Looking for the best things to do in Greenville NC? Welcome to a vibrant city of United States where you’ll find a treasure trove of exciting activities and attractions. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor, Greenville, North Carolina offers a wide range of fun-filled experiences waiting for you.
So, whether you’re planning your weekend, looking for today’s adventure, or seeking adult-oriented things to do in Greenville NC, Greenville NC has something to offer everyone. Let’s dive into the fun and explore the best that Greenville NC has in store for you! Are you ready for an adventure in Greenville North Carolina? Whether you’re coming to visit ECU, catch a Pirates game, or indulge in a day of shopping at the Greenville Mall, we’ve got you covered with exciting things to do in Greenville NC and essential information for your perfect weekend getaway in the Emerald City.
Best things to do in Greenville NC
In this comprehensive guide, we’ve rounded up the 8 best things to do in Greenville.
1. Kayaking on the Tar River
The Tar River, once a vital transportation artery for Greenville during the era of riverboats, has seen a shift in its role over time. With the advent of roadways, the river has reverted to its natural state. Today, it offers an opportunity for flat water kayaking, allowing access to explore the calm backwater cypress swamps.
If you’re considering kayaking on the Tar River, you may want to explore the guided trips offered by Knee Deep Adventures, a reputable outfit in Greenville. Their knowledgeable guides can help you make the most of your experience. Here are a few notable destinations:
- Parker Creek: Located on the map, Parker Creek is an obvious choice for kayaking. It offers a picturesque setting for your adventure.
- Greens Mill Run: Another well-known spot, Greens Mill Run, is a popular choice for kayakers. Its serene waters provide a pleasant paddling experience.
- Unmarked Trail at River Park: For a less conventional but truly rewarding experience, consider exploring the unmarked trail on the east end of River Park. Here, you can encounter ancient cypress trees and even the remnants of a historic riverboat landing.
One aspect that sets Knee Deep Adventures apart is the quality of their equipment. They provide top-notch kayaks and paddling-specific life vests, ensuring your safety and comfort during your journey on the Tar River.
2. Exploring the Greenville Greenways
The Greenville Greenways stand as a testament to the efforts of dedicated citizens striving to enhance their community. This visionary idea was first introduced to the city council in 1985, but it wasn’t until a decade of unwavering commitment that the inaugural greenway, known as The Green Mill Greenway, was completed in 1995. Over the years, this greenway network expanded, stretching along Greens Mill Run and the Tar River until it extended all the way to Town Common Park, covering a distance of approximately 5 miles, connecting the ECU campus to the Greene Street Bridge.
In terms of biking experiences, the Greenville Greenways offer a distinctive charm, more reminiscent of a leisurely ride along Fayetteville’s short and delightful Cape Fear River Trail than the vast and interconnected bike trails of Raleigh.
The manageable length of the Greenville Greenways, comprising the Green Mill Greenway and the Tar River Greenway, makes them perfect for an out-and-back ride. However, don’t miss the opportunity to explore Uptown Greenville, which is not only very bike-friendly but also charming enough to warrant a visit. To help you make the most of your biking adventure, we’ve outlined a suggested route:
- Begin at Town Common Park and follow the greenway until it reaches 8th Street.
- Instead of taking the road connector across 10th Street (which can be relatively busy), opt for 8th Street and Forrest Hills to return to the dedicated bike lanes on 5th Street.
- Continue on into downtown Greenville.
This 6-mile loop offers a fun and flat ride, allowing you to fully enjoy the greenway experience. Additionally, along the way, you’ll have the chance to admire some historic Greenville homes, adding a touch of local flavor to your journey.
3. Hiking Adventure at River Park North
If you’re wondering about things to do in Greenville NC, look no further than River Park North. Spanning 324 acres of wetlands on the opposite bank of the Tar River from Uptown Greenville, this park offers a diverse range of outdoor activities.
One of the key attractions at River Park North is the Walter L. Stasavich Science & Nature Center, a quaint nature center that’s sure to pique the interest of those seeking things to do in Greenville NC. Whether you’re into fishing, camping, or simply want to enjoy river access, this park has you covered.
