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Archive for the ‘Visiting Greenville’ Category

Visiting Furman University: Where to Stay, Things to Do and Where to Dine

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Are you planning on a visit to Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina? Whether you are visiting your Furman University student or checking out the university as a prospective student, we have some information to help your family enjoy the area. In this guide you will find suggestions for restaurants near Furman University, things to do in the area, and even where to stay near Furman University.

Planning a visit to Greenville? Be sure to check out our comprehensive Guide to Visiting Greenville, SC!


20+ Greenville, SC Tours You Don’t Want to Miss

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Looking to explore the Upstate? Why not go on one of the many tours in Greenville, SC? Learn about the history and architecture of Greenville. Ignite your taste buds and inner foodie by going on a culinary tour. Explore the mountains, trails, and waters through a nature tour. There’s something for everyone. And because there are so many Greenville tours, we’ve rounded up some of the best for you… all in one place.

Greenville, SC Tours

History Tours

Greenville History Tours

Greenville History Tours offers a variety of historic tours.

West End Walking Tour begins at Falls Park and explores Greenville’s West End, including the ruins of an 1816 grist mill, Huguenot Mill, Riverplace, and more.

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Cost: $18 for 11 years and older and $9 for 10 years old and younger

Historic Neighborhood Architecture explores the different neighborhoods in downtown Greenville, including the current downtown condos, Pettigru, Augusta Road, Mills Mill village, and more.

  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Cost: $25 for all ages

Greenville Driving Tour is a great way to experience more of Greenville. This is a great option for those looking to relocate to Greenville!

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Cost: $20 per person in a Greenville History Tour-supplied 15-passenger van

A Photographic Journey of Old Greenville allows you to look at Greenville’s evolution through photos, maps, drawings, and paintings as you ride in a 13-passenger van. You’ll be able to see the changes from the vantage point of of where they were taken.

  • Duration: 1-1.5 hours
  • Cost: $20

Get Acquainted with Greenville Main Street Tour and Meet Up is a great way to learn about the essential stories and history of Main Street and how it became what it is today.

  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Cost: $18 for adults 

Textile Mill & Village Tour: Early Years takes you on a driving tour through 8 of the mills that helped make Greenville so renowned for its textile mills.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Cost: $29 for adults

Greer, SC History

Learn about the former residents of Greer, SC- some who may have never left- on the Greer Ghost tour. Several tours are offered near Halloween annually.

Greenville Foodie Tours

Chef's Table tour
At the Chef’s Table Tour

Greenville History Tours Culinary Options

Greenville History Tours offers several different culinary and foodie tours.

Greenville BBQ Trail Tour takes you on a drive to visit (and taste) some of the best BBQ around! Locations visited include Bucky’s Bar-B-Q, Henry’s Smokehouse, and Mike & Jeff’s BBQ.

At the Chef’s Table (Tuesday and Saturday) is one of the more popular food tours and takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These are walking tours where you get to taste food from some of the best restaurants in Greenville, talk to the chef, and learn about drink pairings. The Tuesday night version usually includes Nose Dive, Soby’s, The Lazy Goat, and Spill the Beans. The Saturday night version usually includes Nose Dive, Soby’s, CAMP, and The Lazy Goat.

The Carolina Countryside Tour allows you to drive through the upstate on a Sunday afternoon, exploring the beauty of the local farms, vineyards, pioneer homes, mountains, waterfalls, and more. Locations include Aunt Sue’s Country Corner or Hester General Store, Table Rock Tea Farm, Core 450 Restaurant, and three different mountain view overlooks of Table Rock.

  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Cost: $75

Greenville Breakfast Tour is a way to experience breakfast 3 times in one day! Current locations include Southern Pressed Juicery, Biscuit Head, and Papi’s Tacos or Le Petit Croissant.

Greenville Coffee Tour is for the coffee lovers. There are several local roasters and coffee shops, and this tour will take you on tasting and learning experience. The tour includes a rotating choice of three local coffee shops.

New Restaurants of the Upstate helps highlight some of the newer restaurants in Greenville. This tour itinerary changes regularly to keep up with the many new restaurants in Greenville.

  • Duration: 2-2.5 hours
  • Cost: $69

Foothill Foodie Tours

Foothill Foodie Tours offers a variety of food tours in the Upstate.

