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Don’t Miss These Hidden Gems in Simpsonville

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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Simpsonville’s hidden gems run the gamut from a charming country store to a hip underground pub to the area’s only dog park.

If you want to experience Simpsonville’s small-town vibe, you don’t have to go any further than Vaughn’s Country Store. Just off Main Street in the heart of the historic downtown district, the family-owned shop—now in its fourth generation—prides itself on old-fashioned values and friendly service.

What started out as a feed and seed store in 1953, evolved over the years into a one-stop-shop for everything from antiques to organic food products to gifts. A visit to Simpsonville isn’t complete without a stop at Vaughn’s. Among the store’s many charming elements is the old-timey seed counter where seeds are still weighed by the ounce. There’s also a working 1950’s Coca-Cola vending machine and a large display of iconic American-made Case Knives.

Vaughn’s is one of the many hidden gems that give Simpsonville a distinctive character even as the community has grown into a popular suburb of Greenville.

Howard’s Pharmacy is another family-owned institution celebrating more than 80 years in business. The first floor of the brick building dates back to 1912.

Your itinerary also should include a visit to Three Generations Boutique, a women’s clothing store housed in a two-story, century-old home on SE Main Street. As you walk through the house, you’ll find displays of classic dresses, casual apparel, loungewear, shoes, scarves, jewelry, bags and gifts in every room. While the merchandise is a big draw, the personal attention provided by the staff makes this store a favorite with locals.

Among the city’s trendier hidden gems is Unterhausen The Castle Cellar Pub. It’s easy to miss the inconspicuous entrance to this dining and drinking establishment on East Curtis Street. But as soon as you walk down the stairs to the cellar, you’ll quickly discover why Unterhausen has become the hip new restaurant in town.

The cozy, cool ambiance of the place with its brick walls, wood beam ceiling and Bavarian décor is so inviting, you’ll find yourself happily settling in for a night of great German food and beer.

Among the city’s historic must-see sites is the Simpsonville Municipal Cemetery, established in the 1840s as a family graveyard. The original five graves can be found in the center of the 2.5-acre cemetery. The stone wall that surrounds the graveyard was constructed from native fieldstone collected from the surrounding countryside.

Along with the tombstones of the founding families of Simpsonville are the graves of veterans from many of the nation’s wars.

If you’re traveling with any four-legged family members, you won’t want to miss The Dog Spot, the only dog park in the three-city Golden Strip, the burgeoning Greenville County region that includes Mauldin, Simpsonville and Fountain Inn. It features separate play areas for large and small dogs, a drinking fountain for pups and waste disposal bags and receptacles.

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.