Sitting at the foothills of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains in the heart of South Carolina, Greenville is a lovely city with a small-town feel and a palpable sense of community. Widely known for being a cultural and entertainment center for the upstate, this beautiful place is situated just about halfway between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia. A vibrant and varied city where restoration and development intertwine with fascinating traditions, captivating history, and abundant natural attractions, Greenville is home to more than 65,000 residents. It’s also home to Greenville County Museum of Art, which showcases exquisite artwork by South American artists. So while its staycation spots are not to be missed, it’s better to explore the best places around Greenville. In case you’re planning to go on a captivating exploration adventure, scroll down for a list of the top day trips from Greenville, South Carolina.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in authentic Native American art, culture, and history, the town of Spartanburg is the place to be. Due to its central location, rich heritage, and a wide array of exciting things to do and see, Spartanburg is one of the most visited cities in South Carolina. You can be lured by the city’s proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains and Croft State Park, where you can unwind and unplug from your routine life. Make your way to Greenville County Museum of Art and browse through the stunning exhibits, or visit Cowpens National Battlefield to learn about the city’s important role in the Revolutionary War.
2. Fountain Inn
Located in the rolling foothills of Upstate South Carolina lies this picturesque city named Fountain Inn. Deriving its name from an old historic inn that served as an overnight stop for exhausted stagecoach travelers, Fountain Inn is a close-knit town laden with fascinating landmarks, beautiful nature trails, and spectacular places to visit. About 20.4 miles (32.8 kilometers) away from Greenville, you can enjoy a relaxing hike at Cedar Falls Park. Artistic souls can also witness insightful performances at The Younts Center for Performing Arts, where they can learn about the town’s colorful history and culture.
3. Flat Rock
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
With only about 34 miles (54.7 kilometers) between Flat Rock and Greenville, a visit to this charming district can make for an exhilarating day trip. If you’re looking for a great place to beat the scorching summer heat, Flat Rock is the place to be. Fondly referred to by the locals as “The Little Charleston of the Mountains,” this beautiful town was first built as a residential place for wealthy plantation farmers. A part of the National Register of Historic Places, this charming hamlet is worth a visit for its visually striking architecture alone. You can visit some of its most impressive buildings such as the beautiful Episcopal Church and Carl Sandburg Home.
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With Greenville as your base, you can explore more of South Carolina by embarking on a day trip to Columbia, the city’s capital. Located only 103 mi (166 km) from Greenville, you can get to Columbia within an hour and a half by road. Affectionately referred to as “The Real Southern Hot Spot,” Columbia is famed for its scorching summer weather, offering outdoor adventures, exquisite culinary delights, and a magnificent array of elating cultural hotspots. Historic house museums dot the city, and a visit to South Carolina State Museum can allow you to learn more about the city’s inspiring history in a more ubiquitous sense.
Considered the largest city in North Carolina, Charlotte is a futuristic metropolis with no shortage of restaurants, shops, and exciting attractions for visitors of all ages. Named in honor of the wife of King George II, Charlotte of Mecklenburg, this rustic town lies approximately 101 miles (163 kilometers) from Greenville, and you can get here by either car or train. While in Charlotte, young adventurous souls can explore the inspiring Nascar Hall of Fame, which is a must-visit for anyone with a thing for fast cars and incredible racetrack performances. Feast your eyes on historic race cars including the 1952 Hudson Hornet, 1957 Chevelle, and Earnhardt Jr.’s 2008 Chevy Impala.
A beautiful mountain community with a thriving restaurant scene, Asheville is a magnet for history and nature lovers. Dubbed “Paris of the South” for its rustic attractions that highlight its colorful cultural and artistic background, Asheville is a lovely destination filled with natural beauty, making it a great place to enjoy some outdoor activities such as hiking and trekking. This charming metropolis is also a magnet for art lovers as a plethora of art galleries and museums can be accessed downtown. Other notable attractions in this quaint town include the splendid Biltmore Estate and Basilica of St. Lawrence.
You can hop on a car, bus, or train and travel a distance of 94 miles (151 kilometers) to the charming city of Athens. Home to the well-known University of Georgia, the lovely town of Athens houses beautiful Victorian-era historic districts filled with marvelous antebellum buildings and local cafes. This rustic city is also home to a lively art and music scene. If you happen to be here in the evenings, you can catch an electrifying performance at Georgia Theatre and bear witness to the city’s uplifting nightlife.
Located in the lush rural confines of Pickens County, Dacusville is a beautiful community with a profound sense of agriculture. Sitting approximately 13 miles (21 kilometers) from Greenville, this tranquil town receives most of its visitors during its annual farm show on Labor Day weekend. If you’re searching for a serene place where you and your loved ones can take in some peaceful vibes and enjoy the great outdoors, Dascusville is the place to be. A spectacle to behold, the Labor Day weekend event offers antique tractor shows and hayrides for the whole family to explore and enjoy, though it’s a lovely destination to visit during the rest of the year as well. The quaint town also offers several family-friendly parks with playgrounds, and the nearby Saluda Lake is an excellent spot for fishing and boating.
9. Table Rock State Park
If you’re up for an exciting day trip that can open your eyes to the beautiful outdoor scenery of South Carolina, make your way to Table Rock State Park, a journey that can take you about an hour. Encompassing an area of almost 3,100 acres (1,214 hectares), Table Rock State Park sits on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is a remarkable destination for exciting outdoor adventures. A charming paradise for both nature and adventure seekers alike, this lovely park offers incredible lodging, trails, hiking, and picnic opportunities. To add to this, the scenery at the summit is breathtaking, and the old-fashioned swim holes can leave you rejuvenated.
Table Rock State Park
Address: 158 E Ellison Ln, Pickens, SC 29671, United States
Website: Table Rock State Park
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 7am - 7pm; Fri - Sat: 7am - 9pm
10. Denver Downs
From Greenville, you can travel roughly 29 miles (47 kilometers) to the splendid rural confines of Denver Downs Farm, which is a popular destination among the locals. Established first as a cotton farm, this scenic place is currently a working farm dedicated to agritourism and entertainment. This destination also plays host to many concerts and festivals annually, and the best part about the farm is the undeniably spectacular design of its corn maze.
Address: 1515 Denver Rd, Anderson, SC 29625, United States
Website: Denver Downs
Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 10am - 5pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 10pm; Sun: 1pm - 6pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
Explore the beauty of South Carolina
Greenville offers a plethora of tourist attractions and dining options, including museums and kid-friendly restaurants. But your experience shouldn’t stop here. Make the most of your trip to South Carolina by embarking on either one or all of the top day trips from Greenville. Explore the tranquil countryside, historic places, and vibrant cities that South Carolina has to offer.
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