This Mountaintop Chapel is One of Greenville’s Most Beautiful Spots

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Maybe you’ve seen stunning photos of this picturesque spot and wondered exactly where it was. Maybe you’ve heard of this place but have never been. Well, we know exactly where it is and have experienced the utter amazement of Pretty Place and are here to tell you all about it.

Pretty Place

The actual name of this chapel is called the Fred W. Symmes Chapel but it goes by the more common name of Pretty Place, which I think everyone can agree is quite fitting. It is on the private property off Camp Greenville, which is owned and operated by the YMCA of Greenville. If you send your child to their summer camp, they’ll get to go here often.

Pretty Place is an open air chapel that overlooks the Carolina Piedmont at 3,200 feet. It’s just one of those places that is difficult to put into words because of the incredible beauty that emits from the mountaintop there.

Camp Greenville has been in existence since 1912 but Pretty Place was built much later, in 1941, thanks to Mr. Fred Symmes. It was renovated in 2012 and 2018.

The inscription on the large beam overlooking the mountains in front of the giant cross is from Psalm 121. This is the full verse with the inscription italicized: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”

Visiting Pretty Place

Camp Greenville graciously lets the light of Pretty Place shine and is open to the public when not otherwise in use, which is most Saturdays and Sundays, especially during warmer weather when it’s wedding season. Go Google “pretty place” and “wedding” and you’ll want to get married there, or go find someone to marry solely to get married at Pretty Place.

Pretty Place is open daylight to dusk and is the perfect place to capture a beautiful sunrise. The roads are typical windy mountain roads to get up there so during the wintertime, it’s important to check the weather before you head out. It’s about an hour from Greenville.

Also, before you go, you need to check the schedule online, which is updated daily and sometimes hourly. Find it online here.

There are no restrooms on site between December 1 and March 15 so plan accordingly. Visiting Pretty Place is free of charge but of course, they do accept donations.

Pretty Place sits about 300 people and is super popular for weddings and memorial services.

For me, the mountains always bring a sense of peace and solitude. It’s no different at Pretty Place. The vast mountains, the breathtaking scenery, the reminder of the chapel as a place of prayer – it’s all peaceful. In that light, visitors are asked to be respectful. No alcohol, pets, or smoking are allowed.

Have you been to Pretty Place?

100 YMCA Camp Road, Cleveland, SC

About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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