Greenville SC is the third largest metropolitan area in South Carolina. Thanks to its beautiful location and strong economy, it is also one of the state’s most rapidly expanding cities. Set near the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville offers residents and visitors easy access to the glories and adventures of nature one might expect from a much less developed area. A relatively low cost of living and lack of harsh weather add to the city’s appeal. With the Greenville SC crime rate just about on par with the national average and so many things to do in the city, it’s no surprise that the city is ranked in the top 25 best cities to live in America.
If you can’t live there, of course, the next best thing is visiting as often as you can! Greenville is quickly earning a reputation as a foodie’s paradise, a destination for outdoorsmen and the perfect place to escape for a weekend away with friends.
Things to Do in Greenville, SC
The list of interesting and wonderful things to do in Greenville, SC is long and varied. The city plays host to a wide variety of cultural events, from concerts to festivals to museums and art galleries. Fine dining opportunities abound, and walking- and bicycle-friendly streets make Greenville an ideal place to meander and explore in leisurely Southern style.
With the Mountains right in the city’s backyard, possibilities for outdoor play are seemingly limitless. From hiking, biking and trail running to scouring local farmers markets, orchards and farms for the best finds, visitors interested in strapping on sturdy shoes are sure to find adventure, no matter what their preferred speed or treasure. A thriving local sports culture tops off the appeal. From football to hockey, live or enjoyed over a micro-brew at a local pub, sports enthusiasts will feel right at home.
Downtown Greenville SC
Visitors can fly straight into downtown Greenville SC via GSP International Airport. The Greenville airport is well appointed, with a conference center, restaurants, shops and an information center, and offers easy access to the city’s sparkling downtown.
Once visitors get downtown, they can use Greenville’s trolley service to reach many of the city’s most popular destinations. Free trolleys operate Thursdays through Sundays all year round, and connect the Amtrak station, Heritage Green, County Square, the Zoo, the Peace Center and several arenas, as well as numerous attractions in between.
For those who aren’t sure where to start, a plethora of local tours are available to introduce newcomers to the city’s charms. Examples of the many options include:
- Segway tours
- Craft cocktail tours
- Breakfast tours
- Dessert tours
- Lunch with the Artist tours
- Wacky Walk Adventure Game tours
- Haunted Greenville tours
The Peace Center
The Peace Center in Greenville SC is the central hub for live entertainment in the city. A combination theater, concern hall and conference center is a multi-purpose event space in the heart of downtown that regularly hosts world-class talent in every genre. Local dance and theater companies routinely share the stages with musicians, comedians, artists and educators of all stripes.
Conceived as part of a comprehensive revitalization initiative in the 1980s, the Peace Center opened in 1990 and was massively renovated in 2010. Today, it welcomes almost 400,000 people at an average of 600 events, annually. Nestled among the fine dining and luxury accommodations of downtown, it’s the perfect place to catch an internationally famous show or renowned performer during your stay.
The Greenville Zoo
When is the last time you went to a zoo? If you can’t remember, the Greenville Zoo is the perfect place to rediscover the magic! Whether you take your children or go for an adults-only event, the Zoo is sure to please.
Open year-round, including most holidays, it costs less than $10 per ticket, with discounted rates for children, seniors and military families. Easy to reach by trolley, the Zoo has free Secret Safari and Safari Adventure packs available to help children learn about the wildlife on display and to assist families in navigating the zoo during their visits. Adults, check out Sipping Safari or Brew in the Zoo for a 21+ after-hours party like no other!
Zoo hours vary by season, and the zoo closes for two weeks each February to accommodate large-scale maintenance projects, so be sure to check the current hours and events schedules when planning your visit.
The Great Outdoors
If you enjoy the great outdoors in any capacity, you can’t afford to miss Greenville parks and recreation areas. Traveling with your family? The hiking near Greenville is excellent, and child and pet friendly parks mean your entire family can entire the glory of the mountains together. Adventuring with friends? Try trickier trails or give white water rafting a try! Greenville has ideal spots for:
- Canoeing and Kayaking
- Ice skating
- White Water Rafting
Tours, outfitters and other resources are available to help visitors who want to try something new and need the gear and expertise to get started. For those who are already experts and prefer to strike out on their own, top spots to explore include:
- The Gorge Zipline Canopy Tour.
- Caesar’s Head State Park.
- Cedar Falls Park.
- Chimney Rock.
- Devils Fork State Park.
- Jones Gap State Park.
- Keowee-Toxaway State Park.
- Kings Mountain State Park.
- Lake Hartwell State Park.
- Oconee State Park.
- Paris Mountain State Park.
Greenville’s local tourism bureau even offers pre-made city-wide scavenger hunts and suggested itineraries for every interest. If you’re heading to one of the many spectacular Greenville SC events or planning to be in the area for business or vacation, why not download a curated guide on anything from farm-to-table dining to family hiking to jump start your trip
Guides, tours and activities are available by subject, season, pet- and child-friendliness and other easy-to-navigate categories. With so many resources available to make planning your trip a breeze, the hardest part will be choosing what to do first!