If you’re looking for things to do in Rock Hill, SC on a budget or free things to do, then I’ve got you covered.

Hi Adventurers! As a South Carolina local, I am thrilled to introduce you to one of my most well-known cities – Rock Hill. Having spent many summers exploring this charming town, I can say with confidence that there’s something here for everyone.

And it has grown a lot. As someone who once called this place home, I want to be your guide and share insider tips, budget-friendly options, and hidden gems that you won’t find in every guidebook.

So, let’s get started on our journey of exploring the best things to do in Rock Hill, South Carolina!

Table of Contents

Disclaimer: this blog post is sponsored by Visit York County, however, all opinions are my own honest experience! This post may contain affiliate links, which help keep the blog running at no cost to you. Thank you for helping support me so I can keep creating free content for your adventure planning!

30 Things to Do in Rock Hill, South Carolina on a Budget

Visit Old Town Rock Hill

Old Town Rock Hill is a unique destination for visitors looking to explore the historic sites of Rock Hill, SC.

From quaint bed & breakfasts to local restaurants and art, Old Town in Rock Hill, SC has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or weekend adventure, Old Town Rock Hill offers an excellent jumping-off point for exploring the town.

A historic sign honoring the McCory's Civil Rights Sit-Ins is posted in front of the Kounter restaurant and Jail No Bail exhibit in Old Town Rock Hill. Visiting the site of the Friendship 9 sit-in is one of the most important things to do in Rock Hill, SC.
Visiting the site of the Friendship 9 sit-in is one of the most important things to do in Rock Hill, SC.

1. See the site of the ‘Friendship 9’

What started off decades ago as McCrory’s Variety Store has faced many changes over the years. It was once a variety store and lunch counter before becoming the restaurant it is today – known as Kounter. More importantly, this whites-only lunch counter was the site of the sit-in during the Civil Rights Movement. Its significance lies in the fact that this sit-in started the “Jail, No Bail movement.”

The Friendship 9, as they became known, were a group of students from the nearby Friendship Junior College. The men staged a sit-in at the lunch counter in McCrory’s Five and Dime in 1961.

They were arrested and deliberately decided not to post bail – refusing to pay into a clearly corrupt system. Their decision started the Jail, No Bail movement, inspiring others to also refuse to post bail when arrested for demonstrations during the Civil Rights Movement.

Kounter recently opened in 2020, restoring the original lunch counter and paying homage to the Friendship 9. Owner Chef Rob even invited the surviving men to be the first served at the new restaurant, a nod to their initial refusal of service:

As of June 2021, the Five & Dime site also became part of the African American Civil Rights Network within the National Park Service.

A variety of gourmet dishes displayed on a restaurant table, including a grilled cubano sandwich with green pickles, crispy flatbreads topped with and sesame seeds served with warm feta cheese, and side dishes of crispy brussels sprouts and parmesan fries, served at the famous lunch counter of Rock Hill's Kounter.

Beyond the historical significance, Kounter is an incredible restaurant in Rock Hill for an upscale meal with options for lunch and dinner, plus weekend brunch.

With plenty of choices on the menu, it also makes a great option for vegetarians looking for something unique. We enjoyed their pear spritzer mocktails and a medley of appetizers!

The Visit York County offices are located in a red brick building in Old Town Rock Hill. The office has a blue awning with the words Visit York County, and a white sign on the side of the building with the Visit York County logo.

2. Stop by the York County Visitor’s Center

Right across the street from Kounter and the Friendship 9 plaque is The York County Visitor’s Center. The visitors center, located right in the heart of Old Town is the perfect place to start your adventure.

Not only will the friendly and knowledgeable staff help you plan an itinerary that meets your interests, they’ll also help you discover unique experiences along the way.

Want to learn about local craft beer? Don’t forget to grab a Yoco Brew Trail Passport for stamps and swag at participating breweries – Thing to Do in Rock Hill #9 on this list!

Curious about history? Grab a pamphlet about the historic places in town. Whether it’s history, outdoor recreation, or just great eats, your journey finding things to do in Rock Hill starts here!

A large fountain shoots water in the air and in a pattern around at Fountain Park in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

3. Cool off at Fountain Park

Fountain Park in Rock Hill is a wonderful spot for visitors traveling to the area on a budget. The park features a beautiful fountain surrounded by lush greenery. It’s the perfect spot for visitors looking to explore nature or take a few photographs.

