Greenville, SC Travel Guide

USA  #5 in Best Places to Visit in the Carolinas
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Courtesy of SeanPavonePhoto/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Free Things To Do in Greenville, SC

If you have extra time, Greenville County Museum of Art is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in Greenville, SC
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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.

    Recent visitors said Falls Park is a popular place for families and pet lovers, noting that kids love watching the ducks and dogs enjoying the many walking trails. Many also noted the beautiful bridge and garden and some suggested bringing a picnic to enjoy this peaceful spot. Other reviewers enjoyed the park's two on-site restaurants, as well as its proximity to other popular downtown eateries. 

  • #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.

    Visiting cyclists love this paved bike trail, touting the convenient stops and the full-service bike shop along the route. Recent riders said there are fun restaurants at both ends of the trail, in Greenville's County Square and in Travelers Rest, and some recommended detouring into the Furman University campus for a rest break or picnic by the lake. Others suggested relaxing on the patio at the Swamp Rabbit Brewery & Taproom in Travelers Rest or grabbing lunch at the Cafe At Williams Hardware (also located in Travelers Rest). 

  • #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.

    Reviewers loved the modern feel of this small museum, calling the building itself a work of art. Others said the works on display are definitely worth seeing, especially Wyeth's watercolor collection and the contemporary works of Johns. Many visitors also praised the free admission and the convenient downtown location. 

  • #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.

    Recent visitors call this park "a must" for kids, and said it's a great place for little ones to run and play or ride their bikes, commending the park's cleanliness and accessibility. Many commented on the excellent facilities including a picnic shelter, new restrooms, multiple play areas and a walking track, and several mentioned the Runway Café as an easy place to grab lunch. 

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