Clemson Libraries; Office of the President

10 free things to do this summer at Clemson


Summer vacations, out-of-school children and unexpected expenses can create a drag on your finances. Here are 10 free things that you can do on and around Clemson’s main campus.

Clemson’s Experimental Forest offers myriad trails and unforgettable scenery.
  • Hike, run or cycle the Experimental forest: More than 17,000 acres of land offers easy- and moderate-rated trails, waterfalls and unforgettable scenery. The forest enhances the University’s land-grant mission by hosting opportunities for public service, education and research. View a map to plan your route.

  • Stop by Experience Clemson in Greenville: As you stroll down Main Street, in the heart of Greenville, stop by Experience Clemson, located at 1 North Main Street on the street level of the Greenville ONE building. Experience Clemson offers exhibits, Tiger swag and a place to connect with the University. And its location can’t be beat.

Pic of water fall at the South Carolina Botanical Garden
The South Carolina Botanical Garden offers 295 acres of trails, landscapes and unique exhibits.
  • Become one with nature at the South Carolina Botanical Garden (SCBG): Take in the beauty of 295-acres worth of nature, featuring a labyrinth of trails, unique landscapes, nationally recognized exhibits and more. The SCBG offers educational events and programming for adults and children. From nature walks to musical hikes to something interesting called Yoga with Trees, there is something for everyone in this ecological paradise.

  • Check out the Bob Campbell Geology Museum: The 10,000 rock and mineral specimen collection was once a small collection housed in Brackett Hall. Visit the Bob Campbell Geology Museum, an attractive one-story brick building located on the grounds of the SCBG, and learn much more than information about rocks and minerals. One side of the museum is home to around 4,000 fossils, which provide a glimpse into the distant past. Dr. Adam Smith, the museum’s curator, maintains a program that focuses on paleontology, collaborating with faculty, students and researchers from around the world.

Clemson’s 300 year-old Hanover House sits on campus in the South Carolina Botanical Garden.
  • Visit Hanover House: The house, built in 1716 and listed on the National Historic Register, is a former rice plantation, originally erected in Berkeley County by French Huguenot refugees. When the Santee-Cooper Project’s Lake Moultrie threatened to flood the land, the structure was moved to Clemson by the School of Architecture for preservation in the 1940’s, before being relocated in 1994 to the South Carolina Botanical Garden. Historic Properties Executive Director Will Hiott explained, “Hanover has been restored as an historic house museum, interpreting over 300 years of South Carolina and United States history, including the enslaved African-Americans who channelized swamps into rice fields. Hanover’s motto comes from the inscription carved in the mortar of one chimney, ‘Peu à peu,’ in French from the proverb, ‘Little by little a bird builds its nest.’”

  • Discover Clemson’s past at Fort Hill: A well-worn Windsor chair sits in the parlor of this historic home. According to Mari Noorai, curator of education and interpretation for Historic Properties, the chair belonged to then-General George Washington, who used it during the height of the Revolutionary War. The historic artifact was subsequently bequeathed from Washington’s great nephew to his wife, Louisa Clemson Washington, who presented it to her younger brother, Thomas Green Clemson. The chair is just one of the many unique treasures to be seen at Fort Hill, located in the heart of the main campus.

Pic of campus planetarium
Take a trip through the cosmos at the main campus Planetarium.
  • Have an outer-world experience at the main campus Planetarium: Located at 112 Kinard Laboratory of Physics, Clemson’s digital planetarium offers an advanced user interface that can transport visitors through Saturn’s rings, across the Milky Way and toward distant galaxies. Run largely by student volunteers, planetarium shows can be viewed by appointment only. Fill out the online request form to schedule a show time that works for you, and contact David Connick at with any questions.

  • Download a free audiobook: From Leo Tolstoy to James Patterson, Clemson’s libraries have you covered. Dean of Libraries Christopher Cox says that he loves listening to audiobooks. So does his son, Tyler, who listens to them every night at bedtime. While Tyler would recommend the Harry Potter series and The Lord of the Rings, Cox recommends them all. “The audiobooks are among a wealth of leisure reading, listening and viewing collections for use by faculty, staff and students,” he said.

  • Watch a movie, courtesy of TigerFlix: You’ve heard of Netflix. Clemson offers TigerFlix, a campus movie streaming service, which allows users to watch on-demand action shows in a wide variety of categories including comedy, drama, romance and much more. Off-campus users should log into the VPN for access to TigerFlix.

  • Learn a skill: Clemson isn’t short on free training opportunities for faculty and staff. A wealth of online and in-person courses await your participation. Sharpen your saw with new skills or refine your current ones. In addition to Clemson-hosted courses, the University’s employee assistance program, Deer Oaks, also offers training on topics such as stress-free living, personal commitments and parenting. Visit to learn more.
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