When it comes to spending time in Greensboro, many families can appreciate the city’s parks and history. Greensboro, North Carolina is a beautiful city filled with amazing museums, gardens, parks, art galleries, unique restaurants, and more.
This city is loved by both young working professionals and families, and it’s easy to see why. It’s almost like North Carolina’s best-kept secret, but it’s a secret no more! Here’s all the best things to do in Greensboro NC.
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COOLEST PLACES TO STAY IN GREENSBORO NC
Best Budget Hotel. Wyndham Garden Greensboro offers low rates in the heart of the Greensboro Triad. If you’re looking for the most affordable, quality hotel close to Greensboro activities with close by dining options this is the place.
Best Luxury Option. Proximity Hotel offers large rooms, clean spaces and generous amenities. Try a bike rental or a cocktail in one of the lovely restaurants.
Best for Families. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Greensboro Airport has an indoor pool and the “suite” life that make your stay so much more convenient when traveling with your family. A complimentary buffet-style breakfast makes those harried mornings a bit less hectic.
INTERNATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS CENTER & MUSEUM
The International Civil Rights Center and Museum is an important structure and building in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was previously known as a Woolworths. The building hosted a historical event during the Civil Rights Movement where four students sat at a whites-only lunch counter. The peaceful protests grew day after day, and now the museum serves to remember those actions.
Today, the building features permanent exhibitions including the famous Woolworth’s lunch counter. It also includes The Battlegrounds, which has a film, artifacts, and reenactments of The Civil War. Aside from their permanent exhibits, they also have rotating exhibits throughout the year in their 35,000 square foot museum.
This is a great educational activity for the whole family and an important reminder of American history.
GREENSBORO SCIENCE CENTER
The Greensboro Science Center is the perfect stop for those who love to have fun while exploring educational activities. The center has a lot going on and can certainly take up a day of fun.
The science center was formerly known as the Greensboro Junior Museum, and was attracting about 200,000 visitors a year. Now it has over 400,000 visitors a year, thanks to its interactive exhibits and conservation efforts.
The zoo alone offers some serious fun with unique animals to see. They even offer what is called the Zoo Trek, which gives you an up-close tour of their animals! This behind the scenes features allow you to help experts feed the animals while learning about their natural habitats.
For those who prefer to not get up close and personal with the animals, there is still quite a bit to do. Whether you want to catch one of their Omni theater shows that play daily or get hands-on with their extreme weather exhibits, there is something for everyone!
TANGER FAMILY BICENTENNIAL GARDEN
A little greenery and fresh air are always nice on a sunny day. That’s why visiting the Tanger Family and Bicentennial Garden is always a nice activity to add to your list of things to do in Greensboro. The garden itself is beautiful, and has a beautiful history as well. The historical garden was made to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the United States!
This is a place commonly used for wedding ceremonies, thanks to its beautiful wedding gazebo as well as beautiful man-made circulating stream. You can enjoy the historical sculptures placed throughout the garden along with the flowers, plants, and canopy trees.
GUILFORD COURTHOUSE NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
Along with the other important historical sites, one you don’t want to miss is the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. This site is home to the Battle of Guilford Courthouse during the Revolutionary War. The battlegrounds of the park commemorate this battle on March 15, 1781, between Major General Nathanael Greene’s militia alongside the Continental Army versus Lord Charles Earl Cornwallis British and Hessian Army.
When you start out at the Visitor Center, you can have one of the park rangers guide you through these events with a map and detailed history. Not only is the park beautiful, but it really transports you back in time to pivotal events during the American Revolution.
Extra tip! You can use your cellphone for a self-guided tour. The entire walk is 1.75 miles lasting 1.5 hours in tour length. The total audio is 38 minutes, but they give you plenty of time to take in the scenery and information.
If you love nature, then the Greensboro Arboretum is a must-see. The 17-acre site located in Lindley Park has 15 different plant collections across beautifully landscaped grounds. It’s one of the free things you can do in Greensboro, so if you are there on a budget — it’s perfect.
The Arboretum is surrounded by dense forest and greenery, making it feel truly magical. It’s so beautiful, weddings are often held here.
With several gardens throughout the Arboretum, there are a few different options for events. The Kaplan Family Rose Garden, The Butterfly Garden, and Fountain, among many areas, are beautiful for events, photos, or just a stroll through the park.
The Greensboro Coliseum is an entertainment and sports complex that happens to be the largest indoor arena in the U.S. It is home to eight different venues on the inside, such as an aquatic center, amphitheater, banquet hall, and more. It also happens to be the home of UNC Greensboro Men’s Basketball, along with the women’s pro basketball team, The Swarm.
Since the venue can hold 23,500 spectators, it has had some pretty serious events, including the ACC Men’s basketball tournament, the 2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the NCAA Final Four, among others.
This place is always having events on a weekly basis, so be sure to check their calendar out.
GREENSBORO HISTORY MUSEUM
Civil War history buffs will love everything the Greensboro History Museum has to offer. The building consists of the First Presbyterian Church and the Smith Memorial Building. The church, which was built in 1892, was the site for the Confederate Hospital.
