Blake Walsh

17 Best Things to Do in Greenville County, SC

  • Published 2023/06/03

If you’re looking to travel to South Carolina, visiting Greenville County should be a no-brainer because of its bustling tourism.

It’s the most populous county in the state as of the 2020 census, which isn’t surprising given how wealthy its cities and townships are.

Much like a lot of places in South Carolina, Greenville County is teeming with all sorts of outdoor adventure.

However, you’ll also find a lot of urban districts here with loads of culture and history.

I enjoyed my time here more than I expected, so let me share with you this list of the best things to do in Greenville County, South Carolina.

Go Boating at Paris Mountain State Park

Nature trail at the Paris Mountain State Park


Located just outside the urban heart of Greenville City, Paris Mountain State Park is one of the most convenient nature attractions in the county.

Its location is what’s best for me, but make no mistake, as this place feels serene and tranquil like other state parks found away from city life.

Water falls at the Paris Mountain State Park

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The best things to do here include camping and boating—I particularly enjoyed doing paddle boating here to enjoy its picturesque beauty.

Paris Mountain State Park also has plenty of nature trails if you prefer not getting wet.

If you’re into hiking, I highly recommend this trail called “Sulphur Springs Trail” as it’s one of the best ones that I’ve tried.

Lake at the Paris Mountain State Park

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Go Sightseeing at Falls Park on the Reedy

Bridge at the Falls Park on the Reedy

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The heart of Greenville, it’s an objective statement to say that Falls Park on the Reedy is the number one attraction in the entire county.

Tens and thousands of visitors go here weekly—the biggest attraction here are the sprawling waterfalls found right in the middle of the city.

Water gushing at the Falls Park on the Reedy

cvalle /

There’s also a beautiful suspension bridge here that’s perfect for photo opportunities, called the Liberty Bridge.

What’s amazing about the Liberty Bridge is it actually curves around the waterfalls, stretching almost 350 feet long.

There are also huge old trees here and plenty of gardens to explore—for something in the middle of a bustling city, this felt so magical for me.

View of the Falls Park on the Reedy

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Visit the Museum & Library of Confederate History

After checking out the zoo, you may want to visit the Museum and Library of Confederate History in Greenville next.

Just a stone’s throw away, this awesome museum focuses on the American Civil War, brimming with artifacts from the 18th to 19th Century.

What caught my eye here is the sheer amount of vintage guns they have—it’s like walking into a warchest of a military base during the civil war.

There is lots of history to learn here as well, especially if you engage with the museum’s staff.

Besides the guns, I also appreciated seeing field cannons in the Museum and Library of Confederate History.

See the Animals at Greenville Zoo

Elephant at the Greenville Zoo

Tony Crescibene, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Just a few minutes away from the falls park lies Greenville Zoo, another top attraction of Greenville County.

This is your typical big city zoo that has a ton of large mammals like giraffes, apes, and big cats, making it great for people of all ages.

There are also a lot of unique animals here you won’t normally find, like ocelots, anteaters, and red pandas.

Giraffe at the Greenville Zoo

City of Greenville, South Carolina, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The zoo is also pretty big, but not too much that you’d need to spend a long time there.

Personally, I spent around three to four hours total touring Greenville Zoo but I’m sure others can adjust accordingly.

Alligator at the Greenville Zoo

Tony Crescibene, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take Photos of the Poinsett Bridge

View of the Poinsett Bridge

Arcade Photo /

When I saw photos online of Poinsett Bridge, I immediately knew I had to visit this place because I love austere aesthetics.

Poinsett Bridge dates back all the way to 1820 and is now a worn down bridge in the scenic wilderness surrounding Slater-Marietta, a census-designated place in the county.

The foliage here is unparalleled, and I’m sure you’d enjoy the drive heading to the parking before even seeing the bridge.

