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Guide to Travel: North Carolina Family Adventures To Embark On

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If you love to travel, North Carolina has so much adventure to offer! North Carolina is a popular place for both day trips, vacations, and backcountry exploration. From the lush and adventurous mountains of the west to the stunning coastline and Outer Banks of the east, there is so much to do in North Carolina.

If you’re planning a trip up to North Carolina, we’ve got some great information on places to stay, where to eat, and things to do.

This article includes travel destinations in:
Western North Carolina
Central North Carolina
Coastal North Carolina

Vacations rental homes in Western North Carolina (WNC).

Check out our list of Western North Carolina Vacation Rentals to help pick the perfect lodging for your epic adventure!

Western North Carolina

If you’re traveling to WNC for a day trip or weekend getaway, you’ll find this information handy. We’ve organized some helpful content by city, so you’ll be able to easily find reader-recommended things to do, places to eat, and lodging advice. Enjoy your trip!

Looking for the perfect day trip destination? Check out our Day Trip Destinations in WNC article.

Black bear at the WNC Nature Center


Asheville is a popular destination for many of our readers and is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. With a thriving art scene, delicious and unique food options, and a beautiful downtown to explore, no wonder Asheville is consistently named on top travel lists throughout the country. Our helpful guides below offer information to make planning your trip to Asheville a breeze.

Check out our Guide to Asheville for reviews on our favorite things to do in the area, plus some really fantastic places to eat. Lots of these places are recommended by our readers and we’ve included their quotes, so you know what to expect!

Flat Rock

Though Flat Rock, NC has become heavily associated with the famous poet Carl Sandburg, there is so much natural beauty, food, and exploration to enjoy. For more great things to do, check out A Day in Flat Rock or look over our reviews of popular places in Flat Rock below.

Explore why A Day in Flat Rock makes for the perfect day trip to WNC!

Baby goats at Carl Sandburg House


Brevard, North Carolina is a cozy little area of NC tucked away at the entrance of the Pisgah National Forest near the SC border. Dining, river tubing, waterfalls, and a hunt for the white squirrels that populate much of the city make Brevard, NC a perfect day trip destination.

Check out our reviews of some of the fun things to do in Brevard below.

Indoor exhibits at the Cradle of Forestry

Enjoy a day trip to Brevard, NC, and maybe even explore the Pisgah Forest!


Hendersonville is a gem of WNC destinations, and it’s less than an hour’s drive from Greenville! Home to many u-pick orchards, snow tubing centers, and vineyards, activities in Hendersonville will pill your entire day’s itinerary. Don’t miss our list of Free Things to Do in Hendersonville, NC! You can find reviews of some of the best Hendersonville has to offer below.

Fairy house on the trail at Bullington Gardens in North Carolina.
Fairy House at Bullington Gardens Fairy Trail

Learn more about the wonderful Things to Do in Hendersonville, NC!

Things to Do in Hendersonville, NC.


Cherokee, North Carolina is rich in both history and culture while complemented by spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains! If you haven’t visited national parks in a while, Cherokee makes for a easy day trip to one.

This is the place to go if you are looking for a mountain adventure where you can delve into the history of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Maybe you will even see some Elk crossing the Oconaluftee River during your visit!

Check out some of our reviews of Cherokee, North Carolina below.

Elk crossing the street in Cherokee, North Carolina

Check out of KA review of Cherokee, NC, and learn why it is such a great place to spend the day with your kids.

Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock is home to Tweetsie Railroad, one of North Carolina’s oldest wild-west themed amusement parks. You can find out all about Tweetsie Railroad in our review below. You can also visit a mile high swinging bridge while you are in Highlands of North Carolina at Grandfather Mountain!

Tweetsie Railroad in Western North Carolina.
Engine 12 at Tweetsie Railroad

Little Switzerland

Considered the “Jewel on the Blue Ridge Parkway”, Little Switzerland, North Carolina is the perfect stopping place when traveling between North Carolina and Tennessee. Check out our review of Emerald Village in Little Switzerland below.

You Can Hunt for Treasure at Bon Ami Mine in Emerald Village
Pan for Gold at Gold River Camp and Cabins


If you love to travel, North Carolina has in gem hidden in the mountains called Cashiers, NC. Loaded with Waterfalls, river tubing, and beachy lakes, the Highlands area is the perfect place to unwind while taking in spectacular views. We have reviews of some of the best things to do in Cashiers below.

Children sliding down Sliding Rock in Cashiers, North Carolina.
Sliding Rock in Cashiers, NC

Bryson City

Bryson City is an adorable little getaway town in Western North Carolina that is home to the Smoky Mountain Railroad! The downtown area offers shopping, dining, and the rich history of WNC without the touristy vibes of some of the larger cities. Plus, you are right at the door of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so you know it’s gorgeous there.

