Searching for a true hidden gem nestled in South Carolina? Look no further than the Old 96 District and in particular Greenwood SC. This area has much to offer in terms of history and culture. Best part, it’s only a short drive from the Charlotte NC area. If you haven’t heard of this SC region, don’t fret. We hadn’t either. But, after visiting this town (and neighboring Abbeville —you can read about this other cute SC town here in Part 2) we will be going back real soon. The locals we met on our trip were so welcoming. The charming downtown is very walkable. The food (particularly The Mill House and Kickers :)) and local beer was great. And, there’s plenty of history and nature close by.
The Ultimate Greenwood SC Visitor’s Guide Starts Here
A Greenwood SC Must Visit – Dr. Benjamin E. Mays House2
Located in Greenwood proper, the Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Historic Preservation Site celebrates the life of a man who is widely considered the founder of the Civil Rights movement. Dr. Mays was a mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr. He was also an advisor to presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Jimmy Carter. Mays was also president of Morehouse College. The site displays Dr. Mays’ birth home, grade school, and a museum showcasing artifacts from his extraordinary life.
Revolutionary War History In Greenwood SC
When in Greenwood, visitors are minutes from the Ninety Six National Historic Site. Here a national park commemorates one of the first southern land battles of the Revolutionary War. During this battle, a 28-day siege tested the resolve of revolutionary soldiers as they struggled to keep possession of Star Fort. An annual reenactment occurs during the month of April.
Things To Do In Greenwood SC
If you enjoy the performing arts, stop by Greenwood Community Theatre, on Main Street. As part of the Emerald Triangle Cultural Arts District, the theatre boasts a variety of musical plays. They also show classic and indie films, and concerts.
25 Drive In is also a cultural gem. Opened for its first season in 1945, the Drive In now features two screens that show first-run films on weekends, with a concession stand.
For family-friendly fun, Emerald Farms is 75 acres with a petting zoo, trains, locally made products, a health food store, and lush herb gardens.
Centrally positioned on Main Street, The Museum in Greenwood asks visitors to explore the towns downtown as it existed over a century ago. Guests can explore the region’s evolution throughout the momentous 20th century through the eyes of local historical interpreters. Abbeville and Greenwood are islands of charming settlements in the midst of northwestern South Carolina’s sea of backcountry. As such, there are ample opportunities for visitors to enjoy the outdoors.
Festival Of Flowers
The pride and joy of Greenwood locals, and South Carolina as a state, is the Greenwood Festival Of Flowers. This festival is something to truly behold. We got a behind the scenes tour of this event, by touring the greenhouse where all of the topiaries from the event are made. We also got to meet the creator of these wonderful topiaries, City Horticulturist Jimmy McInville. This annual event each June celebrates the beginning of summer. Visitors to the quaint town can enjoy traditional southern hospitality and take in 50 “living” sculptures (topiaries) in all shapes and sizes from plants grown in the shapes of 4X4 jeeps to mermaids and elephants. There’s even a Clemson tiger mascot and South Carolina Gamecocks mascot made completely out of plants. It’s hard to share in words how impressive and creative these things are so check out the photos below!
Outdoor Opportunities In Greenwood SC
Lake Greenwood, which is just east of Greenwood and Abbeville, also offers opportunities for fishing, as well as boating, swimming, and hiking. The lake was formed via a dam along the Saluda River, which continues snaking south along to The Territories, a swath of mixed use (including hunting and fishing) managed land that is open to outdoors enthusiasts.
Where To Eat In Greenwood
When it comes time for a bite, Good Times Brewery, a brew pub uptown, and The Mill House make for a meal you can count on. Right across the street from these two delicious restaurants you’ll find Greenwood’s market where there are a variety of goods and groceries to buy. Buenavista Café is a cuban/latin cafe you must try while Kickers Takeout cooks up one of the more Instagram-worthy apps in town: a both giant and delicious onion ring tower. Their menu has both local favorites with a new twist, as well as international flavors to add a new kick to your meal.
Where To Stay In Greenwood
At the end of a long day, the boutique Inn on the Square provides respite. Faithful to the original architecture and the historical integrity, the Inn was carefully renovated to preserve the classic style of the elegant historical building that houses the hotel. The original buildings of the Inn on the Square date back to the early part of the twentieth century.