As the largest city in the Old 96 District of South Carolina, there are tons of fun things to do in Greenwood, SC and many reasons you should visit this area.
They have the best of both worlds here as you have the amenities of the city but Greenwood is close to five state parks with beautiful lakes, trails, and views.
The Old 96 District is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle, escape back to a slower pace, and explore rural South Carolina.
I was able to visit Greenwood toward the end of 2022 and loved exploring this cute city! I hope you will too.
- 15 Things to Do in Greenwood, SC
- Have a Picnic at Lake Greenwood State Park
- Feed the Goats at Emerald Farm
- Learn Local History at The Museum
- Check Out the Railroad Historical Center
- Walk the Ninety Six National Historic Site
- Be Inspired by Benjamin E. Mays Historic Site
- Have a Wine Tasting at South Bend Winery
- Go Shopping Uptown
- Visit Local Breweries
- Catch a Movie at the 25 Drive-In Theater
- Dine at the Restaurants in Greenwood
- Attend One of the Festivals
- Browse the Art Galleries Uptown
- Play a Round of Golf
- Make a Day Trip
- Where to Stay in Greenwood, SC
- What is Greenwood, SC Known For?
- Wrap Up: Things to Do in Greenwood, SC
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15 Things to Do in Greenwood, SC
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Greenwood, SC then there are plenty to choose from. This little city has a lot to offer and there are tons of outdoor opportunities in the surrounding area.
Have a Picnic at Lake Greenwood State Park
Lake Greenwood State Park is only about 20 minutes outside of the city of Greenwood. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic lunch, swim in the lake, or bird-watching.
There is a fee to enter this state park – it was $3 when I visited. You can pay online with a credit card or use cash when you arrive.
The Drummond Center is the main building and Visitors Center here where they have a great museum about the Civilian Conservation Corps and their involvement with the state parks.
There are lots of picnic tables set up right on the lake where you can enjoy lunch with a beautiful view. If the weather is nice then you can take a swim afterwards but pay attention to designated areas. Swimming is not allowed near the boat ramps.
You’ll also find about 4 miles of hiking trails here and the trailhead is out by Campground #1. Stop by the Drummond Center when you arrive to pick up a map.
The campground has 125 sites and many of those are waterfront. There isn’t much better than camping on the water!
The road that brings you into the park will bring you to a stop sign where the Drummond Center is straight ahead. You can turn right for a fishing pier, playground, and picnic area or left takes you to the campgrounds, boat ramps, and more picnic spaces.
Feed the Goats at Emerald Farm
Emerald Farm is a very popular stop for families with kids or anyone interested in goat milk products and farm animals. Best of all – this is one of the free things to do near Greenwood.
You can tour the antique shop and Model Railroad Clubhouse where you can see one of the largest model railroads in the southeast. They also have a small train for kids to ride for a fee.
The animals are one of the main attractions here and they have goats, ducks, peacocks, llamas, and more.
It was a cold and rainy day when I visited so the goats didn’t want to come out of the barn. I did get to see one of the billy goats poking his head out of one of the barn doors though.
At their store, you can buy goat milk products, healthy food items, herbal supplements, and other items to enhance your health.
Learn Local History at The Museum
Greenwood has one of the best local museums that I’ve ever seen in a small city. It’s free to visit and right as you enter, you’ll see their rotating exhibit. Lander University was the exhibit while I was visiting.
On the main level, there is a timeline of the history of the upstate SC area and then a model of Main Street would have looked like back in the 1900s in a typical upstate SC town.
They have three levels to the museum and when I visited the lower level had an exhibit on local industry and a model kitchen set in the 1950s.
The third level was their feature exhibit on Self Regional Healthcare – the hospital in Greenwood. There was also a shadow art installation.
I always enjoy local history and found myself wishing I had more time here. I recommend at least an hour and if you’re the type that likes to read everything then definitely spend two hours here.
Check Out the Railroad Historical Center
The Railroad Historical Center is under the same management as The Museum of Greenwood and it’s a must for anyone who is a fan of trains.