Thirsty Thursday Tour is a walking tour that allows you to experience new cocktail combinations and carefully paired appetizers. Includes 4 full size cocktails and 4 full size appetizers. Must be 21 years old to attend.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Cost: starts at $89 

Just Desserts is a Saturday-afternoon walking tour to experience some of Greenville’s best desserts. Locations include The Westin Poinsett, Maestro, and Crepe du Jour.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Cost: $65

Date Night Cocktails is a Friday-evening walking tour that’s perfect for date night or a night out with friends. It includes 4 full-sized cocktails and 4 full-sized appetizers. Locations include Sassafras Southern Bistro, Crepe du Jour, and Maestro.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Cost: $89

Craft Cocktail Tour is a Saturday-evening walking tour to four different locations for specialty cocktails and appetizers. The tour begins at Bon Jour on Main and continues to Sassafras Southern Bistro, Scoundrel, and Maestro.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Cost: $89

Breakfast Tour is a Saturday morning walking tour that allows you to experience not one, but THREE full breakfasts! Locations include Spoonbread inside the Westin Poinsett, Bon Jour on Main, and Roost.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Cost: begins at $65

Six & Twenty

Six & Twenty Distillery Tours give you an opportunity to see the science of distilling spirits. They offer both private and public tours.

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Cost: $20-30

Vicario Farm Tours

Vicario Tasting Room and Farm Tours allow you to experience the farm, greenhouse, and processing facility of Renato Vicario and Janette Wesley. Their family operates two farms – one in Italy near Cortona, and one in Greer, behind their micro-distillery! You’ll learn a lot about the science of making liqueur during your tour.

  • Duration: 1.5 hours+
  • Cost: $15 per person

The Brewery Experience

The Brewery Experience offers two Private Brewery Tours in Greenville:

  • Afternoon Delight is a three-stop driving tour that plays off a parody of Forrest Gump. The 12-passenger van will take you to Liability Brewing, Thomas Creek, and The 8th State Brewing Co. Birds Fly South and Carolina Bauernhaus can be included by requests for groups.
    • Duration: 2.5 hours
    • Cost: $64 per person
  • Twilight Tour is a three-stop driving tour that also plays off a parody of Forrest Gump. You’ll ride in a 12-passenger van and visit Tetrad Brewing, Liability, and The 8th State Brewing co. Thomas Creek Brewery, Birds Fly South, and Carolina Bauernhaus are available by request for groups.
    • Duration: 3.5 hours
    • Cost: $64 per person

Family-Focused Tours

Greenville Explorers: Family Tour is a family-friendly tour that allows you to explore downtown Greenville in a fun, educational way. The tour includes a scavenger hunt, a stop a the Mast General Store’s candy area, quick history lessons, and more!

Boar on the World Explorers Tour of Greenville, SC

Read Kidding Around’s Review

World Explorers Downtown Family Tour

Outdoor Nature Tours in Greenville, SC

Jocassee Lake Tours

Jocassee Lake Tours offers a large variety of tours, both public and private, for you to explore all that Jocassee has to offer. Some of their tours include:

  • Lake Tours during the Warm Season
    • Duration: 3-4 hours
    • Cost: starting at $55 for all ages
  • Private Lake Tours during the Warm Season
    • Duration: 3-6 hours
    • Cost: starting at $395 for all ages, up to 12 people per boat
  • Kayak Tours
    • Duration: 6 hours
    • Cost: Starting at $125 per person, ages 10+
  • Private Fishing Tours
    • Duration: 4-6 hours
    • Cost: $395 for the four-hour tour, $595 for the 6 hour tour
  • Sunset Lake Tours
    • Duration: 2 hours
    • Cost: starting at $55 for all ages
  • Full Moon Rising Tour
    • Duration: 2 hours
    • Cost: starting at $55 per person for all ages, but great for adults!
  • Private Sunset Tour
    • Duration: 2 hours
    • Cost: starting at $395 
Lake Jocassee

Kidding Around Loves Lake Jocassee! See why!

Heading to Jocasee with the kids? Here’s your guide to visiting Lake Jocassee with your family.

Paris Mountain Ranger Hikes

Paris Mountain State Park offers guided ranger hikes for families, giving everyone a chance to learn about the animals and insects that inhabit the park.

Ranger hike at Paris Mountain

We did a ranger-guided hike at Paris Mountain and it was awesome!

Find out more in our article on Paris Mountain State Park!

BMW Tour

BMW Glimpse Tour gives you a “glimpse” into the BMW plant process. Tour participants get to see the metal finish area and the paint shop area.

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Cost: $10 for adults (21+), $8 for students 12-20

Segway Tours

Greenville Segway Tours offers several different options:

  • West End & Falls Park Segway Tours lets you ride through downtown Greenville, the West End, and Falls Park.
    • Duration: 1.5-2 hours
    • Cost: starting at $69
  • Haunted Segway Tour explores the haunted walkways of Springwood Cemetery and various other haunted locations along the Reedy River.
    • Duration: 1.5 hours
    • Cost: starting at $70
  • Taste & Glide Segway Tour lets you experience some of thes best places to grab a bite to eat in downtown Greenville.
    • Duration: 2.5 hours
    • Cost: starting at $80

Swamp Rabbit Trail Tours

Reedy Rides

Reedy Rides offers a few bike tours along the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

Swamp Rabbit Trail Tour goes from downtown Greenville to the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Cost: $65 per person

Swamp Rabbit Trail to Furman University Bike Tour lets you explore the Swamp Rabbit Trail from downtown Greenville all the way to Furman University.

