THERE'S ONLY ONE GOLF COURSE IN THE WORLD that has each hole conceived by a different designer. It's Crosswinds Golf Club in Greenville, South Carolina and the reason you've never heard of it is because it's an 18-hole par-3 course.
Yes, it's a gimmick, but it's a gimmick that works. What otherwise might have been just another fun-to-play but quickly forgetable par-3 layout is instead both fun-to-play and rather memorable. The holes stick in your brain long after you leave. You can instantly remember the Dye hole, or the Jones one or the Cupp one, and while you might have to think a minute about who designed some of the other holes (using the scorecard as a cheat sheet), you certainly can recall the salient features of each hole, because each is distictive and different.
A Really fun par-3 course with enough variety to hold everyone's interest.
This is a gorgeous little park that, in my opinion, is somewhat off the beaten path ~ simply because most tourists wouldn't even know to look for it. It's the site of a pre-Civil War granite quarry. Very cool!
This is a popular location for weddings and photo shoots because it is so picturesque. On one side of the park is a small, bubbling waterfall with a small path up through the bamboo ~ a great place to explore, especially for children (or the young-at-heart)...but be careful on the rocks as they can be slippery.
Particularly beautiful in the Spring, when the Dogwoods and azaleas are in bloom!
Free movies under the cover of darkness on the edge of the Reedy River! Bring lawn chairs & coolers. Begins at sundown. Located at the Peace Center Amphitheater. Every Wednesday night , May & September.
Eco-friendly, free, acoustic music festival @ Paris Mountain State Park amphitheater every Saturday night, April 26 - August 23rd, 6 - 9pm. Also a demonstration of solar power (energy used to put on the event is solar generated!). Admission to State Park is $2 per person. Welcome to bring coolers, dinner and pets.
For a change of pace, I took my toddler to the Butterfly Garden at Roper Mountain Science Center, in early October.
It was like a walk through a fairytale land, there were so many butterflies! It was easy to capture alot of great photos because there were just so many opportunities to click, click, click. Although the garden is relatively small, it was extremely well-done, with labels on all of the plants & flowers (showing which flower was the host-plant for which type of butterfly ~ very informative!). Being early Autumn, I wasn't quite so sure of how many butterflies we'd actually see ~ I guess I was half-expecting it to be barren. Contraire! The place was all in bloom, well-manicured and well-maintained, with tons of gorgeous plants, flowers and butterflies!
From the Butterfly Garden, take the short interpretive Nature Trail (loop trail) through the forest, over a small bridge across a lazy & abundant lake full of lily pads & frogs ~ it will loop you around, right back to the Butterfly Garden. It's a short, easy, mostly shaded & beautiful walk.
Note: The Butterfly Garden / Arboretum & Nature Trail are the only things open to the general public at Roper Mountain Science Center ~ in addition, shows are offered at the Planetarium on Friday nights and there is a family-friendly "Second Saturday" event. Otherwise, the Center offers enrollment programs for school-children.
On a rainy day, I was hoping to take my toddler to a museum. Unfortunately, after my arrival, I discovered this place isn't open to the general public, except for its "2nd Saturday" event (which I was told was very family-friendly) and some Friday night Planetarium offerings. The center is partnered with the Greenville County School District and mainly offers classes for school-age children.
For those without children enrolled in a class, you can still take advantage of the nature trails, something called a "Living History Garden" and a butterfly garden. Because it was a rainy day, I opted to return another time, to check out the outdoor activities, but everything appeared to be well-maintained and well-marked.
Four floors of exhibits...and it's free! Parking is also very inexpensive ($1 / hour).
I visited August 2007, and was amazed by the extensive & insightful collection of Jasper Johns work: Look Homeward.
Fantastic collection of Andrew Wyeth's watercolor portraits & landscapes.
Free Thursday evening programs & art classes also offered.
Closed on Mondays. Open Tues - Sat. 11a - 5pm, Thurs. 11a - 8pm, and Sun. 1 - 5pm.
An idea adapted from the book, Goodnight Moon, tiny bronze mice are hidden along Main Street.
Local sculptor Zan Wells was commissioned to make the nine mice and a sculpture of the book, located along nine blocks of Main Street, between the Hyatt & the Westin Poinsett hotels.
