How To Spend 24 Hours In Hartsville, SC #experiencehartsville sponsored

How To Spend 24 Hours In Hartsville #experiencehartsville sponsoredCheap Is The New Classy

Earlier this week, Jay and I took a whirlwind tour of 3 cities in South Carolina: Florence, Lake City and Hartsville, including a couple of stops in nearby areas. All of this was done in 3 nights and 4 days. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have passed by these towns on the way to Myrtle Beach or somewhere else coastal without even thinking about it. But I am a firm believer that every place has a cool story to tell and I haven’t been wrong yet. These towns may be small, and a little off the typical tourist map, but their southern charm and hospitality makes them so worth your visit.

How To Spend 24 Hours In Hartsville

Hartsville is a really cute, little town. As we were told, many of the things to see are contained within about a 2 block radius. But that does not mean there isn’t much to do, as you will soon see.

Lunch at Ruth’s Drive In
If you are arriving around lunch, you should eat at Ruth’s Drive In. This is a community staple and where a ton of the locals eat. When I can, I like to do what the locals do. I mean, they know where the good stuff in their town is, right? Ruth’s Drive In serves all the typical drive in standards like hot dogs and burgers that will please a family. I had this really good Breaded Chicken Tender Salad and Jay had something referred to as a “Hot.” Check out their menu on Facebook.

Check Out The Shops & Boutiques
In that two block radius that I was telling you about are a ton of shops. I am not talking about chains or the same things you have in your town. I am talking about locally owned small businesses. Remember, it is so important to buy local and you will have many opportunities to do just that in Hartsville.

For instance, at Minnie’s Giftique, I picked up some cute knee high hedgehog socks for Amber and myself. I mean, awwww…. This shop has a great, eclectic style that will suit many tastes. From beautiful silver serving dishes to, well, hedgehog socks, you can find a huge array of items in this cute little boutique.

Stop in at De Baz. De Baz is a shop where you can buy items that are fair trade and ethically made. A couple of years ago, Jay and I went to Honduras. One of the many things we learned on that trip is that the Caribbean has THE BEST COFFEE. And, unfortunately, it’s not easy to come by here. But Honduran coffee – you can buy it at De Baz! And trust. We did. Though the bag we bought is not going to last long. Agh!

As I write this article, I am sippin’ some of the best coffee in the world, with a chihuahua snuggled to each side. I know. It’s a tough life I lead. 😉

Love to read? Then be sure to check out Burry Bookstore. They have all the things you typically find in locally owned bookstores like new releases, kids toys, puzzles, games and more. But they also host professional writers for readings and book signings. A friend of the late Pat Conroy’s was scheduled to be there the same week as us. And let me tell you about the used books section – it is huge! I left with a couple of books for myself and Jay found himself something, too.

How To Spend 24 Hours In Hartsville #experiencehartsville sponsored

Stop By The Park And See The Wildlife
Ok, anyone who reads this blog knows I love love love me some animals. There are a few parks in the area, but we recommend Lawton Park. This park has a great play area for kids and a beautiful water view for those looking for photo ops or just a great place to relax and read. I took a ton of pictures of geese and ducks while visiting. Lawton Park also has a Pavilion that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places that you can rent out for events, weddings, etc. This was my absolute favorite thing to do in Hartsville. If you skip anything we mentioned in this itinerary, don’t skip this one. 🙂

Check Out Coker’s Experimental Farms
Hartsville grew to what it is today because of the Hart cotton plantation beginnings. David Coker then found ways to build upon what the Harts accomplished to make cotton even more profitable by experimenting with crop cultivation. Coker’s Experimental Farms is part of the South Carolina Cotton Trail and also a National Historic Landmark.

Stay At The Mantissa
Did you spend half the day shopping in boutiques? Why not stay in an executive suite in a lovely boutique hotel? The Mantissa is not to be missed on your trip to Hartsville. Our suite had a huge tub, an island with a concrete top in the kitchen and beautiful wrought iron railings on the romantic balcony. Check out our review of The Mantissa here and see all of the pictures now on Flickr.

Have Dinner At Bizzell’s
It’s not pronounced like Lefty Frizzell. It’s pronounced like Snoop Dogg’s, “Shizzle.” You’re welcome. 😉 At Bizzell’s, I had Maple Glazed Salmon on Creamed Spinach and a Tomato Pie {which came highly recommended} and it was all so good. We will have a full review of this restaurant coming soon, too, and then you can find out what Jay had for dinner. 😉 You can also check out all of the pictures on Flickr by clicking here.

Check Out The Nightlife
There is a ton of great nightlife options in Hartsville, SC. Jay and I had drinks on the rooftop of the Mantissa. The view was fabulous and the drinks were even better. If you are looking for a fruity drink, I highly recommend the Bay Breezeway – it tasted like fresh pineapple. Yum! 🙂 Jay had an Irish White Russian and loved it, as well.

