A mere 150-miles up the road from Atlanta lies Greenville, SC; a city tucked into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Had you happened upon the town just 20 years ago, it would not have warranted a second glance. Once known only as a tiny mill town, Greenville has recently put itself back on the map. The completely revitalized downtown, alongside a booming business atmosphere – home to more than 40 Fortune 500 companies – has won Greenville some well-deserved attention over the past decade or so.
Take a stroll down the award-winning Main Street, with its twinkling tree-lights and enchanting storefronts, and experience the atmosphere that has tourists buzzing. Continue past more than 100 locally owned restaurants to the picturesque Falls Park on the Reedy to cross the 345-foot Liberty suspension bridge overlooking the cascading Reedy River Falls. Enter Art Crossing and meander through dozens of art galleries before heading to the West End to enjoy a baseball game at Fluor Field. Rent a bike and ride the 18.7-mile GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail over to the recently revamped town of Travelers Rest, meanwhile passing the breathtaking Furman University campus. No matter your interests – outdoor adventurer, eccentric foodie, art lover, shopaholic – this hidden gem of the Southeast has something unique to offer everyone.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find a plethora of activities to fill their time in the area. Head up to Caesars Head State Park for a spectacular view that extends past SC’s borders into North Carolina and Georgia or hike the Raven Cliff Falls trail to view the 420-foot waterfall.
For those more interested in the art scene, be sure to leave time for a trip to the Museum & Gallery at Bob Jones, which houses the largest collection of Old Master Paintings in America. At the Greenville County Museum of Art, visitors can enjoy the largest collection of Andrew Wyeth water color paintings that exists. Another hot spot is the up and coming Village of West Greenville where locals and visitors alike can browse the works of local artists in the 5+ art galleries. Shopaholics should head down to the West End where they will find a cornucopia of unique shops offering locally made trinkets and souvenirs. Pop into Beija-Flor Jeans, a denim salon conceptualized by a local mother-daughter design team.
While in town be sure to check out some of the local foodie favorites. Venture outside the city limits to check out Bacon Brothers Public House; here you can find an adventurous, made-from-scratch menu featuring cured meats and handmade cocktails. For a taste of Greenville’s traditional Southern cuisine, Soby’s New South Cuisine is a must. The longest-standing restaurant in the city and a serious staple for Greenvillians, Soby’s offers contemporary cuisine fused with traditional Southern ingredients and features classic menu items like Fried Green Tomatoes and Shrimp n’ Grits with a twist. If something a bit more daring interests you – check out the American Grocery where Chef Joe Clarke is serving up his take on classic American dishes utilizing fresh ingredients from local farmers. Steak lovers will find solace at Rick Erwin’s West End Grille.
For those who plan on staying a while there are plenty of places to rest your head. The brand new Aloft Hotel is located in the ONE building downtown, placing you in the heart of the city and walking distance to all of Main Street. The hip, boutique hotel has 144 rooms and is pet-friendly with amenities like a rooftop pool, full service bar and more. For luxury accommodations outside of the city, book a room at George Hincapie’s Hotel Domestique where you will enjoy sweeping mountain views and modern, European-inspired décor. Domestique is the perfect jumping off point for those who want to engage in hiking, biking and everything in between. For a more traditional hotel experience, The Westin Poinsett is a historical building located in the heart of Greenville with an elegant, under-stated class that matches that of the city.
To plan your weekend getaway visit www.visitgreenvillesc.com