While in Georgia our plans started to tighten up a bit: Dad and Marcia locked in most of their July schedule, which included an immediate stop at Croft State Park outside of Spartanburg to meet up with their RV friends, Lori and Rob. Since Spartanburg is sort of on the way to Asheville, we went ahead and secured a four day reservation there as well.
We showed up knowing almost nothing about the park or the area, and with no expectations either. Thus we were pleasantly surprised at how lovely both the campground and downtown Spartanburg were. Like most state parks the sites were large, well spread out, and under a moderate tree canopy in the forest. We much prefer this set up to the closely packed and often treeless sites found in many private parks, even those claiming “resort” status.
The place is situated on a decent sized lake, has plenty of hiking, biking, and horse trails, and a couple of creeks running through the property. We had a pleasant hour or two swimming and floating in one of them, just a short hike from our camping loop. At $37 a night all in, it was a bit more expensive than most state parks, but if you have reason to RV near Spartanburg, we grant our highly coveted approval to Croft State Park.
Since we had not been the best about social distancing during the last week, we tried to be extra careful while there, particularly with Dad and Marcia’s possibly immuno-compromised friends. We were able to have evening cocktails, a dinner, and one outing into Spartanburg together.
Speaking of the town: part of the downtown area on Main Street is quite nice. Parks, breweries, shops, a small walking mall area, and restaurants with outdoor seating were prevalent. During our first outing we had Pimento Cheese (the “caviar of The South”) Fritters with Tomato Jam at Cribbs, a fantastic appetizer befitting the southern tradition. We explored the area a bit, including a flight at Ciclops one of the three our four breweries in town.
The next day Dad and Marcia joined us for a visit to Growler Haus, a fantastic little place with plenty of room for social distancing and an excellent array of craft beer from the region. I enjoyed the Jalapeno IPA so much I filled the liter growler we have been carrying around since leaving Nova Scotia last year.
For dinner it was back to Cribbs for what was the best burger I have had in living memory. A big shout out to this restaurant and their award winning Barnyard Burger, one of the best burgers I have ever had. Description: a lamb, beef & bacon blended patty with jalapeño, horseradish cream, fried egg, goat cheese, shaved cabbage, and tomato. I want to go back to Spartanburg just to have this meal again.
When we left Florida our general plans were to visit some family and then find places to spend the rest of the summer and at least part of the fall. Since we have enjoyed Croft State Park and Spartanburg, are they contenders for additional time? No, no they are not. Quite simply, it is still too low of an elevation and thus too hot. We need mountains, and will seek them out shortly.
Next up: Black Mountain and Asheville, North Carolina.