Just down the road is a great weekend to shop, dine and experience a different part of the Upstate in Downtown Anderson

/ by Sandra Woodward / illustration by Tatjana Mai-Wyss

KNOWN FOR YEARS as the Electric City because of its innovation of hydroelectric power, nearby Anderson is becoming more eclectic with a vibrant vibe of originality and energy infusing the city, espe¬cially in its downtown.

The combination of private entrepreneurship and public commitment has brought many dynamic changes, not the least of which is the presence of whim¬sical sculpture and art installa¬tions that enhance the city’s streets, including a flock of Carolina wrens perching in the eaves of buildings and mosaic relief story boxes and don’t miss the Bench People, the sit-able sculptures of Heritage Park, which invite interaction (and your next favorite selfie).

The Anderson Arts Center cele¬brates fine artists in the area with exhibitions and events, such as the annual Art Walk in May. The Farmer’s Market, adjacent to the Art Center, is a busy attraction highlighting abundant local food products and Carolina Wren Park offers a venue for public enter¬tainment. The Anderson County Museum provides a look at the area’s history and holds an inter¬esting gift shop.

As a day-trip destination, Anderson offers shops and venues to explore for home furnishings, gifts and more, but to explore Anderson fully, consider an over¬night stay in the city’s elegant downtown boutique hotel, the Bleckley Inn. It’s only a charm¬ingly walkable few steps from the amenities of Main Street and the historic square with its emblem¬atic old courthouse.


For half a century, the Arts
Center has been fostering
the creativity of the
Anderson community and
beyond. Its 2005
expansion into renovation
of old warehouses created
a unique and inviting
gallery and event space of
exposed brick walls, heart
pine floors and wooden
beams. Bay 3 Gallery
features works by local
artists in various media
available for purchase.
110 Federal St.
(864) 716-3838

Soak up Anderson’s past as
a center of textile
manufacturing and an
innovator in hydroelectric
power, then stop by the
museum shop to browse a
wide selection of unique
items, including home
202 East Greenville St.
(864) 260-4737

Voted best antique store in
a local survey, this mallstyle
collection features
two floors of vintage case
goods, china and
glassware, books and other
ephemera to satisfy your
every nostalgic urge.
500 N Main St.
(864) 642-9727

A small shop packed with
beautiful treasures for the
home, as well as custom
framing. Table accessories,
linens, wall art, chalk
paint, picture frames and
other finery, along with
jewelry and personal gifts.
305 N. Main St.
(864) 314-8281

A downtown anchor for
years, the Kitchen
Emporium has it all:
beautiful tableware and
kitchen accouterments of
every iteration, linens,
glassware, and gift items,
featuring top-quality
brands such as Le Creuset,
Mariposa, Casafina. An
extensive wine shop offers
carefully curated
selections from around the
311 N. Main St.
(864) 225-2021

A sprawling, well-kept
warren of mini-shops filled
with the most eclectic
collection of finery and
finds imaginable. From
vintage couture clothing to
fine antique furniture,
silver and other home
goods, this treasure trove
will enchant.
300 S Main St.
(864) 226-1002

This recent renaissance of
a long-time Anderson
favorite promises to
continue the tradition of
the original with great
home decor, as well as
lovely women’s and
children’s clothing. Check
back often to see what
these busy bees add to the
developing inventory.
510 N Main St

Unexpected finds abound
in this graphic-studio-cumartisan-
selected creations by
artists from across North
America include truly
original decor items, from
metal craft to ceramics,
weavings to woodworking.
The gallery also offers
lovely handbound journals
available for purchase in a
variety of designs and
sizes or custom-made to
your specifications.
109 Sharpe St
(864) 617-1011

Eat. Drink. Repeat.
Anderson’s eclectic nature
extends to its surprisingly
wide selection of restaurants.
Here’s just a sampling
of downtown fare.

Sullivan’s Metropolitan Grill
This Main Street staple of fine
dining, located in a former
hardware store, is celebrating
its 20th anniversary this year.

Carolina Bauernhaus Ales
Farmhouse brewery and
winery serving small-batch
ales, ciders and meads that
celebrate the agricultural
tradition of the area and the
land itself through locally
sourced ingredients.

Earle Street Kitchen and Bar
This stylish and welcoming
spot is bringing loads of
favorable attention to
Anderson’s food scene with
its fresh, mostly-Southern-in-agood-
way menu and an open,
bustling atmosphere.

SummaJoe’s/Mr. Rivers
Breakfast Joint
SummaJoe’s is a casual favorite
with a locavore menu. The
breakfast-only Mr. Rivers offers
the best brunch in town, we’re
told. (Closed Sundays)

eCity Java
Tucked into a corner of the
historic Sullivan’s building,
eCity has been roasting and
brewing an array of delicious
artisanal coffees for every
connoisseur since 1999.

Figs Beanery & Creamery
A favorite spot for ice cream as
well as coffee, pastries and
gifts. Indoor and outdoor