Admittedly, summer is my least favorite season in the Upstate. It is likely due to having spent 18 years living in Florida, wishing for a break from the heat. While I love having the boys home with us more and the freedom to travel and explore our beautiful area, the heat can be deal breaker. Check out some of the best ways we’ve found to cool off in the summer months around Greenville, SC!
1- Bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail
We love this sweet bike park, perfectly shaded in Traveler’s Rest, providing a break in the heat. We also love biking the Swamp Rabbit Trail, which is equally as fun for adults as kids. We were able to complete over 18 miles on the Swamp Rabbit Trail with our then 9 and 7-year old sons, beginning in the parking lot by Up on the Roof and making it all the way to downtown Traveler’s Rest and back.
2 – Take a Hike
We have enjoyed the Lake Placid loop of local Paris Mountain State Park as it is a manageable hike for littles. We also really enjoyed the 1.9 mile loop of Carrick Creek Trail at Table Rock State Park in Pickens, SC. This state park has several areas where we all enjoyed sliding rocks which was really fun. Another family-friendly hike that is a little more challenging at about 4.4 miles round-trip is at Jones Gap State Park in Marietta, SC. The Rainbow Falls path leads to a beautiful wonderful that is worth the trek!
We also enjoyed Big Hungry Trail in Flat Rock, NC. This easy trail is a .7 mile hike but really just an easy access point to a fun area for rock jumping and splashing in streams.
3 – Lake Joccasee Boat Tour
We just love the lake in the summertime and the Lake Jocassee boat tour was one of our very favorite experiences in the summer in the Greenville, SC area. We also have friends with a home and boat on Lake Keowee, and that lake is equally as beautiful. There is just nothing like a local day on the lake!
4 – Take Me out to the Ball Game
Nothing screams summer more than a night out at the ball field and Greenville is blessed with a great option: Greenville Drive. The local team, Greenville Drive, offers family-friendly fun with summer evening baseball games in downtown Greenville. If you can stay for the end, be sure to wait for the amazing fireworks!
5 – Go Glamping to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
If staying at a national park includes glamping, I’m in. We had the best time at Under Canvas, a glamping experience offering a comfortable camping experience right outside of the Great Smokies. This national park is the closest to our home in Greenville, SC and is beautiful, with Laurels Falls trail being our favorite.
6 – Choose Gem Mining
If searching for gems in your thing, you’ll love the gem mining experiences at Elijah Mountain Gem Mine. Its a bros’ dream to dig through dirt looking for treasure and our bros couldn’t get enough!
7- Justus Orchard
Don’t wait for sweater weather to go apple picking at Justus Orchard! We have found the best time for apple picking in the Upstate area is around Labor Day when the weather is cooling. We have also waited to pick apples for fall and the trees were completely bare.
8 – Zip through the Trees
We had so much fun at TreeTop Quest! This outdoor, through-the-trees zipline experience was amazing even for little kids. We were taught how to safely navigate each station and we all had so much trying the different rope courses. We’re hoping to do this every summer!
9 – Mini-golf at Takeoff Mini Golf
A family-favorite is spending our summer mornings at Takeoff Mini Golf, a fun and interactive mini golf park right near Runway Park. This mini golf course is aviation-themed and located right near a small airport, so enjoy the views and sounds of planes taking off in the background.