaxing on one of the benches with an amazing view. Be sure to check out the official website for fun events like live music and festivals.
The gardens are full of beautiful flowers, trees, and fountains that make for a relaxing day strolling around. Enjoy a visit every day at the Glenciran Gardens from dusk till dawn. There is never an entrance fee and you can stay as long as you wish. Bring a picnic and enjoy the sunshine at one of the free things to do in Rock Hill SC.
Visit a Brewery or two.
One of the best things to do in Rock Hill SC is to visit one of the many brewers around town. One of the most popular breweries is Legal Remedy Brewing. Here they have a full kitchen and many flavors of brew to choose from.
If you are looking for an outdoor brewery, Slow Play may be a better choice for you. Here they have a great tasting room with big windows that they leave open on nice days. They are always experimenting with new flavors, and host fun events throughout the year.
Another brewery to visit, the Dust Off Brewery, has a fun military aviation theme. Here you can check out all the cool aviation props set up around the brewery or hang outside in the sun. No matter which one you choose you are going to have the best day brewery hopping around South Hill.
Go Explore the Old Town and Go Shopping
If you didn’t already know Rock Hill has an amazing old town. Here you can relax or spend your day shopping until you drop. Some of the more popular boutiques are KatyLoo Boutique, Mercantile, and the Clover Antiques Shop. Here you can find everything from one-of-a-kind dresses to a centuries-old chest hiding in the back of one of the antique shops.
For drinks, you are going to love watching the sunset from the rooftop bar or head to Jackass Cafe and wine bar. Kounter is one of the most historic buildings in the old town, and have an amazing menu This restaurant is best known for the Friendship 9 sit-in back in back in 1961.
There are also plenty of art museums and pop-up events happening frequently throughout the year. Exploring the old town is one of the best things to do for adults in Rock Hill SC.
Visit the Museum of York County
Up next is visiting the Museum of York County. Here you can walk through the different exhibits explaining the natural history of the Carolina Piedmont region. Throughout the museum, you will see the progression of wildlife and showcases the different people who have inhabited the region.
The most popular exhibit is the Vernon Grant Gallery. This room features the artwork of Vernon Grant a rock hill local who was the artist of the famous children’s book, “The Night Before Christmas”.
You can also attend lectures, workshops, and family-friendly activities. Be sure to check the local website to sign up for any events and grab tickets!
One of the best things to do in Rock Hill SC is to learn about the town’s rich history in the civil rights movement. When walking the Freedom Walkway you will want to take note of the 11 different markers. These all represent the significant events that took place in during the struggling times of the 1960s.
The Freedom Walkway starts at the intersection of Main Street and East White Street in the downtown area. You will want to follow the trail down to see sites such as the Rock Hill and the Rosenwald School.
There is no admission fee and the walkway is always open. Wear comfy shoes and dress for the elements, because the entire trail is outdoors.
Catawba Indian Cultural Center
Another one of the top attractions in Rock Hill SC is the Catawba Indian Cultural Center. This center is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history, culture, and traditions of the local Catawba Tribe.
You will find history, art, and displays of how the tribe lived their daily life. There are interesting artifacts, photographs, and even a short film to view. The Catawba pottery is still made in the traditional ancient techniques and their collection is very popular you can purchase beautiful pieces to take home.
Be sure to check out the educational programs and events. If you are lucky during your visit you might catch a Catawba dance performance and powwow. Purchase tickets online beforehand or at the door. Plus, they are only a short 10-minute drive away if you are staying downtown.
Rock Hill Community Theather
One of the best things to do in Rock Hill at night is to take a trip to Rock Hill Community Theater. You can catch live theatrical productions and even a few educational opportunities here. This nonprofit is a staple in the community and has been putting on performances since the 1940s.
The most popular play this year is the Sweeny Todd performance which takes place in the summer. They also offer theatre camps and fun shows to watch almost every weekend. They have all types of shows including dramas, comedies, and musicals.
If you are thinking of catching a few shows, you can purchase bundle tickets online or at the door. This is one of the best things to do in Rock Hill, SC, and helps give back to the local community.
Anne Springs Close Greenway
You will never get bored while visiting the Anne Springs Close Greenway. This 2,100-acre nature preserve is full of both recreational and educational events. Take your pick between 40 miles of biking and hiking trails.