Polar Express Bryson City, NY
Polar Express at the Smokey Mountain Railroad

Learn more about Bryson City and everything this mountain town has to offer!

Guide to Bryson City, North Carolina.


Tryon, North Carolina is a small town that borders South Carolina just above Landrum and is home to one of the country’s largest Equestrian centers. You can check out more information in our review below!


Saluda, North Carolina offers an abundance of spectaular wilderness and is only 50 minutes from Greenville. You can check out our review of one of Saluda’s most popular hikes (with a spectacular waterfall as a prize). If you love river tubing, be sure to check out the excellent tubing adventure on the Green River!


You can explore the picturesque historic downtown of Rutherfordton North Carolina during your visit to Hendersonville, its neighboring city. While you’re there, be sure to visit their amazing interactive children’s museum! You can find our review below.

KidSenses children's museum in Rutherford, NC

Chimney Rock / Lake Lure

If you love a mountain adventure that also involves hiking, a gorgeous mountain lake, and a sandy beach with waterslides, then the Chimney Rock and Lake Lure area of Western North Carolina is where to go!

Views from Chimney Rock, NC

Check out our guide to Kidding Around Western North Carolina, where you can find even more things to do in WNC!

Kidding Around WNC: things to do in Western North Carolina towns

Waterfalls at Triple Falls, Dupont State Forest

Looking for places to hike throughout the Upstate and Western North Carolina? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Hiking to find that perfect trail to spend the day!

Central North Carolina

For those who love to explore and travel, North Carolina offer the central region with big cities and lots to do. The Central region of North Carolina includes cities such as Charlotte and Concord. With big cities comes lots of adventures to behold! Below you will find organized content that will help you plan the perfect trip to the Queen City and cities surrounding the Charlotte Metro area, including places to eat, things to do, and awesome places to stay.

Charlotte / Concord

The Queen City is the largest city in North Carolina. With excellent dining experiences, sporting events, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and one of the largest amusement parks on the east coast, Charlotte is a world-renowned destination. There are also epic places like the U.S. National Whitewater Center to take your older kids for an amazing day trip!

You will find tons of information in our Ultimate Guide to Charlotte, as well as reviews of Charlotte and Concord area adventures below.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Charlotte, North Carolina, with things to do, places to eat, and more!

View of the racetrack at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Gastonia, North Carolina is just south of Charlotte and offers a great day trip destination for those looking to get away for a few hours without burning through an entire tank of gas. Check out our list of Top 10 Things to do in Gastonia, NC, and find reviews of a natural history museum in Gastonia that’s worth the trip below.

Dinosaurs at the Schiele Museum

Learn more in our list of the Top 10 Things to Do in Gastonia, NC!

Coastal North Carolina

When you are looking to travel, North Carolina has beaches galore! Plus, many of the beaches offer excellent things to do, tons of history, and even some unique qualities you may not find anywhere else (I am looking at your Outer Banks).

Surf City

Located near Wilmington on Topsail Island off the coast of North Carolina, Surf City is a quaint and quiet beach town perfect for families with small children. The town is walkable, with small shops and local restaurants to enjoy after a day at the beach. There is even a turtle rehabilitation center you can visit. You can read our review of Surf City, North Carolina to see some of what this beach town has to offer!

View of the Atlantic Ocean from dunes at Surf City, North Carolina.
Surf City, North Carolina

Carolina Beach

Carolina Beach, North Carolina is an excellent option for a family-friendly beach vacation. This beach is less crowded than some other beaches but offers fun entertainment such as an amusement park on the boardwalk. You can read our Carolina Beach review to find some great ideas for dining and entertainment to plan the perfect beach getaway!

The Boardwalk at Carolina Beach, North Carolina.
The Boardwalk at Carolina Beach, North Carolina

Outer Banks

The Outer Banks is absolutely stunning! Located off the northern coast of North Carolina, this 175-mile-long strip of barrier island offers quaint beach towns, humongous sand dunes (including the tallest living sand dune!), wild horses, watersports, historical lighthouses, and so much more!

Plus, Outer Banks beaches are wonderful for an adventure, including the stunning beaches in the Cape Lookout National Seashore on the southern park of the barrier islands.

Check out our review of the Outer Banks, including popular destinations along the island’s coast such as Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hill.

Kite Flying at Jockey’s Ridge State Park

What is your favorite destination in the spectacular state of North Carolina?

SouthEast Travel Guide

Always up for an adventure?

Check out our KA Travel Guide, with dozens of ideas for the best kid-friendly places to visit during your next trip!

Everything You Need to Know for Back to School in Upstate, SC

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Getting ready for “Back to School” in Upstate, South Carolina? We have all the information you need about school start dates, education options, plus places where you can find free school supplies in Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, and Pickens, and back-to-school celebrations for that last bit of summer fun.

