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7 ways to experience the best of Greenville, SC

By: Jacqueline Kehoe

Photo: VisitGreenvilleSC/Chris Leyland Photography

You’d be forgiven if, when you heard the name “Greenville,” you didn’t quite know where on the map to look. There are 30-some American towns, cities, and boroughs with the name, but that Greenville? The one you should know about? That’s Greenville, South Carolina.

Halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte, a quick drive from both the mountains and the coast, that Greenville is one of the country’s fastest-growing communities. And it’s not because of Amazon or Google — it’s because people want to be here. After reading this guide, you’ll see why.

This guide is proudly produced in partnership with VisitGreenvilleSC.

Downtown spotlight

Photo: VisitGreenvilleSC/Dread Xeppelin Aerial

When The New York Times calls your downtown “a national model for a pedestrian-friendly city center,” something’s going right. The wide sidewalks of tree-lined Main Street, Falls Park on the Reedy, the al fresco dining scene, and the scores of public art pieces make this a destination worthy of its accolades.

Falls Park on the Reedy & The Liberty Bridge

The 345-foot-long span of Liberty Bridge curves over Reedy River Falls…

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Main Street

Hop on Greenville’s Main Street, and you’ve found your North Star…

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The trolley and pedestrails

As if getting around Greenville wasn’t easy enough, there’s a free trolley…

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The 110+ cafes and restaurants

Hitting one a day, it would take you almost four months to get through downtown’s restaurants and cafes…

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TD Saturday Market

This is Greenville’s version of a farmers market, upgraded…

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Foodie spots

Photo: Paul Mehaffey / Bacon Brothers Public House

Main Street is still the throughline of this former cotton mill town, and a wander down the tree-lined avenue will take you on a culinary journey, from Greenville’s traditional Southern past to its world-class, international future.

Classic Southern

Here, going on a biscuit quest is just research…

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BBQ

Lest we forget, this is South Carolina, widely accepted as the birthplace of barbecue…

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Fresh as it gets

All this talk about classic Southern and BBQ might make Greenville seem like a “comfort food” kind of city…

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International cuisine

Name one other 70,000-person city with the kind of international menu Greenville has…

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Dessert

Your dessert in Greenville doesn’t always have to be delicate…

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Craft drinks

Photo: VisitGreenvilleSC/Euphoria

We know, we know. Craft beer. Everyone and their sister has started a brewery, and Greenville’s loved a good sour since before they were cool. But the craft beer scene is only a slice of the craft drink pie here. Why stop at hops?

Beer

If nearby Asheville’s winning the Southeast craft beer race, it can certainly feel the heat from its southern border…

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Juices

Lord Have Mercy. Hippie Lettuce. Root Shine. Black Magic.

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Coffee

At its heart, Greenville is an artists’ town. And where there are artists…

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Cocktails

Whether you want to get high or go low, you can do it in Greenville with a quality cocktail…

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Outdoor adventure

Photo: VisitGreenvilleSC/Michael Gibbons Media

When there’s a waterfall in the middle of downtown, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re in Mother Nature’s territory. In Greenville, sandwiched between the mountains and the coast, outdoor adventure lies ahead — in whatever direction you choose.

State parks

These are the kinds of state parks you wish you grew up with as a kid.

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Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail

The folks around Greenville took an old railroad corridor and made it one of the best multi-use trails in the region…

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Guided adventures

Sometimes an adventure is so grand, you shouldn’t do it alone…

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Waterfalls

Where there are granite mountains, there are waterfalls…

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Arts + culture

Photo: VisitGreenvilleSC/Greenville Theatre

When a 70,000-person city gets Hamilton on its first national tour, you know the local cultural scene is top-tier. In Greenville, you’ll feel the creative vibe onstage, on the streets — even in the beer.

Peace Center

The Broadway lineup at the Peace Center will raise a few brows, for non-locals at least…

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Village of West Greenville

This district just west of downtown serves as the city’s artists’ enclave…

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Heritage Green

Just three blocks from downtown sits the epicenter of culture in Greenville…

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95+ public art displays

Greenville can feel like one big open-air art museum….

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Festivals + events

Photo: VisitGreenvilleSC/Fall for Greenville

If you live in Greenville and you meet someone in town you don’t know, odds are you have a mutual friend — it’s that kind of community-based place. And when a tight-knit community also has tons of local pride, you get wickedly awesome events.

Signature events

Events pop up in Greenville all the time, but the big-and-mighty five…

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Dancin’ in the street

Every Friday until 9:30pm, NOMA Square lights up with some of the best entertainment in the Upstate…

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Sports events

Apart from the nationally touring events that Greenville attracts, the city’s got its own piece of the sports spotlight…

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Cultural events

Grab a pen and write these down: Greenville Greek Festival, St. Patrick’s Day, Oktoberfest…

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Out + about

Photo: VisitGreenvilleSC/Firewater Photography

Greenville wouldn’t be the same jackpot city that it is without its incredible surroundings. Day trips mean kayaking on gigantic lakes; taking scenic drives through gorges, valleys, and mountains; and finding under-the-radar spots your friends didn’t know existed. (Heck, maybe you’ll find something even we don’t know about.)

The lakes

Lake Robinson. Saluda Lake. Lake Conestee. Lake Keowee. Lake Hartwell. Lake Jocassee…

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Scenic Highway 11

Odds are I-85 through South Carolina won’t blow your mind. But what might? Its parallel sibling…

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Area tours

Tours don’t always have to involve breaking a sweat…

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The county

Greenville has so much magic that there’s plenty to share with the small towns that surround it…

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This guide is proudly produced in partnership with VisitGreenvilleSC.
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