Food Truck Fridays are held once a month at Fountain Park, with local food trucks offering delicious dishes at affordable prices. It’s also easy to spend a few hours enjoying the views of the fountain in this charming setting.

An old buggy car sits behind glass in an exhibit in the Historic Lowenstein Building in Rock Hill, South Carolina
Photo courtesy of Visit York County

4. See the Lowenstein Exhibit by Old Town Kitchen & Cocktails

This Exhibit showcases the history of Rock Hill featuring the Rock Hill Buggy Company and the Anderson Motor Company.

It is located in the Historic Lowenstein Building as a collaborative effort between the Culture and Heritage Museums, Lowenstein Building Partners, and Studio Displays.

A cocktail with lilac liquid, a white foamy topping, and a lemon skin twisted on a toothpick is held in front of a blurred background of bright windows and lights at Old Town Kitchen & Cocktails in Rock Hill, SC

Next door to the Lowenstein building is Old Town Kitchen & Cocktails and the Rock Hill Sports & Events Center. We really enjoyed grabbing a bespoke cocktail at Old Town Kitchen and perusing the exhibit next door.

They had great drinks and the space feels like a luxurious library. With rich dark wood bookshelves fitted with sliding ladders, and hanging plants, we felt cozy and relaxed sipping our tailor-made cocktails.

Inside the Mercantile visitors are greeted by a colorful wall of pre-arranged flower bouquets and a display of various goods and decor pieces. Visiting the Mercantile is one of the top things to do in Rock Hill, South Carolina

5. Grab a Drink and Shop the Mercantile

The Mercantile in Rock Hill, South Carolina is an iconic experience for visitors. Sitting on the corner of E White St & Oakland Ave, it’s a unique mix of old-fashioned charm and modern amenities.

The Jackass Coffee and Wine bar located inside offers a variety of beverages to start or end your day. They offer coffee and espresso including fresh coffee from local roasters Rock Hill Coffee.

There is also a lovely wine selection for those looking for something a little extra.

You can enjoy the beautiful outdoor space that provides plenty of seating and shade for relaxing with friends and family.

The Jackass Coffee and Wine Bar is an open space with tables and barstools along the window plus tables and chairs in the middle. On the back wall is a menu with coffee and food items and a red painting with a white donkey, plus a wall of wine bottles.

Plus, don’t miss their amazing fresh flower bar where you can find gorgeous seasonal arrangements to take home!

A white painted room at The Hickory Post in downtown Rock Hill is filled with art. On the left are white shelves topped with paintings, handmade clay pieces, and various decor items. On the back wall are five paintings, one of a horse close-up, one of a creek running through a snowy field. In front of them are two white and black chairs with red throw pillows, and a colorful rug with a coffee table. On the right is a small wooden dresser with a lamp and more paintings. on the wall.
Photo courtesy of Visit York County

6. Browse the Local Art at The Hickory Post

Step into the Hickory Post in Old Town to shop the local art. You will find a curated mix of consignment and local art pieces, as well as furniture and even new & used vinyls at Rambling Records.

The Rock Hill Artist Collective also occupies several exhibits and offices in The Hickory Post. We ran into a jeweler making earrings and bought a pair to bring home.

There is everything from handmade clay pottery pieces, to paintings and prints, and even knitted art. We also brought home a clay leaf tray to hold odds and ends, made by a local Rock Hill artist.

Old Town hosts a farmers markets on Saturdays and visitors can find tends with local businesses selling artisenal goods such as dreamcatchers, clay items, homemade spaghetti cause, and even fresh donuts.

7. Shop the Saturday Market in Old Town 

The farmer’s market, running from 8 am -12 pm every Saturday, May-November, boasts local artisans from all around the area.

You will find veggies, meats, and cheeses from farms in the surrounding towns, as well as jewelry, candles, handmade clay mugs, and even baked goods.

Get there early, as they tend to sell out at this popular local market.

A burger with melted cheese, fried egg, onion, and lettuce sits beside a small bowl of roasted brussel sprouts. Behind them is a pint glass of beer with the Legal Remedy Brewing logo on the glass, and a basket of fries topped with pimento cheese and bacon.

Where to eat and drink in Rock Hill, SC

Rock Hill, SC is quickly becoming a destination for food lovers! The city boasts an array of local coffee roasters, craft breweries, and a growing scene of locally owned restaurants.