Back to School Guide to Greenville, SC

This article includes information on:
Greenville County Schools
Spartanburg County School Districts
Anderson County School Districts
School District of Pickens County
Back-to-School Events

When does public school start?

Greenville County Schools begins classes Tuesday, August 8, 2023
Spartanburg Districts 1 – 7
begin classes Monday, August 14, 2023
Anderson Districts 1 – 5 begin classes Thursday, August 3, 2023
School District of Pickens County begins classes Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Educational Options in the Upstate: If you have questions about your schooling options, this is the place to start. Find summaries and resources for all the public school, private school, virtual school, and homeschool options the Upstate.

Greenville County School District

The Greenville County School District will begin classes on Tuesday, August 8, 2023. The 2023-2024 School Calendar is available on the greenville.k12.sc.us website.

Everything You Need to Know About Greenville County Schools

For more information about public schools in Greenville County, check out our Guide to Greenville County Public Schools!  We have school calendars, menus, registration information, a tutorial for GCS Backpack, and lots more! You’ll want to bookmark this guide.

You can find out more about private schools in our area in our Private School Guide to Greenville.

Find Free School Supplies in Greenville, SC

If you or someone you know needs help purchasing school supplies for this year, don’t miss this list of Events with Free School Supplies. And if you’re not sure what supplies your child needs, check with your child’s school website for a detailed list.

Spartanburg County School Districts 1 – 7

Spartanburg County Schools operate as seven separate districts. Each district starts the 2022-2023 academic year on Monday, August 14, 2023. You can find registration requirements, bus information, and more on each district’s website, which is listed below.

Spartanburg District Sites:

If you want to find more specific information about each district or you are new to Spartanburg and our area schools, please see our Guide to Spartanburg County School Districts.

You can find out more about private schools in our area in our Private School Guide to Spartanburg.

Free School Supplies in Spartanburg, SC

Need help with school supplies? Here’s a list of events where kids can get free school supplies in Spartanburg. If you need to find your child’s school supply list, visit their school’s website.

Anderson County School Districts 1 – 5

Anderson County Schools operate by 5 separate districts. Classes will start on Thursday, August 3, 2023, for all districts for the 2022-2023 academic year. Information about each district’s schedules, bus information, registration, and more can be found on their individual websites.

Free School Supplies in Anderson, SC

Need help finding school supplies in Anderson, SC? Check out our list of free school supply events in the Upstate. You can find a detailed list of school supplies need for your child on their school’s website.

School District of Pickens County

The School District of Pickens County begins classes Tuesday, August 1, 2023. The 2022-2023 academic calendar can be located at https://www.pickens.k12.sc.us along with additional information about registration, bus schedules, specific schools, and much more.

Planning to enroll in a charter school? Pickens County offers several charter schools that can be an alternative to your child’s education. 

Free School Supplies in the Upstate

In need of school supplies in Pickens County? We have a list of dozens of free school supply events throughout the upstate where you can get supplies for your child.

The best places to get school uniforms for your kids.

Looking for school uniforms shouldn’t be hard, right?!

Here’s Kidding Around reader advice on the best places to get school uniforms that will actually fit your kids!

Back to school hacks

Start the school year off well!

See these Back-to-School Hacks from our readers.

Back to School Events in the Upstate

Back to School Blessing Day

Waycross Baptist Church
104 Waycross Church Road, Pelzer
July 23, 2023, 3 to 5 pm
Back to School Blessing Day includes free backpacks, shoes, socks, and underwear for children. Free hot dog plates for everyone, free family food boxes. Children must be present to receive items.

United Way School Tools

Staunton Bridge Community Center, 165 Staunton Bridge Road, Greenville (Main event)
Greer Relief, 202 Victoria Street, Greer (Satellite location)
Simpsonville Activity & Senior Center, 310 Curtis Street, Simpsonville (Satellite location)
July 29, 2023, 10 am to 2 pm
Free school supplies, free food, and opportunities to register for the MillVillage Farms Food Share and other free and low-cost community resources.
United Way School Tools Day

Back to School Picnic and Backpack Giveaway

20 Bell Road, Greenville
Woodruff Road Christian Church
July 29th, 2023, 10 am – 1 pm
Back to School Picnic with free school supplies.

National Night Out Event

Town of Duncan
121 South Spencer Street, Duncan
August 1, 2023, 5 to 8 pm
Duncan National Night Out Event

Free school supplies, hotdogs, hamburgers, birthday cake, and drinks, plus fireworks at dusk!

Back to School Bash

Spartanburg Public Libraries- organized by Custom Graphic Design LLC
151 S Church Street
August 5th, 2023, 12:30 – 3:30 pm
Important! You must RSVP that you need supplies by July 14th, 2023!! To RSVP email CustomGraphicDesigns21@gmail.com.
Back to School Bash event will include food, music, and games, as well as free school supplies.

