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21 Exciting Things to do in Greenville (NC BBQ, Outdoor Adventures, and More!)

Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on April 22, 2024.

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Home of the East Carolina University Pirates, Greenville, at first glance, is a college town, but look a little closer, and you’ll see there’s much more beyond campus.

Of course, there are plenty of enticing things to do in Greenville right around ECU, but we want to show you how to explore Uptown, the Tar River, and more spots beyond the school.

From hitting the Brews and Cue Trail to soaking up local art and all in between, there are plenty of ways to explore Greenville regardless of what brings you.

If you need to find something specific in our Greenville guide, we’ve organized it into the following sections:

  • Year-Round Things to Do in Greenville
    • Brews and Cue Trail (Food and Drink in Greenville)
    • Outdoor Things to Do in Greenville
    • Arts and History Attractions in Greenville
    • Arts in Farmville
    • Farm Fun in Winterville
  • Seasonal Events in Greenville
  • Where to Stay in Greenville

Whether you’re a new resident, a frequent visitor, or a local, we’re leaving no detail behind. If you live in the Greensville area and are wondering, “What are the best things to do near me?” we think this NC travel guide will help you out!

Read More: 100+ Places to Visit in Eastern North Carolina.

We’ve also included a visit to Greenville among our favorite day trips from Raleigh and also, from Durham.

Year-Round Things to Do in Greenville, NC

1. Brews and Cues Trail

Did you know that Greenville and its Pitt County neighbors host some of the best North Carolina Barbecue? With legendary historic pits like B’s in Greenville and Skylight Inn and Bum’s in Ayden, eating up barbecue should be the first thing you do in Greenville.

But what goes great with barbecue? Beer. And Greenville has plenty of incredible breweries to keep you thirsty!

Check out the cool vibe at Pitt Street Brewing, or head into Winterville for Local Oak Brewing. A pint glass awaits you at either place you choose—or both!

raw oysters and other farm-fresh upscale dishes at Starlight Cafe

If you’ve had your fill of barbecue, there are plenty of delicious restaurants in Greenville waiting to take your order. A nice mix of farm-fresh and upscale dishes at Starlight Cafe and good simple food at Molly’s Community Cafe await.

True foodies flock to Greenville, and after we spend the day sampling some of this menu, we can see why! This guide shares a few more places to eat in the area if you’re hungry!

Read More: 50+ Easy Day Trips from Fayetteville (Great Getaways!)

Outdoor Things to Do in Greenville

Kayak with Knee Deep Adventures

Christina kayaking on the Tar River

Experience a one-of-a-kind adventure when you paddle with Knee Deep Adventures. The Tar River is filled with beautiful views and wildlife that can only be experienced from the water.

Rent a boat or schedule a guided tour, Kelsey and her team at Knee Deep Adventures will make sure you are all set to have a memorable experience!

KDA also hosts cool events like Paddle and Pints, Dog Paddle, and SUP Yoga! Kesley even offers guided night paddles, where you see unexpected wildlife under the moonlight!

Read More: Day Trips from Durham

Jaycee Park

Address: 2000 Cedar Lane, Greenville, NC

There have been more X-Game medals earned by BMX riders living in this area than anywhere else, so Greenville will naturally have an amazing bike park.

Extreme Park has everything from the pro ramps to beginner. Whether you’re ready to jump the ramps yourself or catch some of the action.

For those wondering what to do in Greenville, NC, to get your heart pumping, stopping by Jaycee Park is a great option.

South Tar River Greenway

a large paved path through the woods in Greenville and a mailbox

Stretching three paved miles along the water, the South Tar River Greenway is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors in Greenville! Several access points include parking, but we recommend starting at Town Commons, checking out the playground, and crossing the historic bridge.

Arts and History Attractions in Greenville

Dickinson Avenue Antique Market

Address: 701 Dickinson Ave, NC

a plethora of antiques and rate collectibles at Dickinson Avenue Antique Market in Greenville

The historic 10,000-square-foot building itself is reason enough to visit the Dickinson Avenue Antique Market, but the merchants inside make it a must-see, too!

With over 20 specialized antique dealers, there is always something unique and interesting to find. Whether it’s a rare baseball card or collectibles from yesteryear, a treasure is waiting to be found here!

Eastern Carolina Village and Farm Museum

Address: 4570 Country Home Rd, NC

Travel back in time and experience North Carolina circa 1840 to 1940 at the Eastern Carolina Village and Farm Museum. Touring this 5.6-acre farm takes you to a one-room schoolhouse, a country store, and a milk house. Tours must be arranged in advance, but totally worth it!

If you aren’t able to attend a tour, the museum hosts monthly “History Speaks” events on the second Saturday of every month.

Address: 404 Evans St, NC

With a mission to make art accessible to the entire community, Emerge Gallery features three main galleries to enjoy, along with a number of workshops and classes for all ages. Stop in and enjoy the rotating exhibits!

Greenville Museum of Art

Address: 802 South Evans St, NC

an art gallery with orange walls and warm wooden flooring. through the doorway, you can see a modern art piece

The FREE-to-visit Greenville Museum of Art is truly a masterpiece. With an impressive display of local creations, the Greenville Museum of Art is a great activity for families, a date night, or if you are looking for unique things to do in Greenville, NC.

