A Comprehensive Guide to Retiring in Spartanburg, SC
Situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Spartanburg is a lively city with much to offer. Nicknamed the “Hub City” because of the long history as a center of transportation in the Carolinas. When you explore our Upstate South Carolina metropolis, you’ll be met with a combination of southern charm, rich history and contemporary flavor.
Retirees move to Spartanburg for a variety of reasons—a few of which are great weather, attractive tax benefits and vibrant community living. Check out our comprehensive guide to retiring in Spartanburg for everything you need to know and more. You can use the links below to navigate to a specific section.
If you’re considering Spartanburg as your retirement destination, there’s a lot you’ll want to know. Our comprehensive retirement guide offers everything you need to know. To skip to a specific section, use the links below.
One of the many reasons Spartanburg is a popular retirement destination is the tax friendliness for seniors. In fact, South Carolina is one of the most tax-friendly states in the entire country. Here are a few reasons why:
Zero Social Security Tax
South Carolina is one of the many states that imposes no tax on social security benefits. This is important because social security is relied on by millions of older Americans. No social security tax means more disposable income for retirees in Spartanburg.
Deduct Up to $15,000 from Income Taxes
A $15,000 income tax deduction is available to South Carolina residents over the age of 65. It is applicable to all forms of retirement income, including that from 401(k) plans, IRAs and pension plans. This tax deduction is a great way for Spartanburg residents to save money during retirement.
Low Property Taxes
South Carolina has one of the lowest effective property tax rates in the country, at just 0.57%. In addition to paying this low rate, South Carolina seniors who’ve lived in the state over a year can benefit from a “homestead exemption,” which exempts them from property taxes on the first $50,000 of their home’s value.
For those looking to retire in Spartanburg, a retirement community is an excellent option where residents pay zero property tax altogether. The top-rated retirement community in the area is Summit Hills, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) with available cottage homes and villa apartments.The information above should function as a starting point for your tax research but not be substituted for direct advice from a tax professional.
Great weather is one of the many reasons people enjoy retiring in Spartanburg. On average, temperatures range from 33 to 51°F in January (the coldest month) and from 69 to 89°F in July (the warmest month). Snowfall is rare in this region, with an average of just 2 inches of snow per year, compared to a US average of 28 inches per year. However, what Spartanburg lacks in snowfall, it makes up for in a higher-than-average rainfall. On average, the city receives 49 inches of rain per year, which is more than the 2019 US average of 34.7 inches per year. Spartanburg receives an average of around 109 days of precipitation per year.
Health and Wellness
When relocating to a new area, familiarizing yourself with local healthcare options is an important task. One of the most appealing features of Spartanburg is the top-rated healthcare services available to all residents.
The Spartanburg area has three premier healthcare systems, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Prisma Health Alliance, and Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. As Spartanburg is located close to Greenville, SC, Bons Secours St. Francis Health System is applicable for those who are willing to take the short drive south to Greenville. Each system has convenient locations and comprehensive operating hours which offer a peace of mind for the city’s residents.
Healthcare Systems / HospitalsSpartanburg Regional Healthcare System
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System is an integrated healthcare delivery system that provides care from one’s birth through the senior years. They have been a partner with the community for 100 years and have earned a reputation for technological excellence. Spartanburg Regional Health Services District, Inc. is a self-funded, political subdivision of the state of South Carolina and does not receive tax dollars from the community.
- Spartanburg Medical Center Spartanburg Medical Center is a research and teaching hospital licensed for 540 beds with more than 500 physicians on staff offering state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for residents of Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.
- Spartanburg Medical Center – Mary Black Campus For more than 90 years, Spartanburg Medical Center – Mary Black Campus has provided healthcare to the Upstate. Now a part of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS), the facility features surgical suites, nationally credentialed (CARF) inpatient rehabilitation, a 24-bed emergency department, intensive care unit, geriatric psychiatric services, a joint care program, cardiology services and a sleep center.
Prisma Health is inspired to help people live their healthiest lives. As the most comprehensive integrated healthcare system in South Carolina, they’re on a journey to transform the healthcare experience for patients and their families. Prisma Health is a product of the merger of two of the largest healthcare systems in the area, Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health. These two groups merged together to bring high quality care with lower costs to patients.Bon Secours St. Francis Health System
Bon Secours St. Francis Health System has many locations available to Greenville residents, helping them access the quality health care they deserve. This hospital believes in integrity, compassion, stewardship, service, and accessible health care.
Fitness Centers and Nutritionists
A vital part of maintaining and improving your overall health is through exercise and diet. When researching gyms in a local area, you may find that there are just too many options, and the process can be overwhelming. Identifying age-friendly fitness centers can impact the quality of workout you’re doing. The International Council on Active Aging is a fantastic resource to help you find the perfect fitness center for you. Nutrition is another aspect of wellness that is crucial to reaching that goal weight or optimal fitness you’re looking for. You can use this tool, from HealthGrades to help you identify someone who specializes in dietetics.
