Wondering what activities and attractions you can’t miss in the Textile Capital of the World? Our guide to the best things to do in Greenville, South Carolina is just what you need!
Greenville, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina, is a beautiful city that blends Southern charm with modern innovation. Its thriving downtown area, anchored by Falls Park on the Reedy River, features a picturesque landscape of waterfalls, scenic bridges, and lush greenery.
The city’s Main Street is a bustling hub, lined with an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and cultural venues, creating a welcoming and pedestrian-friendly environment.
Places like the Peace Center and the Greenville County Museum of Art contribute to the city’s rich cultural scene, while the Swamp Rabbit Trail offers outdoor enthusiasts a scenic route for walking, running, and biking.
With a commitment to sustainability, community engagement, and a flourishing culinary scene, Greenville has earned its reputation as a destination that seamlessly marries tradition with innovation, providing residents and visitors alike with a high quality of life.
If you’re looking for fun things to do when you visit Greenville, we’ve compiled a list of the city’s top attractions and activities so you can make the most of your time here!
Table of Contents
- 16 Best Things To Do In Greenville, SC
- 1. Tour the Greenville County Museum of Art
- 2. Hike or bike along the Swamp Rabbit Trail
- 3. Bask in the serenity of Falls Park on the Reedy
- 4. Admire the Liberty Bridge
- 5. Take a day trip to Asheville, North Carolina
- 6. Catch a performance at the Peace Center
- 7. Visit the Greenville Zoo
- 8. Go hiking in Paris Mountain State Park
- 9. Bring the kids to the Children’s Museum of the Upstate
- 10. Check out Roper Mountain Science Center
- 11. Learn about baseball history at the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum
- 12. Spend the day in Caesars Head State Park
- 13. Stroll down Main Street
- 14. Chill out in Runway Park
- 15. Catch a Greenville Drive baseball game at Fluor Field
- 16. Road trip up to Upstate South Carolina’s two historic bridges
- Where To Stay In Greenville, South Carolina
16 Best Things To Do In Greenville, SC
From hiking the Swamp Rabbit Trail, to checking out the Greenville Zoo in Cleveland Park, here are the best things to do in Greenville, SC! The best way to get around is with a rental car. You’ll have more freedom and flexibility, plus you can venture out on day trips and explore more of this beautiful state.
The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars, which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.
1. Tour the Greenville County Museum of Art
The Greenville County Museum of Art, located in Greenville, South Carolina, is as a cultural gem that enriches the community with its diverse collection and commitment to the arts.
The museum has evolved into a dynamic institution showcasing a wide array of American art, with a particular focus on the Southern region.
Visitors are treated to an impressive assortment of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts spanning various periods and styles. Notable features include the museum’s extensive Andrew Wyeth collection and a compelling selection of contemporary Southern artists.
Beyond its impressive permanent collection, the Greenville County Museum of Art regularly hosts rotating exhibitions, educational programs, and events that contribute to its role as a vibrant hub for artistic expression and appreciation in the Upstate region.
With its dedication to fostering creativity and connecting the community with the world of art, the Greenville County Museum of Art is one of the best art museums in South Carolina.
2. Hike or bike along the Swamp Rabbit Trail
One of the best free things to do in Greenville is hit the beautiful Swamp Rabbit Trail! This multi-use greenway stretches approximately 22 miles from Travelers Rest to downtown Greenville along the former Greenville and Northern Railway line.
The Swamp Rabbit Trail offers a picturesque journey through diverse landscapes, including woodlands, parks, and alongside the Reedy River. Named after the indigenous swamp rabbit, the trail provides a haven for cyclists, joggers, walkers, and nature enthusiasts alike, offering a peaceful escape from the urban hustle.
The Swamp Rabbit Trail not only serves as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts but also plays a crucial role in promoting a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle for the community. Lined with various amenities such as parks, art installations, and local businesses, the trail fosters a sense of community engagement and connection.
Walking, biking, or jogging along the stunning White Rabbit Trail is a great way to spend a sunny day in South Carolina on the banks of the Reedy River!
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3. Bask in the serenity of Falls Park on the Reedy
Falls Park on the Reedy, nestled in the heart of downtown Greenville, South Carolina, is a breathtaking oasis that seamlessly blends urban sophistication with natural beauty.
Spanning 32 acres along the banks of the Reedy River, the park serves as a vibrant hub for both locals and visitors, offering a sanctuary of greenery, waterfalls, and scenic vistas.
Falls Park on the Reedy also has numerous landscaped gardens, walkways, and public art installations that dot the park. The park hosts various events throughout the year, from outdoor concerts to art exhibitions, enhancing its role as a dynamic and inclusive space for the community.
Falls Park on the Reedy stands as a testament to Greenville’s commitment to creating inviting public spaces that enrich the lives of those who experience them.
4. Admire the Liberty Bridge
The crown jewel of Falls Park on the Reedy is the Liberty Bridge, which is also an iconic landmark in Greenville.
Liberty Bridge is an iconic architectural marvel spanning the Reedy River. It’s both a functional bridge and a symbol of the city’s commitment to innovation and aesthetic excellence.
