Great Day Trips Around the Upstate
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If you have ever been to South Carolina, then you understand where our state slogan came from — “Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places” is the perfect description of our gorgeous landscape and friendly locals happy to welcome you for a visit… or to welcome new residents home.

When you first move to the Carolinas, it can be a little daunting to try and figure out what part of the state you want to visit first! Whether you’re dreaming of a walk around the Battery in Charleston or a hike through our beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, just about everything in South Carolina is a simple day trip away.

We’ve found some spectacular trips that highlight some of the best features our state has to offer. These adventures won’t cost you an arm and a leg, but we’re still pretty sure you’ll have a fantastic 24 hours.

Explore one of our many State Parks

The Upstate area does a fantastic job of delivering its locals many state parks to enjoy. You can choose to visit one of the smaller state parks with shorter trails and breathtaking views, such as Devils Fork State Park. Or, you can go all the way with your day and hike the 8.4-mile loop at Table Rock State Park. With a mountain view from the top that lets you see all the way back down into our hometown of Greenville, the hike is well worth the effort.

If you wouldn’t necessarily put yourself into the “avid hiker” category, check out some local parks instead. They offer plenty of other opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors. Are you more interested in taking a boat ride around the lake, heading out for a family picnic, swimming, or even canoeing or kayaking? Lake Jocassee, Keowee Toxaway State Park, Caesars Head, and Lake Hartwell are all less than two hours’ drive from downtown Greenville! For a family that loves the Great Outdoors, Upstate South Carolina does not disappoint!

Wander through the SC Botanical Garden

Designated the State’s botanical garden in 1992, the South Carolina Botanical Garden is located within the grounds of Clemson University in Pickens County, at the intersection of Highway 76 and Pearman Boulevard. Visitors are welcome free of charge, every day of the week, dawn to dusk.

Enjoy a beautiful walk or run through the Garden, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the different gardens such as the Camellia, Wildlife Habitat, Xeriscape & Hosta, and Heritage gardens.

See history and art come alive in Clemson

Fancy yourself a bit of a history buff? Check out the Hanover House and Hunt Family Cabin, located at the South Carolina Botanical Garden,. The sites date back to the 1700s and 1800s respectively, and they offer an excellent opportunity to take a look at the lives of some of South Carolina’s earliest residents.

If you’re also interested in the Upstate’s art scene, be sure to check out the nature-based sculptures and local art galleries in the Fran Hanson Discovery Center while you’re there.

Take a walk on the wild side at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, located in our state capital of Columbia, SC, is home to more than 2,000 magnificent and fascinating animals. Opened in the Spring of 1974, the Riverbanks has worked for decades to earn their listing as one of the best mid-sized zoos in the United States. It’s South Carolina’s leading family-friendly attraction, boasting a stellar national reputation and drawing more than one million visitors annually.

Of course, it isn’t just the animals that bring in both locals and tourists to take a look. The gardens bloom year-round with more than 4,300 species of native and exotic plants. Newly opened, Waterfall Junction is a 3-acre interactive children’s garden thought to inspire exploration and imagination in even the littlest Riverbanks visitors. The Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens is the perfect day trip for those young and young at heart.

Of course, no matter what day trip you take around South Carolina, we know you’ll be drawn back to Greenville and its surrounding communities, where Five Star Construction is building so many beautiful homes. We work with locals and new residents to design, plan, and build the custom luxury home of their dreams. Interested in learning more? We’d love to hear from you! Just give us a call at (864) 303-9143, or contact us online at any time!

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