If you plan to explore the Great Smokey Mountains, you might want to take a side trip and spend a little time in Greenville, South Carolina.
Falls Park on the Reedy
If you find yourself in Greenville, you must check out Falls Park on the Reedy. This 32-acre gem is located at the sight of an old textile mill. The land was reclaimed from industrial use in the late 1960s when Falls Park was designed.
The most impressive feature of the park is the pedestrian suspension bridge that gives walkers a view of the falls. The bridge is 355 feet long.
Look online for a preview of the views you will see, or wait to be surprised by this park that is only a few minute’s walk from the downtown hotels.
Swamp Rabbit Trail
Although it was a struggle to complete, the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville is one of the highlights of the city. This 19-mile trail runs along old railroad tracks and is named after the rabbit that inhabits the region.
The trail runs north and south through the city, and businesses along the trail have enjoyed increased sales since it opened. The southern tip of the park is the Greenville Technical College. The northern tip is within the city of Travelers Rest. It runs through the previously mentioned Falls Park and the campus of Furman University.
Although walkers enjoy the trail, bikers seem to love it.
The Greenville Zoo isn’t large, so don’t plan to spend all day there. The zoo features lions, tortoises, alligators, and flamingos. A baby giraffe was born at the zoo in July of 2019, so make sure you stop by to see Baby Kellan.
Upcountry History Museum
Located on the Furman University campus, you will find the Upcountry History Museum. The northwestern-most corner of South Carolina is also referred to as the Upstate region, and it covers an area that is considered the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The history museum covers the human history of the region. Visitors will learn about the early inhabitants and the divisive times surrounding the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Visitors will also learn about the textile industry as well as what happened in the region during the Civil Rights Movement. The museum is closed most Mondays and major holidays.
Roper Mountain Science Center
The Roper Mountain Science Center is an excellent diversion for kids and those young at heart. At the center, visitors will find a butterfly garden living history farm, a planetarium, nature trails, and a hall of natural science. Look for a schedule of special events held on the second Saturdays of the month.
There’s a lot to do in Greenville, South Carolina. Even though there are less than 70,000 residents in the city, there’s plenty of good restaurants, breweries, and parks that will hold your attention for several days. You may also want to check out the craft cocktail or Segway tours, but make sure not to complete the tours in that order.