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Historic Downtowns

Historic Downtowns

While there are many small towns in South Carolina, the Olde English District’s historic downtowns are a distinct testament to the region. Each of these downtown areas preserves the charm of days gone by while infusing the neighborhood with modern life. 

Charming Towns

While the small town of Fort Mill is quaint, the historic downtown is full of fun surprises–like the home of the world’s hottest pepper. The town boasts a number of retail shops, breweries, coffee shops and plenty of places to eat. 

Historic downtown Clover, in northwestern York County, is another district listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Its commercial buildings are reflective of the cotton mill era and today remain a center of growth for the town as new retail offerings continue to be added.

Union is known for its rich Civil War history, housing the Union County Museum on West Main Street. Additionally, specialty shops line the charming downtown district, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Historic Downtowns
Union county museum

Day Trip Destinations

Camden’s downtown cultural district is a bustling center for Kershaw County. You’ll find it all here: fine art, popular restaurants, historic landmarks, wine and cigar lounges, interesting places to shop, and home to exciting year-round community events.

Just south of Charlotte, N.C., is Rock Hill. The downtown district, known as Old Town, perfectly blends the old and new. Art lovers, antique hunters, historical buffs, foodies and every other kind of visitor will find it a worthy day trip. 

Visit Chesterfield County’s historic downtown Cheraw, located on the northeastern boundary of the Olde English District. Learn about the history of jazz king Dizzy Gillespie at the Cheraw Town Green, and pop into antique shops, boutiques and cozy restaurants on Market Street. 

Biker biking through the City of Rock Hill
Old Town Rock Hill

Historic South Carolina Buildings 

With antique shopping, a buzzing coffee shop, local eateries and museums, Downtown Lancaster has a little something for everyone. Keep an eye out for art installations by Bob Doster, a world-renowned artist, and colorful murals that paint the downtown area. 

Ridgeway is one of the most interesting small towns in South Carolina. Within its historic downtown remains its first merchant building from 1840 (now a museum), memorabilia from the movie filmed on site in 2006 (Staying Together, starring Stockard Channing) and the “World’s Smallest Police Station,” a beloved historic South Carolina building that became a 2006 Olympic torch relay stop. 

Historic Downtowns
“worlds smallest police station”

One of the oldest small towns in South Carolina, York’s historic downtown contains many buildings that still remain from their construction in the late 19th or early 20th centuries. You’ll see a variety of architectural styles here, from Greek Revival to Victorian to Italianate, dotted among the shopping and dining venues.

Winnsboro, located in the lower part of the Olde English District, is aptly named “A Town for All Time.” It’s easy to see why; the historic downtown is home to the oldest continuously running clock in America — and its accompanying annual Rock Around the Clock event. Other fascinating locales include the South Carolina Railroad Museum, which is a short drive from downtown, and the Fairfield County Museum, once home to the Winnsboro Female Institute of the 19th century.