15 Best Day-Trips from Greenville, South Carolina
Located in the northwest portion of South Carolina, Greenville is the county seat of Greenville County and its largest city as well.
Due to its convenient location near the neighboring states of Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, Greenville is a great place to hang your hat while exploring the region.
Though there are many attractions within city limits, this article focuses on day-trips to historical, natural, and recreational sites in surrounding towns, most of which aren’t more than an hour away.
Many of the towns included have multiple attractions, making visits to them an efficient use of valuable vacation time.
1. Table Rock State Park
South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains are some of the most scenic and majestic in the region, and they’re also among the oldest.
Table Rock State Park is comprised of thousands of acres of pristine forests, mountains, lakes, and rivers, and is a magnet for sportsmen, outdoor enthusiasts, photographers, and campers.
The state park’s main entrance is an easy drive north from Greenville and includes cabins, campsites, and a few easy to reach swimming holes that are the perfect places to cool off during the notoriously hot summer months.
In addition to its natural beauty and amenities, the park is also historical; much of it was built by the CCC in the ‘30s.
2. Lazy Bear Winery
Though most people don’t associate South Carolina with wine production, like many states, it’s experienced a vineyard and winery renaissance in the last decade.
The Lazy Bear Winery on Hester Store Road in nearby Dacusville is one of the most popular and is particularly well-known for its sweet and fruity wines that have distinct notes of peaches, berries, and citrus.
There’s a gift shop on site that includes the full spectrum of their products. Tours and tastings are available for groups of up to 12, but you’ll need to call and let them know you’re coming a week or two in advance.
3. Easley Therapeutic Massage & Wellness Center
These days, when it comes to muscle, bone, and joint pain, most people go running to the medicine cabinet for relief, but for many sufferers, traditional therapeutic massage is a natural and inexpensive option.
As a disclaimer, I’m no doctor, so it’s probably best to consult one first, but for those looking for an hour or two of pampered relaxation, consider heading to Easley Therapeutic Massage and Wellness Center on South 5th Street in Easley.
They offer a wide variety of therapies, so finding one that’s a good match won’t be a problem; they’re particularly adept at easing the symptoms of migraines, sciatica, and fibromyalgia.
4. Foothills Playhouse
Community theaters are wonderful places to check out when visiting a new area, and though every town doesn’t have one, many do.
The Foothills Playhouse in Easley has been around for ages and is an intimate venue that you definitely won’t mistake for Broadway, but many previous guests have noted that the productions they saw exceeded their expectations.
Nearly all the talent is local, and the cost of admission is dirt-cheap compared to big city venues.
Their productions include old favorites like Arsenic and Old Lace. The best way to see what’s on their calendar is to give them a call or check online.
5. Pickens County Museum of Art and History
Pickens County South Carolina is pretty rural, so it often comes as a bit of a surprise to visitors that it has such a fantastic art and history museum.
The museum houses permanent exhibits, and at different times of the year, temporary ones from other galleries as well, so no matter how many times you visit, you’ll likely see something new and interesting.
The museum is located inside a historic jailhouse from the early 20th century, and the outside grounds are full of wildflowers that are particularly colorful in spring.
Previous guests have noted that the facilities and exhibits were more typical of what you’d find in a larger city.
6. Hagood Mill Historic Site
Located on Hagood Mill Road in Pickens, the Hagood Mill Historic Site is the perfect destination for those looking to take in the area’s incredible natural beauty while getting a unique insight into the past.
The Hagood Mill was once a working mill that processed many of the area’s farm products like corn and wheat into meal and flour.
During the warm months, the area around the mill hosts food and music festivals that are fun for the whole family. There are trailheads nearby that lead into the forest among, where there are ancient Native American petroglyphs that are said to be more than 5,000 years old.
7. Bee Well Honey and Bee Supply
Also located in Pickens is Bee Well Honey and Bee Supply.
It’s a working bee farm with an onsite store. In addition to their honey products, they offer a full range of hard-to-get items like raw milk, organic eggs, and natural supplements and vitamins.
They’re open year-round, and for those looking to get into bee raising, they offer starter bee packages which are available in the spring.
There’s also a popular bike trail nearby called ‘Doodle Trail,’ so throw the mountain bikes on the roof and make a day of it.
