When it comes to shopping, Anderson SC is a great place to be. We’ve got antique shops, clothing stores of all kinds, plentiful produce stands, furniture stores, pawn shops, pet shops, appliance/electronic shops, local art galleries, and everything in between.
But, there’s one place in Anderson that is all of these places combined… and more. This place is known as The Jockey Lot.
The Jockey Lot was founded in 1974 and has been growing ever since. Today it’s the South’s largest flea market, and has been named the #1 most trafficked tourist attraction in all of SC – boasting visitor counts in the several millions every year. What draws the crowds to the rather remote spot between Anderson and Greenville is the sheer diversity of shops. Whatever you’re shopping for, you’ll probably find it here. And in several colors.
When you first step onto the grounds of this huge place of commerce, your senses are abundantly greeted. You’ll notice a variety of smells – mostly pleasant and mostly dominated by saw dust and funnel cakes. Music, talking, children pleading to take home a puppy – all sounds of a bustling hive of shopping activity. Glittering rhinestone jewelry and decorative flags remind you where you are, lest you confuse this with Rodeo Drive. Vendor booths and stores (which are open for anyone to rent) range from snack stands to home decor, from furniture to airbrushed T-shirts – it’s the South, after all. (Note – the Jockey Lot really does have offerings to suit every taste. Northerners enjoy it just as much as Anderson locals do.)
If you’re determined to see everything on the Jockey Lot’s 65 acres, be ready for a good half-day commitment (at least). And if you’re shopping for something specific, be ready to start early. Like a giant yard sale, the best stuff at the best prices will be awarded to the early comers.
Speaking personally, one of the greatest draws of the Jockey Lot is the diversity of shoppers. As a people-watcher (of the non-creepy variety), nothing fascinates me more than observing folks. This is why I love airports, county fairs, and the Jockey Lot. On any given day (Saturday or Sunday, that’s the only days they’re open) you’ll see as many types of people here as you would anywhere else in the world. The Jockey Lot must be the melting pot of the South. People from all over come here, each from different walks of life – all shopping, all milling around, all hunting for a bargain. The Jockey Lot is unifying in its own way.
To sum it all up, I’d say the Jockey Lot provides a lot of things for our little town. A unique shopping experience is just one.