Start your adventure in Downtown Newberry, including the Newberry Opera House, Arts Center, and the Newberry Museum; with so much to see, it may take a minute to get out of town. Along the way, take a tranquil walk through Wells Japanese Garden to see the temple, torri gate, moon bridge and tea house, all crafted using local materials. On the way to Greenwood, stop just south of Newberry to visit Carter and Holmes Orchids, where you can tour the 18 greenhouses, see (and shop for) the many different hybrids produced there.
Be a history hopper, from the Revolutionary War to the Golden Age of rail travel to the American Civil Rights movement. Drive-in restaurants and drive-in movies keep the nostalgia going.
Walk the trails and explore the visitor center at Ninety Six National Historic Site, site of the first land battle of the Revolutionary War south of New England in 1775, and of the longest field siege of the Revolution, in summer of 1781. The fort has unique historical and archeological significance, for its strategic location in the Revolutionary War and for its well preserved earthen Star Fort. The 1,022 acres host a wide variety of plant and animal life, fishing pond, interpretive trail, hiking trails, historic structures, and the unusual Kosciuszko Mine, designed as a defensive feature.
The area outside the Greenwood Veterans Center, Greenwood Library and govenment buildings is the site of the developing Veterans Plaza and proposed Hall of Heroes. Take a wakl around the plaza where a giant eagle statue commemorates veterans. Just off Main Street, it’s an easy walk to several Uptown attractions, including the Greenwood Museum and Sundance Gallery, as well as local restaurants and shops.
A local favorite known for its big tastes, Kickers has a loyal following of customers who come for fresh goodness and international flavors. Kicker’s unique burgers have Greek, Morrocan, Cuban, Asian and Caribbean flavors. Owner Abdel Dimiati is known for his soups and sliders, and food that satisfies the soul is always on the menu at Kicker’s.
A unique, airy gallery in the heart of Uptown, Main & Maxwell’s mission is to promote making art by hand. More than 40 South Carolina artists and fine crafters showcase their work in Main & Maxwell, where you’ll find paintings, sculpture, jewelry, glass, pottery, wood and metalwork, fiber art and more. The gallery has fun classes, for groups or individuals, and there’s always something new coming in the door. Whether you’re looking for a small gift or a large piece of art, this is the place to find it.
Uptown Greenwood’s Emerald Triangle cultural district is an area of charming historic architecture and character, with restored buildings from the turn of the 20th century. The Greenwood Museum is one of the show pieces of the district. Visitors will find rotating exhibits, as well as permanent displays that include a 1900s Main Street, the Carolina Cave, an extensive gem and mineral collection, and the “Epic Journeys” of animal migrations. The Museum is one of three key Uptown cultural sites, along with The Arts Center and the Greenwood Community Theatre, just steps from the interesting shops and restaurants of Uptown.
The Mays Site honors the extraordinary life of a Civil Rights legend. The son of former slaves, Mays was the intellectual father of the American Civil Rights movement, focusing on nonviolence and civil resistance. As president of Morehouse College, he taught and mentored many leaders of the Civil Rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr., Julian Bond and Maynard Jackson, and served as advisor to three U.S. presidents. The historic site showcases Dr. Mays’ birth home, representative of a sharecropper’s homestead. A museum houses an extraordinary collection of memorabilia from Mays’ life.
Journey to the golden age of railroad travel, with one of largest full size displays in the state. The seven restored cars include a steam locomotive, a lounge-diner car, sleeper car, and the luxurious Carolina business car, filled with brass and mahogany paneling with walnut inlay. The Carolina has been lovingly restored to 1920s beauty, with mohair chairs, brass call buttons, and leaded glass transom "toplight" windows. The museum holds numerous special events throughout the year, including a North Pole Express holiday celebration for children, “Dinner on the Diner,” and both group and private tours.
A Greenwood tradition for almost 60 years, Rainbo Antiques has been a go-to spot for antiques, home treasures, art, and estate jewelry. Three generations of the Dodgen family have shared their love of beautiful things. With daughter Karen Dodgen Price at the helm, granddaughter Melanie Price Darley has now introduced interior design services to the business. Their fresh take on repurposing antiques for modern life can open your eyes to new possibilities.
Drive-in theaters may have made a comeback during the COVID pandemic, but Greenwood’s 25 Drive-In Auto Theater was way ahead of the curve. The Drive In first opened in 1945 and operated continuously until the mid 1980s. The theater reopened in 2009, after a renovation, added a second screen in 2011, converted to digital in 2014, and added a third screen in 2015. The gates open every Friday and Saturday night, no matter the weather, with three separate double features. Don’t forget the burgers and fries at the concession stand.
The iconic neon sign of the “The Dixie” tells you everything you need to know: This is a place that takes its burgers and fries seriously. And its classic fried bologna sandwiches and apple turnovers. Can we talk about the onion rings? There is seating at the counter and outside, or you can eat in your car the old school way. They must be doing something right—the home of the Dixie Cheese has been in the business of making hungry people happy since 1959.