Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Greenville, SC

  • Published 2022/12/21

This town has much more to offer tourists, making it an ideal holiday destination.

From outdoor adventures to museum tours and everything in between, Greenville ticks all the right boxes to make it a traveler’s delight.

The city also owns a rich share of art galleries to soothe your refined sensibilities.

Interested to know more about this stunning city?

Here are the 25 best things to do in Greenville, South Carolina:

Pay a Visit to Falls Park on the Reedy

Cascades of Falls Park

Nikola Spasic Photography /

Falls Park on the Reedy is a delightful island of lush greenery in the heart of the central city.

You will find tourists and locals enjoying themselves in this popular hangout spot in the downtown Historic West End.

Additionally, many pieces of exquisite artwork created by the general public adorn the grounds.

Swing bench at Falls Park on the Reedy

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Finally, you can enjoy a refreshing walk on the Liberty Bridge stretching above the park.

With these, you can enjoy the park’s beauty in a completely immersive experience.

Paved trail at Falls Park on the Reedy

Nikola Spasic Photography /

See the Starry Night at Roper Mountain Science Center

Science geeks can spend an engaging day at the Roper Mountain Science Center, established with the unequivocal aim of raising public awareness of science and igniting the scientific spirit in young minds.

The planetarium hosts exciting space-themed shows to take you to a zone beyond gravity.

Other interesting sections include an arboretum and a butterfly farm.

The center organizes regular educational outreach programs to inspire kids to do science.

There are also engaging sessions such as Starry Nights, Science on Wheels, and Summer Adventures.

You can round up your trip with a refreshing hike over the mile-long trail amid delightful forest areas covered with majestic pine trees.

Wander around Greenville County Museum of Art

Exterior of Greenville County Museum of Art

Cvandyke /

The Greenville County Museum of Art (GCMA) provides the emotional foil to the cold reason of the Science Center above.

Both are vital cogs of modern life; fortunately, Greenville lets you experience them in one city.

The GCMA enjoys an enviable reputation as one of Greenville’s top-most art museums.

Their focus is on American art, with most artwork created by South Carolina artists.

A unique attraction is the world’s most extensive collection of water-colored paintings by the famous exponent of this art form, Andrew Wyeth.

The other featured artist is Jasper John’s whose contemporary works are a sheer joy.

For those who prefer old-era styled art, the museum also displays works from those times, with a few paintings dating back to 1726.

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

Exterior of The Children's Museum of the Upstate

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

The inspiration behind the Children’s Museum of Upstate was to bring in new pedagogical practices to enable children to learn using hands-on activities.

Their interactive learning method whets children’s curiosity by encouraging them to explore, question, and discover to uncover insights.

This kind of active learning can bring much better outcomes for learners.

The best interactive exhibits include a model of intricate waterways called the Reedy River Bed.

Another exciting exhibit is the Start Your Engines, where kids pick up crucial mechanical skills like speed and sound in an engaging, practical way.

Visit Peace Center

Exterior of Peace Center

Cvandyke /

You can have a gala time doting on the delightful performances at the renowned Peace Center.

This theatre is a major performing arts venue in the city.

It features an impressive 2,100-seater concert hall and a gorgeous theater.

More than 300 events hosted yearly at the Peace Center ensure that you can watch one at any time of the year.

The performances range from runaway Broadway hits to classical symphonies and ballets.

The in-house Greenville Symphony Orchestra features some of the finest classical players.

Likewise, the Carolina Ballet Theatre is focused on showcasing only the finest dance performances.

Play at Greenville Glides

If you love Segway and Steve Wozniacki, you can head out to Greenville Glides to explore the city on your Hi-Tech two-wheeled beauties.

Their Segway tours start at the Historic West End, meandering their course through the downtown to culminate at the Swamp Rabbit Trail and Falls Park.

On the other hand, if you want to spice things up, you should book the Haunted Segway Tour of Greenville.

You will move across some scariest areas, including the Springwood Cemetery and the streets around the Reedy River banks.

Finally, you can also rent good-old bicycles from Greenville Glides to paddle your way around the town.

Appreciate Art’s Beauty at Artisphere Greenville

The annual signature art-related event of this city is the fabulous Artisphere Greenville.

It calls locals and visitors to bask in the festivities to celebrate Greenville’s rich cultural diversity.

Be prepared to get lost in the electric atmosphere with outstanding live performances, displays, and colorful exhibitions.

Test festival seeks to entertain and educate using the power and beauty of arts.

Wines and food are available in plenty to ensure you never have a dull moment at the Artisphere!

Shop at TD Saturday Market

Procure freshly plucked delightful local produce at the bustling TD Saturday Market.

Self-cooking is trending among travelers; it is your chance to bag a haul of perfect ingredients for your self-cooked meal.