Countdown to Kindergarten

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate
130 Magnolia Street, Spartanburg 29306
Friday, August 4th, 2023, 6 – 8 pm
This FREE event prepares children and families for an exciting kindergarten year. Geared toward families with children entering 3K, 4K, and Kindergarten, this event gives families an opportunity to connect with an array of community partners focused on student success and childhood development.
Countdown to Kindergarten

Do you know of a back-to-school event we have missed? Let us know so we can add it to our list!

(2023) Where You Can Find Free School Supplies Near Greenville, SC

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Did you know there are a number of community events giving away free school supplies in Upstate, SC? Do you know of a family who needs help purchasing school supplies this year? A new school year is almost upon us. For most families a trip to the store for new supplies is imminent. These events will distribute free back to school supplies, so you have one less thing to worry about this school year!

A recent study revealed that most families of school-age children in the US spend between $500-700 on new school supplies. This amounts to a whopping estimated 80.7 billion dollars! That’s a lot of composition notebooks!

This article includes:
Free School Supplies Events in Greenville, SC
Free School Supplies Events in Spartanburg County
Free School Supplies Events in Anderson County


5 Best Places to Cool Off with a Milkshake in Greenville, SC

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Looking for the best milkshakes in Greenville, SC? Who doesn’t love sipping on these creamy, delicious treats? Finding them is not usually difficult, but we wanted to find out who served up the best milkshakes in Greenville, SC.

Yummy hand-scooped ice cream mixed with milk and possible fruit or other treats will never sound like a bad decision! So round up the kids, hop in the car and head out to enjoy one of these decadent dairy treats – and tell them Kidding Around sent you!

milkshakes greenville sc

Kidding Around Readers Top 5 Picks For Milkshakes In Greenville, SC

  1. The Ice Cream Station in Simpsonville is a favorite with readers. This outdoor shop next to the train tracks downtown has milkshakes, and a fan favorite is their Dole Whip.

Ice Cream Station in Simpsonville. Tasty and affordable!

Amy C

2. Grill Marks is a favorite with readers for not just milkshakes but their juicy burgers too!

Grill Marks is delicious. And their shakes to match are so tasty

Milkshake and chicken wings

3. Pink Mama’s Ice Cream is another fan favorite. Their Travelers Rest location is located next to the Swamp Rabbit Trail and is a great break from walking the trail.

Pink Mama’s Ice Cream! Yummy ice cream and awesome customer service! She ROCKS!

Dawn P

4. Good Karma Ice Cream This is the second year in a row our readers have overwhelmingly mentioned Good Karma! They serve 32 flavors of Hershey’s ice cream – and readers love it!

I get the Instant Karma where they use cold brew coffee instead of milk and then use a coffee based iced cream. They have a couple to chose from. Amazing! And a great excuse as to why I can not share with my kids, haha!


Good Karma is our go-to to get a sweet tooth fix! Lots of Ice cream flavors. They are very creative with their milkshakes and ice cream desserts. Never had something we didn’t like

Nikki Wheeler

5. Cook Out got an overwhelming vote from our readers this year!

There are many locations and ton of options and they are thick and delicious!


Milkshake Honorable Mentions in Greenville, SC

Readers also recommended the following places as their favorites and shared why with us.

Dillard’s Farm in Greer for ice cream made in North Carolina and fresh local peaches (available in the summer).

<div class="listing-testimonial"><p>Dillard’s I’ve cream in Taylor’s/Greer the ice cream is delicious and the staff are very friendly too</p><cite>Nora J</cite></div>

Hunter Farms

Hunter Farms for fresh Strawberry shakes when they are open (which they are now)

Lisa F

The Pickwick Pharmacy

The Pickwick has the best chocolate malts in town!

Kristy R

Kidding Around is always seeking to be your go-to for the best kid-friendly recommendations in Greenville. We’ve discussed the best places for ice cream, snow cones, and much more.

Complete Restaurant Guide to Greenville, SC

Before you head out for milkshakes, why not grab lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants near Greenville, SC?

This article was originally written by Melanie Coblentz and has been updated by the Kidding Around Team.

Take A Drive On The Wild Side At Georgia’s Drive-Thru Wildlife Safari on Lake Hartwell

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If you are looking for a wild adventure that you can enjoy from the comfort and air conditioning of your car, this Drive-Thru Safari in Georgia is the answer. Lake Hartwell Wildlife Safari is a 60+ acre attraction in Hartwell, GA. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your own trip to Hartwell, Georgia’s Lake Hartwell Wildlife Safari.

Lake Hartwell Wildlife Safari

Thank you to Lake Hartwell Wildlife Safari for providing us with complimentary admission for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are those of the writer.


