20 things to do in greenville in fall

Fall is my second favorite season. It makes the bittersweet passing of summer just a little bit easier. As August comes to a close and fall officially begins, I pack up my swimsuits with a heavy heart. But then I remember pumpkin beer. Plus Greenville has some pretty great autumns.

Lots of festivals to head to and plenty of outdoor activities to experience in the slightly cooler weather. So if this is your favorite season, then Greenville has you covered. Here are 20 things to do in Greenville in fall.

Updated for 2020

Due to the pandemic in 2020, I’ve indicated events below that have been postponed, cancelled, or moved. I will try to keep this updated so this can be a resource to use this fall.

Looking for my other guides? I’ve broken down springsummer, and winter as well!


City Events & Festivals

Fall for Greenville

Cancelled for 2020.

I think it’s safe to say that Fall for Greenville is the fall festival in town. This weekend long event takes over the city. Several blocks of Main Street are closed off and, if the weather is nice, there are some serious crowds.

But what is Fall for Greenville? It’s basically a food and music festival (which is why I stuck it in thsi category. Over 40 restaurants come and set up tents along Main Street. You can then purchase (with tickets) items from each. Some items are small, just a bite. While others are much larger (think like a turkey leg).

There are also 7 stages scattered around the festival and, my favorite, a craft beer garden (usually down McBee). The festival is free to attend to but you’ll need to buy tickets for the food and drinks.

Fall For Greenville in Greenville SC

Main Street Fridays

Postponed for 2020 – new date TBD.

Fridays, Mid-March-September: 5:30pm-9:30pm

One thing I love about Greenville is how often the city blocks off parts of main street for various events. And the tradition continues on Friday nights (if Thursday night didn’t quench your thirst for live music). As with Downtown Alive, the entry and music are free, but don’t forget your cash for food and drinks.


Oktoberfest

2020 dates TBD (Usually first weekend in October)

Can’t make it to a larger Oktoberfest celebration? (I know we all wish we could be in Munich.) Don’t worry, you can still get your German on in Greenville.

Located in Noma Square, Greenville City’s Oktoberfest is a small but lively event. Beer? Check. German music? Check. Yummy pretzels and brats? Check. Plus the city closes off an entire block of Main Street for the event so you’ll be able to spread out a little.


Arts, Crafts, & Music

Fidelity Moonlight Movies

Every Wednesday Night in September: 6:00pm-10:00pm
Special Halloween edition in October.

Want to watch a free movie in Falls Park? Yep every Wednesday evening in May and September you can catch a free movie right in Falls Park. There’s even a special Halloween edition in October. The movie itself is projected on a huge screen and starts once it gets dark out.

You’ll want to bring your own chairs and/or blankets. They’ll be a food truck on site but if you want to drink, it’s BYOB. Just make sure to purchase a wristband ($1) first. What kind of movies do they show? The classics. Ranging from Alfred Hitchcock to The Goonies to Jurassic Park (my favorite).

20 things to do in greenville in fall

Indie Craft Parade

Instead of a weekend event, a temporary retail shop will be open Fridays-Sundays from September 18 – December 20, 2020. The shop will feature work from over 100 artists. A series of outdoor Mini Markets will be held on November 7 & 21 in the green space next to the shop.

Greenville has an amazing arts scene. There seems to be an event every season celebrating our local artists, and fall is no different.

The Indie Craft Parade is a weekend event showcasing amazing artists and craftsmen from around the region. Though it does have an entrance fee, this is a great way to shop local and support our artists.


Travelers Rest Harvest Market

Every Thursday night in October: 5:30pm-8pm

Head out to Trailblazer Park in Travelers Rest for the town’s fall market. You can expect local vendors, food trucks, live music, and even yoga at this harvest market. The Travelers Rest Farmers Market in the summer is one of my favorites and I’m excited to head to their fall market!


