Greensboro is a charming Southern city that’s often overlooked. It’s an American metropolis steeped in rich history from significant Revolutionary and Civil War events and a bustling era of industry during the implementation of railroads.
Today, the city boasts a quirky personality that draws in visitors from all over, and there are plenty of things to do in Greensboro for all to enjoy! The adorable downtown has attractions that any type of traveler will love.
Greensboro is affectionately referred to as “tournament town,” a nickname based on the plethora of sporting events occurring everywhere. However, it has so much more to offer than just primetime athletics. Through the years, Greensboro has emerged as a cultural haven for North Carolina, with eateries, museums, gardens, and galleries galore. Let’s dig into the best things to do in Greensboro for a great North Carolina getaway.
The Best Things To Do In Greensboro
Stroll Through Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden
Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden offers over seven wonder-filled acres of nature in this charming North Carolina city and walking here is one of the best things to do in Greensboro. One thing that makes this urban oasis so special is that its community maintained. Sometimes a bit of soothing seclusion is just what the soul needs.
Stunning bronze sculptures are scattered throughout the ornate manicured gardens. Small streams wind their way through a lush landscape creating a relaxing atmosphere. Find the gorgeous gazebo within the ethereal environment for some serious peace and quiet. It’s all around a fantastic foray into the flora of Greensboro and beyond.
- Address: 1105 Hobbs Rd, Greensboro (GPS)
- Hours: 8:00 am-5:00 pm
Greensboro Science Center
Greensboro Science Center is an amalgamation of many educational institutions all in one that’s fun and interesting for all ages. You’ll find interactive exhibits, wonderful wildlife, and an amazing aquarium. It’s easily one of the best indoor things to do in Greensboro. Many species of marine life can be observed here, from otters to sharks.
The Animal Discovery Center has eclectic living collections including lemurs, crocodiles, and red pandas. We especially loved the Extreme Weather Gallery. Be sure to see an impressive spectacle at the 3D Omnisphere on all kinds of cool topics, such as dinosaurs and space. There are classes and camps to take part in and Sky Wild offers a treetop adventure you won’t soon forget.
- Address: 4301 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro (GPS)
- Hours: 9:00 am- 4:00 pm
Greensboro History Museum
Set in the heart of downtown, Greensboro History Museum is just as spectacular to look at as it is to explore. It was once a Presbyterian church and is absolutely a must for all architectural aficionados. It was built in 1892 and perfectly embodies the Romanesque Revival style.
It spans 17,000 square feet and both presents and preserves a wide array of heritage artifacts of the region, ranging across all kinds of eras and individuals. A true celebration of local culture, this is a great way to learn more about the real Greensboro while in town.
- Address: 130 Summit Ave, Greensboro (GPS)
- Cost of Admission: Free
Eat at the many Restaurants
Crafted The Art of the Taco is one of the most popular dining destinations in the area and one of the best Greensboro restaurants. They serve up globally inspired tacos and burgers on an always inspired and inventive menu. Try the Big Truck Taco with pulled pork and mac and cheese or the Fedora Taco with seared tuna and kimchi.
Then you’ll really see what they mean by art. Dame’s Chicken and Waffles is a laidback local haunt cooking up all the Southern comfort food classics. Their claim to fame is in the name and available to order in an abundance of creative combinations. We still crave the Orange Speckled Chabo regularly.
Jerusalem Market on Elm offers the most mouthwatering Middle Eastern eats in town. Dive into some authentic kebabs and shawarma made fresh from family recipes that have been passed down for generations. The traditional falafel and hummus here are out of this world.
For fine dining, fares head over to Liberty Oak. It’s an elegant and contemporary spot, with pretty plates of refined new American cuisine, such as the delectable Steak Risotto. It’s set in the oldest commercial building in the city, complete with an idyllic patio.
READ MORE: The BEST Restaurants in Greensboro
The Carolina Theater is one of the biggest and priciest performing arts venues in the entire state. It was constructed in 1927 in the Greek Revival style and the elegant interior decor boasts an Italian Renaissance design. It’s the only remaining historic theater in North Carolina.
It seats over 2,000 guests who flock to see any number of productions here, from films to concerts to plays. Check the schedule and go to see a show or simply to soak up the refurbished regal opulence of the space. It’s home to the Greensboro Ballet and puts on an annual production of The Wizard of Oz.
- Address: 310 S Greene St, Greensboro (GPS)
- Hours: Monday -Friday: 12 pm -5: 00 pm
The Bog Garden at Benjamin Park is the perfect quick escape from the crowds of the city streets. Steal away into the scenic surroundings of the local Carolina landscape. The expansive seven acres include a charming half-mile boardwalk that winds through wild wetlands.
It’s a natural preserve serving to protect native plants and animals. As such, it’s a beautiful place for some bird watching as you wander as well. You’ll find ferns, bamboo, wildflowers, and a tall cascading man-made waterfall among the bayou setting.