Float Leisurely Down the French Broad River with Zen Tubing

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Looking for a relaxing day tubing on the French Broad River? You will certainly find it at Zen Tubing just south of Asheville, NC! Load up the kids and cooler for a tubing adventure. With two tubing options, you can choose to cruise the river through the River Arts District, or through a more natural setting. We have all the info you need the make the day tubing the French Broad River perfect!

Interested in other things to do in Asheville during your trip? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Things to do in Asheville to plan a wonderful day in “The Land of the Sky”!


9 Spots With Delicious Frozen Cocktails: Greenville, SC

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Here’s a summertime treat for the adults: grown-up frozen beverages in Greenville, SC. If you were a huge fan of slushies, Slurpees, or other frozen drinks as a child; that sensation of drinking down a slurry of flavored ice crystals has a cathartic effect. As an adult, those frozen beverages are often spiked with wine or liquor, and make a great occasional treat after a long week of adulting. 

We set out to find the most delicious frozen beverages in Greenville, SC, and we’re bringing you the top spots to sit down and relax with a frosé or other frozen adult beverage!

Finding A Frosé In Greenville, SC 

I remember like it was yesterday. Someone on social media had posted about a frozen drink on Instagram and it looked amazing. What was this magical drink she spoke of? A frosty beverage of frozen rose and some extra ingredients all swirled together into a marvelous creation, and it was calling my name. 

Sadly, the spot that inspired a love of these occasional treats no longer exists in Greenville. However, the anonymous social media personality and I are now friends in real life, and have had other food-inspired adventures together that include the occasional hunt for a good frosé. 

Finding a frosé in Greenville is a little bit more challenging than in places like Charleston, where they seem to be found all around town. If you’re wondering, “where are all the wine slushies near me,” they do exist in the Upstate. Here’s where you can enjoy a sweet glass of frozen wine even if you aren’t a huge fan of fermented grapes. 

The Juice Box Wine Bar @ Gather GVL

One of the newest residents of Gather GVL making it so that you can enjoy a frosty wine beverage with sushi, a philly cheesesteak, pasta, burgers, or any of the other cuisines that are offered from Gather GVL vendors! They offer a rotating flavor selection that includes flights in case you can’t make up your mind.

Frose from Juice Box at Gather GVL
The Juice Box Wine Bar

City Scape Winery

Where better to find frosé than at Greenville’s very own Wine Vintner? CityScape Winery offers visitors farm-to-table frosé. Food truck Saturdays allow you to relax in a beautiful setting and enjoy the wine slushie made from local grapes. Reservations aren’t required, but space fills up so you can schedule a tasting on the City Scape Winery Website.

The Taphouse @ Vaughn’s Warehouse

Another option that offers a variety of dining options to go with your frosé. Vaughn’s Warehouse has a raw bar, a German restaurant, tacos, and more. You can grab a frosé and then eat from one of the food vendors, giving you tons of options.

They also have live music on the weekends and plenty of room for kids to run around. That will allow you to enjoy this frosty treat in peace. I recently tried the “blue raspberry frosé” from The Taphouse. I don’t know why, but artificially tinted blue drinks always look so refreshing. 

Frozen adult beverages at The TapHouse

Topsoil Kitchen & Market 

If you haven’t been to Topsoil Kitchen & Market yet, this news should seal the deal. They have frosé on top of all the other wonderful things on their farm-to-table menu! Gather up some friends and head to brunch at Topsoil Kitchen & Market, so you can eat from their delicious regularly updated menu and enjoy a grown-up beverage. 

Delicious Frozen Drinks In Greenville, SC

Before there was frosé, there were other frozen cocktails that paved the way. There are places serving up unique frozen drinks in the Upstate that are perfect on a hot and humid day. 

Mercado @ Gather GVL

If you’re a fan of sweet and spicy, then the Mangonada Margarita from Mercado is calling your name. This re-invented Mexican treat is traditionally served as a raspado, or a sno-cone. The addition of tajin chili powder, and a tamarind candy-covered straw is what makes this a true mangonada! They also serve frozen pina coladas, and margaritas daily. 

Tacos and Blah Blah Bla

The Freezing Saucy Sangarita at Tacos and Blah Blah Bla is similar to a drink I first enjoyed at Disney Springs in Orlando. A frozen margarita swirled with sangria is the perfect treat at the end of a long week. Plus you get to eat the delicious tacos from Tacos and Blah Blah Bla, so it’s a win-win. 

Frozen adult beverages in Greenville, SC
Tacos and Blah Blah Bla / Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack

Home Team BBQ

The Home Team BBQ Frozen Irish coffee is Irish in name only, because it’s actually a multicultural iced coffee! If you’ve never had Vietnamese coffee, the Home Team cocktail is the perfect marriage of supercharged Vietnamese coffee and Irish whiskey! 

