Visiting Greensboro - What to See and Do
(Greensboro Piedmont Triad International Airport GSO, USA)
has deep roots that stretch back to the American Revolutionary War. This sleepy mid-size city in central North Carolina
has seen plenty of history during its time, from Civil War battles to Civil Rights sit-ins. Visitors will find a nice range of historical attractions to go with the burgeoning urban scene that has seen its downtown bloom into a pleasant little place to eat, drink and shop.
In the 1960s, the downtown Woolworth's store was the site of a pivotal sit-in by African-Americans fighting for their Civil Rights. That store is still here, now hosting the impressive International Civil Rights Center and Museum that showcases and celebrates the important role Greensboro played in the Civil Rights Movement.
You can tour a Revolutionary War battlefield at the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, admire the wealth of this region in the Blandwood Mansion, and learn more about the natural heritage of North Carolina at its science center and zoo. Greensboro is also home to the University of North Carolina and all the energy its students bring to the city's scene. Just outside town are dozens of lakes for boating and state parks with scenic hiking trails.
Ten things you must do in Greensboro
- Greensboro's history starts with the American Revolutionary War, and the best site around to get a feel for the fighting that happened here is at the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. Information signs tell the story of this important battle, but the park itself is lovely and laced with walking paths. Visit in early March to witness the battle re-enactment.
- The downtown district has a number of charming historic neighborhoods, and none are better than Fisher Park. Stroll the broad leafy streets and admire the century-old architecture that looks as fine today as it did in the 19th century. The neighborhood envelopes a charming city park, adding to the options for a quiet walk downtown.
- To learn more about the history of both the city and this region of North Carolina, spend a couple of hours in the free Greensboro Historical Museum. Its collection of Civil War-era weapons and relics is particularly impressive, though the museum's exhibits span the entire timeline of this city. There are also some very engaging children's exhibits here.
- The Friendly Shopping Center is a great place to go for an afternoon of walking, shopping and eating. This 75-acre / 30-hectare outdoor shopping village contains dozens of stores, from big retailers like Macy's to trendy outdoor shops such as REI. Plenty of places to eat or have a drink ensure that you can make a full outing at this popular center.
- The International Civil Rights Center and Museum is the pride of Greensboro. The facility serves as a museum, workshop and archive for Greensboro's vital role in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. There are a number of excellent exhibits that highlight the timeline of this major social change, and special events are frequently held.
- The home of former North Carolina governor John Motley Morehead is one of the star attractions in the city. The Tuscan-style Blandwood Mansion is the largest and oldest of its kind in America. Inside, visitors will find dozens of rooms that look exactly as they did when the wealthy and powerful governor lived here. Guided tours are provided to learn about the story behind the period artwork and furnishings, while the outdoor rose garden has paths for walking.
- If you have the kids along, then be sure to stop by the new Animal Discovery Zoological Park. It is a small zoo, but is very well designed with a nice array of big game creatures like tigers, along with domestic farm animals that can be fed and petted. Connected to the zoo is the city's interesting natural history museum that also has some great exhibits for the young ones.
- One of the region's prettiest baseball parks is the First Horizon Park right in the downtown core. This is where the Greensboro Grasshoppers play their minor-league home games. They are a hugely popular team, so the games are always full of cheering fans. It is an ideal way to hang out with the locals and catch some quality baseball.
- Greensboro has its share of cultural arts to balance out all the history and urban amenities. Both the city's symphony orchestra and the Greensboro Pops play performances all year round at the grand old War Memorial Auditorium. If you are a fan of classical music, it is definitely worth planning an evening out with the Pops.
- The campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is one of the city's most scenic and energetic places. Simply wandering around the huge park-like campus is a pleasant experience. There are also several attractions worth visiting here, such as the Weatherspoon Art Museum.