They also hold some really great events that can elevate your experience at the museum!

A Time for Science (Greenville Science Center)

Address: 226 West 8th St, Greenville, NC

Located in Uptown Greenville, the Greenville Science Center offers hands-on educational learning in a fun and engaging way. The exhibits are a lot of fun, and hold camps and e-mentoring programs to support STEAM education in Pitt County.

Extend your learning experience and head 30 minutes south to their Grifton Nature and Science Center, which features 380 acres of nature preserve, kayaking, and the Chia-yu Li Planetarium!

Arts in Farmville

a large painting of a license plate that reads Farmville on a brick building.

As far as North Carolina small towns go, Farmville is probably one of the cutest. With beautiful murals and a community of warm smiles, it’s worth taking the 15-minute drive from Greenville to check out!

The GlasStation

Address: 3732 W Wilson St, Farmville, NC

a unique building at ECU campus designed like a gas station but used as a hand-blown glass art studio

Only 15 miles away from ECU’s main campus is The GlasStation. Developed by grassroots efforts from volunteers of The Farmville Group, this facility is a glass studio for both college students and the general public.

Guided by ECU professor and glass artist Mike Tracy, class participants will spend three hours making their own hand-blown piece of art.

Address: 3764 South Main St, Farmville, NC

enclosed art installations at Eastern Carolina University in Greenville

Ready to browse more art? Check out the Wonderbox Gallery in Farmville! The space is dedicated to installation pieces by ECU students and is always filled with fun and thought-provoking pieces!

Dapper Dan’s Antiques

Address: 3743 S Main St, Farmville, NC

a massive room full of antique furniture, jewelry, and collectibles.

With 5,000 square feet of antiques, furniture, vintage clothes, and more, there is something fun and unique waiting for you at Dapper Dan’s Antiques.

The store is filled with a great selection of vintage items and is an absolute wonderland where you could spend hours exploring their treasures.

Farmville Furniture Company

Address: 3757 S Main St, Farmville, NC

a large store with green carpet selling  flowers, blankets, and other interior decor

North Carolina has always had a long legacy with furniture making. Farmville Furniture Company has been in Eastern North Carolina for over 110 years! Browse their selection and take something home, but we don’t have to tell you to do that.

Farm Fun in Winterville

Strawberries on 903

Address: 4084 NC-903, NC

a strawberry stand in front of a small pond on a sunny day in Pitt County

Strawberries on 903 is a roadside produce stand in southern Pitt County, part of 1600 acres that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The stand is part of a 100-year-old tobacco barn that is absolutely stunning.

In addition to picking up fresh produce, Strawberries on 903 offers u-pick strawberries and vegetables during spring and summer. You can also join a farm tour, enjoy the farm animals, and catch a hayride!

Brock’s Farm

Address: 886 Laurie Ellis Rd, Winterville, NC

Pick strawberries and pick up tasty produce at Brock’s Farm! This Pitt County farm is a beautiful way to connect with rural life outside of the city. Stock up on their fresh produce from the farm stand or enjoy one of the seasonal events they hold!

Seasonal Events in Greenville

  • PirateFest (April): PirateFest is Greenville’s largest and most popular festival, typically closing down eight city blocks. Don your peg-leg and enjoy free music, street food, carnival rides, and plenty of Pirate-themed events!
  • Farmville Dogwood Festival (April): For over 32 years, the Farmville Dogwood Festival has brought family and friends together in this downtown Farmville celebration. Concerts, artisans, craft-making for kids, and amusement rides make this a family fun event.
  • Oktoberfest (October): German food, crafts, entertainment, and beer from Greenville breweries make this annual event a lot of fun!
  • Festival of Trees (December): With support from local businesses, the Festival of Trees brings Christmas spirit to the Greenville Convention Center! 100 beautifully decorated trees are on display, and children can even read a story with Santa.

Read More: Christmas in North Carolina (the Best Holiday Events)

Where to Stay in Greenville

A green two-story house with flowers and shrubs in the front yard

If you are looking for a unique experience, we recommend checking into The Music House in Uptown Greenville. Built back in 1901 and owned by an ECU Music Professor, this Victorian home is beautiful both outside and inside.

a room in The Music House full of nostalgic memorabilia, antique furniture, and other interesting items.

Each room is filled with quirky yet nostalgic memorabilia as well as plenty of music-themed items. You’ll find yourself looking around throughout your stay and discovering something new. Take your coffee out on the porch and enjoy the ease of walking downtown. On top of it, John is a gracious host!

Ready To Visit Greenville, NC?

Whether you are coming to cheer on the Pirates or searching for some legendary NC barbecue, you’ll find that there are so many fun things to do in Greenville NC.

Go antiquing, paddle down the Toe River, and, of course, grab a pint and cue. There are so many places to go and discover.

Have you ever spent time in Greenville? If so, we’d love to know your favorite things to do here. If you’ve never been, let us know what you’re going to do first!

More Things to Do in Eastern North Carolina

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