They also serve a signature frozen drink called “The Game Changer” that includes fruit juices, cream of coconut, nutmeg, and two kinds of rum. I don’t know how to explain the flavor, except for that it’s delicious! If you aren’t sure, ask your server for a sample taste. 

Frozen cocktail, Greenville, SC at Home Team BBQ
Home Team BBQ

More Restaurant with Summer Cocktails: Greenville, SC

Still looking for “frozen drinks near me”? Here are a few more summer cocktail options!

Up on the Roof

250 Riverplace, Greenville

As the name would imply, this rooftop bar in Greenville, SC offers amazing views of the city, along with lots of cocktail options and a full menu.

4 Aces Kitchen and Cocktails

115 Pelham Road Suite 1, Greenville

Cool summer cocktails, Frozé, and lots of other options along with a full menu with everything from oysters to salad and chicken wings.

Complete Restaurant Guide to Greenville, SC

Find more delicious things to eat in Greenville with our huge Guide to Restaurants in Greenville, SC.

Grown-ups' guide to Greenville, SC

It’s the guide you’ve been waiting for.

Adulting in Greenville, SC: The Grown-Ups’ Guide

This article was originally written by Melanie Coblentz and has been updated by the Kidding Around Team.

Rent Musical Instruments From These Music Stores: Greenville, SC

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Have you been searching for instrument rentals from a local music store? Greenville, SC has several where you can rent instruments for your kids. Whether your child is joining an ensemble at school or taking private lessons, renting is a great way to try an instrument. We have compiled a list of places that rent student instruments across the Upstate to help you in your search.

This article includes:
Reasons to Rent Vs. Buy
Music Stores: Greenville, SC and Spartanburg, SC Instrument Rentals


Your Family Guide to the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System

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If the creation of Falls Park was the spark that set Greenville, South Carolina on track to become a beloved hometown and vacation destination to thousands, then it’s the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System that has become the locomotive still pulling us forward today!

We share an overview of the entire trail, including where the trail starts and ends. We will begin at the northern end of the SRT and travel down to the southern tip of Greenville County, learning about some fun things to do along the way!

Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, SC

This article includes:
North End of the SRT
SRT South of Furman University
West Side of Greenville on the SRT
End of the SRT
Itinerary of SRT Links to Do With Kids

The Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System: From Travelers Rest to Laurens County

The old Carolina, Knoxville, and Western Railway line was nicknamed for the large cottontail rabbit that roamed these parts back in the day. Although the tracks have been replaced by a paved trail (and locomotives by runners, walkers, and cyclists), the name stuck.

The 28-mile network of trails stretches from Travelers Rest to downtown Greenville, with additional sections in Lake Conestee Nature Park, Simpsonville, and Fountain Inn. There is even a section that opened in 2023 in Laurens County with the Loop Trail. The Loop Trail is the official starting point of the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail.

There is yet another extension off Laurens Road that rides by Holland Park called the Green Line Extension. It was completed in June 2023 and runs from the Greenville Zoo to Verdea Boulevard. 

It could be that in the future the entire length of the Reedy River will be covered. Then, residents would have a multi-use trail connecting the Upstate to the Saluda River. The SRT project will continue to add trails and extensions, branching from the main trail into the community to increase accessibility and improve commutability throughout Greenville County!

A portion of the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Travelers Rest, SC.

Northern Greenville County: Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System

The trail starts in Travelers Rest (often referred to as “TR”), the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains. What used to be a sleepy mountain town was transformed with the advent of the Trail into a hub for outdoor adventure. Today, TR is a destination in itself, not just a stop on the way to Caesars ​Head and Table Rock.

Local Swamp Rabbit Businesses

The trail system has become so intertwined with the legend of Greenville that dozens of local businesses have jumped on the train; for example, in Travelers Rest you will find the Swamp Rabbit Brewery & Taproom, Swamp Rabbit Inn, Swamp Rabbit Storage, and Swamp Rabbit Tees.

Travelers Rest

For ideas on what to do with a day in TR, check out this sample itinerary that includes parks, restaurants, and shops all within an easy walking radius. If your visit falls on a Saturday, be sure to stop by the TR Farmers Market in Trailblazer Park and check out the kids’ table that features a new activity every week. You can also rent bikes from Sunrift Adventures if you do not have your own, making TR the perfect place to start the SRT.

Furman University

Soon after crossing Roe Ford Rd. (and passing mile marker 26) you’ll reach Furman University. A couple of access points allow visitors to connect to the path that circles Swan Lake, and just before Duncan Chapel Road (about MM27.5), you’ll spot the old rail car that marks the location of a public parking lot and rest stop. Be sure to check out the Kidding Around Furman University article for more on this beautiful campus!