The 75 vendors entice you with a wide variety of juicy fruits, clean veggies, unique spices, and rare herbs.

Alongside, you can also pick a little souvenir from the handcrafted jewelry and clothes.

Live music and recipe-tasting sessions add to the charm of this market.

Dine at Soby’s

Enjoy the finest cuisines in a lavish historic setting at Soby’s.

This restaurant is one of the best places to eat in Greenville.

It is housed inside an 1800s cotton mill, and they have restored this place with gleaming wood furniture and an attractive stone fireplace.

You can enjoy the fresh air on the outside patio, which is also exquisite looking.

The food is a delectable fusion of authentic American and local ingredients that flavor it with the rustic Southern brawl!

The wine collection is extensive, with more than 500 varieties on offer.

Sundays at Soby’s are special for hosting a fabulous buffet with the restaurant’s favorite recipes!

Try Larkin’s on the River’s Dishes

Mark and Larkin Hammond welcome you proudly to their award-winning restaurant, Larkin’s on the River, where you can enjoy the finest feast in town.

The ambiance inside an old Civil War-era mansion is equally exciting, with beautiful brick walls and open ceilings.

Order your favorite dishes from a wide range of sumptuous steaks, fresh seafood, and specialty wines.

Add to those the savory flavors of the warm hospitality of the place, and you are transported into next-world culinary heaven.

See a Variety of Animals at Greenville Zoo

Sleeping lion at Greenville Zoo

Steven X King Photography /

The Greenville Zoo is an animal lover’s paradise with a rich assortment of exciting animal species.

The zoo dates back to 1960 and is home to African lions, giraffes, and leopards.

Other species here include reptiles, frogs, and snakes.

The zoo is set up with a mission to raise awareness about the well-being of animals and inspire others to aid in conservation efforts.

Elephant at Greenville Zoo

Tony Crescibene, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Their conservation program, Quarters for Conservation, funds the care of endangered species such as giant anteaters, turtles, and Amur leopards.

Alongside the wide variety of fauna, the zoo also has dedicated space for walking, bicycling, and playgrounds for kids.

Children can have wild fun running around these open spaces.

Giraffe at Greenville Zoo

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

Experience the French Cuisine of Passerelle Bistro

Exterior of Passerelle Bistro

Nolichuckyjake /

Enjoy delectable French cuisine at the Passarello Bistro near the Liberty Bridge base.

The bistro entices diners with its rich menu of authentic French dishes topped with a dash of local flavors.

Chef Teryi surprises his visitors every single time with his creative fusion recipes.

For example, he serves the traditional ratatouille as brie cheese and a delicious crab bechamel omelet!

Front view of Passerelle Bistro

Nolichuckyjake /

The ambiance in the interiors is also French-inspired.

You could also eat at the outdoor patio with delightful views of Falls Park.

Finally, they also offer an exciting option to watch the energetic kitchen staff in action.

This seat is the emblematic “front row” of this entertaining culinary theatre, and you will have a fantastic time dining at the chef’s bar while enjoying the “real-life” performances of his staff!

Trek the Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail

Trail at Greenville Swamp Rabbit Trail

Kevin Ruck /

Hike to your heart’s joy over the 28.6-mile length of the fantastic Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail system meandering its way along the Reedy River.

The maze of trails in this system connects various points in the city where you can enjoy many recreational activities.

The trail takes its name after the species of swamp rabbits native to this area.

The Greenville Technical College is the starting point from where the trail follows along the former railroad path.

After a long journey through various locations in the central city, Falls Park, and the Furman University campus, the trail culminates near Traveler’s Rest.

On this magnificent trail, you can walk, jog, or run.

If you are keen to try something creative, geocaching is an exciting option.

Dine at Grill Marks

Exterior of Grill Marks

Nolichuckyjake /

Mark and Larkin Hammond of Larkin’s fame make a reentry with their second fantastic eatery in Greenville, Grill Marks.

Be prepared to relish classic American flavors duly upgraded in proper gourmet fashion!

The relaxing atmosphere makes it an ideal spot to nibble carefree on sumptuous American delicacies like burgers, soups, salads, gourmet shakes, and ice creams!

If you are confused about where to go next for a much-needed drink after the meals, worry not.

Grill Marks has an impressive stable of fine wines.

Order your favorite taste and aroma and enjoy the shimmering wine’s heavenly sips in the restaurant’s easy-going vibes.

Visit Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum

Exterior of Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum

Thomson200, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum occupies house number 356.

It is impressive to find an entire museum dedicated to celebrating the life and career of Joe.

You can enjoy the vast collection of records, photos, and other baseball-related artifacts showcasing important events from Joe’s career.

For those who would like a comprehensive deep dive, the book collection can be a valuable resource.

Try Lost Cajun’s Louisiana Gumbo

Feast at one of the best outlets of the renowned franchise The Lost Cajun in Greenville.

