This Winthrop University grad recently went back to her old stomping grounds to get a taste of Rock Hill, and to see the transformation of this college town in the last twenty years.
Here is a wrap-up of area hotspots that make Rock Hill, South Carolina worth the trip.
My first dormroom was in one of the oldest buildings on the Winthrop Univeristy campus. I didn’t get to crash in my old pad, but I did finally get to spend a comfy night in the Inn on campus. I definitely recommend The Inn when staying in the Rock Hill area.
Founded in 1886 as a women’s college with no more than two dozen students in a single room, Winthrop University has grown to more than 6,000 students strong. I was an English major, myself. Bet you couldn’t have guessed. Back in the “old days” we walked across campus to use computers in the computer lab, and our cell phones were as big as shoe boxes and cost more than a dollar a minute. That, my friends, is what you call an emergency phone. Now students enjoy an on-campus rock wall, a huge swimming pool, racquetball courts, a Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, and a full size movie theater. Not to mention, a championship basketball team.
So much has changed. Most of the historic buildings are still there, but in addition are at least half a dozen new buildings, and an impressive collection of public art scattered about the beautiful, and easily walkable campus. Definitely worth exploring.
The Yolk | 1912 Mt Gallant Rd Rock Hill, SC 29732
- Mon: 7am-2pm
- Tue: Closed
- Wed – Sun: 7am-2pm
The Yolk is a must for breakfast (or lunch). Chef Greg Collier’s love affair with breakfast and commitment to local food is painted clearly on his seasonal menu. Slide on in at the community table and order up the Sweet Potato Waffles (Gluten FREE) and Beach Bowl (daily vegetarian grain and veggie special). Both come highly recommended (by me).
Historic Brattonsville | 1444 Brattonsville Rd, McConnells, SC 29726
- Tue – Sat: 10am -5pm
- Sun: 1pm – 5 pm
Talk about making a girl feel special! The folks at Historic Brattonsville were kind to give me the grand tour of their living history museum and let me get my hands dirty in the Revolutionary War era kitchen.
Just a short drive from Rock Hill, Historic Brattonsville presents the history of the Scots-Irish or Ulster-Scots in the South Carolina upcountry through preserving and interpreting the story of the Bratton family. There are more than 30 historic structures on the property dating as far back as the 1760’s. It’s a unique tour of the evolution of architecture in the Piedmont of South Carolina through the late 19th Century.
The onsite educators showed me how to make pickled okra in ceramic crock. We stretched a pig bladder to drape over the top and tie with a string to seal in the okra. The skin eventually hardens like a stiff cheese cloth. You are probably gagging, but I was thrilled for the hands on learning and giggled with joy the entire time.
Keep an eye on their calendar of events for hands on experiences, festivals and more.
Legal Remedy Brewing | 129 Oakland Ave. Rock Hill, SC
- Mon: Closed
- Tue: 5pm-10pm
- Wed – Thurs: 11:30am – 10pm
- Fri – Sat: 11:30am – 11pm
- Sun: 12pm – 8pm
In 2015, a lawyer, a landscape architect, two bankers and a computer guy figured beer was a worthwhile use of time, and opened Legal Remedy Brewing, a custom craft brewery and brewpub, in a vacant auto dealership in Rock Hill.
From the pulls to the beer, the legal theme runs throughout. I suffered the glutens and sampled some beer. World Court gets my nod.
I’d totally recommend this place for lunch or dinner, and hope to go back for a taste of it myself. Check out this menu. I’ve got my eye on their Carnivore Sampler which comes with their house smoked meats: turkey breast, pulled pork, brisket, and bacon along with stout mustard, fig jam and pepper jelly. I only had time for a brewery tour and a sample of their housemade bacon. This is some substantial pork, people.
