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10 Things to Do in Rock Hill, SC

Football games, whitewater rafting, a stroll through Glencairn Garden are just a few.

By Susanna Pilny on May 10, 2016

Glencairn Garden
Rock Hill / Courtesy of Jon Seidman under a CC 4.0 license.

Rock Hill may be small as far as cities go, but it is definitely not lacking by way of activities to do—especially outdoors ones. And thanks to its mild year-round weather, you have more months to enjoy them in. Here are some fun options if you’re looking for something to try:

1. Catch a football game

Rock Hill is “Football City USA,” thanks to the freakishly high number of NFL players it has turned out per capita (one player per 8,512 people). And between three of its high schools, more are likely on the way—which means that by spending a few bucks, you can watch the future of the NFL play before your very eyes.

2. Learn about a different culture

The Catawba Cultural Center offers an amazing way to learn about the Catawba Indian Nation—the only federally-recognized tribe in the entire state. You can learn about their history via their beautiful museum exhibits, and if you plan ahead of time, you can also get to see a program featuring drumming, dancing, storytelling, history, and a pottery demonstration. Further, in the fall, they hope to bring back their Yap Ye Iswa (Day of Catawba), which helps to preserve their culture and educate non-native people about their culture and heritage.  

3. Hit some rapids

Nestled next to the Catawba River, Rock Hill is conveniently near some great white water rapids. There are multiple companies that can take you out on excursions lasting from hours to days.  

4. Attend a festival

Rock Hill hosts multiple festivals a year, including ones for Saint Patrick’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas. Other options include the Blues & Jazz Festival and the Come-See-Me-Festival, a 10-day event that celebrates spring.

5. Stroll through Glencairn Garden

For nature lovers—or those who just need a bit of a break—Glencairn Garden is a wonderful escape. There are plenty of walking trails meandering between shady trees, bright flower beds, sculptures, and a lily pond. And it has its own festival to boot—the Glencairn BloomFest, which usually happens on the third Saturday in May.

6. Watch the BMX World Championships

Rock Hill happens to have the only Olympic-caliber BMX training facility on the east coast—likely part of the reason why it’s slated to host the 2017 BMX World Championships.

7. Fly high

A short drive away from Rock Hill is the National Whitewater Center, which not only features watersports, but has ziplines, ropes courses, and rock climbing.

8. Find a food truck

Every Friday in the summer, Rock Hill’s Fountain Park brings in food trucks, plus local breweries and local musicians. It’s a great way to celebrate summer.

9. Visit the White Home

If you’re a bit more into history, the White Home might be a good spot for you. Built in 1839, it still retains many of its original touches, and the tour guides offer interesting insight into how it wove itself into history.

10. Try your hand at a new sport

Rock Hill has put some serious money into building different sports facilities—so why not test one out? Tennis, soccer, disk golf, mountain biking, baseball, and more all have their own dedicated facilities or trails.

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