For the caffeine lovers out there, you can find fresh cold brews and specialty lattes at several coffee shops around Rock Hill such as Amelies, Rock Hill Coffee, and Jackass Cafe. Beer connoisseurs will be delighted to find numerous local breweries in town.

And if you’re looking to sample a variety of locally made eats all in one place, Powerhouse Food Hall is the perfect option – this incredible space offers dishes ranging from tacos to ramen to southern cuisine.

Stop by and taste your way through Rock Hill’s growing food scene! Here are a few to get you started:

An iced coffee sits beside a bag of Rock Hill Coffee Roasters Catawba blend coffee, an Ebenezer blend, and a bowl of Rise and Shine Donuts.

8. Rock Hill Coffee Roasters

Rock Hill Coffee Roasters is a passionate business making waves in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

You can find them in several spots from their mobile coffee cart, to their weekend trailer at PetSmart, and full-fledged coffee shop in downtown Rock Hill. They are dedicated to providing quality coffee and fostering community in the area.

Rock Hill Coffee Roasters offers a rotating list of fun drinks on their menu, such as Pineapple Coconut Lattes and coffee-infused mocktails. In addition to espresso beverages, they sell a variety of locally roasted coffee beans, ethically sourced from coffee farms around the globe.

You can enjoy their brews at Mercantile’s Jackass Cafe, or order their Fair Trade beans directly.

They have a mission to see more local businesses flourish by supporting them through collaborations and special events. Look for Rock Hill Coffee at the Bloom Coffee Festival with the Mercantile, or catch their mobile cart at pop-ups with Liberty Book Co.

A focused shot of a pint of beer from Model A Brewing on a bar top with a 'York County SC, YoCo Brew Trail' passport, in front of a blurred backdrop featuring a bar and a lit sign stating 'PROHIBITION IS OVER' on a brick wall, showcasing one of the best things to do in Rock Hill SC.
A flight of four beers in taster glasses arranged on a wooden paddle, with the closest one in focus showing its golden color. In the blurred background, a sign reads 'WORKING THEORY BEER CO' in a golden 20s style art deco logo, above a row of taps at the brand new first brewery in York, SC.

9. Taste Your Way Through the YoCo Brew Trail

The Yoco Brew Trail in York County, South Carolina is the perfect adventure for craft beer lovers! It consists of a growing number of craft breweries that visitors can explore.

Grab the free passport available at the York County Visitor’s Center or participating breweries. Visitors can receive a free prize by collecting at least 10 stamps in their passports from each brewery they visit.

This trail offers a great way to learn about the area’s local breweries and sample some of the best craft beers in South Carolina.

There are a number of Rock Hill breweries to visit including Middle James Brewing, Off the Tracks Brewing, Legal Remedy Brewing, Rock Hill Brewing, and Slow Play Brewing.

You can also collect bonus stamps on the YoCo Brew Trail Passport at Anne Springs Greenway Canteen, Sleeping Giant Distillery, and for trying unique collaboration brews.

Five colorful Jarrito drinks behind two Al Pastor tacos and a basket of tortilla chips with guacamole. One of the best things to do in Rock Hill is visiting the brand new Powerhouse Food Hall with restaurants like this.

10. The Power House Food Hall 

The newly opened Power House Food Hall is a fun mixed-use space with a local brewery and several food vendors. Visitors can find anything from authentic Mexican, to Ramen, to Southern soul food in the food hall, meaning there is something for everyone.

Upstairs is Middle James Brewery with a huge, bright space, TVs perfect for sports, and an outdoor live music platform.

They are especially known for their Fly Kid Kolsch and the Highly Dramatic New England IPA. The IPA is made slightly differently each time in small batches that are now up to version 21. We tasted a little of everything and really enjoyed the Great Musa Hefeweizen.

Visitors can find additional free covered parking for the Power House for the first 90 minutes in the garage next door by just scanning the QR code at the entrance.

A display with three tiers of different kinds of donuts.

11. Rise and Shine Doughnut Cafe

Update: Sadly, Rise and Shine has closed since the publishing of this article.

If you’re looking for something sweet or an afternoon treat, stop by Rise and Shine Doughnut Cafe. Rise and Shine has classic donuts as well as unique offerings including gluten-free donuts, cheddar biscuits, croissants with spinach feta and leek parmesan, and even seasonal flavors like peach fritters and homemade muffins.