The Flipside Restaurant | 3150 Highway 21 North Fort Mill SC, 29715
- Breakfast is served Mon – Fri 7am-11am
- Brunch is served Sat 9am-1pm, and Sun 9am-2pm
- Lunch is served Mon – Fri 11am-5pm, and Sat 1-5pm
- Dinner is served Mon – Thur 5-9pm, and Fri – Sat 5-10pm
I’m slowly making my way to all of the restaurants of our South Carolina Chef Ambassadors, so I was crazy excited to check The Flipside Restaurant off of my list. Chef Amy Fortes is one of our South Carolina Chef Ambassadors for 2017, and owns three restaurants and a catering company with her husband Jon: The Flipside Restaurant (Rock Hill), Flipside Cafe (Fort Mill), Corner Grind (Pineville, NC), and Flipside Catering.
Flipside is a true neighborhood restaurant, located in historic downtown Rock Hill, and offers locally inspired comfort food. Open 7 days a week, the restaurant is a great stop for lunch and dinner, and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Rarely do I get excited over a soup, but I wasn’t about to leave a drop of this Corn Chowder with Gouda and Corn Fritters.
Amelies French Bakery | 157 E. Main Street Rock Hill, SC
- Sun: 9am – 8pm
- Mon: 7am – 8pm
- Tue – Thur: 7am – 9pm
- Fri – Sat: 7am – 10pm
Listen, if there is a french macaron in town, I will find it. Amelies has several locations across the south, so you may catch them in another city, but they are a must for baked goods and coffee. And a great atmosphere for hanging out with friends or for a coffee date. I loaded up on macarons for the road and they barely made it back to Greenville.
Nailed It DIY Studio | 139 E. Main St. Rock HIll, EC
- Sun – Mon: Closed
- Tue – Wed: 10:30am – 2 pm
- Thur: 10:30am – 2pm
- Fri: 10:30am – 8pm
- Sat: 10am – 5 pm
Nailed It DIY Studio is your Pinterest Board dreams come to life. Call ahead for crafting options, grab your friends and get something started for the holidays (or birthdays, or for your home…). I was drooling at the possibilities.
Freedom Walkway | 157 Main Street Rock Hill, SC
Nestled between two buildings in downtown Rock Hill is a public art installation dedicated to the people of Rock Hill who fought and still fight for equality and justice. The beautiful alleyway consisting of tile mosaics, murals and sculpture was created by local artists and is a nice spot for selfies. Use #freedomwalkway to help spread the word about what this small town is doing to support their local heros.
Main St Bottle Shop | 153 E. Main Street Rock Hill, SC 29730
- Mon – Wed: 12pm – 8ish
- Thur – Sat: 12pm – 9ish
Main Street Bottle Shop owners Jeff Miller and Aaron Klingenschmidt have brought the best of South and North Carolina craft beers to downtown Rock Hill. Lining the walls of this small bottle shop you’ll find brews from across the Carolinas. And if you don’t see what you came for, they’ll sure dig it up for you! The owners are also responsible for CLTBEER.com, a website designed to help beer lovers stay current in the rapidly expanding beer scene in Charlotte, NC.
Puckerbutt Pepper Company | 235 Main Street Fort Mill, South Carolina 29715
- Mon – Thur: 10am – 5pm
- Fri – Sat: 10am – 6pm
- Sun: 12pm – 5pm
Just a short drive from Rock Hill in downtown York, South Carolina, you’ll find the hottest thing to hit the south…and world… well, ever. This hot sauce shop features the sauces of Carolina Reaper creator Ed Currie. This pepper connoisseur made global headlines in November 2013 when this super hot pepper, cultivated in his Rock Hill, South Carolina greenhouse, was awarded the Guinness World Record for the World’s Hottest Chili. It’s SHU averages at 1,569,300. I took a pic, but passed on the taste test.
Aesthetic Addiction | 227 Main St. Fort Mill, SC 29715
- Sun – Mon: Closed
- Tue – Fri: 11am – 5 pm
- Sat: 12pm – 5pm
Take some time to walk York’s cute little downtown, and stop in for a little bit of big city style at Aesthetic Addiction. It’s a great local gem for unique gifts, high class home decor and incredible finds you sure won’t see at the local home stores.