Head to South Carolina for a low-key escape.
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Greer, SC
Credit: NSA Digital Archive/Getty Images

We're always on the lookout for great road trip stops, charming small towns, and driveable destinations for weekend getaways. That's how we learned about Greer, South Carolina. If you don't know about this place, you soon will. It has lots to recommend it: Located between Greenville (one of the South's cities on the rise) and Spartanburg, it's a destination for great shops and restaurants, plus there are green parks and tranquil lakes for relaxing on the weekends. With a population of just over 35,000, you'll have plenty of room to roam in Greer without worrying about crowds, dinner queues, and traffic. It's also a great (and easy!) daytrip from bustling Greenville. Sounds like a perfect getaway to us.

Explore a Park

The city parks in Greer are many: Greer City Park and Century Park have great playgrounds for the kids, and there are plenty of shady benches for the grown-ups too. Don't miss the Sno Hut outpost in Century Park for icy treats, and steer the kids to the big green slides for instant entertainment. In addition to the outdoor parks, there are also indoor event spaces and arts and culture hubs like The Spinning Jenny, a concert hall housed in the former Greer Opry House. It has a big calendar of events, including concerts, dance and theater performances, and festivals.

Try a New Restaurant

No matter what type of food you're looking for, Greer has it. Check out Barista Alley, The Bleu Porch Kitchen and Market, Wild Ace Pizza & Pub, Crate Restaurant & Wine Bar, Harvest Kitchen, and Abbott's Frozen Custard, for starters. Then explore Cartwright Food Hall, an artisanal-style eatery where you'll find Empanada Shack, Flying Fox Coffee, Mi Irie on Trade, White Wine & Butter, and much more.

Check Out the Lake

The city's water oasis is Lake Robinson, which is located northwest of Greer proper. In addition to boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing, the 800-acre lake is also known for its scenic beauty, which includes views of the North Greenville mountains. (Before launching into the water or casting a line, be sure to check the permit policy for the lake.)

Go Shopping

If you're in the mood for a browse, check out the historic district and surrounding area, which is filled with retail resources. Benchmark Bicycle Supply Co.; Olive's Branch Gallery; Talloni, a shoe salon; The Galleries of Brian Brigham, an antique and interiors market, are just a few of the spots you'll find in Greer. In addition to all the downtown shops, if you time your visit right, you might catch one of the fun citywide events such as the Arts and Eats Festival, Moonlight Movies, Food Truck Rollout, and Greer Farmers' Market.