If you’re passing through the Old 96 District, or if you’re only in town briefly for a festival, there’s still so much you can do in Greenwood in 24 hours. Check out all the Things To Do In Greenwood, SC in one day.
For more tips of planning your trip, check out all of our travel posts.
Greenwood, South Carolina is the perfect quaint town tucked in the Old 96 District. It’s filled with restaurants, shops, and is hope to two (really well attended) festivals in June and July.
Maybe you’re coming to Greenwood for the festivals. Or maybe you just need somewhere to get away for the night. Either way, Greenwood has what you need. Especially if you need to see peacocks in the wild or eat hamburger steak.
Yes, I’m serious about both of those things. You can do both in Greenwood, and so much more.
24 Hours In Greenwood, SC
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As with all of our “24 Hours In … ” posts, this is taking you through a full 24-hour day in the town. Of course, you can spread these things out over the course of a weekend or a few days, if you have more time.
In this case, we’re starting at lunch and ending just before lunch.
If you’re heading to Greenwood, SC, you better head there with an empty stomach. There are so many restaurants in Greenwood to choose from. And if you’re only in town for 24 hours, you don’t have that many meals to eat there.
We suggest eating at Break on the Lake (300 Lake Greenwood Boulevard). It’s on Lake Greenwood, but it’s not in Lake Greenwood State Park (we made that mistake when we were planning, so that’s why I bring it up to you).
Break on the Lake looks unassuming when you pull up. You pass some housing developments and enter a large parking lot where the restaurant is. The back, though, is where it’s at. Break on the Lake has a gorgeous outdoor area in the back where you can sit on Adirondack chairs and enjoy the water.
And while you’re looking out at Lake Greenwood, check for boats. There’s a boat dock so boats can pull u, park, and dine at the restaurant.
If it’s hot when you’re there, you can dine inside. And if it’s somewhere in between, there’s an enclosed but open, dining area with fans.
Break on the Lake is our lunch suggestion because from 11 am to 2 pm, you can order off the meat and veggie menu. As it implies, you can choose proteins and vegetables, which you can mix and match to make your meal.
This is a good time to order the area’s famous hamburger steak. So many restaurants in the area have it on the menu, so you’re going to try it at some point during your trip. You might as well get it as your first meal.
If you’re looking for something lighter, the Cobb Salad is delicious and packed with tasty offerings like avocado, hard boiled egg, bacon crumbles, cheese, and more.
Just a quick note: Starting in September, Break on the Lake will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays through March 2023.
Once you’re done with lunch, head to Lake Greenwood State Park. Technically this is in Ninety Six, but there is an entrance for the state park in Greenwood (although that’s not the entrance you want to go in), so we’re allowing this stretch.
There is an admission to get into Lake Greenwood State Park (302 State Park Rd; Ninety Six), but once you’re there, everything inside is free.
You can walk off your lunch through one of the state park’s hiking trails, go swimming, play on the playground, have a picnic, or check out the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum that’s in the state park’s welcome center.
If you have a finishing permit for South Carolina, you can go fishing in the state park.
We actually have a full post about all the Free Things To Do In Lake Greenwood State Park, so be sure to check that out to help you plan your time there.
Emerald Farm (409 Emerald Farm Rd) is a short drive from Lake Greenwood State Park and is definitely worth checking out, if you’re going on a cooler day, that is.
The working goat farm, which is free to visit, is home to a few dozen goats. You can walk onto the property and check them out (from afar). When it’s hot, though, the goats are hot and will hide in their shelter, making it near impossible to see them.
But, the peacocks don’t hide during the heat. They roam freely, no matter what the weather.
They’re mostly ornamental while the goats actually have a purpose. The goat’s milk is gathered to make soap that’s sold on the farm and has been sold by Emerald Farm owner Kathy for over 25 years.
She makes a bunch of soap, including oat soap that’s great for babies with eczema. She tries to make those in fun shaped molds, like trains, that will appeal to young kids.
You can purchase soaps for Christmas, weddings, and more there too. Plus, other homeopathic items like creams for leg cramps and essential oils.
Don’t look for goat cheese, though. Kathy used to sell some back in the day, but she doesn’t anymore. It’s easier to stick to soap. Partially because of the health regulations associated with producing food and partially because of her age (she’s in her late 70’s).
There’s an antique shop and a working train on premises too. Groups are welcome, so you might be there with a bunch of people. Or, you could have them farm all to yourself. It all depends.
The 75-acre farm is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 am to 4 pm.
If you’re with kids, head over to Uptown Market (220 Maxwell Ave). If you’re with kids in the summer, there’s a nice splash pad area and some public restrooms. There’s a covered area with picnic tables, so you can sit there and get some shade while the kids play in the water. Be sure to pack them some dry clothes so you can go straight to dinner because there are tons of restaurants within walking distance of the park.
Uptown Market is actually where the town’s farmer’s market is held on Wednesdays and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.
If you’re not with kids, or it’s too cold for the splash pad, head to the Greenwood Museum (106 Main St) instead.
The museum is three floors filled with hands-on exhibits focused on history, natural history, and science.
The best part of the museum is the price. It’s free! Of course, donations are accepted, but you’re able to explore the museum free of charge. It’s open from Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm.
