Hailed as one of the Best Small Towns in America, Newberry is a must for anyone visiting South Carolina.
Located less than an hour from Columbia, Newberry has several historic districts, houses, and buildings in the prestigious National Register of Historic Places.
The city also houses charming gardens, a gorgeous Opera House, and architecture perfectly capturing its small-town charm.
Here’s a list of the best things to do in Newberry, South Carolina.
Catch a Performance at the Newberry Opera House
The Newberry Opera House is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the leading performing arts venues in the region.
Featuring timeless Gothic architecture, it combines world-class performances and a historic setting, making it a must for art and architecture enthusiasts.
Before being a performance venue, the first floor of the building was used as an office, jail, and fire company, while the upper floor served as a theater space.
On your walk around Downtown Newberry, visit the Newberry Opera House and admire its structure, with the clock tower standing in the area.
The opera house hosts over 150 events, including stand-up comedy performances, rock concerts, jazz shows, and orchestra performances.
Stroll through Downtown Newberry
If this is your first time visiting Newberry, don’t forget to take a relaxing stroll across Downtown Newberry.
Lined with historic buildings, antique shops, and other picturesque shops, this is a great way to get an overview of the city.
Downtown Newberry is also the site for most of the city’s annual festivals, weekly events, and other social gatherings like Pork in the Park, A Taste of Newberry, and Oktoberfest.
You can also find some of the city’s well-known historical sites and places of interest, including the Newberry Opera House, Newberry Arts Center, and the Newberry Museum.
Acquaint yourself with the city’s charm and explore Downtown Newberry, passing through colorful buildings, locally-owned shops, restaurants, and more.
Marvel at the Orchids of Carter & Holmes Orchids
Find colorful and unique orchids at Carter & Holmes Orchids, a small greenhouse located a few minutes away from the streets of downtown Newberry.
This family-owned and operated nursery is one of the leading producers of orchids in the country and is home to a variety of orchids.
It started in the late 1940s when the demand for corsage flowers was high, then switched to producing them for home growing.
Today, Carter & Holmes Orchids ships thousands of orchid plants to local and international hobbyists and commercial growers.
Take a tour of the greenery and learn about orchids and how to grow and care for them.
You can also purchase from the greenhouse and take one of the elegant-looking blooms home.
Spend Christmas in Newberry
Celebrate Newberry's most wonderful time of the year and join some of the city’s grandest and most memorable holiday celebrations.
The Newberry Christmas celebrations kick off with a Community Tree Lighting Ceremony in front of the Community Hall, complete with festive caroling and refreshments.
Downtown Newberry has thousands of colorful lights and decorations throughout the holiday season, making you feel like you’re in a charming storybook village.
Christmas in Newberry is also the perfect time to check out the local markets for stocking stuffers, Christmas gifts, and trinkets to hang on your tree.
Other fun events during Christmas in Newberry include film screenings, gingerbread house competitions, and shows at the Newberry Opera House.
Join a Wine Tasting Session at Enoree River Winery
From the postcard-perfect streets of Newberry, head to the quiet countryside and go on a winery tour of Enoree River Winery.
The vineyard offers eight acres of Black Spanish grapes, muscadine grapes, blueberries, and blackberries used to make handcrafted wines.
Sample wines from Enoree River Winery on a wine-tasting session in the Upper Room and sip on the finest wines in the region.
Wine tastings feature eight to ten wines, including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Moscato, and various wines, depending on the season or harvest.
You can also head to the covered porch for sweeping views overlooking the vineyard.
Before leaving the winery, drop by the shop and purchase a bottle or two as souvenirs.
Taste Asian Fusion Cuisine at Fusion Thai & Japanese
Get the best of both worlds as you savor your favorite Thai and Japanese food at Fusion Thai & Japanese along Wilson Road.
It’s also near Newberry Shopping Center, making it a convenient dining option for locals and tourists during their shopping trips.
Enjoy delicious Asian food at Fusion Thai & Japanese and feast on classic gyoza, tonkotsu ramen, pad thai, shrimp nigiri, and Thai curry.
For spicy food lovers who want a bit of kick in their food, try the Tom Yum soup, Thai red curry, spicy noodles, and fusion rolls like red dragon roll, fusion roll, and caterpillar roll.
Don't forget to try their Thai iced tea and desserts like apple tart and cheesecake to end your meal on a sweet note.
Find Peace at Wells Japanese Garden
Surround yourself with peace and serenity as you explore Wells Japanese Garden, a small yet charming Japanese garden at the city's heart.
The garden was built in 1930 and has provided residents and tourists of Newberry with a tranquil escape without having to go far.
What also makes the garden special is that its overall design is faithful to Japanese garden elements while featuring local materials.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Wells Japanese Garden has two ponds, Japanese-style concrete bridges, a teahouse, and a torii, which is a traditional Japanese gate.
Take a break from your busy routine and walk around the plants and flowers like water lilies, dogwood, cypress, Japanese iris, and lotus.
