Have you ever been driving on I-385 south of Greenville, and wondered what Fountain Inn was all about? Well, I'm here to tell you not to bypass those exits next time you're heading south! Fountain Inn is quickly becoming a delightful day-trip destination, with a Main Street chock full of quirky businesses and charming shops just begging for a visit. Here is my idea of a fun Fountain Inn Saturday!

Morning Stops - Rise and Shine!

From June through September, THE place to be on a Saturday morning is the Fountain Inn Farmer's Market. Located in a specially-constructed pavilion, the farmer's market hosts local and regional vendors selling fresh eggs, local meats and produce, scrumptious baked goods, and a variety of arts and crafts. Expect to find the farmer as your vendor, still splattered with mud after plucking only hours ago the peppers you're eyeballing! And if you need something satisfyingly sweet for your breakfast, head over to Inn the Oven for coffee and a baked good (I suggest their strawberry pound cake)! To cap off your morning, cross the street to Sword Carolina, Fountain Inn's very own sword fighting studio. I bet you weren't expecting to find THAT here! Classes are held every Saturday morning, where you can watch studio owner, Aaron Shober, teach this Historical European Martial Art (HEMA). Insider's Tip: Contact Sword Carolina ahead of time for a free introductory lesson...who needs a regular gym when you can break a sweat with a sword?

 Fountain Inn Farmers Market Pavilion, courtesy fountaininn.org

Afternoon Stops - Shop and Stroll!

Fountain Inn's Main Street is lined with unique shops and eateries, all clustered together within a handful of blocks. Check out Bookquest, a cozy bookshop filled with first edition hardbacks, and antiquarian or unusual books that aren't always easy to find (I always get a leg up on my holiday shopping here!).  Consignment Showcase and Every Nook & Cranny are bursting with antique and vintage treasures perfect for "pickers" or anyone looking for a unique piece to add style to their home. And for gentlemen shoppers, Empire Ltd. Studio is a MUST SEE. This upscale men's consignment store also specializes in bowties-the song "Sharp Dressed Man" was a hit for a reason, ya'll! Finish up your shopping adventure with a visit to Carolina Olive Oil (trust me, your taste buds will thank you). My personal favorite is their Smoked Infusion Balsamic Vinegar, and I'm quite certain YOU will find something spectacular to add to your pantry here, too!

Consignment Showcase via their Google+ page 

Evening Stops - Winding Down!

Now that you've enjoyed a sampling of what Fountain Inn has to offer, you deserve dinner and drinks at J Peters Grill & Bar! You can't go wrong with their Slow Roasted Prime Rib Sandwich and a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Martini (or one of the other tasty libations from their "Signature Drinks" menu). And don't forget to check out the calendar for the Younts Center for Performing Arts in case the symphony is playing or a musical is opening that Saturday evening...what a spectacular way to cap off your Saturday Fountain Inn adventure! Insider's Tip: For a unique, "yesteryear" theater experience, check out one of the Center's "FIREside Radio" performances, which are recorded in front of a live audience! Visit the Center's website for more details.

 Fountain Inn Symphony Orchestra via yountscenter.org

THAT Something Extra: 

‘Tis the Season for MORE Fountain Inn Fun!
Every December, Fountain Inn brings to life the Spirit of Christmas Past Festival. Main Street's grandest homes are tastefully decorated, delighting spectators and locals alike as they view them from the comfort of horse-drawn carriages. The Farmer's Market Pavilion is transformed into an ice skating rink, and familiar Christmas music is piped through the air. It's Wintertime fun that's sure to fill the heart of any Scrooge with a festive holiday spirit!

History Unlocked
Fountain Inn's History Center is a true gem, preserving the city's past-right in the middle of its current-day bustle. Check out antique photos of Main Street, relics from Fountain Inn's historic Woodside Mill, and discover the story of Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates. You'll find a new appreciation for this very special small town!