Designed by renowned architect Miguel Rosales, this pedestrian suspension bridge offers a breathtaking vantage point from which to admire the cascading waterfalls and scenic beauty of Falls Park on the Reedy.
The unique and elegant curved design of Liberty Bridge, coupled with the absence of supporting columns, provides unobstructed panoramic views of the surrounding South Carolina landscape.
Liberty Bridge has become a beloved landmark, inviting locals and visitors alike to stroll, linger, and appreciate the harmonious blend of urban design and the picturesque landscape that defines Greenville’s downtown area.
5. Take a day trip to Asheville, North Carolina
Just over an hour north of Greenville is another stunning city in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville North Carolina! A day trip here is a great way to explore more of the US South while you’re in Greenville.
Home to some amazing hiking trails, craft breweries, quirky markets, and fun nightlife full of live music and energy, Asheville is a vibrant and youthful city.
Make the most of your day in Asheville with a city tour via e-bike! Or enjoy an incredible helicopter tour and get an aerial perspective of the vast mountain landscape. Whatever you choose to do, you’re sure to have a blast on a day trip to Asheville.
6. Catch a performance at the Peace Center
The Peace Center is a cultural cornerstone that enriches the community with its commitment to the performing arts.
Established in 1990, this state-of-the-art venue comprises multiple theaters, including the grand Peace Concert Hall and the intimate Gunter Theatre, providing a versatile space for a diverse array of performances, from Broadway shows and concerts to ballet and comedy acts.
Here you can also watch a performance of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, a dynamic ensemble known for its diverse repertoire, ranging from classical masterpieces to contemporary compositions
With its commitment to fostering a vibrant cultural scene, the Peace Center elevates Greenville’s reputation as a city that values and celebrates the transformative power of the performing arts.
7. Visit the Greenville Zoo
Located within Cleveland Park in downtown Greenville, the Greenville Zoo is a charming and family-friendly destination that offers a unique opportunity to connect with wildlife from around the globe.
The Greenville Zoo is home to a diverse array of animals, including giraffes, lions, elephants, and primates. The zoo’s commitment to conservation and education is evident through its engaging exhibits, such as the African Adventure and the Primate Row, providing visitors with both entertainment and valuable insights into the importance of wildlife preservation.
With its dedication to animal welfare, education, and community engagement, the Greenville Zoo is a fun place to visit for travelers of all ages!
Read next: The Perfect 3 Days In Asheville Itinerary
8. Go hiking in Paris Mountain State Park
Nestled just a short drive north of downtown Greenville, Paris Mountain State Park is a natural haven that makes for a lovely getaway from the city. The park is centered around a picturesque 13-acre mountain lake and is characterized by rolling hills, hardwood forests, and meandering streams.
A network of well-maintained hiking and biking trails crisscross the terrain, offering visitors opportunities to explore the park’s scenic beauty while enjoying activities such as birdwatching, fishing, and picnicking.
The park’s focal point, Paris Mountain, provides a moderate hiking challenge leading to panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Paris Mountain State Park is full of picnic areas, hiking trails, and places for outdoor activities. Spending a day out in nature is one of the best free things to do in Greenville, South Carolina.
9. Bring the kids to the Children’s Museum of the Upstate
The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, located in the heart of Greenville, South Carolina, is a vibrant and interactive space dedicated to inspiring young minds through play and exploration.
Spanning three floors, this dynamic children’s museum offers a rich array of hands-on exhibits and educational activities designed to engage children of all ages.
From the whimsical Toddler Lily Pond to the STEAM-focused Creating Together exhibit, the museum provides a stimulating environment where children can unleash their creativity, curiosity, and imagination.
With its emphasis on interactive learning, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate has become a treasured resource for families and educators. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Greenville with kids, this is the perfect option!
Explore more of the Carolinas with this list of the best things to do in North Carolina!
10. Check out Roper Mountain Science Center
Roper Mountain Science Center is another unique Greenville attraction that offers a comprehensive and immersive approach to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
Set on a picturesque 62-acre campus, the science center is a hub for interactive learning experiences, featuring hands-on exhibits, planetarium shows, and engaging programs.
Its Living History Farm, Butterfly World, and an observatory equipped with powerful telescopes contribute to a diverse range of educational opportunities.
The center particularly excels in providing engaging STEM programs for students and teachers, fostering a love for scientific inquiry and exploration. With its commitment to promoting STEM literacy and cultivating a passion for learning, Roper Mountain Science Center serves as a vital resource for the community and beyond.
11. Learn about baseball history at the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum
The Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum is a must-visit destination for baseball enthusiasts and fans of the sport’s storied history.
Situated in the modest home where the legendary outfielder and one of baseball’s most iconic figures, Shoeless Joe Jackson, lived and died, the museum offers an intimate glimpse into his life and career.
The exhibits showcase memorabilia, artifacts, and photographs that chronicle Jackson’s remarkable journey from a textile mill worker to a major league baseball star.
Visitors to the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum can explore the impact of Jackson’s legacy, the controversies surrounding the 1919 Black Sox scandal, and his enduring connection to the Greenville community. The museum serves as a tribute to a baseball legend and provides a unique opportunity for fans to connect with the enduring legacy of Shoeless Joe Jackson.