Senior Living Communities
Retirement communities are an excellent choice for those looking for 55+ active adult living and those who require care services in Spartanburg. Eliminate the burdens of home maintenance while indulging in culinary programs, unique social events, activities, daily wellness programs and access to industry-best care services. The top-rated community in this area is Spartanburg, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). Conveniently located in the heart of Spartanburg, Summit Hills offers 55+ Active Adult Living, Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing, and Rehabilitation. This community is committed to helping seniors live longer, healthier, happier lives. To learn more about Summit Hills, visit this website.
Food and Drink
A melting pot of unique fare and libations, Spartanubrg’s food and drink offers a wide range of cuisine options for residents. From authentic southern BBQ and classic Italian to authentic chinese and Sunday brunch, there’s a lot to choose from. Here are the top-rated restaurants and drinks in Spartanburg:
Top-Rated Restaurants in Spartanburg
The Kennedy aspires to maintain an infinitely evolving culture of hospitality. Through superior quality ingredients and exceptional service we are cultivating an environment of food, drink, and company that aims to enrich the lives of their guests and team. Their passion for meaningful and memorable dining experiences is embedded in every detail of our art deco décor, every sip of their impeccably crafted cocktails and every bite of their fresh, locally sourced small plates.
The Beacon Drive-In has been a Southern landmark since 1946! Well known for their Chili-Cheese A-Plenty, a chili-cheeseburger buried underneath piles of sweet onion rings and french-fried potatoes. Other favorites at the Beacon include the Sliced Pork A-Plenty, BBQ hash, and The Pig’s Dinner, a loaded banana split. Make sure to grab some of their “World Famous” Beacon Iced Tea – “Southern Style”: generously sweetened, with a splash of lemon, served in a cup packed with shaved ice.
Originating as peach farmers in the Upstate area, the Cribb family fostered a reputation of festive gatherings and generous hospitality. For several generations, delicious food, good wine, rich discussion, and an ever-rotating guest list have been the standard of expectation at the Cribb’s dinner table.
This “France meets the South” inspired cafe is the perfect place to post up for a weekend brunch! Make sure to grab one of their fabulous crepes or order something from their wide menu which includes French toast, eggs benedict, omelets, salads, and even champagne.
As Spartanburg continues to boom and grow in size, it’s attracting modern cuisine and talented Chefs to the area – This is an example of Level 10. Located atop the 10th Floor of the AC Hotel in downtown, Level 10 is just as it’s touted, “elevated, global fare”. Famed Restaurateur Rick Ewin has done it again with this upscale casual restaurant serving “modern south” cuisine with an international flair.
Top Drinks in Spartanburg
The Pharmacy pays homage to its building’s history and the pharmacy soda counter culture of the time. Built in 1925, the Montgomery building is an iconic piece of Spartanburg’s rich history. Decorated with Art Deco and mid-century Modern themes, The Pharmacy offers a unique range of coffees and brewing methods that are often described as “third wave coffee”. In addition to great coffee, they also offer an array of bottled drinks, kombucha on tap, teas, house made sandwiches and toasts and daily baked goods from their very own bakery!
As breweries continue to boom, local residents have taken a particular liking to the array available in the Spartanburg and Greenville area. They are a great place for quick drinks, outdoor hangouts, and time with friends. Some of the top breweries in Spartanburg are:
For those who enjoy shopping, Spartanburg has a variety of shopping destinations. Whether you prefer strolling through big shopping malls, finding the deals at the outlets or browsing local boutiques, you’re sure to find somewhere that meets your retail needs. Here’s the breakdown of the top places to shop in Spartanburg:
Located just off of I-26 and US Highway 29, WestGate Mall is a staple in the Spartanburg shopping scene. Opened on October 28, 1975, WestGate at the time was the largest mall in South Carolina at 954,302 square feet of retail space. Today, it’s still bustling with anchor stores like JCPenney, Belk, Dillards, an on-site Costco and Regal Movies.
Owned by Simon Malls, the Gaffney Outlet Marketplace is located on I-85 at Exit 90. It is Upstate South Carolina’s shopping destination for deals on designer fashions, handbags, and housewares. Among the outlet brands offered at Gaffney Outlet Marketplace, you’ll find: adidas, Crate & Barrel Outlet, Pottery Barn Outlet, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Nike Factory Store, Michael Kors Outlet, kate spade new york, H&M, and many more.
