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Spartanburg named to list of 25 coolest towns in America

Matador Network has confirmed what many in the Upstate already know: Spartanburg, SC is a cool town.

Hub City ranks ninth on Matador Network’s 2019 list of the 25 coolest towns in America, a ranking of cities with populations under 100,000 that have come into their own as a destination. Matador Network, a San Francisco-based digital media company that focuses on travel, outdoor adventure, food, nightlife, language learning and culture, publishes rankings throughout the year.

Here’s what Matador Network says about Spartanburg:

“During most of the 20th century, Spartanburg was a major center for textile mills. While that industry has waned, it left a legacy of all-night diners (opened so factory workers would always have a place to eat) that makes Spartanburg a little slice of New Jersey in the Carolinas. You won’t find a stronger diner culture in the South, and the city’s two best — Peach Blossom and The Beacon Drive-In — have gotten some TV fame.”

Heirloom: A Milltown Eatery and UnderPin Lanes n’ Lounge also received a shout out from Matador Network for their tributes to the area’s industrial past.

Opened in 2019 with a vision to honor the rich traditions of the Spartanburg area, Heirloom brings a new chapter to the former headquarters of Spartan Mills, a textile mill that was founded in 1881 and became the heart of the community, according to its website. UnderPin Lanes n’ Lounge bills itself as Spartanburg’s Coolest Place to Be, offering bowling, arcade games, food and full bar in an art deco setting.

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“Though the mills are mostly gone,” Matador Network continues, “Spartanburg still clings to its industrial identity, which is now defined by the town’s role as the home of BMW in the USA. If you buy a Bimmer — or pay to use the track — you can visit the sprawling facility here and take a performance car for a few high-speed loops.”

Here are the top 10 of Matador Network’s 25 coolest towns in America for 2019:

  1. Marfa, Texas  Population: 1,772
  2. Ketchum, Idaho  Population: 2,673
  3. Redding, California  Population: 91,794
  4. Grinnell, Iowa  Population: 9,027
  5. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware  Population: 1,496
  6. Bardstown, Kentucky  Population 13,165
  7. Cooperstown, New York  Population: 1,769
  8. Deadwood, South Dakota  Population: 1,304
  9. Spartanburg, South Carolina  Population: 37,498
  10. Ruidoso, New Mexico  Population: 7,756

See the complete list here.

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