Do you have a kid in Greenville, SC who loves trains? Wondering where you can watch trains near Greenville, SC? Or, maybe you’re looking for a train-themed playground or place to ride a train. We have all that and more! So, get aboard and check out our list of places to have fun with trains.
For more ideas on fun things to do see our list of Things to Do Outside in Greenville.
Watch Trains Go By in Downtown Greer, SC
Due to its proximity to the Inland Port, Greer’s downtown area has several spots to view the numerous train tracks from.
- You can view some tracks from Victor Park. It has a playground, basketball courts & a pop-up “little” library to keep you entertained while you wait to view a train.
- Across the street at Greer City Park, you can view two other train tracks. This area has a playground, swinging benches, and restroom facilities.
- Trade Street in Downtown Greer is another great place to watch trains. The track at the end of the bricked sidewalk, beside the Greer Citizen office, frequently has trains rumbling by. Have a seat on any bench along Trade Street for a great view! There are also several places near Trade Street to grab coffee, ice cream, or lunch while you wait.
Watch Trains and Shipping Containers at the Inland Port
As mentioned above, you can travel up the road on Highway 290 going west, the Inland Port will come into view. This is a great place to watch trains. There is a pullover spot at the intersection of 290 and Biblebrook Drive. From here, you can watch out the window as trains pull in and out of the port. You can also watch shipping containers being moved. A tower rolls back and forth over the train, and a huge claw lifts the crate up and over. Encourage your kids to use their imaginations by thinking of what’s in each crate and where each crate is going.
Watch Trains Go By in Spartanburg
Irwin Avenue Park is located just outside of downtown Spartanburg and is a 14-acre overlooked gem. Only a small street separates the park from train tracks. You’ll have a perfect view of the playground or the picnic shelter.
Learn About Trains, Walk in a Caboose, and See a Model Train in Spartanburg
If you have a train lover in your family, you don’t want to miss a trip to Spartanburg’s Hub City Railroad Museum. There’s so much to do, see, and experience. And because the museum still has 40 trains passing through it daily, you’re bound to see at least one train during your visit. Read more details about visiting the Hub City Railroad Museum.
Ride a Replica Steam Engine Train at Heritage Park in Simpsonville
- Saturdays 10 am – 6 pm & Sundays 1 – 6 pm
- $3 per ticket (kids under 2 years old ride for free with an accompanying adult)
- Weather permitting – Follow the City Of Simpsonville on Facebook for updates on closures
Miniature Train Sets And Where To Find Them Near Greenville
Love watching the model trains travel through cute miniature towns and countryside? They are fun to watch and you can really appreciate the time and energy it took to build some pretty amazing displays. Here are a few places where you can view model train displays.
Model Trains Station at Taylors Mill
Check out multiple displays with running trains of varying gauges. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children (2 and under free). In addition, they offer event space and birthday parties. Near Christmas you’ll also find a Christmas train display.
- Adults – $10 | Seniors (62+) – $8 | Military- $8
- Children (2-12) – $6
- Children Under 2 – FREE
Bonus: Hendersonville, NC Apple Valley Model Railroad
- Head up to Hendersonville and you can view several large displays of model trains both indoor and outdoor at the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club. Admission is totally free but hours are limited to Saturdays and Wednesdays, currently. Check out our review of the Hendersonville, NC Apple Valley Model Railroad.
Bonus: Columbia, SC Associated Model Railroad of Columbia
- Visit AMROC in Columbia, SC. You’ll get to view several model train displays for free on Thursday evenings (except the first Thursday of the month). Kids may even get a change to drive one of the trains and blow the whistle! Its a great opportunity to watch trains and learn about a neat hobby for free! Check out the Kidding Around Columbia review of AMROC.
Places Your Kid Can Play On A Train Near Greenville, SC
- The train track splash pad behind the Lazy Goat near Falls Park is open 8 am – 10 pm from April 1 – October 1. (closed temporarily for repairs)
- The miniature train play structure at Cleveland Park in Greenville. Wander down the Swamp Rabbit Trail, and you’ll find it near the playground at Cleveland Park.
- The Caboose Garden at the SC Botanical Gardens in Clemson.
- Train Car on the Swamp Rabbit Train near Furman.
- Train Car on the Swamp Rabbit Trail at Sulphur Springs Road
Train-Themed Places to Eat Near Greenville
Locations in Easley and Greer have a train-themed interior with a whistle the kids can press.
The Whistle Stop at The American Cafe
Read our list of fun things to do in Travelers Rest including more information about The Whistle Stop!
The Duncan Family Restaurant
While there’s not a train-theme to this restaurant, this establishment that’s located in Duncan is also located right on the train tracks. With a properly timed dinner and a table at the front corner window – it’s like dinner and a show. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the food is good, inexpensive, and kid-friendly! You could grab dinner here after watching trains in Greer or at the Inland Port.
Trains Around The Holidays
As the holidays draw near, so does the season for The Polar Express. Here’s a bunch of places to enjoy trains around the holidays. Some are right in Greenville and some may be as much as a couple hours drive out of town.
The Polar Express at the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad
45 Mitchell Street, Bryson City
Costs vary depending on season and level of ticket: $43-$93 for adults, $29-$69 for children 2-12 years old, $0-$26 for children 0-23 months
The Polar Express at the NC Transportation Museum
1 Samuel Spencer Drive, Spencer
In addition to riding the Polar Express train, you’ll be able to view a miniature train display and enjoy train and holiday crafts and games after the ride.
Costs vary depending on season and level of ticket: $40-$50 for adults, $34-$44 for children 2-12 years old
Options to purchase 2-6 person table tops
Model Trains Station at Taylors Mill
250 Mill Street, Taylors
Near Christmas you’ll find a special model train Christmas display.
Out of Town Trains
South Carolina Railroad Museum
110 Industrial Park Road, Winnsboro
- Distance from Greenville: Approximately 1.5 hours
- Train ride prices vary from First Class, Coach, Caboose, and Open-Air cars.
- Special event include the Pumpkin Patch Express in October, Santa train Saturdays in December, and the Easter Bunny Eggspress runs each Spring. See the website for special times and more information!
Apple Valley Model Railroad Club
650 Maple Street, Hendersonville
- Distance from Greenville: Approximately 1 hour
- Over 2000 feet of train track
- Free admission but donations are accepted
300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane, Blowing Rock
- Distance from Greenville: Approximately 2 hours 45 minutes
- Featuring a 3 mile train adventure, amusement rides, gold panning, and more
- Ticket prices vary by season
- Read Kidding Around’s review of Tweetsie Railroad
North Carolina Arboretum
100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville
- Distance from Greenville: Just over an hour
- Featuring the Rocky Cove Railroad Exhibit
Books For Your Child Who Loves Trains
Here are a couple great books about trains that would be perfect for preschoolers. You can find these books at the Greenville or Spartanburg Library, but they are also books worth adding to your collection!
This list contains Amazon affiliate links.
Freight Train by Donald Crews – This book is perfect for small children and comes in board book format.
Locomotive by Brian Floca – This picture book is a Caldecott Winner.
The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
Where are your favorite places to see the magic and wonder of trains?