Just a short drive from downtown, this 1,540-acre park offers a variety of hiking and biking trails, both easy and strenuous. Swimming and fishing is permitted at the tranquil Lake Placid, and camping and picnic areas help you to immerse yourself in the surroundings. You'll also find a burial site from the colonial period on park premises, in addition to interactive exhibits at the park's Education Center. Admission to the park is $5 per person.
The Greenville Zoo, located within sprawling Cleveland Park, never fails to please. With hundreds of residents, there's an attraction for everyone, from farm animals to more exotic creatures. The habitats mimic each animal's natural environment, so you can see how they live in the wild. While the zoo offers the convenience of a concession stand, you're also free to bring in your own food and drink. There are even covered shelters where you can enjoy a picnic. Note that admission is good for a single entry; you cannot leave and return in the same day.
Make no mistake: Greenville is beer country, from its annual Craft Beer Festival to the ever-growing list of breweries located throughout the city. The Brewery Experience's tours to Greenville's breweries are offered twice weekly, including visits to World Beer Cup winner Quest Brewery, Brewery 85, Swamp Rabbit Brewery and Taproom, Upstate Craft Beer Co., and the granddaddy of them all, Thomas Creek Brewery. There are three distinct types of tours, among them the '70s AM radio-inspired Afternoon Delight and the mid-week Hump Day Getaway. Each tour includes beer samples at each brewery visited, snacks, bottled water and a pint glass. The meetup locations and selections of breweries vary by tour. Private brewery tours are also available.
Fluor Field is the place to be during baseball season in Greenville. Located on the historic West End, there's nothing better than taking in a game while enjoying ice-cold beer. Home of the minor league Greenville Drive a Boston Red Sox affiliate Fluor Field was built to resemble Boston's beloved Fenway Park and has been a downtown gem since its completion in 2006. In case you're wondering, they're called the Drive because of Greenville's associations with the automotive industry.
On the edge of downtown, you'll find the Children's Museum of the Upstate. Offering 80,000 square feet to explore and 19 interactive exhibits, this is a perfect respite for restless kids. Discover exhibits including a child-sized market, hospital, studio and farm. In addition to the regular attractions, the Children's Museum also has multiple programs and camps to keep kids engaged outside of school. Did we mention that this is the only children's museum with a Smithsonian affiliation?
Connecting the charming town of Travelers Rest to the city of Greenville, the Swamp Rabbit Trail is a great way to explore this area of the Upstate. Currently, the trail is over 20 miles long and is equipped for walkers, runners and bikers. In fact, there are rubber-padded areas for low-impact running in certain segments of the trail. Meandering through parks, along the Reedy River and through downtown, the Swamp Rabbit Trail highlights several must-see stops.
"Shoeless" Joe Jackson, a celebrated baseball player of the early 1900s and a Greenville native, gained renewed fame in the movie, Field of Dreams. And in 2006, the home where he lived and died was moved to a new spot, across from Fluor Field. It became a museum dedicated to telling his story and commemorating his career and title as "The World's Greatest Slugger." You'll also find a library of books about baseball and its role in American culture, located in the former trophy room.
Founded in 1826, Furman University is a liberal arts college located among the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Classical red brick buildings, sparkling fountains and landscaping that changes with each season span the 750-acre campus. A paved walking path, picnic areas and resident swans including the elusive black swans draw many visitors to the scenic lake. The Florentine bell tower, a university landmark, overlooks the water and marks the hours as they leisurely pass by. You'll also find a stunning rose garden surrounding a gorgeous gazebo, and the Place of Peace, a Japanese temple moved directly from Japan. In addition to the attractive grounds, the university features a full slate of athletic and performing arts events each season.
A certain crescent-shaped building is destined to catch the eye of anyone driving down I-85 in between Greenville and Spartanburg. This 28,000-square-foot complex is the Zentrum, a museum celebrating the past, present and future of BMW. Adjacent to BMW's only plant in the U.S. as well as the company's largest the world over, there is indeed much to celebrate. Renovated and redesigned in 2016, the Zentrum showcases a fleet of BMW vehicles from throughout the company's storied history, including models manufactured here in the Upstate. A towering 25-foot-tall video wall presents commercials, product films and behind-the-scenes footage from the factory next door, all in high definition. The Zentrum also includes a gift shop, a cafe and meeting space. Admission is free.
The Reedy River isn't huge, but it's a much-loved feature of Greenville residents, especially now that the park around it has been revamped. Beautiful landscaping, wide open green spaces and stone pathways offer plenty to explore. Not to mention, the Liberty Bridge arcs over and around the falls in a stunning example of architectural beauty and expert engineering. The inviting park follows part of the Reedy's course, providing picturesque photo ops, and there are historic markers scattered throughout. If you only have time to go one place in Greenville, this should be it.