Water passing under the Poinsett Bridge

Alex H Murrell /

Once you see the stone bridge, there are a ton of angles to do all kinds of photography—hiking trails are also found here.

Poinsett Bridge is believed to be the oldest bridge in South Carolina and even the entire southeastern region of the U.S., so it’s a really great place for architecture and history nerds.

Bring the Family to Century Park

Greer, another city in Greenville County, has one of the most versatile parks in the county: Century Park.

The park has it all if you want a laid-back experience—playgrounds both for toddlers and older kids, sports amenities, walking trails, picnic grounds, and more.

Some highlights of Century Park are its baseball fields, a great stopover if you want to do a bit of pitching or batting.

Personally, what I enjoyed the most here is the simple but serene aesthetic vibes it offers.

It has huge trees and clean greenery that incentivizes you to explore every nook and cranny it has to offer.

Go Trekking at Cedar Falls Park

Ruins at the Cedar Falls Park

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Located in the city of Fountain Inn, Cedar Falls Park is one of the more exciting outdoor adventures in the county for me.

It’s right along the Reedy River and you can experience some fast rapids here, making this a great place to experience a more rugged side of Greenville County.

There is a lot of plant life here as well, with a few species of fungi growing in many parts of the park.

Waterfall at the Cedar Falls Park

Frennet Studio /

Besides trekking, you’re allowed to swim and fish here as well, make sure to find the waterfalls in this beautiful park!

Overall, Cedar Falls Park hits the spot if you want a rugged nature experience that isn’t too daunting to take on.

Hiking trail at the Cedar Falls Park

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Hike at Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area

View from the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area

Reedy River Drone Company /

Now, if you prefer something challenging but memorable outdoors, then Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area should be atop your considerations.

Unlike Cedar Falls Park, Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area is a huge forest that has a complete ecosystem featuring waterfalls, mountains, and creeks.

This attraction is definitely for the adventurous soul, as it has a lot of elevation changes due to the sprawling cliffs it has.

Waterfall at the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area

Denton Rumsey /

If you love overlooks like I do, this is the place to be—there are plenty of hiking trails that lead you to different spots in the wilderness.

There’s also a beautiful suspension bridge here waiting for you, just be sure to consult the maps first before you venture into this massive forest.

Creek flowing through the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area

Denton Rumsey /

Get Soaked at Discovery Island

Discovery Island is one of the top attractions of Greenville County in terms of amusement parks, located in the city of Simpsonville.

Featuring huge slides and various pools, this is paradise for families with children who love all things swimming.

I also love the lazy river that’s spacious, clean, and fun.

Discovery Island is well-managed, my experience here didn’t have many hiccups that I would deem as red flags.

The concession areas were robust, and the overall service is great—families with young children can be assured that the lifeguards here are attentive.

Bring the Kids to The Children’s Museum of the Upstate

Exterior view of the Children’s Museum of the Upstate

Antony-22, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you have children with you during the trip (like me), then visiting The Children’s Museum of the Upstate is a no-brainer.

This is one of the best children’s museums in this part of the country, brimming with tons of interactive exhibits for children 12 years and younger.

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate has a lot of exhibits also that kids will enjoy, such as things involving daily life like construction and groceries.

One thing I appreciated here is how quirky the entire place is—there are lots of various contraptions and displays that I’ve never seen in my life.

So, if you have a little one with you, try to treat them to this fun place in Greenville.

Learn About South Carolina in the Upcountry History Museum

Outside view of the Upcountry History Museum

Antony-22, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For the adults, visiting the Upcountry History Museum is a great way to learn about the significance of South Carolina.

This is your classic history museum that focuses on the political history of Greenville and the state in general.

Interior view of the Upcountry History Museum

Excel23, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s not too big, so you won’t have to spend long hours here if you have a packed schedule.

Besides local history, I saw a lot of exhibits about U.S. history in general, such as World War II and the Vietnam War.

