Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Greenville, SC

  • Published 2022/11/07

Situated between Atlanta and Charlotte is the stunning city of Greenville, South Carolina.

Greenville is the seat of Greenville County and is recognized as the sixth-largest city in the state.

The city is surrounded by several business districts, which contributes to the area’s lively atmosphere.

You’ll also find a lot of free art centers and scenic views around Greenville that are undoubtedly worth visiting.

Check out this list of free things to do in Greenville, South Carolina.

Look at the Reedy River Falls Atop the Liberty Bridge

Scenic view of Liberty Bridge at night

Kevin Ruck /

Situated along Main St is the prized Liberty Bridge, the only single-suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

The bridge commemorates Liberty Corporation founder W. Frank Hipp and is a popular attraction where you can catch scenic views of Greenville.

From atop the Liberty Bridge, you’ll also get a stunning view of the Reedy River Falls and its cascading waters down the stream.

Pathway of Liberty Bridge

Sean Pavone /

Enjoy the relaxing and picturesque view from the bridge, and take a couple of photos because the backdrop is worth saving.

Liberty Bridge is also inside Falls Park, giving you access to Greenville’s gardens, green spaces, and other historical attractions.

Aerial view of Liberty Bridge

Reedy River Drone Company /

Take a Stroll along the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail

Immerse yourself in nature’s wonders by taking a relaxing stroll along the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail.

The trail first opened in 2009, providing fitness areas and community transportation for the people of Greenville.

If you’re a tourist on a tight budget, Greenville’s Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail is a great destination that takes you through the city’s well-kept areas.

The trail spans 22 miles, taking you to Downtown Greenville and eventually to Greenville Technical College on Cleveland Street.

You’ll also find a lot of parks during your trip, including the Gateway, Trailblazer, Poinsett, and Conestee Parks.

Explore Greenville Aboard the Downtown Trolley

Walking around Greenville’s streets can get you around every nook and cranny of the city.

If you want to spruce up your tour, you can hop on an electric trolley while exploring the area.

You’ll usually find these trolleys in Downtown Greenville from Thursday through Sunday, covering six routes.

The downtown trolley service started in Greenville in 1908 as a paid service, costing a nickel.

Today, the downtown trolley is free for anyone, providing a great tourist experience for those on a tight budget.

The trolleys work on a fixed-stop system, so all you have to do is wait at one of the stops.

View Exhibits at the Greenville County Museum of Art

Exterior of the Greenville County Museum of Art

Cvandyke /

Art lovers will have a great time viewing the exhibits at the Greenville County Museum of Art on College St.

The Greenville County Museum of Art contains thousands of artworks from artists from all over the world.

Still, it’s best known for having the most extensive watercolor collection from American artist Andrew Wyeth.

Walking around the museum, you’ll also see the Southern influence on each display, including Federal portraits and contemporary conceptual works.

The county museum has a Southern collection of American art featuring colonial works, abstract expressionism, and more.

The Greenville County Museum of Art also features rotating exhibits, which means you’ll see a new set of artworks on certain days.

Join the Brewmiceter Hops Hunt

Enjoying a drink doesn’t have to cost a thing in Greenville because you can join the Brewmiceter Hops Hunt.

The Brewmiceter Hops Hunt is a scavenger hunt started by three Greenville residents who share a passion for beer.

In this scavenger hunt, you’ll get the chance to get a free drink at eight partner breweries if you find the hidden mouse in their establishment.

Aside from giving you a perfect chance to explore the breweries in the city, you’ll also join a fun adventure that you won’t find anywhere else.

Hunt for Grandpa Mouse, Blanch Battles Mouse, Trevor Mouse, Funky Fretta mouse, Godfather Mouse, Peter Prost mouse, Local Lyle mouse, and Gaspar mouse!

You might earn yourself a complimentary glass of cold brew!

Spend a Relaxing Day at Falls Park

Daytime view of Falls Park

Fotoluminate LLC /

Pack your bags and favorite snacks and drinks, and head to Falls Park on the Reedy River.

Falls Park treats guests to the most stunning views while exploring the wonders of Greenville, including the Reedy River and Liberty Bridge.

While relaxing at Falls Park, you might also want to take a photo tour of the waterfalls and nearby historic structures.

Bench overlooking the waters at Falls Park

Fotoluminate LLC /

You can also stop by the park at night and witness the glistening waters illuminated by the area’s lights.

Falls Park also has several walking trails you might want to explore during your visit.

Trail at Falls Park

Nikola Spasic Photography /

Attend the Artisphere

Immerse yourself in the cultural scene of Greenville while admiring local talents at the annual Artisphere.

Everything about art is in this annual celebration, from glass and jewelry to paintings and furniture.

The event usually happens on Mother’s Day weekend in downtown Greenville on Main Street.

Visitors will also see local artists showcasing their skills, revealing how they craft their projects.

Other programs in the Artisphere include the Kidsphere, live art demos, street chalk art, Art Lab, live music, performing arts, and more.

Of course, admission to this festival is free, allowing you to enjoy the local art scene and city life without breaking the bank.

Swing by the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library

Baseball fans should have a blast wandering the halls of the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library on Field Street.

