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Don’t Miss Fort Mill’s Eclectic Hidden Gems

Marie McAden Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.
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Visitors looking for Fort Mill’s local gems—the cafe, bakery, brewery and stores favored by longtime residents—will find them tucked around town in historic buildings, repurposed homes and a new village center.

Beer lovers will want to check out Amor Artis Brewing, a family-owned, kid-friendly brewery founded by two Fort Mill brothers who share a love for brewing artfully-crafted beer using traditional methods with a modern approach.

Located in the Main Street corridor, the brewery features an inviting bar and double-decker patio where you can enjoy the latest beer on tap. Toys are provided for kids. And if you get hungry, The Improper Pig next door delivers. Look for the brewery’s weekly events, from “Joggers for Lagers” to urban and mountain bike rides to live music Wednesday nights.

While you’re in town, you may want to explore the YoCo Brew Trail, which takes you to eight local breweries in York County. Amor Artis Brewing is one of two Fort Mill breweries on the trail; the other is the Lake Wylie Brewing Company.

Love sweets? Fort Mill has two hidden gems—and you can hit both with one visit to the Baxter Town Center.

Chocolat Boutique offers hand-dipped chocolates, truffles and confections made in small batches on-site, along with freshly made bonbons imported directly from Belgium and Switzerland.

A few stores down from the chocolatier is the local bake shop, Cupcrazed Cakery. There’s no resisting the temptation to indulge in one of their freshly baked cupcakes, macarons, cookies, cake pops, truffles, brownies or bars. Along with the classics, cupcake flavors include Hershey Sundae, Caramel Macchiato, Pumpkin Cream Cheese and Honey Chai Tea. Gluten-free options also are available.

Another fun option for fresh daily-baked goods is Z Bakery, a bakery and cafe located in a converted house in the historic downtown district. The shop is owned and operated by three generations of Zimmerman women, longtime residents of Fort Mill. Along with the bakery selection, they serve brunch and lunch in various rooms of the house.

For a real taste of Fort Mill, stop by Springs Farm Market, selling fresh-picked strawberries, peaches, blackberries and garden produce right off the farm in season. It also offers a strawberry field for those who prefer to pick their own.

Open April through the end of August, the market sells homemade soft serve ice cream in four flavors—strawberry, peach, blackberry and vanilla—along with homemade bakery items like banana nut bread, pound cakes and cobblers. During the month of October, you’ll find homegrown pumpkins, apples and veggies for sale—and fall ice cream flavors.

Fort Mill is also home to a unique attraction—the Upper Room Chapel. Painstakingly built to specifications, it is a replica of Jerusalem’s Upper Room or Cenacle, where the Last Supper took place. Once the centerpiece of televangelist Jim Bakker’s Heritage USA, it now serves as a place of prayer where anyone is welcome. The property also features the Walk of Faith, a wooded pathway with inlaid scriptures on red granite markers.

Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.