Greenville County and its surrounding areas are chock full of amazing natural places to explore! Lakes, rivers, mountains, waterfalls, hiking trails, picturesque valleys...the possibilities for outdoor fun are endless! Here is my idea of a great weekend adventure for anyone who loves fresh air and fantastic views.
Friday Evening: Carbing Up for Adventure
The night before I head out on an adventurous journey, I like to carb up on some fabulous Italian food! Bocca Pure Italian on Poinsett Highway is one of the best-kept secrets in Greenville, offering signature Italian entrees in a warm, locally owned environment. Put your culinary creativity to work with their three-step, create-your-own Personalized Pasta menu—it's flavorful fun!
Be sure to call ahead...this restaurant's reputation for great food and friendly service keeps them busy!
Saturday Morning: Hiking to a Waterfall Wonder
Pack a lunch (and your kayak for Sunday's upcoming adventure), hop in the car, and head north to Travelers Rest, SC. Stop in at Tandem Crêperie & Coffeehouse for a quick and delicious breakfast, or stop and grab a cup o' joe at Leopard Forest Coffee Company, a celebrated coffee roasting company also located in Travelers Rest. From both, you'll see passing cyclists and runners either on or heading towards the 22-mile long Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail as you enjoy your meal.
Hop back in the car and continue on towards Caesars Head State Park and its thousands of acres of pristine southern mountain forest, where you can hike one of two trails that leads to Raven Cliff Falls. If you choose the strenuous hike, once you reach the falls, you'll be able to stand on the suspension bridge and be in awe of the 420 feet of water crashing down into the mountain cove below...it's breathtaking!
Raven Cliff Falls, one of the most popular waterfalls in South Carolina, was named for the over 150 different species of ravens that breed in the cliffs of the falls.
Saturday Afternoon & Evening: Enjoying a Lakeside Respite
After your hiking adventure, enjoy more fabulous views as you drive along the beautiful Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway 11 and make a stop at Victoria Valley Vineyards for a wine tasting (no reservation necessary) and to pick up a bottle for later that evening. Continue on towards Keowee-Toxaway State Park where you can stay in a cozy rustic cabin overlooking Lake Keowee...complete with your own private boat dock!
Reservations are required for lodging at the lake or for one of the park's paved campsites, so be sure to book ahead of time.
With Day 1 of your outdoor adventure complete, spend a quiet evening relaxing with a glass of wine from the bottle you purchased earlier at Victoria Valley Vineyards, and enjoy lakeside living from the comfort of your cabin's porch overlooking the water!
Sunday Morning: Hitting the Water for More Adventure
Wake up early, grab your kayak, and spend the morning fishing on Lake Keowee. Continue your adventure throughout the day as you paddle on and explore the many beautiful features of the lake, including its many picturesque waterfalls, islands, and coves.
THAT Something Extra:
Fantastic Fall Foliage
Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway 11 is a beautiful drive any time of the year, but it's also one of THE best places in South Carolina to view gorgeous colors as the leaves start changing in the fall!
River Rafting Adventure
Who's ready for some more outdoor fun? Greenville's proximity to mountain rivers, like the Chattooga National Wild and Scenic River and the Green River, makes it a great place to experience a whitewater-rafting adventure!