South of Furman University

Just after the intersection of the trail with Sulphur Springs Road, you’ll find Swamp Rabbit Station. There is a pocket park at MM29 with train cars (a boxcar and locomotive) – a perfect stop for those kids who love everything train-related!

Old railroad car at Swamp Rabbit Station off of the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, SC.

Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery

Then push on another two miles to reach the Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery (MM31.5) and the outskirts of downtown Greenville.

Hampton Station Orange Line of the SRT

Once you begin your adventure from the Swamp Rabbit Cafe toward downtown, you can make a pit stop by veering off of the main trail onto the Orange Line of the SRT, and check out Hampton Station. Here you will find restaurants, a coffee shop, some breweries, and even art classes and axe throwing. Learn more about Hampton Station, and why it is a wonderful stop-off point on the SRT, in our KA Guide to Hampton Station.

Downtown Greenville on the SRT

Unity Park

As you pass the Kroc Center and head toward Downtown Greenville, you come to Unity Park, one of the best places to ride the SRT. Here, you can grab food at one of the various places to eat, let your kids play at the immaculate park, hang out in the open fields, or explore the wetland preserve.

The Children’s Garden

Where the Swamp Rabbit Trail turns to pass under South Academy Street, you know you’ve reached the Children’s Garden at Linky Stone Park (MM33.5), a perfect place to stop and rest before entering downtown.

Falls Park to Cancer Survivors Park

After passing through River Street underpass you’ll be right alongside the Reedy River all through Falls Park on the Reedy. There are dozens of adventures waiting for you here with trails leading every which way. Falls Park is a highlight of the trail you won’t want to leave! Regular trail users are pretty familiar with this portion of the SRT, simply because it is one of the best parts.

As you leave Falls Park, you will come across Cancer Survivors Park. Here, there are gorgeous gardens, statues, and memorial sites to take a rest and ponder over.

Learn more about Falls Park and what you can do there during your ride on the SRT.

Falls Park garden on the Reedy River

Greenville Zoo and Cleveland Park 

From Cancer Survivors Park,  it’s just a short ride to Cleveland Park. Cleveland Park is an old favorite; the trail passes Maj. Anderson’s memorial F-86 Saber jet fighter plane (MM35), numerous picnic shelters and playgrounds, and spur trails to the Fernwood Nature Trail and Greenville Zoo. 

Once at the Greenville Zoo, you will find one of Greenville’s most popular children’s playgrounds which is filled with play equipment ranging from swings and monkey bars to slides and other amazing activities that will have your child moving. There are covered shelters with picnic tables within the park.

Green Line Extension

Opened in June 2023, the Green Line Extension was a major addition to the SRT. It connects the Greenville Zoo with Verdae Boulevard! There are plenty of places to stop along the way, including Holland Park, where you can hang out at a brewery, or even explore the aerial ropes course at Flying Rabbit Adventure. 

Flying Rabbit Adventure aerial ropes course in Greenville, SC.

Take the SRT Green Line Extension to Holland Park, where you can do an aerial ropes course at Flying Rabbit Adventure Park!

The Final Stretch of the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System

The continuous trail currently stops just north of Greenville Technical College’s main campus, at South Pleasantburg Drive. It then resumes north of Lake Conestee Nature Park at Parkins Mill and Mauldin Road. There is then another large jump from Conestee to Simpsonville and a final jump to Fountain Inn.

There are suggested connection routes to take you to Conestee. These travel busy thoroughfares and aren’t recommended for younger cyclists. These segmented portions of the Swamp Rabbit Trail will hopefully be connected in the future! They are great for a short bike ride or walk while exploring the family-friendly downtown areas of Simpsonville and Fountain Inn, SC.

Conestee SRT Trail

However, once you reach Conestee you’ll find an oasis of calm. A spur trail within the park connects the trail system to Conestee Park (where the playground and dog park are), while the main trail winds around with the Reedy River to the historic Conestee Mill and dam. Here you’ll find a parking area and kiosk at the trailhead, mile marker 41, and the terminus of the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System.

Simpsonville SRT Trail

The Simpsonville, SC portion of the SRT is another jump from Conestee to the heart of downtown. Here, you can ride from West Trade Street down Main Street Simpsonville for 0.93 miles. You will find dining options, places for a picnic, and more!

Things to do in Simpsonville, SC.

Spend the day in Downtown Simpsonville after riding the local portion of the Swamp Rabbit Trail!

Fountain Inn SRT Trail

The final stretch of the Swamp Rabbit Trail is located in Fountain Inn. It’s a large jump from Simpsonville to Fountain Inn. This portion is best explored when visiting the growing town at the bottom of Greenville County. You will find a 0.87-mile extension of the SRT at 107 Mt. Zion Drive in Fountain Inn.

