Explore the S.C. Botanical Garden
The South Carolina Botanical Garden is a great place to spend a day looking at plants, flowers and even rocks, and there are many things to explore on the Clemson campus — even if your blood doesn’t run orange!
From Greenville, the gardens are about a 45-minute drive. From Spartanburg, allow an hour and a half.
Before you go
Check Pinterest for an outdoor scavenger hunt, and print one off for each child. This is a great way to keep them on track and motivated as they move through the gardens.
There are well-maintained paths through the gardens, but depending on recent weather and crowds, a backpack might be preferable to a stroller. If you don’t have a backpack, there are some paved paths you can stick to if it’s muddy.
Bring water bottles and pack a lunch, weather permitting, so you can enjoy one of the many great spots to set up a picnic in the botanical garden. Also, pack some dry oatmeal to feed the ducks at the garden’s pond.
Fort Hill Plantation
Start out at the Fort Hill Plantation’s Calhoun Mansion — the beautifully preserved home of John C. Calhoun, the nation’s seventh vice president. It’s right in the middle of the Clemson campus.
Calhoun’s daughter, Anna Maria, married Clemson University founder Thomas Green Clemson. The home is filled with family artifacts. Budget about an hour to tour the home and gardens.
Campbell Geology Museum
The Bob Campbell Geology Museum is on the property of the South Carolina Botanical Garden, and it’s a good second stop. It’s not big, but they have a great collection of rocks and minerals as well as fossils and other earthen elements.
They have a scavenger hunt for the kids, with a page of questions, one set for younger kids, and a more challenging set for the older kids. I was really surprised at how much my kids enjoyed looking at all the different rocks.
South Carolina Botanical Garden
From the museum, you can walk right to the gardens. Grab a map at the kiosk near the museum. The gardens are at their most beautiful in the late spring and early summer, so now’s the time to plan an excursion.
If you’re just walking and taking in the scenery, it’ll take about an hour to do the main loop. You can easily double that time, however. The garden is pet-friendly.
Heading back toward Greenville, we decided to try a burger joint on Woodruff Road. I love a place with some history, and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers has it, even though it’s new to Greenville. Founded in Wichita, Kansas, the company’s namesake, Freddy Simon, is a World War II veteran. Freddy’s serves traditional American fare — hot dogs and hamburgers. The hamburgers were hot and fresh, but Freddy’s also serves frozen custard, so save room for dessert.
It was a great ending to a perfect day!