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

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

Pretty Place Sunrise
Pretty Place Sunrise

Video: Take a Peek at Pretty Place

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 existed 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, schedule permitting, 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.

Need to Know Before You Go

It is imperative that you check the public schedule online before you go. Check it the night before. Check it the morning of. You won’t be able to get it if it is closed for a private event. Find the Pretty Place schedule online here.

Bathrooms: There are no restrooms on site between December 1 and March 15 so plan accordingly. There are port-a-potties other times of the year.

Pretty Place is crazy popular for sunrises. I got there on a Good Friday morning about 15 minutes before sunrise and had to park down the street a half mile and walk to the chapel. Normally, there is no hike as there’s a parking lot next to the chapel. There were probably about 500 people there so be sure to allow plenty of time before sunrise if you need to walk a bit.

Visiting Pretty Place is free of charge but of course, they do accept donations.

No alcohol, pets, or smoking are allowed.

Visitors are asked to be respectful. 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.

Don’t litter. Pick up after yourself. Be a decent human.

Have you been to Pretty Place?

100 YMCA Camp Road, Cleveland, SC
Pretty Place Website
Pretty Place Facebook

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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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