Loop Trail in Laurens

The official beginning of the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail officially opened in 2023 with the two-mile Loop Trail. The trail is mostly shaded, and will hopefully one day connect to the trails fully into Greenville County as the expansion of the SRT continues!

For more information on the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System, please visit the Greenville County Rec website, where you will also find a detailed trail maps. You can also text swamprabbit to 99000 for alerts about closures, special events, and more. Be courteous while your ride, and follow all road crossings safely. Happy trails!

A itinerary of some of the best places to ride the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail.

Swamp Rabbit Trail Itinerary: Fun Ideas for Using the SRT with Kids

If you are looking to enjoy the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail, but have young children who can only peddle (or be patient) for so long, explore one of these connections between fun places in Greenville County. 

  • Cleveland Park to Linky Stone Park: Downtown Greenville (~ 1.2 miles)
    • Begin at Cleveland Park, explore the monuments, and hang out under the trees as you pass by the gardens at Cancer Survivors Park. Then, cruise by the Medusa tree in Falls Park, and travel past the Liberty Bridge and the Peace Center until you reach Linky Stone Park. Here, you can explore a mini gingerbread-style house with your kids.
  • Downtown Greenville to Travelers Rest (~ 9 miles)
    • Begin in Falls Park, head toward Unity Park, and travel along the SRT past Hampton Station. You can continue on past Furman University, and head to Downtown Travelers Rest for lunch before heading back.
  • Greenville Zoo to Holland Park (~1 mile)
    • Begin at the Greenville Zoo and Cleveland Park and head toward Laurens Road until you reach Holland Park. This is a shorter trip and is great if you have younger kids. Take a pit stop at Holland Park and enjoy some delicious food and maybe a brew or two. This stretch of the SRT is part of the Green Line Connector and continues on toward Verdae Boulevard.

What’s your favorite portion of the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System?

Swamp Rabbit Cafe right off of the Swamp Rabbit Trail

Moving to Greenville, SC?

Learn why the SRT is so iconic in Dan Hamilton’s Guide to the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System!

Heritage Park is the Perfect Park to Visit on a Hot Summer Day

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Looking for a family-friendly way to beat the heat but still enjoy all that Greenville has to offer outdoors? Head out to Heritage Park in Simpsonville, SC, located right off 385 S! There you’ll find tons of room to explore, a shaded playground, a giant picnic shelter, and more. You’re sure to love it!

Discover Heritage Park

I was simply thrilled at the amount of shade there was at the playground my daughter and I discovered around 9:30 am Monday morning. It was our first time there so we had to navigate through the “campus” that is Heritage Park!

There is only one main road, so it’s not confusing, it’s just so large! We passed by big fields and walking/biking trails, many covered picnic shelters, the Charter Amphitheater, a miniature train station and then finally saw the playground right before the baseball fields.

See also our list of Playgrounds with Shade in Greenville

Safety is always at the top of my radar when I’m out alone with my 2-year-old daughter. I immediately felt at ease with all the people around and the two policemen on bikes that continuously rode the trails. We probably saw them ride by three times in the hour we were there.

Heritage Park in Simpsonville

About the playground

The playground we found was toddler friendly and low, but had some taller, more challenging parts. The entire playground is fenced in, along with a sidewalk that circles it for parents that want to get in some extra steps while watching kids play. There were also park benches and swings along the perimeter.

See also our list of Fenced-in Playgrounds in Greenville

We felt like we were really surrounded by nature with all the trees and bushes! My daughter spent half as much time exploring, watching squirrels and birds, as she did playing!

The train at Heritage Park

Heritage Park offers a mini replica steam engine available for rides through the park. The ride is about 6 minutes and the train runs Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm and Sundays from 1 pm to 6 pm. The cost is $3 per person (cash or check only- no ATMs on site). Kids 2 and under ride free. But tickets at the train depot.

More amenities at Heritage Park

The park was very clean. There are plenty of trash cans around along with restrooms and a covered area right by the playground. Check out the Heritage Park website for all the events that are held at Heritage Park.

If you are looking for a place to beat the heat but still enjoy the great outdoors, I highly recommend you check out Heritage Park! It is one of the MANY outdoor spaces that Greenville, SC has to offer!

Plan a trip to Heritage Park

861 SE Main Street, Simpsonville
Visit the Heritage Park website.

What is your favorite thing to do at Heritage Park?

This article was originally written by Lauren Lochel. It has been updated by the Kidding Around Team.

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Heritage Park is one of the parks in the 2023 Park Hop passport.

To learn more about how you can earn prizes this summer by visiting local parks read our Ultimate Guide to Park Hop

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We’ve got everything you need to know about all the parks and playgrounds near Greenville, SC in our Ultimate Guide to Parks.