While there aren’t any Major League sports teams in the area, residents of Spartanburg are rooting for Carolina based teams like the Carolina Panthers (NFL), Charlotte Hornets (NBA), and Carolina Hurricanes (NHL). While Spartanburg is just minutes from Greenville, this gives residents access to Greenville-based Minor League teams include:
The Drive They are the High-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and are a member of the High-A East league. Founded in 1993, The Drive began their history playing in Columbia, SC as the Capital City Bombers. The name was chosen to honor members of the Doolittle Raiders, who had conducted their initial training in Columbia. The Bombers won the South Atlantic League championship in 1998. In 2005, Minor League Baseball announced that the Bombers had been granted permission to move to Greenville. Additionally, the Bombers announced the team’s name would change to the Drive. The name was chosen due to the presence of BMW US Manufacturing and Michelin in the area and, more generally, due to Greenville’s rich automotive past. They currently play at Fluor Field, a scaled-down replica of Fenway Park. They currently have two League titles (1998, 2017) and 1 Division title (2017).
The franchise was founded as the Johnstown Chiefs prior to the 1987–88 All-American Hockey League season. The next season, the franchise became one of the founding members of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). After relocating to Greenville in 2010 as the Greenville Road Warriors, they won the Regular season title (2010–11) and the Division Championship in the same year. In 2015, the team announced that it had officially rebranded itself as the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The team was renamed to the Swamp Rabbits to strengthen the team’s ties to Greenville. The name Swamp Rabbits was a local name of the Greenville and Northern Railway that began operations in 1920. In 2005 the railroad was abandoned and was converted to the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The team is currently affiliated with the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League and the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League.
While there are no professional sports teams in the area, there is deep-rooted appreciation for college sports among Greenville residents. Those who live in the area cheer for Carolina-based teams including the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, and Furman Paladins. However, most Greenville residents are fans of the neighboring Clemson University Tigers.
(NCAA D-1 Football) – Located just minutes from Greenville, Clemson is a bustling town on Lake Hartwell and home to the prestigious Clemson University. The Clemson Tigers compete in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). In recent years, the Tigers have been ranked among the most elite college football programs in the United States. They have won three National Titles (1981, 2016, 2018) and have been National Finalists twice (2015, 2019). The team currently plays their home games at Frank Howard Field at Clemson Memorial Stadium, popularly known as “Death Valley”.
Parks & Recreation
Outdoor activities in Spartanburg are abundant with a variety of parks, recreation areas and state parks. While each of them have different amenities, they’re all perfect for some fresh air and outdoor time with friends and family. Here are the top parks and recreation spots in Spartanburg:
Arts and Entertainment
Spartanburg offers a rich history for residents and tourists alike to dive into the past, present, and future of the city through its museums. Some of the most well-attended museums in the area include:
Visit this one-of-a-kind building and experience the past, present and future of BMW in the only BMW museum in North America. Your senses will come alive as you feel the power of the BMW brand firsthand, from its beginnings in aviation and motorsports to its rise to prominence on the global stage. Take a self-guided trip through the museum to experience BMW exhibits that both astonish and inspire.
Spartanburg Art Museum is a regional museum promoting contemporary visual arts by inspiring and engaging people of all ages through exhibitions and education.
Located in nearby Greenville, SC there are additional museums for area residents and visitors to explore including:
Sigal Music Museum is the proud home to the world-famous Clavier Collection, more than 40 English, European, and American pianos and harpsichords dating from 1570 to 1845. The museum also exhibits other culturally important instruments, provides performance spaces for intimate concerts, and offers adjunct space for associated music organizations.
The Upcountry History Museum works to promote, present and preserve the history of Upcountry South Carolina through education, research and service. In addition to exhibitions focusing on the region, the museum has a rich educational program and a growing oral history collection. Historical programs are presented throughout the year.
The Greenville County Museum of Art is among the country’s premier regional American art museums. Visitors from around the world visit to view works by famed Artists, Andrew Wyeth and Jasper Johns as well as its acclaimed Southern Collection, which ranges from Federal portraits to contemporary abstractions. Additionally, the museum is home to the largest and most complete collection of Wyeth watercolors owned by any public museum in the world. Changing exhibitions and challenging and fun educational offerings make every visit to the Museum a unique experience.
Spartanburg prides itself on its collection of local artists that grace the area’s stages. Whether you like surf rock, hip-hop, country, rock and roll or jazz, you’ll find it. Some of the top locations to enjoy performers are:
Additionally, if you are looking for larger venues to enjoy nationally recognized musical acts, performers, and entertainment Greenville has a host of venues for Spartanburg residents to visit, including:
Founded in 1983, by Douglas P. McCoy, Centre Stage is a year-round, 285-seat regional theater offering a wide range of entertainment within easy walking distance of historic Falls Park and the many shops and restaurants that line downtown Greenville’s Main Street corridor. Centre Stage strives to create an atmosphere that excites, energizes and elevates each person with whom it comes in contact.
