What's it like to live in Spartanburg, SC?

Profile written by local expert:

Carly Shea Stokes

Spartanburg is known for its beautiful scenery and rich past. 

With a history that predates the Revolutionary War, Spartanburg became known as Hub City in the 1800s, when it served as a major railroad center. Today, the Upstate South Carolina town is home to the first full-time North American BMW plant as well as the headquarters of the Denny’s restaurant chain.

With seven institutions of higher learning and a burgeoning food scene, Spartanburg always offers things to do on the weekends. Locals can ride their bicycles around town, shop at farmers markets, check out festivals, or enjoy local restaurants and breweries. Spartanburg is a pet-friendly city, where it’s common to see locals walking their dogs downtown or sharing a meal on a restaurant patio with pets in tow.

See all the best places to live in South Carolina.


U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Spartanburg, South Carolina is ranked:

#35 in Best Places to Live

#37 in Best Places to Retire

#3 in Best Places to Live in South Carolina

#19 in Fastest-Growing Places

#25 in Cheapest Places to Live




Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Job Market
  • Quality of Life
  • Net Migration

Read how we rank places

Spartanburg, SC Quick Stats

  • 329,839

    Metro Population

  • $43,860

    Average Annual Salary

  • N/A

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 38.7

    Median Age

  • $142,867

    Median Home Price

  • N/A

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 2.6%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $763

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 23.0 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What is there to do in Spartanburg, SC?

If you love spending time in the great outdoors, Spartanburg is a good place for you. There are several trails and parks to visit, including Barnet Park, which has an amphitheater for concerts and an interactive fountain for children. Spartanburg also has museums, including the Hub City Railroad Museum, Spartanburg Regional History Museum and Spartanburg Art Museum. Spartanburg also has a center for dance education that focuses on ballet. 

Several festivals and events throughout the year keep the social calendar in the city packed. This includes Music on Main, a free concert series that takes place Thursday evenings in April in downtown. Other events that draw crowds are the Spring Fling street festival, also in April; the city’s Fourth of July celebration Red, White, and Boom; the Spartanburg International Festival in October; and Dickens of a Christmas, which transforms downtown back to the Victorian days.

What's the cost of living in Spartanburg, SC?

One advantage of moving to Spartanburg is the affordability.

South Carolina residents pay personal property taxes on vehicles. There is also a local hospitality tax placed on prepared food and drinks, which is used to fund tourist-related infrastructure and capital improvement projects.

Looking for financial advice? Find a local financial advisor in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Value Index

Index Score: 7.7 /10

How we calculate this.

Spartanburg offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs 2019



Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Spartanburg, SC.

What's the weather like in Spartanburg, SC?

The weather in Spartanburg is like much of the South, with hot, humid summers and cold, wet winters. Spartanburg is prone to getting tornadoes and is part of what is known as Carolina Alley, one of the country’s most active tornado areas. 

Snow is not a big issue in Hub City. If snowflakes do fall, they either don't stick or they melt within a day.

What's the best way to get around Spartanburg, SC?

The best way to get around Spartanburg is by car, although the city does offer a bus service called the Spartanburg Area Regional Transit Agency, or SPARTA. Cab or ride-hailing services also get you from one place to another. Biking is another option. Spartanburg is one of the leading cycling cities in South Carolina, with bike lanes, trails and a bike-share program called BCycle. 

The city is not the most walkable place to live, but there are spots you can visit downtown if you are looking to stretch your legs. 

If you want to get out of town, Spartanburg is just over an hour away from Charlotte, a two-hour drive from the state capital of Columbia and a three-hour drive from the popular vacation destination of Charleston. The Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport serves local aircraft and corporate jets.

Commuting in Spartanburg, SC

Means of Transportation
Above national average

Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Public Transit
Below national average
Average Commute Time

23.0 minutes

3.6 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Spartanburg, SC?

The area has the highest per capita college student population of any major city in the state, as it’s home to the University of South Carolina--Upstate, Converse College, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine--Carolinas, Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg Methodist College, Wofford College and Sherman College of Chiropractic. 

Spartanburg also has some of the most sought-after high schools in the Upstate, which attracts many families to the area.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown

About the same number of single people in Spartanburg as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.