There are so many restaurants in Greenwood, SC, so you’ll be ale to find something to eat, no matter what you’re hungry for.
If you like pizza and beer, check out The Mill House (237 Maxwell Ave). The restaurant serves craft beers from Good Times Brewing, its sister shop next door. It sells more than just pizza … but its draw is pizza.
For barbecue, try Fat Daddy’s BBQ (115 Hampton Ave). For soul food, Southern Soul on Main (312 Main St) is a one-price buffet.
But, our recommendation is to drive a few minutes to local favorite Miss Ann’s Fried Chicken (1032 Main St S). It’s an establishment in the area that has been around for decades. You can order fried chicken “snacks,” which come with chicken, fries, and a roll. You can change the fries out for onion rings, okra, and more.
If you want seafood, you can get fish, shrimp, or oysters too.
Now. I usually suggest finding some live music somewhere to end the evening because that’s what we like to do. But not in Greenwood. I mean, you can find live music there. But, there’s something better to do at night … head to 25 Drive In Auto Theatre (3109 HWY 25 S).
Yes, Greenwood has a drive in.
Where I grew up in New York, there was a drive in theater about an hour away that we would go to all the time when we were in high school. We just felt so cool, like we were going back in time. The amount of chances to go to a drive in are limited, so you have to go in Greenwood if you’ve never been.
The 25 Drive In Movie Theater is $5 for kids ages 3 to 11 and $10 for people ages 12 and up, which is so much cheaper than heading to a traditional movie theater. But, even better, you get to see two movies for that price. Each of the three screens plays a double feature.
Gates open at 7 pm and movies start at 8:15 pm. During that hour, you can grab a bite to eat at the concession stand, which serves burgers and fries, nachos, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, ice cream, popcorn (of course), and more.
The 77 year old theater does have some rules. Like, you pay for one screen (so you can’t move between the three screens to change movies). You can only play the theater’s radio station, no other stations. And, my personal favorite rule, No. 21: “Take care of business at home, there is no lovers lane.”
We absolutely love Inn on the Square (104 Court Ave E), a boutique hotel located in the center of town. We were hosted here for a night when we went to Greenwood earlier this summer.
There are a bunch of rooms at Inn on the Square, but if you get a chance to stay in The Studios @118 rooms, we highly recommend booking them. The studios are large, the bathroom is gorgeous, and you’ll get really great night’s sleep in the room’s comfy bed.
But, here’s what’s cool about them. They used to be a condemned laundromat that was situated behind the Inn. So the owners bought it and gutted it. But, Jim McGuinness, one of the owners, had some foresight. He saved all the copper pipes from the laundromat to create the stunning centerpiece in the hotel’s lobby.
But his vision didn’t stop there. When the owners decided to knock down part of a wall in the lobby to create a window from the lobby into the dining area, Jim decided to save those bricks and turn them into a gorgeous waterfall feature at the back entrance of the hotel.
If you’re here in June or July, the Inn is the perfect place to stay because it’s catty-corned to the area in Uptown Greenwood, which is host to the Festival of Flowers and the SC Festival of Discovery, which is a great barbecue and blues festival.
The Inn On The Square has a great breakfast for guests, and you know I’m a fan of a hotel that offers a complementary breakfast. The Inn On The Square has a full menu of breakfast items, like bacon, fruit, and pancakes. You can order up to four, plus beverages, and that’s included with your stay.
Saving money on food, like this, with the hotel’s breakfast that’s included in your room rate, is one of my favorite suggestions for stretching your vacation budget. If you’re not spending on breakfast, you can spend that money somewhere else.
If you’re visiting Monday through Friday, head over to the Benjamin Mays Historic Site (229 N Hospital St) on the way out of town. It’s free to tour the historical site, which features Mays’ home, which was transplanted from Epworth (in Greenwood County) to Greenwood, a museum and theater, and a Burns Springs one-room African-American schoolhouse (also transplanted from Epworth).
Benjamin Mays, if you’ve never heard of him, was historic in the civil rights movement and is credited with laying the intellectual foundations for the movement itself. Mays, who was the dean of religious studies at Howard University and the president of Morehouse College, was known as a mentor. One of his mentees was Martin Luther King, Jr. In fact, Mays gave the eulogy at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s funeral. You can actually read that here.
So if you’re visiting Greenwood during the week, check the site out. It’s open from 9 am to 12:30 pm Monday and Tuesday, then 9 am to 2:30 pm Wednesday to Friday.
If you’re visiting on the weekend, when the site is closed, head over to the The Railroad Historical Center (908 Main St S). It’s open on Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.
There are over a half dozen trains you can check out during the guided tour, which starts at the visitor’s center at 908 South Main Street. The tour is $5 for kids ages 4 to 12, $10 for anyone 13 and older, and free for anyone under 4. The guided tour can last from 25 to 90 minutes, depending on visitors’ requests.
And that’s it. Your 24 Hours In Greenwood, SC are over. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. Or you can. Extend your trip! Or head to the Abbeville, a quintessential Southern town that’s home to the Hogs & Hens BBQ Festival, just a few miles from Greenwood. You do you.
Which of these Things To Do In Greenwood, SC looks most exciting to you? Let us know in the comments.