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Cost: $90 per person

Swamp Rabbit Trail to Travelers Rest Bike Tour uses electric assist bikes to get you from downtown Greenville to Travelers Rest, where you’ll grab a quick bite to eat before heading back to Greenville.

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Cost: $105 per person
Furman University along Swamp Rabbit Trail

Here’s your guide to the entire Swamp Rabbit Trail.

What tour are you going to experience next?

Are you visiting Greenville?
Don’t miss our Visitors Guide to Greenville, SC!

Things to Do in Greenville, SC.

Looking for more things to do in Greenville? Here are 50+ fun things to do with your day!

The Peace Center: Broadway Performances, World-Class Musicians, and Top Tier Comedians

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Have you enjoyed a performance at the Peace Center? Broadway productions are just one of the many events hosted at this stunning theatre in Greenville, SC. The event space regularly hosts comedians, musicians, symphony and ballet performances, and special events.

The Peace Center: Broadway performances, musical acts, and comedian event space in Greenville, South Carolina.

Peace Center Ticket Giveaway: Coco in Concert

Giveaway: Peace Center is bringing Disney Pixar’s Coco in Concert on Tour to their stage October 21st at 6:30 PM. One lucky Kidding Around reader will win 4 FREE TICKETS to the show! Scroll down to enter. Thank you to the Peace Center for sponsoring this giveaway!

One lucky Kidding Around reader will win 4 FREE TICKETS to see Disney Pixar’s Coco in Concert on Tour at the Peace Center. This giveaway runs from October 10 – October 17, 2023, 11:59PM. Scroll down to enter. Good luck!

Disney Pixar’s Coco in Concert on Tour

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Héctor (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Disney and Pixar’s Coco is directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist Monsters University), and produced by Darla K. Anderson (Toy Story 3).

Disney Pixar’s Coco Live-to-Film Concert on Tour features a screening of the complete film with Oscar® and Grammy®-winning composer Michael Giacchino’s musical score performed by the 20-member Orquesta Folclórica Nacional de México. In addition to the original score by Giacchino, Coco also features the Oscar®-winning song “Remember Me” by Oscar®-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and additional songs co-written by Germaine Franco and co-director and screenwriter Adrian Molina.

Showtime: October 21, 2023, 6:30 PM

Giveaway Terms & Conditions

Not only that, but the Peace Center partners with several local art organizations to allow them to present their performances regularly. So, grab your tickets and enrich your life with one of the spectacular shows at the Peace Center!

  • You must be 18 or older and live in the USA to enter this giveaway.
  • You must use a valid email address to enter this giveaway.
  • We will contact the winner via the email address provided on October 18, 2023. The winner will have 24 hours to respond via email. If the winner does not respond within 24 hours, the prize will be forfeited and another winner chosen. Directions for claiming the prize will be given via email. A valid photo ID and/or mailing address may be required.
  • One entry per person per day.
  • For a complete list of Kidding Around Greenville SC’s giveaway policies and terms and conditions, see the Kidding Around Greenville SC policy page. By entering this giveaway, you agree to comply with Kidding Around Greenville SC’s terms and conditions.
  • If you have any issues with the giveaway not appearing, try this link. If you still have issues, please email bethany@kiddingaroundgreenville.com .

Types of Events at the Peace Center

The Peace Center currently has three event spaces where you can catch some fabulous theatre productions and musical acts. The Peace Concert Hall usually houses the biggest productions, like Broadway performances and major musical acts. You will find more intimate performances and special events in the Gunther Theatre adjacent to the main hall.  

The Peace Center also has an outdoor performance space right on the Reedy River, the Peace Pavillion. There, you can boogie to the White Claw summer concert series and other special events. Occasionally throughout the year, you will find speakers and Peace Talk events in the Ramsaur Studio.

WICKED at the Peace Center in Greenville, SC
WICKED at the Peace Center

Peace Center Broadway Productions 2023-2024

It is pretty hard to make it to New York City to see a Broadway production, especially when you have kids. No worries, because the Peace Center hosts several Broadway performances each year, many of which are Tony Award-winning productions! 

These showings make an excellent date night or even go by yourself for some quality alone time. All of the shows are highly technical and have all the glitz, spectacular set design, and highly acclaimed actors and actresses that you would find on Broadway.

The Peace Center Broadway 2023-2024 season includes:

Performance held at the Peace Center in Greenville, SC.

Concerts, Comedians, Ballet, and More!

