Culture, Entertainment & Recreation – Greenville Area Development Corporation

Culture, Entertainment & Recreation

Greenville has established itself as a cultural sensation with a wide variety of museums, theaters, symphonies, and performing arts centers making their home in the area.  Following is a brief description and link for some of the cultural attractions that Greenville has to offer.


This state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex has attracted some of the biggest national artists in addition to major and minor league sporting events.  One of the largest arenas in South Carolina, the Bon Secours Wellness Arena accommodates up to 16,000 patrons, and nearly one million patrons attend events at the Arena annually.

In the decade that The Peace Center has existed, it has brought to Greenville a wide variety of performances including Broadway shows, classical and opera performances, dance, drama and more.  Greenvillians have had the opportunity to observe nationally recognized mega-hits such as Rent, Godspell, Cabaret and Miss Saigon, among others.  In addition, the Peace Center provides rehearsal space for other local performing arts groups and educational/outreach programs for students.

Heritage Park Amphitheatre is located 15 miles southeast of downtown Greenville in Simpsonville’s Heritage Park. The venue has a total capacity of 10,000, with approximately 4,000 reserved seats and 6,000 lawn seats. Since its opening in 2008, the venue has hosted a variety of live entertainment performances as well as community events such as “Movies in the Park.”

A beautiful concert venue, the Amphitheater at Trailblazer Park offers everyone an opportunity to enjoy FREE live music and entertainment outdoors during the pleasant, South Carolina spring, summer and fall seasons.  Visit the events page for a listing of performances and plan to join us Saturday evenings to enjoy superb music performed live by the best local and touring bands in the country.


Located on Heritage Green in downtown Greenville, the Greenville County Museum of Art (GCMA) collects and exhibits American art.  GCMA is ranked among the preeminent regional museums in the country and is nationally known for three collection strengths: the Southern Collection, a survey of American art using southern-related examples; Andrew Wyeth: The Greenville Collection; and a collection of contemporary art unrivaled in the state.  The Museum boasts individual works by such twentieth-century masters as George Bellows, Georgia O’Keeffe, Josef Albers, and Philip Guston.  The collection includes forty works by Jasper Johns, sixty-eight by Stephen Scott Young, and thirty-two by Andrew Wyeth.  A strong and varied exhibition program complements the Museum’s collection.

Recently opened, the 43,000-square foot Upcountry History Museum, located within Greenville’s Heritage Green cultural complex, will promote, present and preserve the history of Upcountry South Carolina through education, research and service.  Through permanent exhibits, collaborative outreach, oral history presentations and student enrichment programs, the Museum will invite visitors not only to discover the rich texture of the Upcountry’s past and present, but also to participate in telling its story visitors not only to discover the rich texture of the Upcountry’s past and present, but also to participate in telling its story.

The Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery houses one of the most important collections of religious art in America.  The Gallery contains 30 galleries displaying European sacred art from the thirteenth through the nineteenth centuries and includes important works of many major artists such as Rembrandt, Tintoretto, Titian, Veronese, Sebastiano del Piombo, Cranach, Gerard David, Murillo, Ribera, Rubens, Van Dyck, Honthorst, and Dore.

The Children’s Museum began with one mother”s wish to create a place in Upstate South Carolina where children would be inspired and learn in an informal, hands-on environment. In December 2003, local benefactors donated the former Greenville County Library building and the surrounding land to The Children’s Museum and plans for the Museum began to take shape. With three floors of indoor exhibits, our 79,000 sq foot facility at Heritage Green is one of the largest Children’s Museums in the United States.

The Greenville Cultural Exchange Center is a multi-cultural museum founded in 1987 by Ruth-Ann Butler.  The Center provides a haven of historical reflection, research and education. Exhibits, archives, guided tours and meeting spaces will be improved to offer even greater  resources for those seeking knowledge and understanding of the City of Greenville’s and the region’s multi-cultural diversity, contributions and accomplishments.

The Greenville Center for Creative Arts (GCCA), opened in May 2015 and is Greenville’s only community driven art center, offering year-round art classes to all ages, exhibition space for local and regional artists and studios for 16 working artists. GCCA was founded by a dedicated group of artists, teachers and community leaders with the goal of enriching the cultural fabric of our community through visual arts promotion, education and inspiration. In addition to being open Monday-Friday 9:00 – 5:00 pm and 11:00 am – 3:00 pm on Saturdays, GCCA is open for First Fridays in the Village and offer a free kids art activity, rotating exhibits and a full range of studio artists to interact with regularly. GCCA is located on the campus of the historic Brandon Mill in the Village of West Greenville.

Performing Arts

For many years the Greenville Symphony Orchestra has taken a leading role in providing the Upstate with a diverse source of musical entertainment and education.  Music Director Edvard Tchivzhel and the Greenville Symphony Orchestra present some of the best loved works in musical literature, such as Gershwin’s American in Paris, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, and Verdi’s Requiem.  Internationally acclaimed guest performers include soprano Marquita Lister, pianist Richard Cass, and violinist Chee-Yun.

International Ballet’s mission is to represent classical and contemporary ballet by offering world-class productions and training to the Greenville community. With a focus on professional quality performances and a commitment to fostering local talent and meaningful outreach programs, International Ballet transcends boundaries and cultures to inspire audiences with a performing arts experience unlike any other.  For more information visit

The Carolina Youth Symphony’s beginnings stretch back to 1955, when Rita May Baker, a musician in Greenville, South Carolina, formed a “Little Symphony” made up of young musicians and supported by the Crescent Music Club as a Greenville Symphony Orchestra.  During the past 44 years, the group has matured into two orchestra levels made up of 160+ students representing over 60 area schools, the South Carolina Governor’s School, and communities in both the Carolinas.  CYS currently presents five full-length concerts each year, plus wind, string, and chamber ensemble performances.  Orchestra members consistently win solo competitions and scholarships for summer music studies.