Discover the City’s Culinary Scene through Taste of Newberry
The annual Taste of Newberry is one of the city’s much-anticipated events, showcasing Newberry’s best and upcoming local eats.
This event offers samples from local restaurants, cafes, and breweries, letting you explore Newberry from one plate to another.
Feast on crab cakes, pork barbecue, frozen desserts, and baked goods, and you sip on ice-cold beer and wine as you move from one stall to another.
With many culinary offerings, you will discover a new favorite dish at Taste of Newberry.
The event also features live performances and entertainment from the Newberry Opera House’s Newberry Arts for All program.
Note that although the event has free admission, you must bring cash to purchase what you want.
Go on an Adventure at Lynch’s Woods Park
Lynch's Woods Park is a vast nature area covering 276 acres of towering pine and old-growth hardwood trees.
The park also has several miles of multipurpose trails ideal for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and walking.
If you want to hike the famous Palmetto Trail, one of its sections is part of Lynch’s Woods Park.
Embark on a relaxing walk through the park and wander the trails, admiring the giant trees, winding paths, and the overall serene atmosphere.
Plenty of trails in the park have easy to moderate difficulty levels and range between short 0.4-mile hikes to longer 10.7 miles for those up for a challenge.
Lean Local History at the Newberry Museum
Situated a few blocks from the Newberry Opera House, the Newberry Museum offers visitors a glimpse into the history of Newberry County.
Since 2019, it has displayed exhibits and learning tools about the county’s military history, arts and culture, and more.
The museum has free admission, too.
Join a free tour around The Newberry Museum and gain a deeper appreciation of its humble beginnings.
You can find furniture displays, helmets, and other sporting gear worn by notable Newberry athletes and interactive maps related to the county's history.
Grab a Meal at the Grille on Main
Strategically located along the lively and picturesque streets of Downtown Newberry, the Grille on Main offers a casual yet fun dining experience.
The restaurant opened in January 2004 and featured Southern flavors and classic American favorites.
Although the Grille on Main opened its doors in 2004, the building has stood since the mid-1800s.
Have lunch or dinner at the restaurant and enjoy local favorites like country-fried steak, fried pickles, cheeseburgers, and homemade desserts.
You can also enjoy your food with wine or craft beer.
Aside from its food and friendly service, customers also love the restaurant’s cozy atmosphere and good value for money.
Join a Class at the Newberry Arts Centre
Established in 2014, the Newberry Arts Centre aims to provide high-quality visual arts experiences to people of all ages.
They offer classes, workshops, and fun events like paint parties to highlight and develop people’s creative abilities.
Its location in Downtown Newberry also makes it a convenient stop on your sightseeing tour.
To make the most of your visit, join the art classes and workshops at the Newberry Arts Centre!
Learn how to sew, make woven baskets, practice calligraphy, and polish your acrylic, oil, and watercolor painting skills.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Take a Day Trip to Dreher Island State Park
Dreher Island State Park is the perfect getaway for those seeking a relaxing change of scenery.
It is located in Prosperity, South Carolina, 30 minutes south of Newberry.
The state park is named after the former island owner and occupies 348 acres.
Dreher Island State Park is an outdoor lover's paradise with campsites, lakeside villas, picnic shelters, playgrounds, and walking trails.
Fish for largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, and bream, or dip in Lake Murray's waters.
Back on land, have a relaxing picnic at the shelters, go bird watching, and explore the state park along the 0.25-mile Billy Dreher Nature Trail.
Spend the Day at Lake Greenwood State Park
From Newberry, take a 31-minute drive to Lake Greenwood State Park in Ninety Six, South Carolina, and bask in the pristine natural surroundings.
The park occupies 914 acres with plenty of opportunities for recreational activities.
Park features include a fishing pier, two boat ramps, picnic shelters, hundreds of paved campsites, and plenty of green space surrounding Lake Greenwood.
Take a day trip to Lake Greenwood State Park and enjoy different outdoor activities.
Fish for crappie, bass, and catfish.
Otherwise, rent a kayak or canoe and paddle across the lake, go on a geocaching adventure, and go on a relaxing walk along the trails.
Make the most of your stay in the park and stay overnight at the campsites.
Have a Picnic at Lake Monticello Park
Enjoy calming lakeside views from Lake Monticello Park in Jenkinsville, South Carolina, 33 minutes from Newberry.
The park offers picnic tables, shelters, baseball fields, softball fields, fishing areas, walking paths, and more.
There are also walking paths with picture-perfect views of Lake Monticello.
Bring the family to Lake Monticello Park and enjoy some downtime by having a picnic, playing frisbee or baseball, and relaxing under the sun.
The park’s picnic areas have little shade, so bring hats, umbrellas, and sunscreen.
Newberry is one of South Carolina's hidden gems with its beautiful downtown area, exciting festivals, and small-town charm.
Its proximity to big cities like Charlotte, Columbia, and Augusta makes it a good weekend destination for those who want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Plan your next vacation today and check out this list of the best things to do in Newberry, South Carolina!