An exhibit of a Native person sitting on the ground in a traditional house with outside panels made of bark inside the Catawba Cultural Center which is the only federally recognized tribe in South Carolina.
Photo courtesy of Visit York County

Take in the history of Rock Hill

12. Catawba Cultural Center

Visit the Catawba Cultural Center: the only federally recognized Native tribe in South Carolina, located right here in Rock Hill.

The Catawba call themselves Ye Iswa, People of the River, having lived along the Catawba River for over 6,000 years. Learn about the oldest history of Rock Hill by visiting this cultural center.

Come back in the fall for the annual Yap Yè Iswà Festival to see the culture center come alive!

A brick wall in an alleyway, painted with flowers, waves, and butterflies, and words that read "Liberty and Justice for all".

13. Freedom Walkway

The Freedom Walkway in Old Town Rock Hill honors the city’s heroes by celebrating those acting for justice and equality in Rock Hill’s history.

A mural on the walkway reads “Liberty and Justice for All” just around the corner from the site of the Friendship 9. Their names, along with other local change-makers, are commemorated in the bricks at the end of the walkway.

Take a moment to walk the path and think about the history. There are even brochures available on the mural wall and educational plaques at the end of the path to learn more.

A historical re-enactment showing smoke from redcoats firing muskets in front of a wooden building.

14. Step Back in Time at Brattonsville

Historic Brattonsville is a historic site located in South Carolina, minutes away from the heart of Rock Hill. It offers visitors an authentic experience of the past in which they can explore the grounds and take part in educational and entertaining re-enactments. For those wanting to experience history first-hand, entrance to Historic Brattonsville is just $8 per adult.

The historic re-enactments are fun and informative. The experience gives visitors an understanding of what life was like for people during colonial and Revolutionary times.

Events such as field days, militia musters, dancing lessons, spinning demonstrations, candle dipping, and blacksmithing are just some of the activities visitors can expect when visiting Historic Brattonsville.

I visited many times over the years and enjoyed bringing my great-grandmother as well. Recently I saw the annual reenactment of the Battle of Huck’s Defeat – a pivotal moment during the Revolutionary War. It’s worth visiting for those in the area!

An old wooden cabin with a brick chimney sits at Kings Mountain National Military Park, one of the best things to do near Rock Hill, SC.
Photo courtesy of The Olde English District via Visit York County

15. Kings Mountain State & National Parks

For visitors on a budget, Kings Mountain National Military Park is an ideal destination with much to explore without breaking the bank. Located just miles away from Rock Hill, it offers beautiful natural scenery without an entrance fee! It’s perfect for visitors looking to explore on a budget.

The park was established in 1931 and has been preserved ever since as a reminder of the Battle of Kings Mountain that occurred during the American Revolution. The battle was fought between the American Colonists and British Loyalists, making this area incredibly important in both US and South Carolina history.

Visitors should take time to visit the monuments at Kings Mountain National Military Park, as they offer insight into the events that took place here so many years ago. There are also plenty of trails and outdoor activities to enjoy while taking in the majestic views of nature surrounding them.

Kings Mountain State Park is located right beside the Kings Mountain National Military Park and offers an array of activities for visitors on a budget to enjoy. Entrance into the state park is a mere $3 which is a great deal when it comes to outdoor recreation.

The park boasts several trails that run through different ecosystems, lakes perfect for fishing, and plenty of camping sites where visitors can stay in the open air. There are also several picnic areas with grills so visitors can enjoy a cookout while taking in the beauty of nature surrounded by their family and friends.

A two-story historical white house with ornate railings in front of porches on both stories, and a tree and bushes in front.
Living room with a colorful rug showing two white chairs in front of a window, next to an armoire, and a yellow velvet couch in front of another window. The windows are decorated with white and red damask curtains, and the wall is a soft teal green.

16. Tour the Historic White Home

While the White Home is a popular wedding venue in Rock Hill, it is actually a historic home that you can visit.

The White Home offers a $6 self-guided tour with advanced request to learn about the 200+ year history of the house and the White family who lived there.

The White Home is also the headquarters of Historic Rock Hill, a preservation society dedicated to the history of Rock Hill and the surrounding area.

An exhibit with a Sabertooth tiger standing on a large rock, at the bottom of which a sign reads " Ice Age Carolinas: Exploring our Pleistocene Past" at the Museum of York County.

