The Getaway
The Top 20 Things To Do in Greenville, South Carolina

When it comes to places to visit in South Carolina, the small city of Greenville may not be high on your list. However, this hidden gem has a thriving arts and culture scene along with world-class dining, quirky local microbreweries, and top-notch entertainment. All of that is colored by Greenville's relaxed, small-town atmosphere and classic Southern charm. Whether you're just stopping there for a quick weekend getaway or planning a longer trip in the area, you're sure to find plenty of things to do in Greenville.

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01 Explore Falls Park on the Reedy

Waterfall at the Falls Park on the Reedy, in Greenville, South Carolina

You don't have to get out of the city to explore the beauty of nature in Greenville. Falls Park on the Reedy is a lush, green park located right in the heart of the city. Check out the natural waterfalls that give it its name, or stroll along the well-maintained, wheelchair-accessible walking paths while you enjoy the sculptures and public art displays scattered throughout the park. It also hosts frequent free entertainment and workshop events for visitors and residents to enjoy. Be sure to stop on Liberty Bridge for the best views of the falls.

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02 Tour the City By Bike

Greenville, South Carolina at Falls Park in downtown at night

If you really want to get a feel for the culture and beauty of Greenville, leave the car parked for the day and take a bike tour. Swamp Rabbit Trail is the best path to take. This multi-use path is nearly 20 miles long and connects many of the city's major attractions. If you don't want to bring your own bikes, there are several options for daily rentals in Greenville, including a mix of private businesses and inexpensive bike share programs. Swamp Rabbit Trail is also open to pedestrians if you prefer to explore on foot.

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03 Try Some Local Brews

Beer tap

Greenville's quirky atmosphere and creative spirit has turned it into a bit of a regional center for microbreweries and small-scale distilleries, so fans of craft beer and liquor should be sure to schedule plenty of time to taste the local wares. Visit the Yee-Haw Brewing Company for a fun, slightly rowdy time like the name implies, or head over to Quest Brewing Co. for a wide selection of truly unique brews made with ingredients such as jalapenos and fruit that you can enjoy while watching live music or other special events. For a bit of classic Southern moonshine, plan a visit to Dark Corner Distillery, a local favorite. Bus tours are available to let you spend the day tasting without having to worry about driving yourself around.

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04 Take a Hike at Caesar's Head State Park

Caesar's Head Park Scenic Overlook

For a more relaxed outdoor adventure, plan a hike at nearby Caesar's Head State Park. This mountainous park is located on a rocky portion of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, giving it unique geological features and dramatic views. It's also a major draw for birdwatchers due to its abundant wildlife, so be sure to bring your binoculars. This park features a mix of trails suitable for everyone from young families to experienced hikers.

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05 Shop at the TD Saturday Market

Fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers market

If you're in Greenville between the months of May and October, be sure to spend part of your Saturday at the weekly TD Saturday Market. This massive farmer's market features fresh produce grown nearby and other gems, including handmade art and jewelry crafted by local artists. The specific items available vary depending on the day and season, but you're sure to find something you'll love.

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06 Visit the Greenville County Museum of Art

The County Museum of Art on Heritage Green

If you're an art lover, you can't miss the Greenville County Museum of Art. The building itself is a must-see landmark due to its unique architecture and contemporary design. Inside, you'll find the largest public collection of famous artist Andrew Wyeth's watercolors, along with other amazing collections from famous Southern artists. Pieces include everything from old-fashioned folk art to contemporary, abstract art by Jasper Johns. Admittance is free, so it's a great choice for budget-conscious travelers.

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07 Learn About Local History

Historic Campbells Covered Bridge in Landrum near Greenville South Carolina SC

If you're interested in American history, the Upcountry History Museum is a must-see attraction. This unique museum focuses on the impact of the 15 counties that make up South Carolina's Upcountry region on American history. Interactive exhibits and genuine historical artifacts lead you through the earliest days of European settlers in South Carolina through the Civil Rights Era. This museum is great for all ages.

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08 Hunt for Mice on Main Street

RiverPlace Bridge at sunrise on Main Street in Downtown Greenville South Carolina

Inspired by the famous children's book Goodnight Moon, local artists hid nine small, bronze statues of mice along a five-block span on Greenville's Main Street. Pick up a sheet of hints at one of the city's visitor centers to start your hunt, then keep your eyes peeled for these whimsical statues. It's fun for all ages and a great way to explore the district.

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09 Chow Down on World-Class Cuisine

Chicken, ham, parmesan and salad for brunch

After a big day of exploring, hit up one of Greenville's many excellent restaurants to enjoy some refreshments. Local favorites include the Passerelle Bistro, a family-friendly restaurant with spectacular views of the Reedy River, and Soby's, a classic New South restaurant located in a renovated cotton mill from the 1800s. Numerous other options are available, providing everything from classic Southern soul food to contemporary world fusion dishes.

