7 Coolest Things to Do in Greenville

Photo by Brad Shortridge on Unsplash
Photo by Brad Shortridge on Unsplash
Megan O'Hara

A home to renowned writers such as Neville Kiser and Lambda Literary Award winner Dorothy Allison, and with over a dozen museums incorporating everything from modern art to children’s galleries, Greenville is one of America’s hidden cultural hubs bursting with creativity. With so many compelling attractions competing for the attention of visitors, we’ve narrowed it down to the top five most arty and unique activities you must not miss in Greenville, South Carolina’s largest metropolitan area.

1. Falls Park on the Reedy

Park

Greenville’s famous Falls Park is a wonderful location for some natural photography moments, featuring iconic waterfalls and the striking Liberty Bridge, along with lush and beautiful gardens.

2. Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail

Park

The Swamp Rabbit trail is a great way to experience Greenville in a slightly unique way. The 18-mile (29-km) multi-use trail system runs alongside the picturesque Reedy River, and services Greenville County with connections to schools, parks and local businesses. This trail follows a former railroad nicknamed after the indigenous swamp rabbit.

3. The Upcountry History Museum

Museum

Upcountry History Museum
© David441491/Flickr
This intimate museum tells a compelling history of 15 upstate South Carolina counties from as early as the late 17th century. A Smithsonian affiliate venue, the permanent collection at the museum is technology based and interactive, telling the individual stories of past residents who lived through events such as the American Revolution, the American Civil War and the abolishment of slavery. Priding itself on its ever changing exhibits, the museum also showcases international artwork, artefacts and programs, keeping in line with topical issues of the current time. The museum’s previous exhibitions having included the work of US marine John Steel, a combat artist during the Vietnam war who began in 1955, as well as explorations in Southern folk art and the workings of NASA. Dedicated to preserving Greenville and the South’s unique history, The Upcountry History Museum is the perfect place for visitors to begin their exploration of the city.

4. Market on Main Street

Market, American

Greenville Farmer’s Market
© JimmySmith /Flickr
A center of exciting activity hosting everything from live local music to on-site cooking demonstrations, Market on Main Street is not your average Saturday farmer’s market experience. With a variety of speciality foods on offer from local vendors, ranging from farm-fresh seasonable vegetables to cakes, jarred goods and chocolate, guests can be sure to enjoy some culinary excellence whilst supporting Greenville’s economy. The buzz and carnivalesque atmosphere here are enough to make the market a must-visit, and with various taster plates on offer, the event’s allure is undeniably compelling. Be sure to visit the youth booth, where young entrepreneurs have the chance to showcase their work, from hand-made organic tea bags to candles and items of clothing. The non-profit booth gives charitable organisations a chance to set up shop at the market and get talking about their causes, and has previously included visits from the National Alliance on Mental Illness Greenville and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

5. Dark Corner Distillery

Bar

Paying homage to its Celtic ancestors, the Dark Corner Distillery is named after the northeastern corner of Greenville County’s Appalachian hills, an area which has been known as Dark Corner for 175 years. The first settlers of the area were Irish and Scottish immigrants who, arriving in the USA penniless, made money here by selling traditional whiskey formed using recipes passed down over generations.

After the civil war, when taxes on private distilleries were upped during the prohibition era, these ‘moonshine’ makers moved their businesses into the woods, using native herbs and roots to create their products. Today Dark Corner Distillery aims to honor the rich heritage of the area’s regional alcohol by producing moonshine made exactly the way the Celts first did it. With daily in-store tastings hosted by knowledgeable staff happy to share their knowledge of the Dark Corner Distillery’s founding fathers, guests can enjoy the rich history of the area as well as interesting whiskey and moonshine flavors ranging from butterscotch to honeysuckle.

6. Peace Center Concert Hall

Music Venue

The opening of the Peace Center in 1990 was a true community effort, having been funded by donations from notable local families, businesses and the public. The center was created with a vision to enrich the local area by providing a venue for cultural events, performances, art education and community outreach programmes. Today comprising of a 2,100-seat concert hall, a 400-seat theatre and an amphitheatre, the Peace Center welcomes performers from all over the world and showcases unique art, dance, theatre and music events. The board of trustees and Peace Center staff select acts based on their educational and cultural value, meaning that visitors can be sure to catch something exciting and worthwhile whilst in town. With regular performances from the Greenville Symphony Orchestra as well as events such as National Geographic Live being hosted within its walls, the Peace Centre is a truly diversified venue and a shining beacon of culture in the Greenville community.

7. Art Crossing at Riverplace

Art Gallery

Open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday, Art Crossing at River Place is an artist’s studio where award-winning local artists get together to create collaborations in fine art, jewellery design, sculpture and drawing. Situated in the heart of town on the west bank of the Weedy river, the self-proclaimed ‘art colony’ has around a dozen studios where visitors can wander around and witness the artists at work. With resident artists such as the wildlife painter Larry Seymour, and the minimalistic jewellery designer Kathy Young, visitors can find a diversified range of mediums in this innovative and vastly creative space. Just a stone’s throw away from Greenville’s main strip of shops, bars and restaurants, this venue allows guests some quietude and respite, and gives them an enthralling dose of culture in the middle of the bustling city.

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

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