Underground Guide to Spartanburg

By:Marie McAden


Want to see Spar​tanburg like a real insider? Pick up the edgy Underground Guide to Spartanburg, a compilation of the coolest restaurants, nightclubs, shops and art venues in town.

This guide is not your typical tourist publication. In fact, it doesn’t even mention some of the city’s most prominent landmarks. You can find those in the official Spartanburg Visitors Guide.

Instead, this handy little handbook offers a collection of off-beat and off-the-beaten path hot spots representing the funky, soulful side of Hub City. (Turn to page 98 of the guide to find out how Spartanburg earned this moniker.)

I was especially excited by the guide’s Outside section boasting more entries than any of the other categories. That’s because Spartanburg is one big playground where an outdoor enthusiast like me can hike, bike, kayak, ride a skateboard or climb a rock wall — and that’s just for starters. The guide also lists great road biking competitions, disc golf courses, a geocaching trail, yoga studios and scenic spots for a picnic lunch.   

On a recent visit, I checked out one of the guide’s newest offerings — the mountain biking trails at Duncan Park. (I’ll be writing about my ride in an upcoming blog.)
But my favorite section of the book is the well-named “Odds and Ends.” It includes a ghostly cemetery, nudist camping resort, Cambodian Buddhist stupa, Christian cosmic bowling and a pro wrestling coliseum home to the likes of Colonel Dickie Doolittle and Erik “The Answer” Anton.

Put together by an eclectic group of young writers, artists, hipsters, photographers, musicians and other people in the know, the book highlights popular local hangouts, the best places to go for vintage clothing, skateboard wheels and Cuban coffee.  

Each entry lists a street address and zip code you can drop into your GPS, making it easy to get to your intended destination. Scan the QR code found on the section header pages to see videos that complement the book.

You can purchase the Underground Guide to Spartanburg for $6.95 at the Hub City Bookshop, 186 West Main St. An e-book also is available if you prefer to download it to your smartphone or tablet.

The Underground Guide isn’t just packed with useful information, it’s a fun read.

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