Visit a Museum or Art Center

17. Museum of York County

Visiting The Museum of York County can be an affordable adventure for visitors on a budget. Entrance to the museum is only $8 and offers a wide array of activities. At the museum, you’ll find a natural history exhibit that highlights the Carolinas, as well as a planetarium with scheduled showings.

At the time of writing in the summer of 2023, there is a rotating exhibit titled “Storyland” sure to delight all ages. I had an absolute blast seeing the stories of my childhood come to life like Chika Chika Boom Boom and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

And finally, there’s the hands-on Nature exhibit that will leave you feeling informed and entertained. This exhibit is popular for a reason – you can actually touch things! They even have a black bear, grizzly bear, and polar bear that visitors can touch.

Where else have you ever been able to pet a bear?

Wall exhibit showing different old phones.

18. Comporium Telephone Museum

Rock Hill, SC’s Comporium Telephone Museum is a great way for visitors to learn about the history of Rock Hill and the Rock Hill Telephone Company.

Entry to the museum is free, making it an easy way to get a grasp of the city’s history without breaking the bank. Additionally, there are plenty of hands-on activities that leave visitors feeling actively engaged in their learning experience.

Led by retirees of the Rock Hill Telephone Company, later called Comporium, guests can enjoy a short guided tour as they explore each exhibit.

The museum guides offer an upbeat and friendly atmosphere – and highlight interesting anecdotes which make it easy for visitors to quickly absorb and retain what they learn.

Alternatively, you can explore the museum at your own pace, testing out original telephone technology including making a phone call with a switchboard and using an old rotary telephone.

Red brick alleyway with brochures on one wall and art pieces on the other leading to the Center for the Arts in downtown Rock Hill - a great things to do in Rock Hill on a budget!

19. Center For The Arts 

The Center For The Arts in Rock Hill, SC is a great destination for travelers visiting on a budget. Not only is entry free, but it has an art exhibit as well as local artist studios. Visitors can take the time to visit with local artists and experience the friendly and informative atmosphere of the center.

Here, you can discover new pieces of art from up-and-coming talent, as well as appreciate the classics. There are handmade mugs on display that visitors can purchase to take home a piece of art with them.

We were able to visit Wanda Steppe in her bright and beautiful studio on the top floor.

She has been painting for 40 years and has had a studio at the Center for Arts since 1997.

Wanda is a cancer survivor, and much of her art is of her oil painting is inspired by her life experiences and surviving cancer.

Art studio with an easel, bowls with paint brushes, and several paintings, in a brick room with three windows.

Jennifer Kirk Hamilton is an abstract artist who works with paint and sculptures made with found objects. You can usually visit her studio open at The Center For The Arts during the First Friday events.

We brought home a few prints of her watercolors of Charleston, SC.

Mural on a brick wall of a heron bird along with purple, pink and yellow flowers.
Gray mural painting  of a woman's face with her eyes closed while touching her face with her right hand, intermixed with abstract rectangles and parallelograms of different colors and sizes. The first letters of "Rock Hill" can be seen in the background of the mural.
Mural of a castle and huts with people around them on the wall of a building sitting in front of some grass on a sunny day, along with the characters from famous artist Vernon Grant: Snap, Crackle, and Pop.

20. Go Mural Hunting along the Mural Mile

Old Town Rock Hill has an initiative to commission local artists to create murals within a one-mile radius of downtown Rock Hill.

These murals can be found all around from the York County Library’s tribute to Vernon Grant, to the “Rock Hill For All” street mural beside the popular Amélie’s coffee shop.

Take some time to stroll around Old Town and see if you can spot them all yourself. To get you started, the first 8 are listed on Only in Old Town’s website here.

Golden-colored statue of an eagle, the Winthrop University mascot, on a brick base, surrounded by trees in a college campus on a cloudy day.

21. Winthrop University Art Galleries

Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina offers visitors an excellent opportunity to explore a variety of art galleries and sculptures. Best of all, these galleries are free to visit and often include educational events such as panel discussions, workshops, and lectures.

The university also offers a thriving arts program for students, with majors in fine arts, communication media, graphic design, theatre, and dance.

Visiting the galleries is an enjoyable experience and provides insight into the growing local artist community. Plus, there’s no better way to become familiar with the university’s culture than visiting its art galleries!

