Sprinting through North Carolina? Adjourn your journey to relish in all the best things to do in Greensboro, NC. North Carolina’s third-largest city, Greensboro teems with superb museums, historic sites, and beautiful parks, making it a fantastic addition to any Southeast US itinerary.
Also known as the Gate City, Greensboro, NC, offers a ton of interesting tourist attractions for vacationers. Spend time relaxing in Greensboro’s lovely greenspaces or perusing exquisite artwork and exhibits at its top-notch history and art museums. Or add a little spice to your evening with delicious food and craft cocktails at Greensboro’s trendy restaurants and bars.
Pondering about what to do in Greensboro? Kick off your journey with this complete guide to the best places to visit in Greensboro, NC.
Must-see places to visit in Greensboro, NC
Greensboro Science Center
Want to take your little ones out on a fun tour? Head over to the Greensboro Science Center. Located in beautiful Country Park, the science center houses an aquarium, a museum, and a zoological park. It’s a surefire bet to cheer up you and your kids on your North Carolina itinerary.
At Greensboro Science Center, you’ll witness the profound beauty of aquatic life. Bring the kids to Carolina SciQuarium, an inland aquarium showcasing eels, otters, sharks, and tropical fish species.
Elsewhere in the Greensboro Science Center, you can marvel at the 36-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex and get spooked by live snakes in the Herpetarium.
Want to explore your adventurous side? Set aside time to check out Skywild, the science museum’s treetop adventure park.
The Greensboro Science Center also offers plenty of educational activities for kids, including science workshops and field trips.
Need to add a shot of nature to your North Carolina trip? Get dazzled by some of the state’s most beautiful plant life and landscapes at the Greensboro Arboretum. Located three miles from the city center, the 17-acre park is one of the most beautiful places to see in Greensboro, NC.
Housing 14 different plant collections, the Greensboro Arboretum unlocks the divine beauty of North Carolina’s nature. Stroll through the themed collections to gaze at hollies, roses, and rhododendrons as butterflies flutter above.
Before you leave, be sure to grab the perfect IG shot at the park’s photogenic Tanger Family Wedding Gazebo and the Elena Marzulla Bridge.
The Greensboro Arboretum is open daily all year-round.
The Bog Garden at Benjamin Park
Chill out from the stresses of North Carolina road trippin’ with a stop at The Bog Garden at Benjamin Park. One of Greensboro’s loveliest green spaces, the botanical garden strings together seven beautiful acres of natural wetlands less than ten minutes from the city center.
Stroll along the park’s half-mile elevated boardwalk to sink into its beautiful plant life, including more than 8,000 trees, bamboo, ferns, and even wildflowers.
Before departing The Bog Garden at Benjamin Park, catch a moment of calm at the Dr. Joe Christian Serenity Falls. Crashing down 150 feet, the man-made waterfall, completed in 2005, delivers one of the park’s most beautiful scenes.
Nature lovers visiting North Carolina can’t leave Greensboro without frolicking in Gateway Gardens. Located at the eastern entrance to the city, this interactive garden integrates history, culture, and natural beauty and is one of the coolest places to go in Greensboro, NC, for relaxation.
Gateway Gardens splits into several distinct areas, including a rain garden, children’s garden, and heritage garden. As you stroll through the 11-acre garden, keep your eyes peeled for its distinctive public artwork, including the 25-foot-tall bronze fountain in the Heritage Garden and Plaza.
Greensboro History Museum
History buffs looking to learn more about Greensboro can’t miss out on the Greensboro History Museum. Sitting in the heart of the city, the popular history museum assembles 17,000 square feet of permanent exhibits recalling Greensboro’s history from before colonization to the modern day.
Walking through the interactive exhibits at the Greensboro History Museum, you’ll learn about the Piedmont region’s original native inhabitants and the city’s contributions to the American Revolution War and the Civil War. You’ll also find enlightening displays on the rise of the textile industry in the American South and the Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina.
Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden
Enliven the senses and calm the nerves at the tranquil Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden. Contiguous with The Bog Garden, the 7.5-acre public garden is one of the most popular green spaces in Greensboro for locals to enjoy a relaxing afternoon away from the buzz of the city.
Wander through the Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden to admire its colorful annuals and walkways sprinkled with sculptures. Shake away the city blues in the park’s interactive Sensory Garden and capture the perfect Instagram shot at the elegant Wedding Gazebo.
When you’re done exploring the gardens, carve out time to explore the adjacent David Caldwell Historic Park. The site marks the former homestead of one of Greensboro’s most influential early settlers. Browse the park’s interpretative center to learn all about Caldwell’s contributions to Greensboro and North Carolina.
Admission to both the Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden and David Caldwell Historic Park is free.
International Civil Rights Center and Museum
Anyone with a passing interest in American history needs to plan for a visit to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. Located in the former Woolworth site on Elm Street, the museum recalls one of the most important moments in American civil rights history: The Sit-In Movement.
At the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, you’ll see the very spot where four university students defied segregation laws and sat at the “Whites Only” lunch counter. The act of defiance sparked a nationwide movement that paved the path for equality.
Opt for a self-guided tour or join in on a guided tour to explore American Civil Rights history through a series of photos, artifacts, interactive exhibits, and multimedia presentations.
The International Civil Rights Center and Museum is open year-round from Monday to Saturday.