TD Saturday Market

Will open a limited, essential market.
Saturday Mornings, May-October: 8:00am-12:00pm

Join the crowds downtown on Saturday Mornings to find everything local. Greenville blocks off a couple blocks of Main Street for various vendors. Here you can buy vegetables, fruits, plants, meats, cheeses, fresh pasta, jewelry, crafts, and more. You’ll find a bit of everything here – not just fruits and vegetables. This is not your standard farmer’s market.


Albino Skunk Music Festival

October 1-3, 2020

With a description like “the best music festival in South Carolina” you know right off the bat what you’ll find here. This tri-annual event features some of the best Americana, Folk, Roots, and Bluegrass artists, plus a whole lot more. And you can camp there for just $35. Ticket prices are a lot more (~$50-~$150), but I love that you can stay there all weekend for a very low price.


Artisphere

A virtual Artisphere will be held from October 2-4

Greenville’s best art festival is usually held in the spring. But for 2020 the festival was re-scheduled and then cancelled. In its place a virtual Artisphere will be held in October. With over 70 different artists featured in one place, plus panel discussions and live chats, you just might be able to get your art fix for the year. For more information, check out artisphere.org or their instagram profile.


Open Studios

November 7-30

This annual event opens the studios of local artists to the public in order to provide free and easy access to the arts, create a community of artists, and to encourage dialogue between artists and the public.

This year the format will be a bit different. Instead of a weekend event, Open Studios is organized around a self-guided tour. The tour will feature 133 artists and studios can be found in Greenville, Easley, Greer, Travelers Rest, and Simpsonville.

The artists will choose their own hours, so be sure to make an appointment or participate virtually through Open Studio’s YouTube and app.


Punk Flea Market

October 17 & 18th: 11am-7pm

Are you in the market for some super cool, weird, and/or vintage gifts, decor, clothing, and like other odd stuff you can’t event think of? Then these flea markets may be for you.


Renaissance Fair

Cancelled for 2020.

Saturdays & Sundays, Oct 2 – Nov 21, 2021

This is my chance to dress up, watch some jousting, shoot a bow, and eat some turkey legs.

Greenville’s small Renaissance Fair was cancelled and isn’t coming back. But there’s a larger one up in Charlotte every fall.

And yes, I do dress up. If you’re looking for one with tons of different events, I would consider the Charlotte one. But definitely get there early since traffic can be a pain.

20 things to do in greenville in fall

Food + Drink

VIBE

Moved from May to September. New Date below:
September 5, 2020: 2pm-5pm

Or the Very Independent Beer Event brought to you by Community Tap. Before you scroll on, realize that this isn’t your normal beer festival. With limited tickets, this is an exclusive event. It’ll feature world class, rare pours that are paired with some chef-inspired nibbles.

If rare craft beer is your thing, then this festival might just be yours.


Sippin’ Safari

Fri, September 4, 2020
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

So I love our local zoo. Actually, now that I think about it, I love almost all zoos. And I’m especially crazy about red pandas (my favorite at the zoo). So when I discovered that our local zoo had a special wine event, I signed up.

Sippin’ Safari is a ticketed event that features over 40+ wines, appetizers, and live music. I loved strolling around the zoo trying all the wine. Plus the animals become more active at dusk. Just be sure to have a designated driver or Uber there and back. You will be trying lots of wines and you will probably get a bit tipsy.

Sippin Safari at the Greenville Zoo

Euphoria

Scaled back version of the event will be held in 2020 to account for social distancing.

September 17-20, 2020

Want something a little bit more upscale than Fall for Greenville? Enter Euphoria. This 4 day ticketed event features multi-course dinners, tastings, wine seminars, small concerts, cooking demonstrations, and more.

One of the objectives for Euphoria was to “create a destination event for food, wine and music lovers across the country.” And I believe they’ve succeeded. But know that this is not a cheap festival (though you can buy separate tickets for the events you want to go to).


Tacos ‘n Tequila Fiesta

Rescheduled from April to September. New Details below:
Two sessions (instead of 1) will be held to limit capacity and allow for social distancing.
September 27, 2020: 12-3 pm and 4-7 pm

If you love tacos (who doesn’t??), especially creative ones and you have a hankering for some craft cocktails, do I have the festival for you! Hosted in the beautiful Old Cigar Warehouse, this event always sells out early. Book asap for one of the best food + drink festivals all year.