The Peace Center hosts some of the world’s most popular and iconic musicians and comedians throughout the year. The larger performances are usually held in the Peace Concert Hall. This event space has three levels, including the orchestra, the founder’s circle (the first piece of the balcony), and the third balcony. 

The acoustics are some of the best around, everything sounds better there because of the fabulous architectural design. Seating at the event space is comfortable, so the enjoyment is elevated. 

You can find information on the upcoming events at the Peace Center, including seating chart information, on their webpage to help you choose the best seats for your next night out.

If you are a classical music or jazz lover, then you will find some of the best symphony performances at The Gunter Theatre and the Peace Concert Hall throughout the year! They even have keynote speakers and special symphony events like Harry Potter and the Sorcerors Stone in Concert.

You can also watch spectacular ballet productions, including annual performances of The Nutcracker by the International Ballet each winter. These performances are stunning, and a wonderful way to get your children interested in performance arts.

Peace Pavilion White Claw Concert Series

Enjoy live music right on the Reedy River at the Peace Center’s White Claw Concerts at the Peace Pavilion. These outdoor concerts are pretty popular, so tickets tend to sell out quickly! 

Food purchases from The Wyche can be brought into the venue, so if you’re looking to snack and drink while you listen to excellent music, this is the place! You can also drink alcohol during the White Claw concerts, so be sure to get your 21+ wristbands at The Wyche or the box office before the show begins. 

The seats at this venue are lawn seating, so we recommend bringing blankets, chairs, or seat cushions so that you are comfortable. You can also pay a little extra for Genevieve’s Seating, where you will have access to an air-conditioned lounge, a cash bar, a balcony view of the Reedy River, and private restrooms.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Peace Center is highly accessible and offers various accommodations to make all of its guests comfortable, including wheelchair accessibility, sign language interpreters, and assistive listening. Learn more about additional Performance accessibility on the Peace Center website. 
  • Food and drink are not allowed inside the venue spaces except for the outdoor Peace Pavilion.
  • You are not allowed to take photos inside the concert halls, so keep your cell phones silent and take in the memory! 
  • Some shows are appropriate for children, but that is at the discretion of the parents. The Peace Center does recommend that children 5 and under not attend performances. 
  • Learn more about buying tickets and attending the show on the Peace Center’s information page.
The front entrance of the Peace Center in Downtown Greenville, South Carolina

Dining at Genevieve’s: Restaurant Inside the Peace Center

You can hold a table at Genevieve’s if you would like to have dinner and drinks before the event. This full-service restaurant is a great way to start your date night. The restaurant is open two hours before the event showtime. It is also open between the matinee and evening show during Broadway performances.

There are also several excellent restaurants in the area surrounding the Peace Center. You will find some of the best restaurants in our Guide to Restaurants in Downtown Greenville, including reviews and recommendations based on various criteria.  

Restaurants in Downtown Greenville, South Carolina.

Dining Downtown?

Check out our Guide to Restaurants in Downtown Greenville to make your date night perfect!

Peace Center Tickets

The only way to safely purchase Peace Center tickets for Broadway shows and musical acts is directly through the Peace Center event page or from the box office. If you would like to purchase a subscription package for the Peace Center Broadway productions, you can do that as well. The subscription gives you discounted tickets, premium seating options, and early access if you need additional tickets.

It is best to steer clear of third-party sellers to avoid annoying price hikes and the risk of receiving unusable tickets. 

Learn more about digital ticketing and seating charts on the Peace Center website.

Parking Near the Peace Center

There is free parking along Main Street and crossing side streets. Public parking garages in the area can be found in our KA Guide to Parking in Downtown Greenville. The Poinsett Garage and River Place Garage are two of the closest parking garages to the Peace Center. 

During events, there are several paid parking lots in the vicinity, including directly across the street beside Grill Marks.

Check out our Guide to Parking in Downtown Greenville to find the best places to park (many of which are free nights and weekends).

Parking near the Peace Center in Greenville, SC

Coming by 2030: AMP- The Music Project

By 2030, the Peace Center plans to expand through its AMP project. This expansion is a huge undertaking that is going to transform several buildings around the main theatre, further solidifying Greenville as an art and music epicenter of the SouthEast. 

The expansion will house the Coach Music Factory, a multi-genre music venue in addition to a listening room and lounge, The Mockingbird. The Peace Center plans to renovate several buildings in the process with the AMP vision. Keep an eye out for more information about the 2030 Vision Plan.

Peace Center
300 West Broad Street, Greenville
Box office hours: Monday – Friday: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm

Eden Farms Offers Amazing Trail Rides Overlooking the Mountains near Greenville, SC

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Interested in horseback riding in SC? Trail rides at Eden Farms, just outside Greenville, SC, are available on their sprawling 160-acre farm overlooking the mountains. Kristina took her kids and has all the details.

