Rock Hill Guide: 15 things to do in this new foodie town

Rock Hill Guide: 15 things to do in this new foodie town

Photo: Symphony Webber/Axios

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Our Rock Hill guide is proudly presented by Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. Whether it’s time for an eye exam or you’re suffering from allergies, CEENTA can help. They have a location in Rock Hill and almost 20 others so it’s always convenient to get care.

You’ve heard of NoDa and LoSo, but have you heard of YoCo?

That’s York County, home to Rock Hill (it’s okay, I learned about this acronym approximately three days ago). But, in all seriousness, YoCo is on the YoCome up.

In fact, a number of Charlotte restaurateurs are noticing the recent growth of the South Carolina town just over the border, fueled in large part by the town’s booming sports industry.


We’ve rounded up 15 fun things to do in the booming town of Rock Hill.

(1) Order a latte and cinnamon roll from Knowledge Perk.

It’s a small-batch roastery and coffee shop not too far from downtown that has a cozy, rustic feel and plenty of workspaces. If you’re a true coffee connoisseur, the shop even offers an Introduction to Coffee Roasting class where you can learn the basics of roasting and get hands-on training with coffee roasters.

Location/hours: 130 West White St. Open Monday through Friday from 7am to 8pm, Saturday from 8am to 8pm and Sunday from noon to 6pm.

Vanilla Latte at Knowledge Perk in Rock Hill SC

Iced vanilla latte from Knowledge Perk.

(2) Grab breakfast at Rock Hill Bagels & Deli.

Whether you’re looking for a quick breakfast or lunch, Rock Hill Bagels & Deli should definitely be a stop on your list. Bagel options include classic flavors like plain and everything as well as some fun flavors like cinnamon sugar and maple French toast.

Location/hours: 1912 Mt Gallant Rd., Suite 108. Open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 7am to 3pm, and Sunday from 8am to 2pm.

[Related Axios guide: 8 must-try bagel spots in Charlotte]

(3) Shop at The Mercantile.

Make sure you allot enough time in your schedule for this stop because you’ll definitely want to take your time to peruse. You’ll find home decor, local art, gifts and tons of other cool items. There’s even a build-your-own bouquet station where you can customize a bouquet of fresh flowers. Plus The Mercantile is regularly hosting events like makers markets and workshops.

Location/hours: 130 West White St., Suite B. Open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 7pm and Sunday from noon to 5pm.

The Mercantile in Rock Hill SC

(4) Stroll the Riverwalk and then do dinner at The Pump House.

Enjoy 3.35-miles of scenic views along the Catawba River. The trail is one-way but connects to River Park, allowing visitors to start from either park entrance. All that walking could make you hungry, and if that’s the case, definitely dine at The Pump House. It’s a three-story restaurant housed in a World War II-era, you guessed it, pump house, and overlooks the Catawba River.

Location: 575 Herrons Ferry Rd. Open Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 10pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 11pm.

The Pump House

View from The Pump House.

(5) Visit one of The Culture & Heritage Museums

Like the family of Discovery Place museums, The Culture & Heritage Museums consists of several museums across York County, including Historic Brattonsville, the McCelvey Center, the Museum of York County, and the Main Street Children’s Museum Old Town Rock Hill. Explore any one of them, or stop by them all.


  • Museum of York County – 4621 Mt Gallant Rd.
  • Historic Brattonsville – 1444 Brattonsville Rd.
  • The McCelvey Center – 212 East Jefferson St., Ste. A
  • Main Street Children’s Museum – 133 East Main St.

(6) Search for your next piece of artwork at Rock Hill Artist Collective.

The 6,000 square-foot space serves as a collaborative workspace for 14 local artists, and a showroom where art can be purchased. The materials and media used across the showroom vary from artist to artist, making for a great selection and a technique or piece that speaks to everyone who stops by

Location: 202 East Main St. Open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Rock Hill Artist Collective

(7) Lay out in the sun on the lakefront beach at Ebenezer Park.

Guests can swim, fish, paddleboard and kayak. Or if you prefer to stay dry, you can sunbathe on the beach, have a picnic, toss a football in the green space or play basketball.

Cost: Parking is $5 per car for York County residents and $8 per car for non-residents. Season passes are also available for $30 for residents and $35 for non-residents.

Location/hours: 4490 Boatshore Rd. The park is open daily from 8am to 8pm.

[Read more: Guide to Rock Hill’s lakefront beach with outdoor movies and beach volleyball]

(8) Have a picnic at Glencairn Garden.

It’s 11-acres and has flower-filled pathways, swinging benches and fountains.

Location/hours: 725 Crest St. It’s open daily from dawn until dusk.

(9) Pick up local brews at Main Street Bottle Shop.

This old-school bottle shop offers the largest selection of local craft beer in Rock Hill. Plus, you can mix and match your beer selections so you can take home a single can or 15 of your favorites.

Location/hours: 153 East Main St. It’s open Monday through Thursday from noon to 8pm, Friday and Saturday from noon to 9pm and Sunday from noon to 5pm.

Main Street Bottle Shop Rock Hill

(10) Sit at the Friendship Nine’s historic counter at Kounter.

Kounter pays homage to the original 1960s lunch counter where nine African-American college students were arrested for refusing to leave their seats. Between the use of the original seats and the counter which has been restored and encased to look like it did in the 60s, you feel like you’re connecting with history.

Location/hours: 135 East Main St., Suite 101. Open Tuesday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 10pm and Sunday from 11am to 8pm.

[Read more: New restaurant now open in historic McCrory’s Building in Rock Hill]

Kounter Rock Hill

(11) Check out the newly opened Old Town Kitchen & Cocktails.

The space itself is inspired by 1930s and 40s college life (it’s very close to Winthrop University). The menu, on the other hand, draws from Chef Chris Coleman’s family recipes and childhood memories. You’ll find hand-helds as well as your classic meat-and-twos.

Location/hours: 300 Technology Center Way, Ste. #203. It’s open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 10pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 11pm, and Sunday from 11am to 9pm.

[Go deeper: Goodyear House team to open Old Town Kitchen this week in Rock Hill]

Old Town Kitchen & Cocktails, Rock Hill

(12) Go on a brewery crawl.

Local favorites include Rock Hill Brewing Company, Dust-Off, Legal Remedy and Slow Play Brewing (and their partnering food truck Cibi Cibi).

Slow Play Brewing Rock Hill

A peach hard seltzer at Slow Play.

(13) Play arcade games at Player 1 Up Bar. (Closed until July 23 for remodeling)

Choose from a selection of 30 vintage video games and pinball machines. You can also enjoy craft beer or a cocktail and bites like pizza and wings.

Cost: All arcade cabinets are free to play, and premium games and pinball range from 50 cents to $1.

Location: 140 East Main St., Suite 140.

(14) Cool off with a scoop of PW’s Ice Cream.

PW’s has been serving homemade ice cream in York County since 1991, and it’s definitely become a local favorite. Menu offerings include ice cream, milkshakes & concretes, sundaes, and soft serve among other sweet treats.

Location/hours: 491 South Herlong Ave. Open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 10pm and Sunday from noon to 10pm.

(15) Celebrate the businesses of Rock Hill at the Old Town Night Market.

This family-friendly event takes place inside the shops, restaurants, and galleries located in Old Town Rock Hill. Make your way out to hear music, shop pop-up markets, and enjoy food and drink specials.

Location/hours: Located in between Slow Play Brewing and The White Home. It’s held on the fourth Friday of every month now through November. The next one is set for August 27.

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