Greenville Craft Beer Festival

2020 Date TBD.

Greenville has its fair share of beer festivals. Heck, I try to go to one every summer. But this was my first beer festival in Greenville. Hosted at Fluor Field there are SO MANY BREWERIES HERE.

Literally you will not be able to taste everything. We weren’t even able to meet our goal of trying at least one beer from every brewery (though we did give it our best shot).

And this festival has all kinds of beers from IPAs to Pilsners to Lagers to Ales. I like to use this festival to try beers from new breweries. Several years ago this was where I discovered Catawba and the White Zombie (one of my favorites to this day).


Fireforge Crafted Beer’s Oktoberfest

2020 date TBD.

Then there’s Fireforge Brewery’s Oktoberfest. I accidentally stumbled upon their Oktoberfest celebration in 2018 and had a great time. So much so that I knew I had to include it in my guide going forward. (Plus it’s quickly become one of my favorite breweries in town.)


Charleston Sports Pub Oyster Roast

Saturday November 7: 1-5pm

An all you can eat oyster roast while watching the Clemson Tigers beat up on Notre Dame. Yea I’m down for that.


Drink Some Pumpkin Lattes & Pumpkin Beer

Fall is the season of pumpkin. And it’s my favorite type of beer I might add. It’s so delicious. And pumpkin-y. Plus pumpkin spiced lattes. But I go for ones from my local coffee shops.

So I’ve created a fall drinking guide to help you find all of the pumpkin and fall-themed drinks you can handle.


Halloween

It’s fall which means it’s also Halloween! This is one of my favorite holidays (if not my all time favorite). I love dressing up. I love throwing parties. I love going on haunted tours. I love haunted houses. And I love going to halloween events.


Halloween Movie Nights at Birds Fly South

Wednesday Evenings in October: 8pm & 10pm

Every Wednesday evening in October, Birds Fly South has a double feature Halloween themed movie night. They’ll obviously have beer, but you’ll also be able to purchase food on site as well. The second movie is more adult oriented (think horror).


Haunted Houses

If you love being scared, I would check out Mad World. It’s not cheap, but the production value is great. I’ve had a great time. There’s also Nightmare Dungeon, but I haven’t visited this one…yet. Here’s my full list:

  • Nightmare Dungeon: “If you’re looking for haunted haunted houses or trails in SC, Nightmare Dungeon is the best and scariest by far , the most terrifying haunted house in the upstate…”
  • Mad World: Voted one of the top 10 scariest attractions in America. But they also offer NoScare & Family Fun as well if you’re not into being scared out of your mind.
  • Wompus Woods: “One of the oldest and largest haunted trails in the southeast with a 40+ min walk trail…”
  • Nightmare Hollow: 30+ minute haunted trail, “voted as one of South Carolina’s scariest haunts…”

Halloween Parties

Below is a list of the Halloween Parties I’ve heard about. I’ll try to add to the list as more pop up!

Pre-Halloween Weekend

October 30th

October 31st


Boo in the Zoo

October 15 – October 18: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
October 22 – October 25: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
October 29 – November 1: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Want to go trick or treating at the Greenville Zoo? Heck yes. If I was a kid, this would be amazing. Plus there’s a whole lot more than just trick or treating.


Trick or Treat on Earle Street

Each year on Halloween, some of the best trick or treating around can be found on E Earle Street in the North Main neighborhood. These houses go all out! Think live music sounding from porches, hundred of families decked out in their finest costumes, and some of the best Halloween decorations I’ve ever seen.

The whole street is blocked off so plan to get there early. And even if you don’t have kids, it can be fun to walk around and take in all the sights.


Trick or Treat at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate

I’ve never gone to this trick or treat, but I have gone to an adult’s night at the museum. And it was super fun. If you have kids of your own, think about this one!