The farm is located on Hampton Avenue just outside town.
8. BMW Factory Tour
Located just off Interstate 85 in Spartanburg, the BMW factory has been churning out luxury brand cars and SUVs for nearly 20 years, and tours of the facility are one of the most popular activities in the Spartanburg area.
They fill up quickly, so it’s advisable to book your tour well in advance of your trip.
The guided tours typically take about two hours; along the way, guests will see how cars are made from beginning to end.
It’s a fascinating experience for adults and children alike, and the facility and skill of the workers are pretty amazing.
9. Greer Farmers Market
Even in the most rural communities, you’ll likely find a farmer’s market or two within a few miles. For those who find themselves on the road in Greer, the Greer Farmer’s Market would be well worth a stop.
Open on Thursday afternoons seasonally from April to October; it’s full of unique products that you won’t find elsewhere.
In addition to fruit, vegetables, and dairy products, the market also sports arts and crafts, prepared food items, and locally-made health and body items.
They’re known for their fresh baked goods too, and buying a thing or two is a great way to support local farmers and entrepreneurs.
10. Pelham Mill Park
In centuries past, water was a primary source of power, especially for the small local mills that dotted the landscape from coast to coast.
Pelham Mill Park is located on East Phillips Road in Greer, and though much of the original structure is gone, it’s still a fascinating site that’s a beautiful mixing of the natural and human-made worlds.
Though it won’t take long to see the mill, there is a dog park, picnic tables, and a few plaques nearby which give interesting historical information, showing what the mill looked like and how it functioned.
Consider a short visit before heading to the farmer’s market.
11. Discovery Island Waterpark
If you’ve never been to South Carolina in the summer, you may be in for a shock.
The weather can be notoriously hot and humid, making outdoor activities unpleasant, to say the least. But for those looking for a great day-trip from Greenville, a drive to the Discovery Island Waterpark in Simpsonville would be a great way to spend the day.
The park has all the kid-friendly amenities you’d expect and was designed specifically for children up to about 10-years-old.
The waterpark is located on Baldwin Road and has plenty of shaded seating areas.
Expect a crowd if you go during peak times.
12. Heritage Park Amphitheater
Located in Simpsonville’s Heritage Park on SE Main Street, the Heritage Park Amphitheatre is one of the area’s most popular venues for live outdoor performances.
The cost of admission is inexpensive compared to larger urban amphitheaters, and they host a variety of events – from country and jazz to bluegrass and everything in between.
They’ve had a few big name performers in the past, like Willie Nelson, but depending on who you’re seeing, it may not be the best atmosphere for those with children.
It seems that there’s plenty of preshow imbibing, so keep an eye out for upcoming performers before making plans.
13. Paris Mountain State Park
About five miles from Greenville, Paris Mountain State Park is a summer mecca for fishermen, boaters, bikers, and hikers that’s easy to get to, inexpensive, and chock-full of recreational activities for nearly everyone.
The park has a variety of campsites. During spring and summer, it’s possible to rent paddle boats, which are a great way to see the lake and get some exercise in the process.
Private boats aren’t allowed and remember that if you plan on doing a little fishing, you’ll need a license – whether you’re a South Carolina resident or not.
Consider checking out the park’s historic Buckhorn Lodge as well.
14. Younts Center for Performing Arts
Located on North Main Street in Fountain Inn, South Carolina, the Younts Center for the Performing Arts is a quaint venue that hosts a variety of musical and theatrical performances, many of which are produced by local volunteers.
Often referred to as the home of big city productions with small town prices and charm, throughout the year, they offer a variety of serious and silly productions, most of which are appropriate for the whole family.
It’s a great way to spend a few evening hours while supporting the local economy and conserving those fast-dwindling vacation dollars.
15. Anderson County Museum
The Anderson County Museum is the most visited historical attraction in town and is located on Greenville Street.
It’s not the biggest museum in the world, but it features an impressive variety of historically significant items, many of which were donated by local citizens.
The museum is free to visit, and visitors should plan on spending about an hour to see all the items on display.
Artwork, clothes, weapons, documents, and photographs are included in the exhibits, giving visitors an interesting look into the past dating back to when the area was first settled.
Consider a small donation to ensure that the museum stays open for future generations.