The mission of the Greenville Chorale is to bring together vocal and orchestral artists to provide the region with a professional symphonic chorus for the purpose of re-creating great music to enrich the soul and enjoyment of both performer and listener.  The vision of the Artistic Director and Conductor determines the balance of masterworks and new music to ensure exacting performance standards and enthusiastic involvement for all participants.

Celebrating 75 years of theatrical excellence the Greenville Little Theatre presents six major productions of Broadway-style, family oriented musicals and plays annually.  Youth acting classes are offered year round.

Centre Stage-South Carolina is a professional theatre committed to the core ideal of engaging the community with innovative approaches to performance and production, enriching the local artistic landscape and enhancing the quality of life with uncompromising theatrical integrity.  The mission of Centre Stage is to be a cornerstone of the creative life of the Upstate, providing captivating entertainment, stimulating intellectual discovery and broadening the social spectrum of local audiences through the medium of live theatre.

The Warehouse Theatre is a professional theatre organization dedicated to the concept of theatre as a serious art form; to high-quality, diverse and challenging productions; to the training     of theatre professionals; to community outreach; and to student education.  The Warehouse Theatre chooses plays to stretch the imagination of Upstate audiences, to energize and excite the community with intimate, intense and unexpected performances that explore and celebrate the complexities of our time.  The Warehouse Theatre does this to encourage an adventurousness of spirit, and to develop a hunger for the visceral impact of theatre, in the mind, heart, and soul.

Magical adventures await you and your family at the South Carolina Children’s Theatre!  SCCT presents 5 captivating plays or musicals each year.  Auditions are open to the public and production values are of the highest quality in order to create enriching artistic experiences for actors, crew and audiences alike!  Founded in 1987, SCCT offers extensive year-round education, Kindermusik, and outreach programs at our downtown Greenville and Upstate area satellite locations.  Stimulating young minds and imaginations, our programs boost self confidence, increase self esteem and create fun for all participants.

Greenville Chautauqua Society is a nonprofit organization founded in 1999, and incorporated in 2002. The Society is supported by local citizens and businesses who value our diverse culture and our history, keeping it alive in their communities and passing it on to future generations.

Special Events

Beginning in April and running through October, Greenville hosts weekly and recurring outdoor events and concerts.  Music, movies, market stalls and more are open to the public throughout the “Series Season.”  All events are free.  Details for each event are available online and through local listings.

Greenville is home to various festivals and events, including Fall for Greenville, Artisphere, Euphoria, the Greenville Scottish Games, Downtown Alive, Moonlight Movie Series, the Greek Festival, Oktoberfest, Hispanic Festival, A Day with India, and much more.

Located in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville has plenty of outdoors to explore.  Bike Magazine has rated Greenville as one of the “Top 5 Best Places to Live and Ride.”  In addition, Greenville has both professional and college sports teams.  Greenville will satisfy everyone’s outdoor and recreational tastes.

Greenville County is home to the Greenville Drive, the Single A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The Drive play their games at the award -winning downtown Fluor Field at the West End.

The Greenville Swamp Rabbits are the ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the Hartford Wolf Pack. Swamp Rabbit games are held at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

In addition to the professional sports teams, the Upstate is also home to both Furman and Clemson Universities, with nationally ranked men’s and women’s collegiate programs.

Over 400 acres of parks are located inside the city, many of which have recently been restored. The Reedy River waterfalls and Cleveland Park with its ball fields and jogging trails are among the most popular parks.  An equestrian park encompassing 66 acres of gorgeous nature trails offers both competitive and beginning lessons.

The Recreation District of Greenville County owns and operates 41 facilities that range in size from 3,400 acres.  In addition, parks cover a 240 square mile service area from the mountains to the Greenwood County line.  The Recreation District also offers indoor facilities complete with swimming pools, ice skating rinks, and much more.

Local mountains boast numerous hiking, mountain biking, and nature trails.  Camping possibilities abound, and many lakes in the area provide excellent opportunities for boating and fishing.

The Greenville Zoo’s 14-acre, open-air animal kingdom is home to wildlife around the world.

There are also more than 60 gorgeous golf courses in Greenville County.

  • Thornblade Club occupies a prime spot in the Upstate of South Carolina.  Amenities include a master planned 18-hole golf course, eleven tennis courts, competition-size swimming pool, shopping, custom built clubhouse with casual and elegant restaurant dining, full service banquet facilities, and much more.
  • Golf at the Cliffs Communities is a four-season sport, with nationally acclaimed courses. Golf Digest ranked the Tom Jackson course at The Cliffs at Glassy as the “Fourth Most Beautiful Course In The Nation.”  The Tom Fazio course at Keowee Vineyards ranked seventh among the best new private courses in the nation by Golf Digest.  The Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at The Cliffs at Walnut Cove opened in 2005, followed by another Nicklaus design for The Cliffs at Keowee Falls.  The Valley and Keowee Vineyards courses host the BMW Charity Pro-Am at the Cliffs, a Nationwide Tour event.
Yearly Average Precipitation51.3"
Yearly Average Temperature60°F
Yearly Average High Temperature71°F
Yearly Average Low Temperature49°F
Sunshine: Average Percent Possible60%
Snowfall: Average Total Inches5.9"

Would you like to learn even more about the Greenville area?

Please feel free to reach out to GADC today, or learn more about living in Greenville.