They are only open on Saturdays from early May to mid-October and for special events so take that into consideration when planning your Greenwood itinerary.
There are multiple different types of restored rail cars here and museum staff leads you on a guided tour through them. Tours here do cost a small fee but it is well worth it!
Most of the rail cars here are from the first half of the 1900s so it’s a very interesting look into how people traveled during that time.
Walk the Ninety Six National Historic Site
I have the National Parks Passport Book so anytime I have a chance to visit a National Park Site, I jump at it. If you haven’t been to many of them, they typically have great walking trails with interesting features.
The Ninety Six National Historic Site preserves the history of the village that “reached it’s peak in the 1770’s” and was the site of two Cherokee Indian attacks and two Revolutionary War battles.
The Star Fort that was used by the British Loyalists is still here today and you can learn about how they used it to defend Ninety Six.
There is a one mile Historic Interpretive trail that starts and ends at the parking lot for the Visitors Center. You’ll find various signs along the trail, a Stockade Fort, the Star Fort, town site for old Ninety Six, and historic roads.
It was a pretty nasty day and drizzling rain so I walked the trail in about 20 minutes but on a nice day you can spend 45 minutes to an hour here.
Be Inspired by Benjamin E. Mays Historic Site
I had not heard of Dr. Mays before visiting the Old 96 District but before I left I had to buy his autobiography because this historic site was so impactful.
Dr. Mays was born near Greenwood and his parents were sharecroppers. He was born in a two bedroom log cabin and went to a one room schoolhouse.
His father didn’t see the importance of school and only let him go for a few months out of the year. The rest of the time he was home helping on the farm.
Dr. Mays was determined to get an education though and eventually went against his father’s wishes to do so. He went on to graduate from Bates College and then the Divinity School at the University of Chicago.
He served as the dean of the School of Religion of Howard University and then was the President of Morehouse College where he mentored many famous Civil Rights leaders including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is a tiny look at what Dr. Mays accomplished in his life but you can learn about this and so many other things that he did by visiting the Historic Site. Tours are led by appointment only but it is well worth your time to go out here.
You’ll see Mays’ childhood home and a schoolhouse like the one he would have attended. There is also a small museum where you can see photos, items that Mays owned, and pick up literature about Dr. Mays.
This was a very moving site as it was inspirational to see where he came from, the obstacles he faced, and then everything he went on to accomplish.
Have a Wine Tasting at South Bend Winery
Good wine, sweet owners, and a beautiful space to enjoy it all – what more could you want? South Bend is Greenwood’s first winery and they have a great variety of sweet and dry wines.
They offer a Basic Tasting which includes a tasting of ten wines but the Deluxe Tasting comes highly recommended. The Deluxe includes a charcuterie board and you get to keep your glass.
If you’re hungry, then order from their full menu with items like the southwest chicken quesadilla, Reuben, or philly cheese steak melt.
Go Shopping Uptown
One of my favorite things to do in Abbeville was go shopping and there were some great shops in Greenwood too!
I loved Fenway’s Farmacy which was full of local produce and locally made goods. I picked up some handmade goat milk soap.
McCasslan’s Bookstore is a great stop for anyone who likes independent bookstores. This is where I was able to pick up Dr. Benjamin Mays’ autobiography.
Other great stops are Main & Maxwell, j a k e. shop, and Uniquely Yours Boutique.
Visit Local Breweries
There are two local breweries in Greenwood – the first is Good Times Brewing, right beside The Mill House which is their sister company.
Good Times has a funky bar space with light bites and sandwiches or you can visit The Mill House for pizza, pasta, or subs. You can get flights or pints of Good Times beer at either spot.
I tried a flight and my favorites were their Back Pocket Pale, Blood Moon IPA, and the Irish Whip. The pizza at The Mill House was also delicious.
Keep an eye on their Facebook page to find out what events are going on while you’ll be in town.
The newest spot in town is Sled Dawg Brewery which is in a cool space and has a wide selection of beers. I loved the Strawberry Blonde, White Dawg IPA, and Amber Ale.
They also serve food and recently expanded their menu. You can follow their Facebook page for different events like live music and viewing parties for different sports.