Thanks to Eden Farms for letting us do a trail ride so we could write the review!

I’ll take any chance to get close to the beautiful mountains surrounding Greenville and if it involves horseback riding, even better. This is exactly what Eden Farms in Marietta, SC offers to anyone who wants to enjoy their gentle horses, the sprawling farm, and the shaded trails.

Eden Farms

About Eden Farms: SC Equestrian Center

Eden Farms, founded in 2001, is family-owned and operated. They have several pastures, three arenas (one of them is covered), and 160 acres of land with views of Table Rock, Caesars Head, and Paris Mountain. You can even catch a view of downtown Greenville on one of the trails. 

They are perhaps most well-known for their horse therapy program, Happy Hooves, a nonprofit Therapeutic Equestrian Center that serves people with special needs of all ages and abilities. Since the nonprofit began in 2003, Eden Farms has served thousands of individuals. Happy Hooves Therapeutic Equestrian Center is the only one of its kind in the Upstate and one of five in the state that is a PATH International (formerly NARHA) Premier Accredited Centers. This basically means they have high standards of training and safety. 

Eden Farms also offers birthday parties, camps, trail rides, riding lessons, horse boarding, and homeschool days. Our editor, Bethany, checked out one of their homeschool days in this great video, which includes a tour of the farm, horses, barn, and awesome playground.

Explore on Horseback in Upstate, SC: Trail Rides

I’ve ridden horses before but all in all, I’m still pretty clueless about horses. My kids have only ridden them at events around in a circle. We are all beginners to say the least, which didn’t matter at all when it came time for our trail ride at Eden Farms. 

As soon as we got there, Becky, the owner, and her team made us all feel welcome and encouraged. Once I signed all the release forms (which you can do online beforehand to save time), we were off to meet our horses in the spacious barn. By the way, the barn is gorgeous. It is just so pretty and clean! And all the horses we met were very calm and gentle. You could tell they were happy.

Petting a horse at Eden Farms

When we booked the trail ride, Becky asked our weight and height so she could prepare the correct horses for us. My seven-year-old had a beautiful small horse named Twiggy. My daughter fit on her perfectly. And my oldest daughter at 11-years-old rode Hannah Eve, a gorgeous quarter horse. My horse, Rebekah, was a Belgian. She was huge but very gentle. I immediately could relate to this horse as she loved to eat while we were riding. 

Once we got our helmets on and were introduced to our horses, we were taken out to one of the arenas to mount our horses from a wooden stand, which made it really easy. And then we rode around the arena for a few minutes while Becky and our guide instructed us on how to turn, stop, and go on our horses. It was really easy. And then we were off to the trail. 

Meandering Through the Forest

My two kids each had their own guide walking alongside them as is the standard at Eden Farms. Kids ages 7-12 can ride but do have a guide with them for safety. I had never seen this before on previous trail rides when I was much younger but it made me feel very safe and secure to have them with my kids even though they were right in front of me. I was pulling up the rear with Rebekah and got to see the joy my kids felt while riding the horses. It was awesome. 

The trail we were on was about a mile long and runs through the back of the farm on a dirt path and then up into the nicely shaded woods. But on our way up there, we were treated to beautiful views of Table Rock, Caesars Head, and Paris Mountain. It was just so peaceful. Like I mentioned in the beginning, mountains make me so happy. Seeing them is very calming for me and being able to ride such a sweet and gentle horse while watching my kids enjoy something so thoroughly was very special. 

Trail Ride at Eden Farms

To give the best experience to their guests, Eden Farms only takes out four people at a time on trail rides. Based on my previous trail riding experiences, I had expectations of what it would be like at Eden Farms but it was so much better than what I had imagined. Becky and her team were so attentive and patient and answered all our questions while encouraging us in our handling of the horses. The horses were so well-behaved and gentle. I never felt unsafe or unsteady and really loved the experience. My youngest wanted to know how to trot by the time we were done and now she’s begging me to send her to summer camp there while my other daughter is already planning her birthday party at Eden Farms. It’s definitely a fun and welcoming place. 

Booking Your Own Trail Ride 

Eden Farms runs trail rides Monday – Saturday by appointment. Over the summer, trail rides go out at 8 am because of the heat. Make it a day trip and head to Table Rock State Park to jump in some waterfalls or hit up a nearby sandy mountain beach. During other seasons, rides are in the morning and early afternoon.

Give Eden Farms a call to schedule a trail ride at 864.898.0043. Kids are welcome and those ages 7-12 will have a guide walking with them on the trail but they will be the ones to control the reins. Kids need to be at least seven years old and riders must be under 225 pounds. 

Eden Farms trail ride

This would make an awesome date activity with your significant other or your kid(s). It’s a fun special occasion activity or just something enjoyable to do with your friends or family visiting as well. 