As a whole, this museum is nicely organized; for the price it asks, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Watch a Concert at CCNB Amphitheater

Located in Simpsonville, CCNB Amphitheater could be an interesting highlight in your adventure if you visit during the summer.

An outdoor live music venue, this place rocks during summer festivals where plenty of bands perform live.

While the performers here aren’t always the big names, you’ll love the underrated music that’s featured here.

CCNB Amphitheater is also located within Heritage Park that has a lot of other cool activities to do.

So, if you like rock and roll like me, be sure to check out the event lineup during the dates of your visit.

Appreciate Art at Greenville County Museum of Art

Exterior view of the Greenville County Museum of Art

Cvandyke /

Any time I’m visiting a new city, I always try to check out the art museums because of my love for them.

Greenville County Museum of Art may be small in comparison to other art museums, but it’s definitely still fun.

If you’re interested in Andrew Wyeth’s works, Greenville County Museum of Art becomes even more attractive.

There’s also a gift store here if you’re looking for an artsy souvenir, whether for yourself or somebody else.

It’s free as of this article’s publishing, so it’s one of those attractions in Greenville that is easy to insert in your day.

Have a Blast at Frankie’s Fun Park

Another attraction that you may want to do in Greenville is Frankie’s Fun Park—easily one of the leading amusement centers in the county.

While not unique to the county, this place is unique only to North and South Carolina.

I especially loved their go-kart racing here, but the arcade and mini golf courses were also just as memorable.

Beyond all their fun games, the place is also aesthetically-pleasing—it’s really great for memories with friends and family.

Overall, it’s one of my favorite brands in the amusement center industry and I’d surely come back.

Experience Lake Robinson

Dock at the Lake Robinson

AboveGreenville /

Perhaps one of the highlights of my trip to Greenville County is experiencing Lake Robinson in Greer.

This quaint lake is something straight out of a postcard—it’s serene and makes for amazing photography.

My family and I had a quick picnic here, appreciating the waters and the peacefulness it brings.

Bird's eye view of the Lake Robinson

Reedy River Drone Company /

If you’re the adventurous type, you can also do kayaking and paddle boating at Lake Robinson.

But with clean greenery, beautiful views, and a cool breeze, you won’t need much to enjoy this serene place.

Bridge at the Lake Robinson

Reedy River Drone Company /

Chow Down at Trailblazer Park

Located in the city of Travelers Rest, Trailblazer Park acts as the local tourism hub of the city.

The park is bustling to say the least—it gave me the classic city park vibes that’s great for community immersion.

This is where you can find the city’s farmers market, brimming with fresh produce and delicious food.

If you go during the weekends, there are a lot of food trucks and live music at Trailblazer Park as well.

Travelers Rest is just a few minutes from Greenville, so stopping by on a weekend to check out Trailblazer Park is definitely a wise decision.

Do Wildlife Observation at Conestee Nature Preserve

Boardwalk at the Conestee Nature Preserve

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Another popular attraction in Greenville, Conestee Nature Preserve is home to more than 200 bird species.

The Reedy River flows through this 400-acre preserve, so expect a lot of beautiful marshlands when you explore it.

There are a lot of wooden bridges and boardwalks here as well to help guide you.

Lake at the Conestee Nature Preserve

Thomson200, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

As a lover of wildlife, it was amazing to casually see and be close to a lot of big birds here like herons.

We had a dog during our trip as well, and this place has a dog park inside which was a fantastic bonus.

Final Thoughts

South Carolina isn’t really known to be a touristy place compared to other parts of the U.S., but my experience shows there’s a lot to discover here.

Greenville County was a great way to experience the state for the first time—it has a great combination of urban attractions, history, and nature.

My favorites here are the top attractions in Greenville, Poinsett Bridge, and Lake Robinson.

The abundance of small museums were also a pleasant surprise in my adventure.

There are a lot more things to do in Greenville County, South Carolina—consider visiting this amazing county when you get the chance!

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