Use this map to locate the current sculptures and art exhibitions on campus for a self-guided tour:

Get Outside and Enjoy Rock Hill’s Nature

Blond woman wearing grey shirt and white pants, facing away, standing in the middle of a suspension bridge surrounded by trees.
Photo courtesy of Visit York County

22. Anne Springs Close Greenway

Anne Springs Close Greenway is a nature preserve and recreational destination located near Rock Hill in Fort Mill, South Carolina. At 2,100 acres large, the greenway offers visitors countless opportunities for outdoor exploration and recreation.

Entrance to the park is only $12 and provides access to hiking trails, open fields, biking trails, fishing spots, equestrian trails, picnic areas and more! In addition, the YoCo Brew Trail stamp is available at the Canteen located at the Gateway Entrance.

Peaceful lake, with people enjoying the lakeshore and trees in the back.

23. Take a Dip at the New Rock Hill Park 

A great alternative to the busy and often overcrowded Ebenezer Park is the lakeside Rock Hill Park which is brand newly opened.

A quiet and peaceful little spot along Lake Wylie is the perfect place to take a dip in the lake or sit on the sand reading. Rock Hill Park has an accessible launch, benches, and a restroom.

You are sure to pass by Kingdom Gardens which is located just a minute down the road.

They are a no- spray, no-till, organic garden with a coming farm store! You will be able to purchase locally grown produce and meat once the store is completed.

Concrete pathway veering right, surrounded by trees with sunlight coming through the tree-tops at Glencairn Gardens.

24. Go for a Stroll in Glencairn Garden

Glencairn Garden in Rock Hill, SC is a stunningly beautiful outdoor oasis that is perfect for those traveling on a budget.

This local park offers visitors well-shaded trails, lush greenery, and plenty of open space to enjoy picnics throughout the year. Stop by during the annual spring festival Come-See-Me to enjoy live music in the park, or pack a picnic and relax any day of the year.

For those looking for some excitement outside of the garden, Glencairn Garden is conveniently located close to Old Town Rock Hill mentioned earlier where you can explore art galleries, restaurants, and shops.

Boardwalk over water on a sunny day, with a red and white life preserver on the right, and trees in the background at Ebenezer Park, one of the most popular things to do in Rock hill.

25. Ebenezer Park 

Ebenezer Park in Rock Hill, SC offers budget-friendly outdoor fun for the whole family! The entrance fee is only $8 for nonresidents ($5 for locals), and with that you get access to campsites, a boat launch, the swings on the pier, and a beach all nestled in a gorgeous natural setting.

There’s also fishing and swimming in the lake – what more could you want in an afternoon of outdoor exploration? Bring your picnic lunch and enjoy the views from the pier or head to the beach to build sandcastles.

The park is extremely popular and can become overcrowded on weekends, so be prepared. The city has been closing the parking lot off and not allowing new entries even when others leave. If you arrive and are unable to enter, another option is Rock Hill Park which is free and a quick 6-minute drive away

Man wearing a grey shirt and a black shorts, walking an asphalt pathway, with a Little Free Library with books in it on the left side of the foreground, surrounded by trees at Riverwalk park along the Catawba River.

26. Riverwalk

Rock Hill’s Riverwalk is a picturesque outing for both residents and visitors alike. The scenic path of the Piedmont Medical Center Trail winds its way along the Catawba River, providing breathtaking views of the water.

Along the route, visitors may encounter greenery, benches to rest on, or even some local wildlife! It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or an outdoor picnic with friends.

After walking along the river, grab a refreshing smoothie at Blend – a locally owned fresh and healthy food spot right by the trailhead. I got the Tropical one with coconut water to replenish electrolytes and it just hit the spot! 

Pathway in the woods, with a tree showing an orange sign with a hiker in it.

27. River Park along the Catawba River

Connected to Riverwalk by the Piedmont Medical Center trail, River Park is also located along the Catawba River.

At the riverfront, there is a boat launch perfect for kayaking and tubing along the river. If you don’t have your own boat or innertube for floating the Catawba River, you can also go with a rental company.

There are also several trails inland at River Park along the wetlands perfect for a leisurely stroll in the shade, with picnic tables.

🤩 Check availability to stay for the weekend!

Other Things to Do in Rock Hill, SC on a Budget

Blue neon sign reading "Books" standing in a library in front of lots of books.

28. The Liberty Book Company

This seemingly little bookstore packs a wealth of new and used books on their floor-to-ceiling shelves.

With everything from popular new fiction to sci-fi, fantasy, and even foreign languages you will find it hard to leave without a tote full of discounted used books.