For nature enthusiasts searching for things to do in Greenville NC, the park boasts approximately 3 miles of hiking trails that collectively form a loop within the area. These wetland trails are a haven for birdwatching, making it a must-visit spot for bird enthusiasts.
To fully appreciate the serene beauty of River Park North, plan your visit during sunrise or sunset. The interplay of light and mist creates a captivating atmosphere that’s perfect for anyone looking for memorable things to do in Greenville NC.
Excitingly, there are plans in the works for a boardwalk extension into the swamp. This development promises improved access to this pristine natural environment. Rest assured, this project will be executed in consultation with experienced naturalists, ensuring it aligns with the needs of hikers and the preservation of the swamp’s delicate ecosystem. So, keep an eye out for this upcoming addition to your list of things to do in Greenville NC.
4. Exploring the Arts in Greenville
When visiting Greenville, don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in its vibrant art scene. College towns often have thriving cultural offerings, and Greenville is no exception. Here’s a guide to some of the city’s artistic highlights:
Greenville Museum of Art (GMOA):
- GMOA features a diverse array of both permanent and rotating exhibits.
- During our visit, we were captivated by the thought-provoking ‘Growing Up Queer’ exhibit, shedding light on the South’s cultural landscape.
- Keep an eye out for the remarkable sculptures by Johnathan Bowling that adorn the city. Bowling, who came to Greenville in pursuit of an MFA in sculpture at East Carolina University, has played a pivotal role in transforming Greenville into a city of sculptures.
- For a taste of local artistic talent, make a point to explore Emerge Gallery, where you’ll find a showcase of various local artworks.
East Carolina University’s Art Spaces:
- The university provides an extensive range of art spaces and performance venues that are open to the public.
- The Wellington B. Gray Gallery regularly exhibits the work of students, faculty, staff, and local artists.
- For theater and performance enthusiasts, the John D. Messick Theatre, Hendrix Theatre, and the Wright Auditorium host a variety of captivating shows and performances.
Greenville’s art scene offers a rich tapestry of creativity and cultural expression. Whether you’re interested in visual art, thought-provoking exhibits, or live performances, Greenville has something to offer every art lover.
5. Shop to Your Heart’s Content in Uptown Greenville
Uptown Greenville is a shopper’s paradise, offering a delightful mix of unique and boutique stores that perfectly complement the thriving culinary scene. Here’s your guide to a satisfying shopping spree in this charming area:
- While waiting for your coffee at Coastal Fog, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the set of an HGTV show. The window shopping experience alone is a treat for the senses.
Dickinson Avenue Farmers & Makers Market:
- Explore a treasure trove of local North Carolina products at the Dickinson Avenue Farmers & Makers Market. It’s a haven for those seeking artisanal and locally crafted goods.
Dickinson Avenue Antique Market:
- Antique enthusiasts should not miss the Dickinson Avenue Antique Market, conveniently located across the street. It’s a haven for vintage and collectible finds.
Uptown Greenville Umbrella Market:
- If you happen to visit on a Wednesday night, be sure to check out the Uptown Greenville Umbrella Market. This open-air farmers and makers market offers a unique shopping experience. Please note that it’s weather-dependent, so plan accordingly.
Despite a rainout during our visit to the Uptown Greenville Umbrella Market, we still managed to fulfill our shopping desires and left fully content with our Greenville shopping escapade. Uptown Greenville’s shopping scene is brimming with character and charm, making it an excellent destination for retail therapy.
6. Greenville Science Center
Location: 729 Dickinson Ave (Currently Closed for Renovations)
Situated in Uptown Greenville, the Greenville Science Center is a hub for hands-on educational experiences that seamlessly blend learning with fun and engagement. Here’s what you can look forward to at this remarkable science center:
- The center boasts interactive exhibits that not only entertain but also educate visitors of all ages. It’s a place where science comes to life.
- In addition to exhibits, A Time for Science offers camps and e-mentoring programs designed to bolster STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education in Pitt County. These initiatives provide valuable learning opportunities for both children and adults.
Grifton Nature and Science Center:
- For those eager to extend their learning adventure, consider taking a 30-minute journey south to the Grifton Nature and Science Center. This destination encompasses a sprawling 380-acre nature preserve, perfect for exploring the great outdoors.