- Address: 1101 Hobbs Rd, Greensboro (GPS)
- Hours: Monday- Friday: 8:00 am -5:00 pm
The Elsewhere Collaborative
One of the best things to do in Greensboro is a stop at the Elsewhere Collaborative. A truly unique space, it’s a living nonprofit museum made from a lifetime amassment of memories. Browse through a permanent collection of trinkets and curiosities accumulated over decades from all over.
The intent is to inspire visitors based on left-behind items that all hold a special beauty and allure of their own. It’s often referred to as a thinking playground and functions as an international artist residency as well. There are over 600 works on display, honoring a truly integrative exploration of creativity.
- Address: 606 South Elm Street, Greensboro (GPS)
- Cost of Admission: Suggested donation per person: $5
Discover native and exotic collections of flora in 14 different themed sections at the Greensboro Arboretum. It’s a tranquil space spanning 17 acres over verdant gardens and perfectly manicured pathways that lead you across bridges and to gazebos covered in chimes set among an abundance of blossoms.
It’s open all year round and each season offers a special scene. Peruse the pollinator meadow and mosey through the conifer collection. The rose garden and butterfly garden are especially enchanting. It’s a breathtaking place working to preserve and enhance the stunning ecology of North Carolina.
- Address: 401 Ashland Dr, Greensboro (GPS)
Grab a Beer at the Breweries
There’s no shortage of superb craft beer providers in Greensboro. It can be hard to pick just one, so we highly recommend trying out the taps at as many as possible. The Pig Pounder is a fan favorite among microbrew enthusiasts. They’re known for an eclectic range of drafts, including the Rocket Fuel Coffee Stout and the Mango Habanero Lime Wheat.
The atmosphere is cool and funky, with walls adorned in bright colorful pop art murals. There’s regular live music, food trucks, and even ax throwing outback.
Natty’s Greene’s Brewing Company is one of the best breweries in North Carolina and has been a fixture of the craft beer scene in Greensboro for many years. The front porch has that classic Southern feel. Fun community events are always a delight to join in on here, like trivia night and run club. The taps have something for every preference. The Southern Session IPA is a hop head’s dream and the Wildflower Witbier is a delicious seasonal draft.
You can even take a tour for a behind-the-scenes look at how the magic is brewed. The elevated pub grub is just as impressive at the pints here.
The Weatherspoon Art Museum
The Weatherspoon Art Museum has over 6,000 works on display at any given time. It’s easily one of the biggest contemporary collections in the Southeast. The focus is mainly on American art spanning from the 20th century to current day.
Iconic pieces are exhibited here from the likes of Kooning, Warhol, and Sol Le Witt as part of permanent galleries. There are rotating installations in many different mediums as well, including Japanese woodblock prints and presentations of art on paper. Be sure to take a stroll through the enchanting outdoor sculpture garden on the grounds as well.
- Address: 1005 Spring Garden St, Greensboro (GPS)
Gateway Gardens has been touted as one of the most beautiful places in the country, and is one of the best things to do in Greensboro on a beautiful day. The 11 acres are known for their variety of plants and the interactivity of the landscape created within them. It’s an all-around playful place that inspires movement and education through community.
The Rain Garden and Great Lawn are especially magnificent horticultural masterpieces. It’s open all year round and is beloved by locals and visitors alike. Be sure to check out their schedule of cool classes and workshops while adventuring around Greensboro.
- Address: 2800 E Gate City Blvd, Greensboro (GPS)
The Antique Marketplace is a veritable treasure trove. For any and all collectors, vintage lovers, and bargain hunters it’s the hidden gem of Greensboro. There are over a hundred vendors and forty-five thousand square feet to dig through.
You’ll find a little bit of everything, including furniture, vinyl, books, relics, and jewelry. It’s a great way to shop small in Greensboro and go home with that one-of-a-kind souvenir. The inventory is ever-changing and always high quality here.
- Address: 6428 Burnt Poplar Rd, Greensboro (GPS)
International Civil Rights Center
This must-see museum is set on the site of the famous sit-ins that propelled the Civil Rights movement forward in the early 1960s at Woolworth’s counter. These revolutionary students are commonly referred to as the Greensboro Four, and it’s a staggering piece of history to witness firsthand here at the International Civil Rights Center.
The center is dedicated to educating visitors on the realities of life within the segregated South. 13 permanent exhibits include audio and video presentations, artifacts, restorations, and reenactments. The powerful narratives at play here are sure to touch anyone, whether you’re a history buff or not.
- Address: 134 S Elm St, Greensboro (GPS)
Take the Kids to Emerald Pointe
Emerald Pointe is an esteemed waterpark in the state of North Carolina and one of the best things to do in Greensboro with kids! People travel from all over to enjoy some wet and wild fun in the summer Southern sunshine here. You’ll find state-of-the-art plunge pools, slides, rides, and rivers.
