Greenville, SC Travel Guide

USA  #5 in Best Places to Visit in the Carolinas
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Best Things To Do in Greenville, SC

Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, a foodie or an art lover, there's no shortage of things to do in Greenville. Many popular attractions are located in the downtown area within walking distance of one another, including the cultural campus of Heritage Green, which is home to the Children's Museum of the Upstate, the Greenville County Museum of Art and the satellite location of the Bob Jones Museum and Gallery. You can also walk to Falls Park on the Reedy to enjoy trails, gardens and gorgeous Reedy River views right in the heart of the city. Several of Greenville's top restaurants are also located in this area, as is the popular Dark Corner Distillery. When you're ready for an outdoor adventure, hop on the nearly 20-mile-long GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. And while you're exploring, look for the nine bronze mice statues hidden along Main Street.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated March 15, 2017

  • #1
    Falls Park on the Reedy
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    #1 in Greenville, SC
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Falls Park on the Reedy is a favorite of both locals and visitors alike. Located in the heart of downtown, the park features beautiful stonework, walking trails, waterfalls, picnic areas, lush gardens and public art installations, complemented by the graceful architecture of the Liberty Bridge. The two-acre Pedrick's Garden, which serves as the park's main entrance, honors a former community leader instrumental in the establishment of Falls Park. What's more, two eateries are located within the park: enjoy salads, sandwiches and Southern favorites at Mary's Restaurant at Falls Cottage or French fare at Passerelle Bistro.

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  • #2
    GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail
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    #2 in Greenville, SC
    Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Bring your own bike or rent one at Reedy Rides to explore the nearly 20-mile-long Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail, which runs along the Reedy River from downtown Greenville to Travelers Rest (a city in Greenville County). Stop at mile marker 24 to get your heart pumping at the Bike Skills Flow Park or pack a picnic and take a break along the way at the Furman University campus. Before you head out, download the mobile GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail food guide to find lunch and dinner spots, or the ArcGIS Interactive Map, which bookmarks features on the trail from restrooms and water fountains to ATMs.

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  • #3
    Greenville County Museum of Art
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    #3 in Greenville, SC
    Museums, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    This small museum is home to the world's largest public collection of watercolors by American artist Andrew Wyeth and also boasts an extensive assemblage of works by South Carolina artist Jasper Johns. Additionally, the museum's Southern Collection offers a visual depiction of the Southern experience, ranging from the colonial period to the present.

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  • #4
    Runway Park at GMU
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    #4 in Greenville, SC
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Greenville Downtown Airport features a unique aviation-themed park that kids of all ages are sure to love. A Cessna plane mounted on a pole anchors the two playgrounds, which feature play structures, grassy areas and walking "runways." When kids aren't watching aircraft take off and land, they can learn about the history and science of aviation thanks to the park's educational displays. The Perimeter Taxiway around the park serves as a walking and jogging trail and a picnic hangar is available for family and party rentals. What's more, the adjacent Runway Café serves casual food.

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  • #5
    Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery
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    #5 in Greenville, SC
    Museums, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery houses one of the largest collections of old master paintings in the United States, featuring works from the 14th through the 19th centuries by Rubens, Tintoretto and van Dyck, among others. In addition to art, the museum is also home to the Bowen Collection of Antiquities, exhibiting artifacts from ancient Egyptian, Roman and Hebrew cultures. 

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  • #6
    Dark Corner Distillery
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    #6 in Greenville, SC
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    The northeastern corner of Greenville County – an area located in the Appalachian hills – has been known for more than 175 years as Dark Corner, due to its long association with moonshiners. Paying homage to this history, Dark Corner Distillery continues the traditions of the Celts who originally settled there by producing small batch moonshine, including aged whiskey, gin and absinthe. The downtown tasting room offers samples of six spirits, accompanied by a history of each product.

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  • #7
    The Children's Museum of the Upstate
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    #7 in Greenville, SC
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located on the Heritage Green cultural campus in downtown Greenville, The Children's Museum of the Upstate offers three floors of unique, interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages. Kids can build dams and float toy ducks and boats in the Reedy River Bend, play guitar in the Garage Rock exhibit, build skyscrapers in the Construction Zone or host a news show in the WTCM broadcasting studio. Meanwhile, young children can play in the Toddler Lily Pond or enjoy the outdoor recreation area. Plus, the on-site cafeteria is stocked with kid favorites like Chick-fil-A sandwiches.

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  • #8
    Centre Stage
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    #8 in Greenville, SC
    Entertainment and Nightlife
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    This regional, 285-seat theater offers a subscription season of music, comedy and drama, as well as independent film screenings, chamber music concerts, lectures and special art exhibitions throughout the year.

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  • #9
    Paris Mountain State Park
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    #9 in Greenville, SC
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located 5 miles north of Greenville, Paris Mountain State Park is a popular retreat for families looking for outdoor recreation. The park was originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and several park structures, including the bathhouse – now the Park Center – and Camp Buckhorn Lodge, hold a place on the National Register of Historic Places. The center features historical exhibits, while the park offers campsites, picnic shelters, a swimming area with a lifeguard, a playground, a camp store and a 15-acre lake with fishing and canoe, kayak and pedal boat rentals.

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  • #10
    The Peace Center
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    #10 in Greenville, SC
    Entertainment and Nightlife
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    This performing arts center in the heart of downtown Greenville offers a 2,100-seat concert venue, a 400-seat theater and an outdoor amphitheater. In addition to presenting Broadway shows, comedy, dance and a variety of musical performances, the Peace Center is home to the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, the Greenville Chorale, two ballet companies and the South Carolina Children's Theater.

    ...Read More »

Explore More of Greenville, SC

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