Trail rides are about an hour long and include a safety lesson and helmet. They are $80/person. 

Eden Farms
4700 Dacusville Highway, Marietta

Brushing a horse at Eden Farms

Learn More About
Eden Farms & Happy Hooves!

Why Travel When You Can Plan A Staycation in Greenville, SC?!

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It happens every year. You survive the South Carolina winter, which likely includes a little snow, many cold and damp days, and even a few 60+ degree days thrown into the mix. The key here is: you made it through and spring is in the very near future!

If you’re like me, with kids in Greenville County Schools (GCS), spring includes the much loved and desperately needed Spring Break. That glorious week off of school for the kids and, hopefully, off work for the parents. What do we do?

  • Leave town.
  • Head to the beach.
  • Go west to snow ski.
  • Fly to a remote tropical island.
Faulkner Canva Photo

The options are endless! Like so many GCS families, my family typically travels for Spring Break. What makes my family unique is that every year I hear my husband grumble about how he hates winter but also isn’t a fan of the summer heat and humidity. And yet, we LEAVE town for Spring Break during his favorite season of the year.

I get it. I really do. But, let’s be honest, I’m not giving up an annual trip during Spring Break! As a result, we’ve become big fans of staycations . . . right here in the Upstate! What’s not to love? A staycation is quick, easy to plan and full of great options close to home!

If you’ve considered a staycation or are just now realizing it’s a viable option, read on. I’m sharing some of my family’s favorite staycations as well as ideas and pointers for planning your own!

A Staycation Close to Home: Downtown Greenville

Everyone loves downtown Greenville, my family included. But let’s face it, even though we are only 20 minutes away, we don’t visit downtown very often. As a result, we love staying overnight “in the city” and having plenty of uninterrupted time to check out many of the fun things to do in the area. The options are endless for a staycation in downtown Greenville. Here are a few possibilities!

Where to Stay

Clearly, not the most important element of the staycation concept—however, since the word starts with STAY, so will we!

As a loyal Marriott family, we really love the Springhill Suites on Washington Street. It sits across the street from Fireforge, one of our favorite breweries in the area, and is very close to everything on Main Street.

There are so many hotel options in downtown Greenville that you can literally pick your hotel based on which part of downtown you want to be closest to, which loyalty program you’ve pledged your undying love to, or what amenities they offer. Embassy Suites Downtown Riverplace offers a rooftop bar. AC Hotel is new and super fun with multiple places to eat or drink inside the hotel, plus it’s surrounded by all the new development where Greenville News used to sit. If you prefer the west side of downtown, there are several smaller, boutique hotels out that way too.

What to do

Talk about a loaded question! The options are truly endless.

Downtown Greenville offers one of the best Saturday morning farmers markets in the area! Happening every Saturday morning from May through October, this is your chance to walk down Main Street without dodging cars, while you shop for flowers, fruits and vegetables, fresh baked bread, handmade soap and so much more! Even though this doesn’t run during Spring Break—be sure to mark your calendars for May!

Rent bikes and hit the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Reedy Rides is right downtown and can hook your whole family up with bikes. Head north past Furman University and into Travelers Rest. Or head south to Cleveland Park. Stop by Cancer Survivors Park or Linky Stone Park along your way! So many options.

Visit Falls Park. This alone could occupy hours of your time. Walk across the bridge, explore the gardens, and venture a bit further to the galleries. You could even have a meal or snack at Passerelle while enjoying the park from above.

Find the mice in downtown Greenville! Whether your kids have never done it or done it a thousand times, the Mice on Main scavenger hunt is truly iconic and a must-do for families when visiting downtown Greenville!

Take in a baseball game. The Greenville Drive stadium sits right in the west end of downtown and makes for a fun spring afternoon destination!

Go for a hike. If you’re not quite ready to head home after checking out the last morning, sneaking in a short hike may be exactly what you need. Paris Mountain and Conestee Nature Preserve are two great options not too far from downtown.

Is the weather not-so-great? No problem! Downtown Greenville has some pretty cool places to hang out indoors too.

Get your game on at Group Therapy. This indoor fun zone offers something for everyone, including ping pong, mini golf and more! Keep in mind, Group Therapy is adults only after 7 pm. Sorry kids!

Walk and shop. Not gonna lie, this is how my family tends to spend a good chunk of our time when we staycation in downtown Greenville. My goal is to walk from one end of town to the other, then back. Stopping wherever we want along the way, we check out hotel lobbies and rooftops, boutiques, kitchen stores, antique shops and, of course, the Mast General Store.

Downtown Greenville has several breweries the whole family can enjoy. When you think brewery, you may think adult-only but you are wrong! Breweries typically offer amazing outdoor spaces, giant TVs, games, great food, and yes, beer. My family has loved Fireforge for years, though recently we’ve been known to enjoy some hot chicken and foosball at Yee-Haw Brewing Company!

