We have a question for our lifelong residents of Greenville, South Carolina: how much do you know about your city? We’re not trying to be insulting, but there’s so much to do in Greenville that it’s easy enough to miss a few attractions along the way. To be honest, there are a couple of things on this list that even escaped our notice.
We’ve previously written about the best neighborhoods in Greenville, fun things to do in summer in the Upstate, and much else. This article is about the weird, the cool, and the magical.
Greenville is a truly magical place, and like any magical place, you’re bound to discover new things about your hometown every day.
So, without further ado, here are our Top 7 Hidden Gems in Greenville SC.
#1. Free Mini-Golf!
If you visit McPherson Park—the oldest park in Greenville—you’ll be delighted by its picnic spots, lighted tennis courts, walking paths, and playgrounds. This oasis in the East Park Historic District offers fun for the whole family.
And best of all….wait for it….Free Mini Golf!
Yes, that’s right, McPherson Park in our very own city has a free mini golf course. Just bring a golf ball and putter, and play 18 holes of mini golf for $0 dollars and ¢0.
Talk about your hidden Greenville gems.
#2. Discover New Heights
You have to venture to the North Carolina border to discover this hidden gem atop Sassafras Mountain. For those of you that don’t know, Sassafras Mountain is the highest point in South Carolina.
And what do you do when you have the highest point in South Carolina? You build an observation tower there naturally. Completed in 2019, the Sassafras Tower appears to be constructed from natural stone and sits right on top of the line dividing the Palmetto and Tar Heel State.
Sassafras Tower has a compass etched into the ground, so you can walk from state to state while atop the structure. At 11 feet above the mountain’s highest point, the Sassafras Tower allows you to marvel at the natural beauty of our mountainous region.
#3. Let Your Freak Flag Fly
We want to promote all Greenville businesses, but if we did, we’d be here all night. Artifacts Greenville is an antique store in Sans Souci, right outside of Greenville whose Director of Human Resources is Camilla the chicken. Lest you think that this is some kind of publicity stunt, we want you to know that Camilla is treated better than most human resource directors.
Camilla and her two chicken companions occupy the residence in the picture to your left, a Greek Revival Chicken Coop that represents luxury Greenville living at its finest—at least if you’re a chicken.
#4. Stargazing, Anyone?
We love, love, love the Roper Mountain Science Center. At the Charles E. Daniel Observatory, you will find a 23-foot refractor telescope, the eighth largest of its kind in the United States.
The Great Refractor, as it’s known, has made a long trek to arrive at its current home on Roper Mountain. Originally constructed at Princeton University in 1882, the U.S. Naval Observatory gifted it to the School District of Greenville in 1978.
It has been lighting up the night sky for school children ever since.
#5. Take a Spin Around the Lake
You know that Greenville is known for its majestic mountains, but our lakes are nothing to sneeze at either. Lake Jocassee, nestled in the corner of the Upstate, is a great place to take out your kayak or canoe for a peaceful summer jaunt.
If you’re a fan of water excursions, Greenville has plenty to offer. Fun fact: before Lake Jocassee was created in 1973, there were several manmade structures on the property. One appeared in the movie Deliverance. So, enjoy the lake, but keep your ears peeled for the twang of banjos y’all.
#6. Say It Ain’t So, Joe
Who is the greatest baseball player who ever played the game? Babe Ruth? Barry Bonds? What about Shoeless Joe Jackson with his career .356 average?
In downtown Greenville, you’ll find the Shoeless Joe Jackson museum at the site of his former residence. Shoeless Joe became infamous after his White Sox team— dubbed the “Black Sox”—threw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in 1919, and he was forced to quit baseball.
Whether Shoeless Joe actually took the money and intentionally lost the World Series is a matter of historical debate.
Do you know Shoeless Joe’s average during the 1919 Series?
.375. Hmmm…it certainly doesn’t seem like he was trying to lose.
Maybe this Upstate native deserves all our honors and appreciation after all?
#7. Greenville’s Haunted Playground
When Greenville opened Herdklotz Park in 2007, they built it on the site of Greenville’s old tuberculosis sanatorium that operated until the 1950s. Parts of that building still remain intact.
You may not believe in ghosts, but many Greenvillians swear that something is different about the afternoon shadows at Herdklotz Park. While other cities have their cemeteries and haunted houses, Greenville, SC is one of the few with a haunted playground.
Discover More Cool, Weird and Wacky Places with Wilson Associates
At Wilson Associates, we love everything about our city. From the fun to the weird to the wacky, ask our realtors about everything Greenville has to offer.
Give us a call at 864.640.8700 or send us a message!