A shorter hike to complete is the 2.2 loop trail the Lake Haigler trail. This is one of the easiest trails and takes a loop around the lake. If you are looking for a more challenging trail the Blue Star is a 7.8-mile trail through the forests, fields, and wetlands and is one of the best Rock Hill SC activities.
The Anne Springs Close Greenway is only about 10 miles southwest of Rock Hill and you can easily get there in about 20 minutes from downtown.
Check out the Come-See-Me-Festival
The locals in Rock Hill look forward to April when the Come-See-Me-Festival rolls around. This was first held in 1962 and today has transformed into one of the most popular spring events. Every year there is a big carnival, parades, and fireworks displays.
The Mayor’s Frog Jump is an event where there are hundreds of live frogs competing to see who is the fastest. And you will love the Gourmet Garden where the local chefs and restaurants showcase their best dishes.
And this is one of the fun things to do in Rock Hill for children too. There is a big separate event called Kidsfest with fun activities, games, and face paintings. And for all the active travelers there is a 5K where you run through Rock Hills’ most scenic and iconic streets.
The event is always in late April, but check their website to see what year it falls on this year!
Day Trip to Charlotte NC
Located just a short drive away is the fun and bustling city of Charlotte NC. There is so much to see and do in Charlotte that you can visit any time of the year. There are amazing museums like the Mint Museum Uptown and the Discovery Place Science Museum.
The food scene in Charlotte is also amazing and there are places for brunch, cafes around for a pick me up, and the nightlife is amazing. The South End neighborhood is where you will find most of these trendy restaurants.
A day trip from Rock Hill SC to Charlotte NC typically takes about 30-40 minutes depending on traffic. You are going to love visiting Charlotte it is one of the best southern towns in NC.
In the nearby town of York County is the Brattonsville Battlefield. This was a historic meeting ground between the English and Patriot American forces during the Revolutionary War in 1780.
Check out their website to see when the next live demonstration and reenactment takes place. No matter what day you visit you can take a self or guided tour with key stops along the way.
You can tour the historic building that still stands on the grounds, and watch a few live demonstrations of 18th-century crafts, like blacksmithing and basket weaving.
The Brattonsville Battlefield is one of the top places to visit in Rock Hill for history buffs and anyone looking to learn a little more about the Rock Hill part in the Revolutionary War.
Rock Hill Outdoor Center
The Outdoor Center of Rock Hill has an extensive network of over 30 miles of hiking and biking trails. It is on the scenic Catawba River and also has water activities for all age levels.
You can rent kayaks and canoes and explore the riverfront, or relax at one of the covered picnic areas. There is also a big playground for the children and an 18-hour disc golf course. You will not want to miss playing at the 3D archery range, it is a great place to test your bow skills.
If you love the great outdoors and looking for what to do in Rock Hill, the Outdoor Center is just the place for you.
Play a Round of Golf
Speaking of getting outdoors, there are ample golf courses in Rock Hill to play. The Waterford Golf Club is in the heart of Rock Hill and has a challenging layout for even the pros. Another club to check out is Springfield in Rock Hill. This beautiful course was designed by Clyde Johnson and is on 350 acres of rolling hills on the Catawba River.
There is also the Rock Hill Country Club which has tight fairways with big bunkers to get stuck in. Golfing is one of the best activities in Rock Hill South Carolina, and all ages are welcome to play at any of these courses.
It will be best to make a tee time at any of these places before showing up, they do get busy in the warmer months of the year.
Visit the Historic White Home
The Historic White House was built back in 1852 and has housed some of Rock Hills’ most prominent locals. It was purchased by the town in the early 200s and has been redecorated to fit the early 19th-century decor. You can visit and tours the grounds from Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm.
The Historic White Home hosts events throughout the year with fun themes like an antique car show and an arts and craft festival. If you fall in love with the Historic White Home you can book the entire home for a party or wedding event! Be sure to check out their website to see more fun things to do in Rock Hill at the White Home.
One of the best things to do in Rock Hill with kids is to take them to Fountain Park. This big park is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and greenery in the right season. There are plenty of amenities around including picnic areas, walking trails, and a big playground for the kids.
This park in Rock Hill gets its name from the beautiful fountain in the middle. During the day the fountain flows but at night it lights up with beautiful displays with shooting water and a light show.
Fountain Park is also home to popular festival, the Come-See-Me-Festival, and there are pop-up events like farmers markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm.