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10 Simple Pleasures to Enjoy This Autumn

Experience All Things Fall in Greenville, SC

It's fall, y'all! ­čŹé And with that, fall’s cooler temperatures usher in a season filled with festivals, football, dining alfresco and other ways to relax and unwind in Greenville, SC.

"This time of year is the best for outdoor adventure. The weather is cooler and Greenville is the perfect place to enjoy the leaves changing,” says Catherine Garrison Davis, Director of Special Events and Marketing for Denver Downs Farm, a working farm that’s been in her family since 1869. 

From apple picking and pumpkin patches to hockey games and haunted houses, here are 10 ways to create new memories with your family this fall.

1.  Wind Your Way Through Some of the Southeast's Largest Corn Mazes

USA TODAY readers ranked the maze at Denver Downs as No. 2 in the nation in 2016 and since then, things have only gotten better. This year, the 10-acre corn maze theme is "Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Walk" 🚀 with 12 checkpoints to reach! Enjoy activities such as live music, bonfires, pig races, fireworks and special weekend events.

“Our family enjoys sharing our farm heritage and inviting families out to play and unwind in the open air and rolling hills on our farm,” Davis said.

Other notable area mazes include Stewart Farms, which has spooky ("The Big Boo") and not-so-spooky options. The folks at Strawberry Hill U.S.A. encourage you to “leave your technology in the car and breathe in some fresh, country air” in its 9th annual corn maze. 🌽

After making your way out of the maze, be sure to relax on a hayride! 

2. Pop into the Farmer's Market

Stock up on fruits, veggies and other fun treats at the local farmers’ market, held every Saturday morning now through October 26th on Main Street in downtown Greenville (TD Saturday Market). Vendors include organic farmers like Bio-Way Farm, specialty food vendors like Mallows & Madness and artisans like Donovan Pottery  Don’t miss the Autumn Harvest on Oct. 26th! It features trick-or-treating, "cupcake" walks, and a Halloween costume contest. 

3.  Pull a Charlie Brown and Look for the Great Pumpkin

Grab a gourd (or a bunch of pumpkins 🎃) at a local pumpkin patch. You can stop in at one of the corn maze locations or go to Fisher’s Orchard (Saturdays in October), Beechwood Farms or May-Lan Farms. At May-Lan Farms, kids can paint pumpkins, take a hayride and visit barnyard animals. Fishers Orchard and Beechwood Farms have lots of pumpkins ripe for the pickin' as well as other fall produce.

4. Hang out with Stomper

Watch the Greenville Swamp Rabbits thump some pucks and kick some tail (on the ice) during their opening game.This ECHL ice hockey team (NHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers) opens its season against the Jacksonville Icemen on October 18th at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena

5.  A is for Autumn...and Apples

Now’s the time to pick them—or at least try apple turnovers! Enjoy one and wash it down with a cider slushie from Grandad’s Apples and Such, an 80-acre farm in Hendersonville, NC, that features a country store and bakery. Make the drive to Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, NC, to discover why the Travel Channel called it one of the "Top 5 Apple Picking Farms in the U.S." At Justus Orchard, you can pick your own apples and then warm up (if needed) with some hot apple cider—better yet, try out their (adult-oriented) apple cannon. For just $5 for 10 apples, you can knock out a bear, deer, or the infamous Sasquatch! 
Tip: Try hot apple cider DOUGHNUTS (yes, you read that right) at any of these orchards; remember, they're best served warm! 🍎🍩

6.  Dress Up the Kiddos in Their Halloween Costumes

For an unforgettable evening at the Greenville Zoo's Boo in the Zoo (Oct. 18-20 and Oct. 25-27), you can expect trick-or-treating, friendly but spooky decorations, and a walk through an un-haunted house. Another fun option for the 10-and-younger crew is the Enchanted Forest (Oct. 24-26). Complete with storybook characters, a magical maze and costume contest, this is where fairy tales and trick-or-treating meet.


7.  Scream Your Head Off!

😱 Nightmare Dungeon was named the No. 2 haunted house in South Carolina (TheScareFactor.com). Rivaling it for the top spot is Madworld, which claims to be the scariest haunted house in South Carolina, and certainly has the online reviews to back that up. Looking for a truly spooky experience? Add Treedine's Haunted Farm to your itinerary. 👻

8. Take a Hike to See the Beautiful Fall Leaves and Waterfalls

Lace up those hiking boots and experience the colorful fall leaves and gorgeous waterfalls at three state parks near Greenville. At Caesars Head in Cleveland, SC, make the 4-mile round-trip hike to a scenic overlook of the 420-foot Raven Cliff Falls. In nearby Marietta, Jones Gap features more than 60 miles of hiking trails. Close to downtown Greenville, Paris Mountain has outdoor fun for the whole family with hiking trails, swimming areas, campsites and picnic shelters.

9. Dine Alfresco

Whether it’s rooftop views or sidewalk seating, downtown Greenville has plenty of options for outdoor eats to enjoy the perfect fall weather. Nosh at Limoncello 🍋Cantina 76 🌮, or Liberty Tap Room & Grill 🍺, which is also open for Sunday brunch. Another good option is 🍦 Luna Rosa Gelato Cafe & Restaurant's new patio or sitting on the steps of 📙 M. Judson Booksellers while devouring a delicious fall-flavored cupcake from 🧁 The Chocolate Moose Bakery & Cafe. From s'mores to pumpkin, apple chai or chocolate pumpkin cheesecake, you won't leave disappointed! 

10.  Feel the Autumn Wind in Your Hair

Stretching 22 miles, the multi-use Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail winds by dozens of restaurants, coffee shops and breweries. Hop off the greenway for a bite to eat at Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery or grab a brew at Birds Fly South Ale Project. There are plenty of local bike rental shops if you don’t bring your own—check out Swamp Rabbit Bike Shoppe, Reedy Rides, Bike the Rabbit, or Greenville B-Cycle