12. Spend the day in Caesars Head State Park
Perched in the Blue Ridge Escarpment in upstate South Carolina, Caesars Head State Park is a breathtaking natural sanctuary renowned for its panoramic vistas and outdoor activities.
Spanning over 7,500 acres, the park boasts hiking trails that lead to dramatic overlooks, offering stunning views of the South Carolina mountains and beyond.
The centerpiece of the park is the iconic Caesar’s Head overlook, where visitors can marvel at the expansive horizon and witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the surrounding landscapes. Popular activities at the park include hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking, with trails like the Raven Cliff Falls trail providing access to a 420-foot waterfall.
Renowned for its diverse ecosystems, rugged terrain, and serene ambiance, Caesars Head State Park is a haven for nature enthusiasts seeking a respite amid the Appalachian beauty.
13. Stroll down Main Street
No visit to Greenville is complete without a stroll down Main Street! Main Street is the bustling heart of the city, embodying a vibrant blend of historic charm and modern vitality. Lined with tree-shaded sidewalks and adorned with unique public art installations, the street exudes a welcoming atmosphere that beckons locals and visitors alike to explore its diverse offerings.
A dynamic mix of boutiques, restaurants, and cultural venues grace the avenue, making it a thriving hub for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Main Street encapsulates the essence of Greenville’s transformation into a dynamic and charming Southern destination.
14. Chill out in Runway Park
Another one of the most fun things to do in Greenville is spend some time in Runway Park, a unique and innovative public space that repurposes a section of the former downtown airport runway into a dynamic recreational area.
Nestled in the heart of the city, this urban park combines aviation history with modern amenities, featuring an expansive green space, picnic areas, walking trails, and play areas.
Visitors can explore a variety of aircraft on static display, offering a hands-on experience for aviation enthusiasts and families alike. The park’s thoughtful design incorporates elements that pay homage to its aviation heritage, making it a distinctive and engaging destination.
Runway Park is a great place to relax outdoors and spend some time with friends and families while exploring Greenville.
15. Catch a Greenville Drive baseball game at Fluor Field
Fluor Field, located in the West End of downtown Greenville, is an iconic baseball stadium that captures the essence of America’s favorite pastime while paying homage to the city’s rich history.
Home to Greenville Drive, the Class-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, Fluor Field offers a unique and intimate baseball experience with its charming design reminiscent of Fenway Park.
Fans can revel in the excitement of minor league baseball against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, enjoying modern amenities and fan-friendly features.
Fluor Field’s own “Green Monster,” was inspired by the iconic left-field wall at Fenway Park. The landmark adds a distinctive touch to the stadium’s character, creating a sense of nostalgia while providing an enjoyable venue for families, sports enthusiasts, and the local community to come together in the spirit of baseball camaraderie.
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16. Road trip up to Upstate South Carolina’s two historic bridges
Anyone who loves history, road trips, architecture, or day trips into nature can drive into Upstate South Carolina to see two of the state’s most iconic bridges. You could even combine this with a drive up to Asheville, as it’s sort of on the way!
Your first stop is Poinsett Bridge, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Travelers Rest, South Carolina. This historic marvel captures the essence of 19th-century engineering and craftsmanship.
Completed in 1820, Poinsett Bridge is recognized as the oldest surviving bridge in the state and holds the distinction of being the first bridge in the United States designed for use by vehicles.
Nearby is Campbell’s Bridge, the only remaining covered bridge in South Carolina. Constructed in 1909, this well-preserved wooden covered bridge spans over the scenic Beaverdam Creek, creating a picturesque and timeless scene popular among photographers.
Where To Stay In Greenville, South Carolina
Now that you know all the best things to do in Greenville, SC, you can book an amazing place to stay. There are lots of highly-rated hotels in the city center near all the best tourist attractions. Here are some great options for all budget ranges!
Best Luxury Accommodation in Greenville, SC – Mint House Greenville, West End
This stunning “aparthotel” offers spacious luxury apartments so you can enjoy a private, intimate stay in downtown Greenville. With modern styling, and high-end hotel amenities like a pool, fitness center, sull-day security, and free parking, you can enjoy the convenience of a hotel with the comfort of your own private apartment at the Mint House, Greenville.
Best Mid-Range Accommodation in Greenville, SC – Hyatt Place Greenville Downtown
Hyatt Place is the perfect combination of elegance and affordability. This lovely hotel is in a convenient location for attending sporting events and local events, live music performances, and doing some sightseeing in the city.
With air-conditioned rooms, an indoor pool, daily hot breakfast, a 24-hour fitness center, and multilingual staff members, you have everything you need for a successful stay in Greenville.
Best Budget Accommodation in Greenville, SC – La Quinta by Wyndham
You can score some great hotels on a budget in Greenville! La Quinta by Wyndham is a modest hotel located near Greenville Zoo and Runway Park that has competitive prices for budget travelers.
Guests rave about the easy check-in, friendly staff, hotel cleanliness, and cozy rooms. So if you’re looking for an affordable stay, look no further!
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