Obtain the hints to finding the mice at www.greatergreenville.com/visitors/mice
It's Called Carolina First Saturday Market, but it's not limited to the first Saturday of every month, as the name might lead you to believe. It's actually sponsored by Carolina First and takes place every Saturday morning, May - September, beginning at 8am. A portion of Main Street is blocked off with plenty of parking downtown. This is a free & family-friendly event. No animals are allowed within the event, but plenty of people had dogs that they walked on the sidewalks, just outside of the event area (Greenville is a very dog-friendly city, especially the Main Street area).
The market is small, with a small-town feel. Everyone seems to know everyone, down at the market...and there are so many children & young families! When we were there, there were vendors selling grits & shrimp for breakfast, pastries & whole grain breads ~ also a local bee farmer had a great variety of items made with his honey, as well as lots of fresh produce, handmade candles & potpourri, gourmet dog treats...definitely worth a stroll through downtown Main Street.
Of note: The entire downtown Main Street area offers free wireless internet! And, of note to dog lovers: many of the local shops place watering bowls outside their shops and some even offer free dog treats!
Located in Cleveland Park, it is a healthy walk from the Reedy Falls Park, if you're up for it. Else, drive on over as there is plenty of free parking. Lots of walking (especially if you're not used to walking up hills! ~ hey, I'm from Texas!). African Elephants, Red Pandas, Lemurs, reptiles (etc.) and eye-to-eye habitats bring you up close & personal to Orangutans, alligators, goats and pigs. Great play-areas for kids, both inside & outside the zoo grounds. Wear good walking shoes!
A great place to cool off and a wonderful social-gathering place for families. Bring the camera, a towel, sunscreen and a change of clothes! Also, for those not interested in running through the fountain, this place gets alot of sun ~ so, don't forget your hat and you may even want to bring an umbrella / parasol, to escape the heat / sun, while the kids get wet.
Take a walk down to the Reedy Falls Park and follow the signs for the Interactive Fountain / Riverwalk / Art Crossing, where you will find a few very good art galleries. Just a little way further from the galleries & fountain is the Children's Garden (see my other post on the Children's Garden.)
Take a walk down by the Reedy Falls River and then head up towards the Riverwalk / Art Crossing (just follow the signs). Here you will find a few art galleries and the Children's Interactive Fountain (a great place to cool off and quite the social-gathering place for families). Keep walking and you will see signs that direct you to the Children's Garden ~ a great place for kids of all ages. Very well-manicured, soft grass is even baby / toddler-friendly. A large wooden sculpture of Winnie the Pooh, a white picket fence with Peter Rabbit & his tale, a Hansel & Gretel cottage, bronze kid-friendly sculptures of the three little bears, percussion instruments, small rock "climbing" area, winding paths, a "Secret Garden" and an alphabet of plants, herbs & flowers planted throughout the small park are just a few of the treasures that the whole family will appreciate.
This is an amazing recent addition to Greenville's downtown. Well, the falls were always there, but a state highway project covered it for a very long time. Greenville, SC was known as the "city with the waterfall" for quite a while, and we have always been known as the only city in the United States with a natural waterfall within the proper city limits.
Mayor Knox White spear-headed the Falls Park effort, and the park we now know opened in Spring of 2004.
Downtown Greenville is BEAUTIFUL! In the heat of the summer, the trees that line Main Street produce a cooler atmosphere and a shady path. There are many things to do. The Bi-lo Center is downtown and plays host to big concerts and events. Heritage Green is home to the Library and most of the museums that Greenville has to offer. Falls Park on the Reedy is gorgeous and breath taking. The Liberty bridge and all of the park is a MUST SEE destination. It is all that you'll talk about after visiting. Near the park is the Historic WestEnd district of downtown. It's an area that is growing rapidly and offers much entertainment. This area hosts the city's arts district which has many galleries and theaters. Up and down Main St are famous Greenvillians who now forever live as statues, as well as bronze mice that are fun to search out, and a bronze briefcase in front of city offers visitor's guides. It's amazing the quality of life that is found in this city. Also, you may want to drive to the nearby historic neighborhoods and Alta Vista, Greenville's most prestigious neighborhood and home to its most prestigious addresses, McDaniel Ave and Crescent Ave.
The Greenville Zoo is fun and fantastic. Great, imformative, and friendly staff members are there for any questions. THey are always adding new exhibits. My personal fav is the white tiger, her name is Tu!