Don’t Forget the Nearby Cute Downtowns

Downtown Greenville is certainly not the only option for a staycation in a cute downtown without traveling too far from home. Downtown Greer is one of the cutest downtowns in the area, has a new hotel in the midst of it all, a giant park you can walk to and so many cool festivals. Downtown Simpsonville and Downtown Fountain Inn are two more good choices for a fun staycation as there are plenty of things to do, places to eat, etc.

A Staycation Down the Road: Downtown Spartanburg

Did you know that before Gather came to Greenville, downtown Spartanburg had Fr8yard? Yep, it’s true. Downtown Spartanburg is another great option for a fun overnight trip with the family. Tons to do, lots of places to eat, a scavenger hunt of their own and so much more!

Where to Stay

You know what else downtown Spartanburg had before downtown Greenville? The AC Hotel. This Spartanburg hotel sits right downtown, is walkable to everything and offers rooftop dining at Level 10. This AC Hotel has an outdoor pool and you can even bring your pooch! The area also has other large hotel options as well, like Spartanburg Marriott, and several smaller boutique type inns as well.

What to Do

There is certainly no shortage of things to do in downtown Spartanburg! My family has loved Fr8yard for years! It’s South Carolina’s first open air biergarten. Don’t be fooled, it offers way more than beer. Great food, live music, games and tons of space to hang out and have fun with your people.

Visit a super cool park. If you’re visiting downtown Spartanburg with kids, be sure to check out the park situated in the heart of it all. Even my “I’m too old for a playground” kid loved Play on Main, which is actually a school playground but open to the public when school isn’t in session.

Experience Lighten Up Spartanburg. The art scene is legit and another fun way to explore downtown Spartanburg. We love strolling the streets of downtown Spartanburg and finding the lightbulbs. Not familiar with Lighten Up Spartanburg? You should be! Over 20 life size fiberglass lightbulbs can be found throughout downtown Spartanburg and the surrounding areas. Finding and photographing these lightbulbs is something my family loves to do each and every time we visit downtown Spartanburg. Heck, maybe finding ALL the lightbulbs should go on my personal 2023 bucket list!

Visit a street festival. Perhaps you should plan a Spartanburg staycation around one of the city’s popular street festivals! Hubs City Hog Fest, Cribbs Burger Fest and Spring Fling are all happening in downtown Spartanburg this spring.

A Staycation a Stone’s Throw Away: Downtown Asheville

Close enough for a quick overnight but not exactly a staycation, downtown Asheville is another favorite destination for my family. Here you will find lots of fun things to do, great food, cool hotels, and even a pinball museum, all with a beautiful mountain backdrop.

In the past we have stayed at Renaissance Asheville Downtown but next time, may check out the AC Hotel. Like the AC hotels in Greenville and Spartanburg, the AC Hotel Asheville also has a rooftop dining option, tapas style Capella on 9. And unlike the South Carolina hotels, this rooftop venue offers some amazing mountain views to enjoy as you sip a glass of wine.

Another great aspect of a semi-staycation in Asheville is proximity to so many outdoor activities like hiking or whitewater rafting. And don’t forget about the beloved Biltmore Estate right outside of downtown Asheville. If you plan it right, you could enjoy a staycation in Asheville capped off with a trip to Biltmore Blooms; Biltmore’s annual flower extravaganza! Perhaps a staycation in Asheville calls for a whole weekend to truly enjoy this mountain city and even a small portion of what it has to offer. Not too bad for only a hour or so drive from home!

Plan Your Own Staycation

Next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and your kids over-scheduled, consider an escape in your own backyard! When life gets crazy, a staycation is a great way to bring your family back together while having a lot of fun and making memories!

As you plan your own staycation, be sure to keep the following in mind:

  • You don’t have to travel far.
  • Make it a surprise!
  • Many hotels will even let you bring your dog.
  • Wrap up your staycation with an activity the next day.

As the years go by and kids grow up, I find myself counting down the years until my oldest daughter (now 14) heads off to college. I get a little knot in my stomach as I realize the clock is ticking! Truthfully, hanging with her boring mom, embarrassing dad and annoying little sister isn’t always at the top of the to-do list for my teenager. This is another reason my family has really embraced the staycation concept!

No weeks of planning. No friends with us. No hours on electronic devices. It’s just our family together for 24-48 hours and pure togetherness as we walk, explore, play and eat. It’s all about the memories we make! We have made some good ones on our staycations and look forward to making some more.

I hope you found this piece helpful in planning a fun staycation for your own family!

Contact Elizabeth Faulkner

Elizabeth Faulkner

Read more about Elizabeth Faulkner on Kidding Around.