This Greenville attraction is dedicated to Joe Jackson, one of the greatest natural hitters in the sport.

As you step inside the museum, which is also Jackson’s original home, you’ll see dozens of authentic artifacts, photos, and books celebrating Jackson’s legacy.

The museum was initially located at E Wilburn St before it was moved to its current location on Fiel St.

The museum offers free admission.

However, the parking slots only have a two-hour limit before they charge visitors.

Take a Photo of the Joel Roberts Poinsett Statue

Joel Roberts Poinsett Statue at Greenville

John Foxe, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you make your way to Greenville’s Main St, you’ll find a bronze statue surrounded by towering buildings.

That statue honors one of the most prominent national figures of the 19th century, Joel Roberts Poinsett.

Poinsett was a diplomat, botanist, statesman, and scholar, and he is best known for introducing the poinsettia plant to America.

Despite owning slaves, Poinsett also helped in the fight to end slavery during the 1830s.

At the time, many South Carolinians wanted to expand slavery.

The Joel Roberts Poinsett Statue is in Court Square in the heart of downtown Greenville.

You might also want to visit the other sites if you’re done taking pictures.

Check Out the Art Crossing

Art is everywhere in Greenville.

If you’re still looking for spots where creativity is alive, you might want to visit downtown Greenville for Art Crossing.

Art Crossing is open from Tuesday to Saturday, treating guests to hours of live art demonstrations from local artists.

Art Crossing is also a space where artists sell their works.

If you’re not thinking about spending, walking around the area and browsing the artwork is free.

You’ll find a great selection of realist works, paintings, jewelry, pottery, mixed media creations, photographs, and more.

If you’re considering getting a souvenir during your trip to Greenville, artists also offer custom creations to make your mementos more unique.

Visit the Museum and Library of Confederate History

Unravel America’s history when you visit Greenville’s Museum and Library of Confederate History on Boyce Ave.

This popular Greenville attraction revisits America’s bloodiest war, the Civil War, which lasted from 1861-1865.

Take a good look around as you wander the halls, and get to know more about America’s history in detail.

Learn about how the Civil War helped shape the history of Greenville and South Carolina.

Other artifacts worth seeing are the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as the flags of the Confederate states.

Take 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

Museums don’t have to be boring for children.

When you’re in Greenville, they should have a great time exploring the Children’s Museum of the Upstate.

Located along College St, the Children’s Museum of the Upstate first opened in 2009 and featured a play-based learning space for kids.

The museum is one of the largest children’s museums, featuring over 80,000 square feet of playing space and 30 unique exhibits.

Let your kids explore the entire space and learn about the sciences, arts, and other topics like health, transportation, environment, and much more.

Walk around, and get a good look at exhibits like the animation station, Bib’s World, garage rock, Reedy River Bend, and open art studios, among others.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Cross the Historic Poinsett Bridge

Daytime view of the Historic Poinsett Bridge

Kevin Ruck /

If you make your way to Callahan Mountain Rd, you’ll find the Poinsett Bridge in Landrum, South Carolina, 32 minutes from Greenville.

Built in 1820, the bridge belonged to the state road that linked Charleston and Columbia with the North Carolina mountain communities.

Once you see the area, check out the bridge standing at 14 feet and featuring a Gothic arch-stone look.

Stone arch of the Historic Poinsett Bridge

shel7580 /

Poinsett Bridge is also the oldest surviving bridge in the state, acting as a centerpiece of the 120-acre Poinsett Bridge Heritage preserve.

The bridge was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and remains a popular setting for telling ghost stories.

Drive along the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway

If you’re a fan of long, scenic drives, you’ll enjoy the view along the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway on Hwy 11.

Capture the stunning view of the Appalachian Mountains as you traverse the 130-mile route, jamming along to your favorite tunes and simply having a good time.

The Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway was previously known as the “Keowee Path” and was once a route for the Cherokees and French fur traders.

Aside from the Appalachian Mountains, you’ll also see waterfalls, state parks, and Greenville’s neighboring towns.

If you need a break while driving along this route, make a quick trip to Table Rock State Park Welcome Center.

The highway is 25 minutes from Greenville.

Marvel at Nature at the South Carolina Botanical Garden

Cacti at South Carolina Botanical Garden

Zizzleman Poachers /

Make your way to Clemson University, and you’ll see something you won’t find anywhere else.

Clemson University is home to the South Carolina Botanical Garden, built during the 1950s.

This place is in Clemson, South Carolina, 38 minutes from Greenville.

Venus flytraps at South Carolina Botanical Garden

Zizzleman Poachers /

Now spanning 295 acres, the sanctuary is intended for people to re-engage with the living world and witness the beauty of nature.

Have a good time walking around the garden while observing myriad flowers blossoming into dozens of colors.

This sanctuary is also an interdisciplinary resource that helps researchers understand the plant and animal kingdoms.

Final Thoughts

Greenville certainly takes you on an exciting journey that will give you long-lasting memories.

You don’t even have to spend a dime to enjoy yourself here.

To make the most of your trip, stick to this list of free things to do in Greenville, South Carolina.

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