While the museum offers tons of information about the cultural history of Greensboro, you can also find current exhibits that stay up to date with the times. In fact, they offer 17,000 square feet of space to tell their city’s story — like why it’s called the Gate City.
The director can tell you that Greensboro became a transportation center, and a gate between the West and South, due to the rail lines being put in. Before that, Greensboro was known as “The City of Flowers.”
GREENHILL CENTER FOR NC ART
For those who love art galleries and art in general, the GreenHill Center for NC Art is the perfect place to visit. This space is specifically dedicated to North Carolina artists, with galleries and exhibitions for visual and musical arts. They often have tons of events on the calendar for locals and visitors to enjoy.
In addition to permanent exhibits, they also feature shows that rotate on a seasonal basis. You’ll also find a gift shop here, where you can purchase local crafts and artwork.
While it’s definitely worth going in person, they have also accommodated those who can’t due to the pandemic. Check out their virtual shows and exhibits year-round online.
Looking for a garden full of whimsy and fun? Gateway Gardens in a great choice. We think this park is one of the best in the city, and the perfect place to bring your kids. The 11-acre space has a kid’s play area, as well as a rain garden! With paved trails, this is a great walking space for visitors. There are also picnic tables found here, making it a great lunch spot.
The best part? This beautiful park is free to visit. Explore the interactive garden with its beautiful structures and art displays.
If your kids need to get some energy out outside of the children’s garden, then head over to the Great Lawn where they can run uninterrupted in luscious green space!
Elsewhere is the most fitting name of the next stop on our list. This museum is a quirky space dedicated to thrift shopping and collaborative art. This museum used to be a three-story thrift shop owned by Sylvia Gray. Now they’ve turned her 58-years worth of collections into a fun museum that collaborates on anti-racist movements and important issues.
With creativity behind everything having to do with Elsewhere, you can visit the museum in person, take an online virtual tour during the pandemic, or attend one of their fabulous events. For regular museum visits, you will be limited to the first floor, but they also host “3-floor tours” on Saturday afternoons.
THE BOG GARDEN AT BENJAMIN PARK
The Bog Garden at Benjamin Park is part of the Greensboro Beautiful initiative, and is a great place to visit. Filling your time in Greensboro at beautiful gardens certainly isn’t bad, and that’s especially true when you come here. This one stands out thanks to its elevated boardwalk that takes you over seven acres of wetlands and natural beauty.
Serenity Falls can also be marveled at while taking in birds, other wildlife, and the stunning greenery in the area. This is a man-made recirculating waterfall set back into the woods.
The garden offers free admission and is open during the day.
WEATHERSPOON ART MUSEUM
Although history plays a big role in things to do in Greensboro, you’ll also find an appreciation for modern art here too. At the University of North Carolina Greensboro, you’ll find one of the largest contemporary and modern art museums in the Southeast — the Weatherspoon Art Museum.
This art museum has an incredible focus on American art, giving visitors a sense of appreciation for local artists. Here you’ll find permanent exhibitions, as well as rotating exhibits — so there’s always something new to see.
With the idea of promoting cultural diversity through modern art, this is not only an artistic activity, but an educational one for the entire family.
Crafted, also known as Crafted The Art Of The Taco, is a Greensboro must! It’s a taco and burger joint that is inspired by global gourmet food.
Perfect for a date night or a family outing, this is a great place to experience some local favorites.
In terms of burgers, The Smoke Goat Burger is one to remember. It has a beef patty with smoked goat cheese, pepper jelly, and bacon! But if you are more of a tacos person, then make sure that you order Wayfarer. This one has Bulgogi short rib, white rice, Korean red sauce, Shakalaka sauce, kimchi, scallions, and more.
If none of this seems kid-friendly, don’t worry! They have a kids menu too, that includes grilled cheese, tacos and more.
PRINT WORKS BISTRO
Because we love to eat, we had to give you another recommendation to end this list of fun things to do in Greensboro NC! Print Works Bistro is located adjacent to the Proximity Hotel, and offers a beautifully relaxing and vibrant energy. What makes this place unique is that it’s owned by its employees, and providing the best service is one of its top priorities.
You can pick from one of 75 different selections of wine while enjoying a delicious dessert of a full-blown meal. They have also won several awards for their craft cocktails that go great with brunch or dinner.
The best piece of advice any local can give you is to make time for their brunch. Whether it’s their Bistro Benedict or their Truffle Fries, it will be worth the visit.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO NORTH CAROLINA
- YOUR NORTH CAROLINA VACATION
- RALEIGH: 17+ Unforgettable Things To Do In Raleigh You’ll Love
- NC BEACHES: 16 Sensational North Carolina Beaches You Need To Visit This Summer
- NC RENTALS: 29 Unique North Carolina Rentals For Your Next Getaway
- NC RESORTS: 24 Resorts In North Carolina That Will Have You Packing Your Bags Tonight
WHERE TO STAY IN GREENSBORO NC
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