Outdoor Activities

Mutt Strut

Moved from April to November. Will now be held virtually.
November 7, 2020

Want to stroll down Main Street with your best friend while benefiting the Greenville Humane Society? Welcome to the Mutt Strut, a 2-mile walk/run through downtown with your dog! Afterward, you can find live music, free pizza, and more at the Mutt Market festival. Make sure to grab your tickets early because you can’t register the day of!


Apple Orchards, Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Patches, & Sunflowers

There are fall festivals galore this time of year at your local farms and orchards. Think hay rides, corn mazes, and pumpkin patches.

Apple pie, applesauce, apple cider, caramel apples, and apple donuts. I always go apple picking each fall. And if I don’t get lost in a corn maze, is it even fall yet?

So here are some spots to get that fall farm feel:

Oh and did you know you can also pick sunflowers in early September? I love me some Sunflowers, and Beechwood Farms has some glorious ones.


Hike Paris Mountain

Time to get your fall on! And for me that means more hiking. Because hiking in the summer can be brutal. I’ve done it, but it’s always a sweaty affair. But in the fall it’s glorious.

If we’re just in the mood for a quick jaunt on an afternoon, we’ll head to Paris Mountain State Park. Less than 20 minutes away, we can be out of the house and on the trails in about half an hour.

I’ve done several of the trails including Lake Placid, Mountain Creek, and the Brissy Ridge Trails. Plus in the fall, you can usually catch some music in the afternoon on Saturday.

Hiking in Paris Mountain State Park
Hiking in Paris Mountain State Park

Bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail

Cooler weather means I can actually bike the swamp rabbit trail without getting heat exhaustion and wanting to die. This is one of the things to do in Greenville.

The trail runs from Greenville up to Traveler’s Rest (for about 20ish miles). If you’re not into biking then know that you can walk parts of it too.

There are a lot of business on the route so if you need to grab something to eat (Swamp Rabbit Cafe) or a beer (Birds Fly South Brewery), then have no fear.

Interactive Map of the Trail


Fall Road Trips

Day Trip to Gorges State Park

Want to hike to see a pretty impressive waterfall? Then head to Gorges State Park!

It’s located right over the border in North Carolina (about an hour and a half away). Ryan and I went one year in early November. It was cool enough that I wore a long sleeve shirt, but that was it. Perfect fall hiking weather.

And the main standout at the park? Rainbow falls! This is the main hike in the park and is only about 3 miles (roundtrip). And the falls themselves are pretty impressive!


Smoky Mountains

Some of the most impressive fall colors can be seen in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As well as an auto tour up to the Newfound Gap, there are lots of hikes, waterfalls, and wildlife watching available. Just be sure to go early in the fall. At the high elevations, the leaves will turn early!


Apple Picking in Hendersonville

Hendersonville, NC is a wonderful little town between here and Asheville. And along with their amazing restaurant and brewery scene, so many amazing apple orchards and farms abound. It’s easy to make this a full day trip.


Catch the Fall Foliage at Caesar’s Head

More hiking! (Can you tell this is my favorite season for hiking?) And Caesar’s Head State Park is not a bad choice. Ryan and I have done the Raven Cliff Falls hike (sadly before I bought my camera) which is about 4 miles roundtrip.

Not into hiking? Just head to the main overlook behind the visitor center to catch one of the best views around.

Caesar's Head State Park

Sporting Events

Swamp Rabbits Hockey Game

Opening game delayed from Oct. 16 to Dec. 4.

Okay so you know Greenville has a very popular minor league baseball team, but what about hockey? Meet the Swamp Rabbits. Though the name has changed over time, I still love to go and watch a game. (Hockey being one of my favorite sports to watch in person.) And with lots of tickets for under $20, it can be a great date night.


Clemson Football

This is obviously what a lot of people look forward to when they hear the word fall. And this is Tiger country. I hope you like the color orange.

When I was a graduate student, we went to a handful of games a year. Since then we’ve gone back a couple of times to tailgate and watch some football. Since South Carolina doesn’t have a professional team based in the state, college football is the football here. You gotta embrace it.

20 things to do in greenville in fall
Are you ready to get your fall on?

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