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10 Enjoy a Show at the Peace Center

The Gunter Theatre building is part of the Peace Center, the hub of cultural life in upstate South Carolina.

No matter when you're in Greenville, there's sure to be something going on at the Peace Center. This beautiful entertainment venue features a concert hall, theater, and outdoor amphitheater that host more than 300 shows a year. Acts range from local community theater plays to internationally known artists, so there's something for everyone to enjoy. Free shows and workshops are even available from time to time, so check out the event schedule when you're planning your trip.

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11 Wander the West End Historic District

The West End Historic District is a delightful blend of Greenville's past and present. As you stroll through its charming streets, you'll encounter beautifully preserved 19th-century buildings juxtaposed with modern boutiques and eateries. The district's rich history is palpable, and every corner seems to tell a story. From vintage architecture to contemporary art galleries, the West End offers a unique experience that seamlessly weaves the old with the new.

Greenville, South Carolina John Coletti / Getty Images

12 Discover the BMW Zentrum Museum

For automobile enthusiasts and curious minds alike, the BMW Zentrum Museum is a must-visit. Located just outside Greenville, this museum showcases the evolution of BMW, from its earliest models to the latest innovations. Interactive exhibits, rare vehicles, and a behind-the-scenes look at the manufacturing process make this more than just a car museum. It's a journey through the legacy of a brand that has shaped the automotive industry.

13 Experience the Greenville Cultural Exchange Center

Dive deep into the rich tapestry of Greenville's African-American heritage at the Greenville Cultural Exchange Center. This center is both a museum and a cultural hub, celebrating the contributions and history of African-Americans in the region. Through artifacts, photographs, and oral histories, visitors gain a profound understanding of the struggles, triumphs, and enduring spirit of this vibrant community.

14 Step Back in time at the Museum & Library of Confederate History

The Museum & Library of Confederate History offers a candid look into a pivotal era in American history. Through authentic artifacts, documents, and personal accounts, the museum paints a comprehensive picture of the Confederate States. Whether you're a history buff or a casual visitor, this museum provides valuable insights into the complexities and nuances of the Civil War era.

15 Admire the collections at the Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery

Art aficionados will be captivated by the treasures housed within the Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery. With an extensive collection of European paintings, period furniture, and religious artifacts, the museum is a testament to the artistic genius of bygone eras. From Renaissance masterpieces to sacred art, each piece tells a story of faith, culture, and unparalleled craftsmanship.

16 Tune into the Carolina Music Museum

Music lovers, rejoice! The Carolina Music Museum is a melodious journey through time. Home to a remarkable collection of historical keyboard instruments, the museum allows visitors to hear the sounds that shaped centuries of music. From harpsichords to early pianos, each instrument has its own tale, and the museum's knowledgeable guides are eager to share them. It's a symphony of history, artistry, and sound.

17 Catch a performance at the Greenville Theatre

The Greenville Theatre, the Upstate's oldest and largest locally-producing professional theatre, is a testament to Greenville's thriving arts scene. With a rich history dating back over 90 years, the theatre continues to captivate audiences with its diverse range of productions. From classic plays to contemporary hits, the Greenville Theatre promises an evening of unparalleled entertainment.

happy family Maskot / Getty Images

18 Shop for unique finds at the Greenville Army Store

For those in search of the unique and unexpected, the Greenville Army Store is a treasure trove. This iconic store, with its rich history, offers a vast array of military surplus items, outdoor gear, and vintage collectibles. Whether you're an avid collector or just browsing the store's eclectic mix ensures that there's something for everyone.

19 Breathe in the beauty of Caesars Head State Park

Perched high in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Caesars Head State Park offers breathtaking vistas and a serene escape from the hustle and bustle. The park's rugged trails lead adventurers through dense forests, past cascading waterfalls, and to viewpoints that stretch for miles. Whether you're an avid hiker or just looking for a peaceful picnic spot, Caesars Head is a slice of mountain paradise.

Couple hiking on top of the mountain. MargaretW / Getty Images

20 Explore the natural wonders of Jones Gap State Park

Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Jones Gap State Park is a haven for nature lovers. With its pristine streams, diverse wildlife, and miles of hiking trails, the park is a testament to the region's natural beauty. The trails range from leisurely walks to challenging hikes, ensuring that visitors of all fitness levels can experience the park's wonders. It's a place where nature's splendor is on full display, waiting to be explored.

Jones Gap State Park Dustin Ahrens / Getty Images
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