Catch a Movie at the 25 Drive-In Theater
An old school drive-in is one of the best places to spend a summer night! They have a restaurant where you can get burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, and snack items.
If you bring your own food in, there is an additional charge. In addition to the restaurant, they have clean restrooms and radios in case you want to listen to the movie outside of your vehicle.
This is one of the best family-friendly things to do in Greenwood, SC!
Dine at the Restaurants in Greenwood
There are some amazing restaurants in Greenwood that you’ll love visiting. I was able to try The Mill House, Kickers Take Out, and Aromas Uptown Coffee.
If I lived in Greenwood, I would be at Kickers Takout at least ever other day. There is such a wide variety on the menu with flavors from all over the world.
I had to try their massive mozzarella cheese sticks – highly recommend – and then for dinner I went with the Greek Chicken Folds. Both were amazing.
Aromas is an adorable little coffee shop Uptown and the perfect place to stop for coffee and a pastry. I tried one of their seasonal drinks (I believe it was Orange Nutella) and wow it was amazing. The cheese danish was also good.
Other local favorites are Buena Vista Café, Miss Ann’s Fried Chicken, and Montague’s.
Attend One of the Festivals
Greenwood is a happening place and they have some great festivals throughout the year. Two of the most popular are the South Carolina Festival of Flowers and the South Carolina Festival of Discovery.
The SC Festival of Flowers is held every June and the main attraction is a Signature Safari Topiary Display. There are over 20 different events that are part of this festival and it’s a favorite with gardeners.
The SC Festival of Discovery is all about the Blues and BBQ! There is a “Blues Cruise” where you can see multiple performers at various stages in the city – all for free. Then there is a BBQ cook-off.
There are also various smaller events held around Halloween and Christmas in Uptown Greenwood.
Browse the Art Galleries Uptown
I was able to visit The Art Center of Greenwood while in town and loved the variety of art here. It was a mixture of painting, sculpture, photography, as well as other mixed mediums.
Their exhibitions rotate so you never know what will be there and they carry work by local, regional, national, and international artists.
They also host art workshops for adults and kids from pottery to painting to photography.
If you’re looking for work from local artists that you can take home then make a visit to Main & Maxwell. While it’s more gift shop than traditional art gallery, you’ll find items from over 60 different artists in South Carolina.
Play a Round of Golf
If golf is your thing then you’re in luck. There is no shortage of great golf courses near Greenwood.
One of the most popular courses in the area is The Links at Stoney Point which is right on Lake Greenwood with great amenities.
Make a Day Trip
Greenwood is a great home-base if you wanted to explore the Old 96 District. Abbeville, Edgefield, Laurens, and McCormick are the other towns that make up this area.
You can spend a few days driving the back roads of South Carolina and exploring these small towns.
Greenwood is also centrally located between Columbia, Greenville, Athens, and Augusta if you wanted to explore a bit further. Each one is only an hour and a half or less from Greenwood.
If you love road trips and staying in a quieter, smaller city then Greenwood is a great getaway for you.
Where to Stay in Greenwood, SC
Inn on the Square is a cute boutique hotel in Uptown Greenwood that is within walking distance to many shops, restaurants, and attractions.
Sadly, when I visited, it was raining cats and dogs so I had to drive everywhere. There is an on-site restaurant as well and breakfast is included in your stay.
Their lobby area was beautiful and an inviting place to sit and relax.
What is Greenwood, SC Known For?
Greenwood, SC is known as the home of Lander University as well as the many outdoor opportunities nearby. Lake Greenwood is one of the biggest natural attractions in the area for swimming, boating, and fishing.
It’s also known for the important historical attractions in the area like the Benjamin E. Mays Historic Site and Ninety Six National Historic Site.
Wrap Up: Things to Do in Greenwood, SC
Greenwood is the perfect road trip destination for those who want to experience a small-town feel with big-city amenities.
As you can see, there are tons of fun things to do in Greenwood no matter who you’re traveling with or how old you are.
Enjoy your trip to Greenwood and everything that Old 96 has to offer!