For any adrenaline junkies, some of these attractions are full of thrills. Daredevils will love Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror and Dragon’s Den. There are plenty of stands around selling snacks and refreshing drinks to enjoy as you laze by the Leisure Lagoon or play in the Splash Zone.
- Address: 3910 S Holden Rd, Greensboro (GPS)
This highly regarded gallery first opened in the United Kingdom in the 1980s. Even after making its way to the other side of the pond, it’s still true to its roots, displaying European and English works. It attracts buyers and appreciators from all over the world.
The collections feature a diverse array of mediums and styles, including everything from humanist realism to impressionist paintings. It’s privately owned with a reputation for eccentric exhibitions and strives to honor aesthetic beauty in every aspect.
- Address: 528 S Elm St, Greensboro (GPS)
Crooked Tail Cat Cafe
We have the perfect spot for you if you have never been to a car cafe! Crooked Tail serves as a haven for cat enthusiasts in Greensboro, offering them a serene space to relax while actively supporting rescue initiatives for local cats. It functions as a sanctuary for rescue cats, providing shelter for up to 12 cats simultaneously until they discover their forever homes. Proceeds from visits to the cat lounge directly contribute to the creation of a secure and nurturing environment for the rescue felines.
Within the cat lounge, the resident cats enjoy the freedom to roam, and guests are warmly encouraged to engage in play and interaction with these charming feline companions, all while sipping a lovely cappuccino with a plant based baked good.
While walk-in visitors are accommodated whenever possible, the space is smaller, and for the safety of the furry residents they only allow a small amount of people in at one time. Reservations are encouraged.
For those seeking a quick bite or beverage to go, the café is open to the public without the necessity of reserving cat lounge time.
Nailed It DIY Studio
If you spend hours browsing Pinterest or Instagram for fun and quirky projects you can do yourself at home, Greensboro has the ultimate attraction for you in the form of Nailed It DIY Studio. Classes range from home decor to crafts and provide simple step-by-step instructions to make a masterpiece that you can leave with at the end.
They have all the tools you could possibly need on site, and you can even bring your own drinks for an added boozy bonus. You can pick your own project or one already available that suits your style based on the season, an event, or a room in your house. The variety of DIY here is endless, from pet paraphernalia to trending stencils.
- Address: 403 State St, Greensboro (GPS)
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
There are over 200 acres to explore on the historic grounds of Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. Nature trails are aplenty to hike or bike, and the scenery offers many interesting sites and ecosystems. You can either take a guided tour or trek around on your own.
There are informational displays and statues of generals to explain the historical significance of the area. The namesake battle took place in 1781 and was one of the most contested fights in the Revolutionary War. It combines a beautiful balance for history buffs and nature lovers to enjoy equally.
- Address: 2332 New Garden Road, Greensboro (GPS)
Day Trip to Mt Airy
Nestled among the foothills of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina lies the quaint town of Mount Airy. At just an hours drive from Greensboro, it makes for a fanastic day trip from the city.
Its reputation for charm is well-deserved, as it is primarily known as the hometown of Andy Griffith and the real-life inspiration for the idyllic neighborhood depicted in his beloved show, Mayberry. As a result, the streets of Mount Airy are brimming with a sense of retro nostalgia, creating a unique atmosphere that can’t be found anywhere else. This uniqueness translates into a plethora of distinctive activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy in Mount Airy.
Beyond its charming facade, Mount Airy boasts a wealth of hidden treasures, including the beauty of its natural surroundings, quirky attractions waiting to be explored, and a rich history that is uniquely its own.
Day Trip to Hanging Rock State Park
If you are looking to get a little nature and hiking in the stunning Hanging Rock State Park is just one hour away from Greensboro, making for another excellent day trip. Even better – combine Hanging Rock with Mt Airy for a beautiful small town day.
Covering over 9,000 acres of pristine natural beauty in North Carolina, Hanging Rock State Park stands out as one of the premier state parks in the state. Within its boundaries lie a diverse array of landscapes and natural wonders, ranging from towering peaks to cascading waterfalls, and dense forests teeming with wildlife.
Renowned for its rugged and remote rock formations, head here for the day and enjoy a hike, or a serene day by the lake. Our favorite hike is easily the Hanging Rock Trail. This is one of the most popular picks, as the namesake of the area. It’s 2.6-miles round trip and leads you straight to the top of the famous outcrop for plenty of Instaworthy photo ops
Things To Do In Greensboro Map
TRAVEL AROUND THE REGION
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Plan For Your Trip to the South!
- We like to use VRBO when searching for vacation apartment rentals and Booking.com when searching for hotels.
- See our favorite cooler for the road!
- Get Around: We suggest renting a car for traveling the Carolinas. Check Prices on RentalCars.com
- Our Favorite Travel Shoes: Our answer to this question is always Allbirds.
- Check out our favorite North Carolina Souvenir!
- Fly For Free: Turn your spending into airline miles and points with travel credit cards (that’s what we do!). See our favorite travel credit cards.