The fifth largest city in South Carolina, Rock Hill is full of rich history and beautiful outdoor experiences. All of these activities will enable you and your family or friends to appreciate everything Rock Hill has to provide. Read on to learn about the best things to do in Rock Hill!
1. Glencairn Gardens
Glencairn Gardens began in 1928 as the backyard garden of two of Rock Hill’s citizens, David and Hazel Bigger. It is now a 4.5-hectare (11-acre) paradise nestled in the center of town that is ever-growing as the community that continues to cultivate it. The garden is surrounded by a residential neighborhood and connected to various areas of downtown Rock Hill. A veteran’s garden was recently added as a tribute to those who have served. While the peak blooming season is during late March/early April, visitors can enjoy azaleas, dogwoods, wisteria, camellias, and more year round.
Address: 725 Crest St, 29730 Rock Hill, SC
Website: Glencairn Gardens
2. Museum of York County
The Museum of York County has something for the entire family. Tot Town enables the museum’s youngest visitors to learn through play and hands-on activities. The Naturalist Center is a Smithsonian-style education center which includes over 2,000 specimens.
A 1.2-kilometer (0.75-mile) nature trail allows you to experience science outside of the museum. This museum also includes the Settlemyre Planetarium, the only digital full-dome theater in the region. Enjoy shows about eclipses, Saturn, and the Carolina skies, or join the journey of two ‘accidental astronauts.’
Museum of York County
Address: 4621 Mt Gallant Rd, 29732 Rock Hill, SC
Website: Museum of York County
3. Main Street Children's Museum
Inspired by the work of a local artist, Main Street Children’s Museum is meant for children aged six and under. Kids can spend hours wandering the museum, changing into fun costumes and learning creativity through play. Watch them explore the extra large pumpkin, climb to the very top of a towering tree house, or sail away on a magical ship. The museum is clean and staffed with attentive people who anticipate everything that young children need for a day full of fun and learning.
Main Street Children's Museum
Address: 133 E Main St, 29730 Rock Hill, SC
Website: Main Street Children’s Museum
4. Canaan Zip Line Canopy Tour
Canaan Zip Line Canopy Tours is a non-profit organization devoted to helping others discover their purpose and find hope by basking in the great outdoors. Ride up to nine zip lines through the trees. Experience a bird’s eye view of the Catawba River, traverse a sky bridge, hike nature trails, and zip through wild oaks.
Every step of the way, a guide will be with you to point out the sights and keep you safe. Tours can be booked for the beginner or more experienced levels, and they even offer a special night-time zip line with glow materials to enjoy the evening wildlife. You can also book a private dinner and zip lining for groups of 10 or more.
Canaan Zip Line Canopy Tour
Address: 3111 Sand Island Rd, 29732 Rock Hill, SC
Website: Canaan Zip Line Canopy Tour
5. Ebenezer Park
Located on the shores of Lake Wylie, this 10-hectare (26-acre) park provides visitors the opportunity to camp, picnic, swim, fish, and boat. With 69 campgrounds, you are sure to find a place to stay. Each site has water and electrical connections, as well as a picnic table and fire ring. The swimming area is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is protected by lifeguards, so your entire family can swim safely. If you want to do some fishing or boating during your stay, you can take advantage of the three free public boat ramps in the park.
Address: 4490 Boatshore Rd, 29732 Rock Hill, SC
Website: Ebenezer Park
6. Catawba Cultural Center
The Catawba people were once one of the most powerful tribes in the South. One of the Siouan peoples, they have a rich history in this area and most of the remaining Catawba Nation still resides in Rock Hill. They are mostly known for their traditional pottery making techniques, something that has been passed down from generation to generation for 6,000 years.
The Catawba Cultural Center celebrates these people and aims to promote and preserve their rich cultural heritage. The exhibits can be seen here for no charge, and staff members will be happy to guide you and answer any questions you may have. See artifacts and archives and learn more about the fascinating history of the Catawba people.
Catawba Cultural Center
Address: 1536 Tom Steven Rd, 29730 Rock Hill, SC
Website: Catawba Cultural Center
7. Rock Hill Outdoor Center
This 100-hectare (250-acre) outdoor space was designed and built to add more recreational space to the surrounding community. Here you can enjoy cycling, athletic fields, trails, a kayak/canoe launch, and more. Imagine hiking the 3.62-kilometer (2.25-mile) Piedmont Medical Trail, soaking up views of the beautiful Catawba River, or using the public green space for an impromptu game of frisbee with your family.
Into cycling? This is definitely the place for you. The Giordana Velodrome has hosted national cycling events and provides equipment and instructions for all experience levels. The park also features a BMX Supercross Track, paved bicycle course, and mountain bike course.
Rock Hill Outdoor Center
Address: 1159 Riverwalk Parkway, 29730 Rock Hill, SC
Website: Rock Hill Outdoor Center
8. Kayak or canoe the Catawba River
Catawba River Expeditions is one of the longest running paddle companies in the area. Once you book with them, they meet you wherever your launch area is to provide equipment and guidance. They offer three trip options based on skill level and region: Lansford Canal State Park, Lake Wylie Dam to Riverpark, and Lake Wylie Dam to Riverwalk.
Lansford Canal State Park: This is the home of the amazing Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies, and both trips here offer spectacular views of the flora in the area. The first trip is flat water, round trip, and suitable for children and beginners. Simply paddle out into the flat water with no current, enjoy cruising around in the area, and paddle back.
The second trip, however, is for experienced kayakers only. It will take you up and around swift river and rocks and to the largest population of the spider lilies. People rarely get to see this area as it is only reachable through experienced kayaking, so be prepared for a unique experience.
Lake Wylie Dam to Riverpark: This trip is rated for “adventuresome beginners.” The water is mostly calm with just a few riffles and rapids. Lasting around three hours, visitors will get the chance to see eagles, deer, osprey, heron, and more along this spectacular stretch of river.
Lake Wylie Dam to River Walk: Another super easy, self-guided float, this trip is suited for beginners and children. Enjoy a beautiful stretch of river and all the native flora and fauna. Have a fun day on the water.
Catawba River Expeditions
Website: Catawba River Expeditions
Rock Hill has plenty to offer
Rock Hill SC has plenty to offer for visitors. Enjoy a day learning, being in nature, or just exploring the town.
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