Next time I am in Hartsville, I really want to stop in at the Retrofit Sip-n-Seat. See something in there you like? Take it home with you. Every single thing in the place is for sale. 😀 I hear that you can also stick money in a machine and get some wine out. Yes. Please.

So, go back to the lovely Mantissa and sleep in your super comfy bed. 🙂

Breakfast At The Midnight Rooster
We actually made it for lunch because the bed was too comfy at the Mantissa. 😉 But we had some lovely coffee at the Midnight Rooster along with our tasty meals, so that still counts as breakfast, right? I had some Cinnamon Iced Coffee to go with my Greek Goddess Salad and Tomato Basil Soup. Jay had a sandwich called a Farmer Lorenzo and a Milk Chocolate Frappe. Mmmmm… We will have a full review of this place coming soon, too. Until then, check out the pictures here.

How To Spend 24 Hours In Hartsville, SC #experiencehartsville sponsored

Stop By Frets & Necks SC Guitar Repair and Lutherie
Frets & Necks SC is a cool guitar repair store where you can get your existing instrument fixed or you can purchase custom made instruments. And when I mean custom, I mean Boot {the charismatic owner} takes a cool instrument like a piano that has met it’s maker and reincarnates it into an even cooler instrument like a guitar. Don’t know the difference between a piano or a guitar? Frets & Necks SC offers lessons and can teach you. 😉

Stop By The Key
At The Key, you can pick up some cool swag to take back to everyone who will be jealous of your trip. We bought a coffee mug and some Gillespie’s Peanuts for ourselves because we are greedy like that. These peanuts are fantastic {we recommend the “Low Country Boil”} and you simply must take some home with you. They also have Darlington Raceway swag for all of you racing fans. You can also get brochures and such at The Key, so you might want to stop here on your way into Hartsville instead.

Grab Some Snacks For The Road Trip Home
We stopped by the local Sonic to grab a Lemon Berry Slush because for some gosh forsaken reason ours stopped serving them. And it was my favorite drink. Let’s all have a moment of silence for the Lemon Berry Slush. Did your local Sonic forsake you, too? Then stop by the one in Hartsville – which also has a super fast drive thru window and no side-eye when you order a Lemon Berry Slush. 😉

And don’t forget the food. On the way home, just a few miles out of town, we came across a super cute roadside market in McBee called McLeod’s. They say the peaches there are the best, but they were out of season when we visited so we will have to take the locals’ word on that. What we can tell you is that the pecans in the shell are cheap and really good. Jay brought home a massive bag that should keep him busy for a hot minute. We also bought a coconut tart {haven’t tried that yet, but it smells amazing} and some Pumpkin Pecan bread that was definitely amazing! McLeod’s also had a pumpkin with Olaf painted on it. Always trust a place that appreciates Olaf. 😉

Believe it or not, we did and saw a lot more than what was even mentioned here. You can check out the rest of our pictures right now on Flickr.

Have You Been To Hartsville, South Carolina?

What do you recommend that people see or do when they visit? We would love to read about your experience in the comments below.

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About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for, an entertainment site. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her dog, Daisy.


  1. Those drinks look super inviting and South Carolina Hartsville sounds like a fun place to visit. So thank you for sharing with us Dawn. Am Sure more people will be curious to visit this destination 🙂
    Julie Syl

  2. Hartsville sounds like a nice little town! Those hedgehog socks are just too cute.

  3. This looks like the cutest little town! Those socks are adorable. I love finding cute little boutiques and coffee shops!

  4. I love South Carolina! I would love to get some shopping done there. my favorite thing about traveling is getting cool souvenirs!

  5. Jena Proctor says

    I could spend my day like this! It looks like a relaxing day. Those coffee drinks look amazing!

  6. It looks like you had the perfect day trip to me!! I will have to add it to my must travel to list

  7. We have family in North Carolina and now I want to go visit them so we can head over to South Carolina! So inviting and fun, love that it’s great for the entire family

  8. Amy Desrosiers says

    Looks like you found some tasty eats! Totally delicious foods, and drinks!

  9. It looks like the cutest little town! Love it! Those socks are soooooo adorable!! I’ve added it to my travel list!

  10. Super jealous about your time in Hartsville! Everything looks so quaint and chic.. especially that giftique and those cutey socks!!

  11. I love the hedgehog socks. I love visiting small towns. When the hubby and I were traveling about in the fifthwheel we had so much fun stopping in towns just like this and spending a few days.

  12. My husband lived in South Carolina for 6 years and he absolutely adored it. I asked him and he’s never been to Hartsville but it looks like a great place to visit!

  13. This looks like a great getaway! I just everything about this post! The food, drinks and the place looks so relaxed! My husband will surely enjoy this place!