The Liberty Book Company is worth a stop on your trip to Rock Hill (but don’t forget your tote bag – it’s impossible to leave empty-handed).

People riding a rollercoaster on an orange track, with a partially cloudy background.
Photo courtesy of Carowinds via Visit York County

29. Carowinds Theme Park

Carowinds is a great destination for visitors on a budget looking to have fun. Tickets are discounted after 4 pm, so those who can go later in the day will save some money.

It’s also conveniently located close to Rock Hill, making it an easy road trip for anyone in that area. Note, however, that parking is $30 per vehicle so we recommend carpooling.

Carowinds offers plenty of rides and attractions with something for everyone – from classic rollercoasters to water parks in the summer.

Plus there are plenty of restaurants and shopping experiences to explore during your visit! With lots of seasonal events throughout the year like the classic SCarowinds, Carowinds is always a great choice for budget-minded visitors seeking a good time.

Indigo Iris Flower Farm Clover SC 2
Indigo Iris Flower Farm Clover SC
Indigo Iris Flower Farm Clover SC 1

30. Indigo Iris Farm

Indigo Iris Farm in Clover, SC is the perfect destination for travelers looking to experience the natural beauty of York County on a budget. Located just 15 miles away from Rock Hill, this small 150-year-old family-run farm offers guests a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with nature.

The farm takes pride in their sustainable practices, from supporting local pollinators by growing chemical-free flowers to repurposing farm animal waste for compost. Indigo Iris Farm owner Stephanie Bull is very interested in regenerative farming techniques and loves to share with interested guests.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of experiences at Indigo Iris Farm, including their farm stand stocked with fresh produce and homemade goods; the U-Pick garden where they can pick their own produce; and events like their Sip and Snip parties that combine sipping on your favorite beverage while snipping flowers. All activities promote connecting with nature with an affordable price tag!

Check out their event calendar for upcoming experiences- last year they hosted an indigo dying workshop where guests can harvest fresh indigo and dye natural textiles! Another popular event is their rotating Storytime, which combines a children’s story with real animals and a kid’s craft to bring the fun home.

Map of Things to Do in Rock Hill, South Carolina

FAQs About Visiting Rock Hill

How much does it cost to visit Rock Hill, South Carolina?

The exact cost of visiting Rock Hill will depend on your individual budget and preferences. You can expect to pay for transportation (car, bus, or train) as well as lodging and food while you’re in the area. There are also plenty of free attractions you can take advantage of such as parks and trails.

Is Rock Hill, SC worth visiting?

Yes, Rock Hill is definitely worth visiting! Not only does the area boast a wealth of natural beauty away from the hustle and bustle of Charlotte, but it’s also home to great cultural attractions. You can explore the city’s history, visit local craft breweries, and hike along the river to take in the view.

What is Rock Hill, South Carolina known for?

Rock Hill, South Carolina is known for its rich history. The Friendship Nine were nine African-American men who protested segregation in Rock Hill in 1961. The Catawba Indian Nation is a federally recognized tribe with roots in this area and they are active members of the Rock Hill community today. Finally, Rock Hill has an important role in Revolutionary War history.

Rock Hill is also known for the Rock Hill Sports Center – one of the largest sports facilities in the southeast which features numerous recreational amenities for both youth and adult athletes.

Does Rock Hill, SC have a downtown?

Rock Hill does have a downtown. It’s located in the heart of the city and is often referred to as Old Town. This area has been around for over 150 years and was once home to many historical buildings, including churches, banks, and textile mills. Today, Old Town is a bustling center of activity with numerous shops and restaurants to explore.

What lake is close to Rock Hill, SC?

Rock Hill, SC is close to Lake Wylie, which straddles the South Carolina and North Carolina border. It’s a popular spot for fishing, boating, swimming, and camping. Both Rock Hill Park and Ebenezer Park are located on the lake. There are also plenty of marinas and restaurants around the lake for visitors to enjoy.

Final Thoughts: Things to do in Rock Hill, SC

Visiting Rock Hill, South Carolina on a budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the beautiful sights and sounds this town has to offer. With a little research, you can find many affordable activities that don’t break the bank.

From shopping and museums to outdoor adventures like hiking trails and kayaking, there’s no shortage of things to do in this town.

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This blog post is brought to you through the generous sponsorship of the Visit York County, South Carolina tourism board. All opinions are my own.

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