Things to Do When Visiting Greenville, SC

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Looking for some fun things to do when you visit Greenville, SC? There are so many opportunities for memories to be made… from visiting museums to hiking to chasing waterfalls to bike riding to letting your inner foodie enjoy bites throughout town to taking a stroll down Main Street… you are bound to find something for everyone in the family to enjoy. To make planning your trip to Greenville a little easier, we’ve rounded up a list of things for you to do while you’re here.


Guide to Parking in Downtown Greenville, SC

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A comprehensive guide to kid-friendly parking in Downtown Greenville, South Carolina for travelers and locals!

Not a fan of parking in Downtown Greenville? You might find yourself thinking, “I love to go downtown, but parking is a nightmare! The traffic, the congestion, the price…it’s not worth it!” But Greenville’s downtown is pretty fantastic and there is plenty of parking in Greenville if you know where to look. To help you out here’s Kidding Around Greenville’s Guide to Parking in Downtown Greenville.

Parking near the Peace Center in Greenville, SC

This article includes:
Parking Garages Near Me: Pay to Park Garages in Greenville, SC
Free Parking in Greenville, SC
Holiday Free Parking in Greenville, SC
Night Owl Monthly Parking Pass in Greenville, SC


Learn about Greenville, SC, and Get Some Sweet Treats on this Downtown Greenville Family Tour

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Have you heard of World Explorers? Their family tours of Greenville, with its rich history and lovely downtown, are great for visitors and locals. And it’s family-friendly! We will give you a first-hand look at what to expect on the tour, and maybe you’ll collect some luck rubbing the nose of the Lucky Boar! Thanks to World Explorers for inviting us to review their downtown Greenville tour.

Tours of Downtown Greenville with World Explorers

I’ve lived in Greenville for eight years and I’m still learning so much about our beautiful city, its history, and its landmarks. Learning about Greenville never gets old, especially when you get to tour downtown with an expert from World Explorers like we did. The tour is especially geared towards families so don’t be afraid to bring all the kids because there are a lot of treats along the way for them. 

Before I tell you about our neat experience, let me say that I wish this tour had been around when I first considered moving to Greenville. I had come twice to check out the city and was kind of bumbling around and just trying to figure things out on my own. This tour would have been amazingly helpful – and fun – to do because not only are you walking along a downtown that has been nationally recognized because of its beauty and businesses, but also because you get to take a couple of hours and just experience the heart of Greenville, ask questions not only to your guide but to the local businesses you visit, and learn about what makes the city so special. 

Statue of Joel Poinsett in Downtown Greenville, South Carolina
Joel Poinsett chillin’ outside M. Judson Booksellers

A Weekend Visit to Greenville, SC: Things to Do for Everyone

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Are you thinking of visiting Greenville and you aren’t sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with several different itineraries depending on your family, traveling party and children’s ages. We have ideas for families with young children, big kids, a couples trip, and more. Let us do all the planning for you so you can just enjoy your time together. 

It’s finally the weekend and you are planning on making a trip to Greenville, SC. Whether you have young children in your family or you’ve managed to find childcare and have a weekend away with your significant other, we’ve got lots of ideas to keep you and your family entertained once you arrive on Friday. Greenville is truly full of parks, events, concerts, restaurants, and trails and quite the destination in and of itself, which makes finding something to do on weekends more of an adventure than a chore.

Kidding Around Greenville has a really helpful calendar on the site of events happening daily, so be sure to make that your first stop when planning your weekend. And then use your imagination, or copy the itineraries listed below and claim them as your own!

This article includes:
Weekend Things to Do: Family With Small Kids Visiting Greenville, SC
Weekend Things to Do: Family With Older Kids Visiting Greenville, SC
A Great Weekend Family Trip to Greenville, SC
Visiting Greenville, SC for a Weekend Couples Retreat
Helpful Links for Visitors to Greenville, SC
Explore the Upstate, SC Area


Vacation Rentals Near Greenville, SC

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Are you looking for a vacation home to rent near Greenville, SC or in the Upstate, South Carolina area? Whether you’re looking for a place to stay for a vacation in Downtown Greenville, or a vacation beside an Upstate mountain lake or river, or for a place to stay when attending a Clemson University game, we have some fabulous vacation homes to rent in our list. These rentals are great for family trips, couples getaways, or time spent with friends.

Through affiliate relationships, Kidding Around earns when you book through these links and codes.

This article includes:
Vacation Rentals Near Downtown Greenville, SC
Vacation Rentals in Greer, SC
Vacation Rentals in Travelers Rest, SC
Vacation Rentals on the Water Near Greenville, SC
Vacation Rentals Near Clemson University
Vacation Rentals in the Mountains Near Greenville, SC

Vacation Rental Homes Near Greenville, SC