  14. I’ve only ever been to Charleston, but I would love to explore other areas of the state. Whenever I’ve taken a road trip I always wonder what I might see if I stopped in some of the towns I drove through. You never never know how many great shops or restaurants you are missing out on.

  15. This isn’t too far from me! I think it’s a great way to get away and relax for a little bit. I’ll check it out.

  16. I’ve never been to South Carolina at all. This looks like such a fun trip though. I would definitely like to try out some of the local food and check out that bookstore!

  17. Ann Bacciaglia says

    This looks like a great place to visit. I always check out the locally owned small businesses.

  18. Elizabeth Lampman says

    I love to support the locally owned small businesses when I travel. It is nice to go off the tourist path and check things out.

  19. We love everything about South Carolina. The south is an amazing place, my sister lived there for a while and she says it will always be home to her!

  20. Everything looks amazing. I’ve been hearing so much about how beautiful South Carolina is. I hope I could go someday.

  21. Betty McGalliard says

    You should visit Seersucker Gypsy! Great shop for all kinds of artsy, locally made products, from clothing and jewelry to essential oils and soaps. She also has many arts and crafts classes for children and adults. One of a kind and always fun!

  22. Elizabeth O. says

    There’s so much that you can do here, which makes it an awesome place for a relaxing and fun vacation. I love that there are many places for good food and some cool drinks!

  23. I’ve never been to Hartsville, SC but I would love to go there. Who knew there was so much to do in a small town. I love visiting local shops. Those hedgehog socks are too cute.

  24. What a quaint town. The local dining establishments sound amazing. I enjoy checking out new places. Hopefully, I make it there one day.

  25. What a great trip! I think I could spend 24 hours at The Rooster! All those drinks, so little time. Thank you for sharing!

  26. This sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I think I would spend a good portion of my 24 hours enjoying that delicious salmon.

  27. This looks like a delicious 24 hours!! Seeing your reading list reminded me to add that Harper Lee book to my list!

  28. This is just too cute! I love reading articles like this about cute towns to visit. Some of my favorite trips involve just walking around new towns and eating all the food I can get and stopping into cute old vintage shops! May be adding this to my list of must see towns!

  29. This looks like such a fun way to spend a day! I never really think about what I can do in a 24 hour period in one specific place, sounds like a fun practice though!

  30. Look like a super fun trip! I’ve never been to South Carolina but I can see it’s beautiful! Those socks were definitely a must buy though 🙂

  31. What a lovely little town! This seems like a crazy full day! I may need an extra one to do all of these actives and I would want to fit them all in because they all seem so fun!

  32. Wow, what a fun trip! I would love to stay in South Carolina soon. It’s so close to Florida, so it’s the perfect half way stop for me since I drive from the Northeast.

  33. CourtneyLynne says

    Ooooo I have never heard of Hartsville, but after reading your post you now have me wanting to plan a trip!

  34. Reesa Lewandowski says

    This looks like such a cute little town to visit! We will have to remember to drive through our next trip down south!

  35. I have never heard of Hartsville but it looks ADORABLE. I love little towns like this. Next time I am driving that way I will need to stop by.

  36. Angela says

    I had not heard of Hartsville, but what a sweet place! It looks like you had a lovely time, I will have to check it out 🙂

  37. Thank you for visiting our town and for your rave reviews! If you’re looking for a way to enjoy Hartsville until you can return, may we suggest Gillespie’s Peanuts? We have a wide variety of flavors, AND we grow them right here in Hartsville, SC. Our peanuts are even packaged in Sonoco Products Company cans, so they are truly a Hartsville specialty! Our trio boxes make excellent Christmas gifts…just sayin’! Y’all come back!

  38. i love little quaint towns like this. always so peaceful…

  39. Those socks are so adorable! It sounds like such a great place to visit! I’d love to try Bizzell’s, because it sounds amazing!

  40. South Carolina is one of my favorite states. I’ve been able to visit Charleston but I wouldlove to explore more of its charming towns.

  41. Hartsville sounds like a wonderful place to visit and I agree some small places around our own city could have some wonderful story around it. Shops & Boutiques are the favorite places when it comes to a trip anytime and I am in love with those delicious food options you have experienced out there!

  42. This is actually my first time hearing about Hartsville. However, it sounds like a charming town!

  43. Debbie Johnson says

    I live in Hartsville and there are many many more things to see, places to eat, and performances to see. The Columbia City Ballet will be here in Dec. Local dancers, including my grandmother, were given a chance to audition and seeing our children perform with professional dancers. Many festivals, parades, etc. Welcome!

  44. Hartsville looks like the cutest town! I’ve been dying to make it to South Carolina for the longest while, and now Hartsville is definitely on my list!

  45. You had me at the White Russian cocktail lol. It sounds like a lovely P lavender to visit, so much to see and plenty of eatery options

  46. Sounds like a charming place! Those socks are really cute and your dinner looks delicious!