Wet ‘n Wild Emerald Pointe Water Park
Need to cool down from the hot North Carolina summer sun? Bring the whole gang to splash around the Wet ‘n Wild Emerald Pointe Water Park. With over 40 water rides spread over 40 acres, the massive water park is one of Greensboro’s top points of interest for families.
Get an adrenaline rush by zooming down epic water slides like Bombs Away or the 76-foot-high Daredevil Drop. Or bob in ocean-like surf at Thunder Bay, the park’s two million gallon wave pool, featuring 84-foot-long tsunami waves.
For a more relaxing day in the water, grab a tube and float down Lazee River or wade and splash around the kiddo-friendly Leisure Lagoon.
If you’re an art lover visiting Greensboro, North Carolina, don’t miss out on the chance to peruse the Ambleside Gallery. Located on Elm Street in downtown Greensboro, the art gallery features an impressive collection of fine art from well-known local & international artists.
Stand-out exhibitions at the Ambleside Gallery include works from Katriel Srebnik, Bill Farnsworth, and Leigh Rodenbough. Most impressive is the art gallery’s collection of paintings from Guan Weixing, China’s most famous watercolorist.
Looking for a souvenir to bring home? Browse through the Ambleside Gallery’s original works of art. Its collection spans various media, including oil paintings, watercolor, lithography, and wood carvings.
Weatherspoon Art Museum
Greenboro’s penchant for art continues at the Weatherspoon Art Museum. Located on the University of North Carolina campus, the one-of-a-kind art museum comprises over 5,600 works of art.
The collection at Weatherspoon Art Museum focuses on modern and contemporary art. As you roam through the galleries, keep on the lookout for works by famous artists like Eva Hesse, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.
Besides its permanent collection, the Weatherspoon Art Museum also features more than a dozen temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Check the official website to see what’s on during your visit to Greensboro.
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
If you’re a military history fan, slot the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park into your Greensboro, NC, itinerary. Located just 15 minutes from downtown within Country Park, the site commemorates the Battle of Guilford Courthouse of 1781 and is one of the must-do day trips from Greensboro, NC, for history buffs.
Listed on the National Historic Register of Places, the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park is chock-loaded with monuments and exhibits. Take a stroll on the park’s walking trails to piece together all the details of the pivotal battle.
Inside the visitors center, watch the hourly 30-minute film about the battle and browse authentic artifacts from the Revolutionary War.
Entrance to and parking at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park is free.
Searching for outdoor activities after your visit to the military park? Set aside time to explore the rest of Country Park. Dating back to 1934, the National Historical Landmark park offers visitors a multitude of amenities, from nature trails to playgrounds to picnic shelters.
If you’re visiting in summer, bring your rod and reel for a little fishing on one of the two stocked fishing lakes at Country Park. Or rent a pedalboat or kayak for a relaxing paddle on the water.
Brought your pup along for the ride? Let the loose to frolic at the BarkPark, the park’s off-leash dog park.
Ready to escape the city? Set your GPS to Bur-Mil Park, one of Guilford County’s most popular outdoor spaces. Located 20 minutes northwest of the city, the 250-acre park centers around a nine-hole par-three golf course, including a practice driving range.
Not interested in a round of golf? Bur-Mil Park offers plenty more for outdoor enthusiasts. Slink over to the two fishing ponds or the pier on Lake Brandt to try your luck at reeling in the “big one.” Or get active with the family on the tennis courts, volleyball courts, or hiking and biking trails.
After a morning of activities, roll out a blanket and enjoy a lunch in Bur-Mill Park’s dedicated picnic area.
Greensboro Children’s Museum
Located in the heart of the city, the Greensboro Children’s Museum offers some of the best things to do in Greensboro for families passing through North Carolina. Spreading out over 37,000 square feet, the hands-on museum features over 20 interactive exhibits designed to spark kids’ curiosity and creativity.
Take a stroll through Main Street in Our Town as the children role-play at exciting exhibits like The Market, The Pizza Pan, and The Health Center. Head outside to the brand-new Edible Schoolyard, where kids will learn about how to plant, grow, harvest, and cook healthy organic food.
Need to burn off a little energy? Set the kids loose in the Outdoor Play Plaza. Let them unleash their problem-solving skills as they scale the two 30-foot-fall Neptune XXL Climbers, strung together with a 25-foot-long net tunnel.
Occupying a former three-story thrift store in downtown Greensboro, Elsewhere is one of the city’s most eclectic points of interest. The living museum features a massive collection of artifacts from its thrift-store days, dating back almost sixty years. Elsewhere also provides space for live-in artists with the goal of sparking creative collaboration.
Book yourself on a full guided tour to explore all three floors of Elsewhere. Dazzle at the one-of-a-kind collection, including 10,000 army surplus items from WWII and the Korean War, 20,000 items of vintage clothing, and 20,000 books.
Antique Market Place
For a break from the usual Greensboro sightseeing activities, indulge in a little shopping at Antique Market Place. Located on Burnt Poplar Road 15 minutes west of downtown, the market spreads over an area of 45,000 square feet.
Antique Market Place features over 120 vendors selling a wide array of vintage items, including coins, knives, chandeliers, jewelry, vinyl records, and pocket knives. You can even scout out rare collectibles like Civil War relics!