Greenville, SC, noted for having one of the top 10 downtowns in America, is well-positioned among some stunning natural attractions as well. Within less than an hour’s drive, there’s brilliant hiking to be had in Jones Gap State Park, including the 4-mile trail to Rainbow Falls. There’s also an awe-inspiring view from the Fred W. Symmes Chapel at YMCA Camp Greenville (known to locals as “Pretty Place”), perched atop a high, steep cliff.
At Lake Jocasee, you can rent paddleboards and kayaks to explore waterfalls and white-sand beaches. If you’re savvy enough, you might find the secret tiered waterfall (you’ll need a boat to get there). Before heading back to urban life, make sure to take in the panoramas from Caesars Head, a large granite outcropping in Caesars Head State Park, where you'll also find a number of other gorgeous hikes.