- Enjoy kayaking in serene surroundings, immersing yourself in the natural beauty that Pitt County has to offer.
- Don’t miss the Chia-yu Li Planetarium, where you can gaze at the stars and learn about the mysteries of the cosmos.
While the Greenville Science Center is temporarily closed for renovations, the Grifton Nature and Science Center await your exploration, promising a blend of science, nature, and adventure that’s both enriching and enjoyable.
7. Farm Fun in Winterville
Explore the bountiful world of farms in Winterville, just a stone’s throw away from Greenville. Here are two delightful farm experiences that promise a taste of rural life and fresh produce:
Strawberries on 903
- Located at 4084 NC-903, Strawberries on 903 is a charming roadside produce stand that should be on your list of things to do in Greenville NC. It’s nestled in southern Pitt County, an area with historical significance as part of a 1600-acre site listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- The stand itself is housed within a 100-year-old tobacco barn, a picturesque structure that’s a sight to behold.
- When you visit during the spring and summer months, you’ll have the opportunity to pick your own strawberries and vegetables (u-pick). Additionally, farm tours are available, offering insights into the farming process. Don’t forget to say hello to the friendly farm animals and consider taking a relaxing hayride.
- Situated at 886 Laurie Ellis Rd in Winterville, Brock’s Farm invites you to experience the pleasures of picking strawberries and indulging in fresh farm produce.
- This Pitt County gem offers a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in rural life, escaping the hustle and bustle of the city.
- Visit their farm stand to stock up on fresh, locally grown produce or join in on one of their seasonal events, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to your farm visit.
So, if you’re looking for things to do in Greenville NC that involve food and beverages to pick your own strawberries or simply savor the farm-to-table experience, both Strawberries on 903 and Brock’s Farm offer a delightful escape into the world of agriculture and fresh produce in the Winterville area.
8. Brews and Cues Trail in Greenville
Did you know that Greenville and its neighboring Pitt County locales boast some of the finest North Carolina barbecue joints? With legendary spots like B’s in Greenville, Skylight Inn, and Bum’s in Ayden, your culinary journey in Greenville should start with savoring authentic barbecue.
Sam Jones Barbecue in Greenville NC:
- Sam Jones Barbecue in Greenville is a must-visit for barbecue aficionados. It’s where tradition meets mouthwatering flavors, and you can savor the essence of true North Carolina barbecue.
Pitt Street Brewing in Greenville NC:
- While barbecue takes the spotlight, it’s equally important to mention that Greenville has a thriving craft beer scene to complement your culinary adventure.
Local Oak Brewing in Winterville:
- If you’re seeking a taste of local craft brews, head to Winterville, where Local Oak Brewing awaits. Both Pitt Street Brewing and Local Oak Brewing offer a welcoming atmosphere with a pint glass waiting just for you. Feel free to choose one or explore them both.
Starlight Cafe – A Culinary Gem:
- If you’ve had your fill of barbecue (though it’s hard to imagine!), Greenville boasts a diverse culinary scene with something to satisfy every palate.
- Starlight Cafe offers a delightful mix of farm-fresh and upscale dishes, making it a perfect destination for food enthusiasts.
- Molly’s Community Cafe is another option for those in search of good, simple food.
Exploring Greenville’s Culinary Scene:
- Greenville is a haven for foodies, with a wide array of dining options to explore. Our guide delves deeper into the culinary treasures of the area, providing you with a range of choices to satisfy your appetite.
Whether you’re on the hunt for mouthwatering barbecue, craft beer to complement your meal, or an exquisite dining experience, Greenville has all the right ingredients to please your palate. Don’t miss out on this flavorful journey through the Brews and Cues Trail!
So, whether you’re a local seeking new experiences or a visitor looking to uncover a hidden gem, Greenville invites you to explore its rich tapestry of culture, science, nature, and gastronomy. Each visit to this vibrant city promises fresh discoveries and unforgettable memories. Greenville, truly a hidden gem, is ready to be your next destination of choice when it comes to things to do in Greenville NC.