Famous for its classic Louisiana fare and gumbo, the restaurant chain delights diners with authentic Southern delicacies.

The top names on their rich menu include mouth-watering dishes such as red beans with rice, crawfish etouffee, lobster bisque, and specialty gumbo!

Other must-tries include jambalaya, Po-boys, lagniappe, and the famous beignets.

Finally, cap off your experience with delicious Abita beers, root beer, and refreshing lemonade!

Explore the Shops in Haywood Mall

Exterior of Haywood Mall

Mike Kalasnik from Charlotte, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Haywood Mall is a shopping center in Greenville, South Carolina, that opened its doors in 1980.

Boasting nearly 1,200,000 square feet of commercial space, the mall is the biggest in the state.

The newest fashion trends in clothing, home decor, and technology are available.

You can expect an excellent shopping adventure at Haywood Mall in its multi-level, indoor complex with temperature control and more than 120 stores.

Besides great culinary selections, Haywood Mall is home to the sole Cheesecake Factory in South Carolina.

Explore their leading retailers and others for a fun-filled afternoon of gift-buying or shopping trips.

See the Various Collections Displayed at Upcountry History Museum

Exterior of Upcountry History Museum

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

The Upcountry History Museum building was finished in 2002 and made public after five years.

The Museum proudly highlights the rich heritage of the 15 counties that make up the Upcountry and is located in Heritage Green in central Greenville.

A connection between Furman University and the Upcountry History Museum was established in 2012.

Interior of Upcountry History Museum

Excel23, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It protects and explores historical topics relevant to South Carolina’s Upcountry via its collections, events, and displays.

Upcountry History Museum explores the narrative of the Upcountry over two levels of galleries for both ongoing and one-time exhibits.

It also offers an annual schedule of programs and rotating exhibits that gain insight into literature, arts, sciences, and culture.

Enjoy a Show at Greenville Theatre

The earliest and most active professional theater in the Upstate is Greenville Theatre.

Since 1993, the venue’s yearly patronage has increased from 24,000 to more than 82,000, and in 2019 it was renamed Greenville Theatre.

They work as an organization to use narrative and needed artistry to inspire, inform, and unite their neighborhood.

The Greenville Theatre hosts tribute shows that travel across the country and Greenville Theatre On Tour, a community outreach initiative that introduces Upstate primary children to the wonder of live theater.

Greenville Theatre is pleased to be in charge of the booming theater culture in the Upstate, bringing in more spectators and drawing tourists from all over the country.

Join a Tour of the Six & Twenty Distillery

Everyone enjoys a great love story, and the name Six & Twenty Distillery is drawn from a romantic love affair.

The initial distillery is situated on a portion of the same terrain that Isaqueena, the heroine, sprinted through to save her true love.

Every bunch, keg, and bottle at Six & Twenty is carefully tended to and infused with their heart and soul, creating their spirits truly hand-crafted and heart-crafted.

Sit down at the bar and taste one of their beautifully prepared cocktails, or take part in a sampling flight of spirits with the help of the distillers.

You may also tour their production process and discover why their expertly created spirits have attracted notice nationally.

Admire the Features of the Sigal Music Museum

Sigal Music Museum, constructed in 1930, had big frontal windows made of glass that let onlookers see the manufacturing procedure.

Thanks to the assistance of Greenville County, the Carolina Music Museum—the only portion of the factory still standing—found a home there.

In 2020, it changed its name to the Sigal Music Museum.

Their goal is to gather and conserve antique instruments that engage and enlighten people of every age through displays, concerts, and immersive activities.

The Museum features exhibits of culturally significant pieces on lease from other establishments and collections to shift displays of its permanent items continually.

The Museum also functions as a performing arts center, offering a location for exclusive performances by renowned national and global performers.

They provide viewers the chance to hear exclusive performances of specific historical instruments.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Caesars Head State Park

Binoculars at Caesars Head State Park

Sean Pavone /

Caesars Head State Park offers visitors endless expanses of lush green landscapes and countless scenes of exquisite beauty to capture in life-long cherished photographs.

Hike on the exciting trails while being surrounded by magnificent natural areas.

One of the attractions here is the marvelous Raven Cliff Falls, where the water tumbles down in a roaring thunder.

Many outdoor activities are available, including hiking, mountain biking, and mountain climbing.

Mountain views from Caesars Head State Park

Jill Lang /

Final Thoughts

Tourists are drawn to Greenville, South Carolina, since it provides indoor and outdoor activities, clear skies, and new adventures.

Come and take time to appreciate the beauty of artistry at Greenville’s museums and historical tourist spots.

While many of the popular attractions in Greenville are centered on pleasure, leisure, and entertainment, most link visitors to history.

If you decide to make Greenville, South Carolina, your vacation spot, prepare for an unforgettable experience!

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