What is there to do in Greensboro, North Carolina?
When I found myself in NC’s third-largest city, visiting a friend for a week, I spent my time seeking out quirky and interesting ways to pass the time. What I discovered were surprise civil rights landmarks, cute sports mascots, a cool dive bar where you can wash your dirty underwear while boozing it up, and a nature escape in a forested bog garden.
Civil rights landmarks
On February 1, 1960, four black North Carolina AT&T State University students staged a sit-in at the Woolworth counter in Greensboro. This was a “whites only” counter, but they refused to move. In subsequent days, the protest continued and grew to hundreds of people and even spread to other cities.
The historic Woolworth has now been turned into the International Civil Rights Center & Museum. I didn’t have a chance to step inside the museum itself, but visiting the site provided a powerful connection to history.
There’s also a bust of Martin Luther King in town. The statue sadly announces that Dr. King was scheduled to give a speech in Greensboro in April 1968, but he instead decided to stay in Memphis, where he would tragically be assassinated.
The Greensboro Grasshoppers
The Greensboro Grasshoppers are a A minor league baseball affiliate of the Miami Marlins. I like minor league baseball because they give themselves team names like “Grasshoppers.” You’re not ever going to see a professional club with that name! The Hops (new nickname I just invented) play nearly 70 games a year in a nice stadium that has a lot of statues outside, including one of the mascot itself. Who knew grasshoppers had such thick eyebrows?
ACC Hall of Champions
I’ve written before about the ACC Hall of Champions, the facility that celebrates the history of Atlantic Coast Conference sports at universities like Duke, North Carolina, Miami, and Florida State.
College sports fans will want to spend a lot of time here checking out the photos and exhibits. If you’re not into sports, just have fun posing with the university mascots instead. Instagram opportunities galore!
Suds & Duds
A laundromat with pool tables and a full bar? Now there’s a practical establishment for the thrifty college student. Suds & Duds, as it’s known, allows you to clean your filthy socks while chugging a Heineken and playing video games, watching sports on large-screen tvs, or showing off your pool skills. This place is one of the town’s best dive bars. And they’re dog-friendly, so you can even bring Lassie.
I’ve never heard of the bar/laundromat combination before. Maybe this is a college town thing. As far as I’m concerned, it should be an every town thing.
Greensboro locals may wonder why I’m including this fast-food joint, but as an outsider, I loved going to Biscuitville. Can’t get enough of those southern biscuits and gravy! The best part is they make the biscuits right in front of you. One super-friendly employee insisted that I take her photograph. Enjoy your 15 minutes of internet fame, Sandy!
Random downtown miscellany
A number of interesting sights can be found merely by walking around downtown Greensboro. Like a bike rack outfitted with baking utensils, a toy and gift shop selling a Crazy Cat Lady board game, and a historical marker celebrating the discovery of Vicks VapoRub. Ha!
There’s also a gloriously quirky collaborative art space called Elsewhere. It’s a former thrift store turned living museum. They describe themselves as “part museum, studio, school, playground, meeting ground, theater, project space, and laboratory for creative ideas.” I loved the vintage toy collections.
The Bog Garden
Finally, for the nature lover, there’s the Bog Garden. Trails and a boardwalk lead visitors past a lake, a small waterfall, and forested areas with wetlands, ducks, and geese. It’s 7 acres of peace and serenity away from the crowds.
Which of these spots would you most want to visit?