The Bon Secours Wellness Arena is a state-of-the-art 15,000 seat sports and entertainment venue. The entertainment industry has consistently recognized the Bon Secours Wellness Arena as one of the top fifty venues in the world. It is the home arena of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (ECHL) and hosts events ranging from concerts, sports, and family shows are featured at the Arena each year.
With a 2,100-seat concert hall, a 400-seat theater, an amphitheater, a sophisticated patrons lounge, and a variety of indoor and outdoor meeting, rehearsal, and event spaces, the Peace Center has become the hub of cultural life in Upstate South Carolina. Classical, dance, jazz, country, bluegrass, folk, pop, and comedy performers, as well as a full calendar of national Broadway tours, are equally spectacular on the Peace Center’s stages. Additionally, several of Greenville’s excellent performing arts organizations are resident companies. These include Carolina Ballet Theatre, Greenville Chorale, Greenville County Youth Orchestras, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, and International Ballet.
The performing arts bring stories to life, and Spartanburg is lucky to have numerous theatres in close proximity. Wofford College brings performances to the community through their theatre program, where they focus on creativity, collaboration, and of course, fun! You can purchase tickets here to attend one of their performances. The Chapman Cultural Center also promises to strengthen and promote the role of the arts, humanities, and sciences play in the Spartanburg area.
The major highways going through the Spartanburg area include I-26, I-85, I-585 and US Route 176. I-26 runs from Kingsport, TN in the north down to Charleston, SC in the south. Major cities along I-26 include Asheville, NC; Columbia, SC; and Charleston, SC. While I-85 runs from Richmond, VA in the north down to Montgomery, AL in the south. I-85 intersects major cities such as Charlotte, NC; Greenville, SC; and Atlanta, GA.
SPARTA oversees eight different bus routes through and around the city of Spartanburg. Daily schedules vary depending on the route. For more information on bus routes, click here. They also offer a curb-to-curb paratransit service for residents with physical or mental disabilities. To learn more about paratransit and how to qualify, click here.
The Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport is a commercial airport with flights operated by most of the major US airlines. The Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) is located in Greer, which is only 30 minutes from downtown Spartanburg. The airport is on the smaller side, with about 50 daily flights to 19 non-stop destinations.
For a wider selection of direct flights, Spartanburg residents can drive less than two hours and fly out of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) or Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).
With its ample southern charm, manageable size and desirable climate, Spartanburg SC has attracted a peaceful body of citizens who revere a high quality of life. With excellent rankings in education, family atmosphere, diversity and safety it’s easy to see why over 37,300 locals call Spartanburg home. It has a population large enough to entice innovative business, strong support of the arts, and ample healthcare facilities for young and old. In addition to a strong economic base, the crime rate remains low, creating a safe & enjoyable community. Niche markets in Spartanburg County such as Boiling Springs, Wellford, Lyman, and Landrum round out a who’s who of best places to live in South Carolina.
Best Spartanburg Neighborhoods to Retire In
There are many factors that go into the decision of where to lay your roots, but one thing’s for sure—the neighborhood you choose can make or break an area. As you’re researching specific neighborhoods in Spartanburg, you’ll find many lists of up and coming areas. Make sure to do thorough research and identify what your priorities are, whether they be schools, housing, proximity to social life, or something else. Here are a few neighborhoods you’ll find yourself seeing over and over again:
The Fernwood neighborhood is ahead of its time, with an abundance of ranch style homes and luscious lawns. It is situated a short distance from the downtown area and conveniently located along the Cottonwood Trail.
In Converse Heights, you’ll find families enjoying a stroll on the shady sidewalks and enjoying the mild weather that Spartanburg has to offer. Located close to the Pine Street Elementary School and Happy Hollow Park, it is a great location for a quiet home.
Hampton Heights is a historic district in the Spartanburg area. It is the city’s oldest neighborhood, which makes it a tight-knit community that is proud of where it comes from. Hampton Heights offers a diverse community and a great location right near the downtown area. If you’re looking for a neighborhood grounded in tradition, community, and safety, you’ll find it here.
The Hillbrook neighborhood provides its residents with reasonably priced real estate, fantastic schools, large yards, and a close community. Located on the east side of the city, you’ll find the streets bustling with active and engaged residents.
As Spartanburg was booming and needing to expand, the Wadsworth Hills neighborhood was built to ensure everyone had a place to go. You’ll find homes that are diverse in size and residents who are diverse in age range. Whether you’re starting a family or settling down for retirement, there is something to enjoy in this area.
If you’re looking for a great place to retire, look no further than the Hub City of Spartanburg! We are a truly unique place with a one-of-a-kind community. No matter what your age, interests or background, Spartanburg will welcome you with open arms.
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