Visitors will find a lot of cool things to do in Greenville, South Carolina. With a charming downtown area, a lush Main Street, mild temperatures year round, and a ton of outdoor activity options it’s easy to understand why.
Nestled at the base of the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains Greenville is quickly making a name for itself as one of the nicer small cities on the East Coast. Greenville is often named near the top of lists of the best small cities in the USA, and we tend to agree with that assessment.
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Things to Do in Greenville SC
We’re going to dive into some options of what you can do in Greenville, whether you are visiting alone, with your partner, or with the entire family. Let’s start with some things to do in Greenville itself, and then discuss outdoor activities around the city.
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Falls Park on the Reedy
Falls Park on the Reedy is perhaps the jewel on Greenville’s crown. Imagine a river running through a charming South Carolina city. Then imagine the river having some waterfalls, right in the center of downtown. That’s what Falls Park is. Enjoy the views and the relative tranquility!
During the warmer months of the year, you will find cultural events taking place in the park, such as a Shakespeare Festival.
Falls Park is certainly an unmissable attraction in Greenville and a charming reminder that cities don’t have to be all concrete and steel.
Walk the Liberty Bridge
Liberty Bridge spans the Reedy River, and offers pedestrians sweet views of the Falls, downtown Greenville, and the river itself. This is a great spot for some photography so make sure you bring your camera with you!
Stroll Down Main Street and Explore Downtown Greenville
Filled with entertainment, cultural, and culinary options downtown Greenville is a charming bit of Americana. This is about as pedestrian-friendly as it gets in the USA. Wide sidewalks, outdoor plazas, and street-side dining give the area an almost European flair.
You’ll be charmed by the designer boutique shops, art galleries, open-air seating and dining, art installations, and public events. There’s a LOT going on here, and simply strolling through downtown is a pleasure.
Visitors and locals alike partake in numerous nightlife options here as well. From axe throwing to cocktails along the river, you’ll find something to do here at night. Go out after the sun sets and have yourself a boozy little walk through the downtown area to see what we mean.
Ride the Downtown Trolleys
Riding trolleys and trams is a great way to explore a new city. You get to sit back, watch the scenery crawl by, and learn the geographical layout of any given town or city.
We love riding trams around European cities, and the trams in Greenville add to the ambiance
If you are anything like us you love yourself a good farmer’s market. A well-organized market can show you all sorts of cultural and culinary aspects of any given city. We LOVE exploring them wherever we go. Thankfully Greenville is home to some great markets.
If you are in Greenville on a Saturday between May and October, you’re in luck! Definitely head to City Park in the heart of downtown and explore the Simpsonville Farmer’s Market. You’ll find a variety of fresh fruits, veggies, and produce, and meet some of Greenville’s locals as well.
The awesomely named Traveler’s Rest Farmer’s Market is also open on Saturdays from May to September. You will find a variety of crafts stalls, food stalls, and produce here as well. Yummy!
Take a Beer Tour
If you love beer you owe it to yourself to try the local craft brews of Greenville. You can explore the scene on your own or take a tour with a local expert.
A Breakfast Tour
What’s better than eating one delicious breakfast? Sampling a whole bunch of them in one morning, of course! This rather unique tour takes you to some yummy brekkie (that’s breakfast in Aussie just fyi) spots in Greenville, and is sure to get your day started off on a delicious foot.
Find the Mice on Main
Scattered and partially hidden along Main Street are nine bronze mice. Your small kids will probably delight in finding them all. You might as well! Some stores along Main Street carry the “Mice on Main” children’s book, which gives clues on where to find the mice, and has a little back story for each.
Make your kids forget about Pokemon for a couple of hours as they track down all the lil mice. Will they find them all?
If you enjoy cars you’ll probably have a good time at the BMW Zentrum. The unique building is home to a BMW museum and show case. You can learn about the history of the BMW fleet of cars, and get a small glimpse at future concepts.
Admission is free, so bring the car enthusiast in your family!
Greenville Peace Center
The Peace Center is a 2,000 seat concert hall, and also has a 400 seat theater. You can find all sorts of performances here, from classical, dance, jazz, country, bluegrass, folk, pop, and comedy performers, as well as a full calendar of national Broadway tours. Head here to take a break from walking around and for a dose of culture.
Upcountry History Museum
If you want to learn about local Greenville history, the Upcountry History Museum is the place to go. Explore Three centuries of events and people who shaped this region of South Carolina.
Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for kids 14 and under, and free for toddlers.
Clemson versus the University of South Carolina. The rivalry is very very real and spans over a century. The annual Carolina-Clemson football game, called the Palmetto Bowl, is the second longest annual college matchup in the USA, and you better believe that the folks in South Carolina that these games very seriously.
You, however, can just spectate. College football is huge in SC, and you can catch a game if you are in town during the season. Clemson is a 30 to 40 minute drive away from Greenville. So, if you’re a football fan you owe it to yourself to try and catch a game.
Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum
“Shoeless” Joe Jackson is a baseball legend. And it just so happens he lived and died in Greenville. His former home was turned into a museum, and you can browse through memorabilia and a library when you visit.
If you enjoy the history of the “American Pastime” you should definitely check the Joe Jackson Museum out.
Outdoor and Nature Destinations in Greenville
There is gorgeous nature to discover within close proximity to Greenville. Let’s explore some of your outdoor options.
Caesars Head State Park
If stunning views of nature in all its glory are your thing you’ll have to visit Caesars Head State Park.
While there we recommend hiking the four-mile, round trip Raven Cliff Falls trail. This beautiful hike leads explorers to the scenic overlook, where you can view the 420-foot Raven Cliff Falls.
South Carolina Botanical Garden at Clemson University
294 acres of wild and manicured ecosystem, on display for all lovers of nature. This nature preserve offers a multitude of different trails to hike along, all through a pristine ecosystem. Venture onto the barrier islands of South Carolina, stroll through prairies, jaunt into an oak-hickory forest, and explore pine savannas.
Admission is free all year round, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more suitable adventure in Greenville for the whole family. The Garden is totally a MUST VISIT site for anyone looking to get an intimate glimpse at the South Carolina ecosystem.
Hike, Bike, or Run the Swamp Rabbit Trail
The Swamp Rabbit trail is a 22 mile multi-use path for runners, walkers, and bikers. This is a great place to get your cardio in while visiting Greenville, and offers some nice views of the river as well.
If you like old things you should take a short trip out to the Poinsett Bridge Heritage Preserve. Here you will find the oldest surviving bridge in South Carolina. It’s a pretty cool spot for photography or if you want to place your palm against some old bricks.
You can do some hiking in the area as well, although the trails aren’t well marked.
And there you have it folks, a whole bunch of things to do in Greenville. We think you will enjoy this quaint city as much as we did! As always, safe and happy travels. We’ll see you on the road!