Greenville is a quant little town set in the western part of South Carolina at the base of the Appalachian mountains. It is a town that truly has a little bit of everything, from a thriving nightlife to family friendly fun. It has a paved walking and cycling trail called the Swamp Rabbit Trail that extends from downtown Greenville to Traveler’s Rest, encompassing twenty miles and growing. There is a growing downtown with restaurants and shops for everyone, and festivals about once a month. There is a reason it has repeatedly been called a great vacation spot, including by one of the 50 best places to travel in 2018 by Travel + Leisure. It is truly a hidden gem.
When we are in Greenville, we often stay with friends (because what is better than catching up with a good friend through the night), but when we decide to stay in a hotel, our first choice is The Poinsett.
The Poinsett hotel is owned by the Westin hotel chain, and is just as luxurious as the Westin name suggests. Originally built in 1925 and brought back to its original glory in the 1990s, the Poinsett is an iconic part of the Greenville city skyline. It is a beautiful hotel and one of our personal favorites whenever we are in town. It is located right in the middle of Main Street downtown, easy walking distance to many restaurants and attractions.
The Aloft hotel chain is geared toward younger patrons, minimalistic and artistic. The rooms are small and highly functional, prepared for the patron eager to get out and experience the city as opposed to spending an afternoon relaxing inside. The Aloft in Greenville is dog friendly, with a dog park beside the pool, and adoptable dogs even available to rent by the hour or night and spend time with in case you are missing your pooch at home. There is also the WXYZ Lounge, a bar that locals visit regularly.
This boutique hotel is located about thirty minutes outside of Greenville, but well worth the drive. If you are looking to experience the more rural aspects of the area as opposed to Greenville downtown, then this hotel is for you. It is calm and peaceful, with a beautiful pool and lots of outdoor space to enjoy the gorgeous surroundings. It also boasts a phenomenal restaurant that we hope to visit soon.
Greenville is a great foodie town. We really enjoy trying a variety of foods whenever we visit. They have great sushi, Italian, and Mexican, but they also do southern comfort very well.
A Charleston based restaurant geared toward a quick sit-down for brunch, lunch, or dinner. I love stopping by and getting a serving of their delicious chicken salad for a nice picnic at Falls Park. They also have delicious breakfasts. I had their Smoke Salmon Bagel, but on the weekend I absolutely love their Avocado Toast (and I’m not an avocado fan!).
This is a new addition to Greenville and so delicious! They have wonderful sweet and savory crepes. I had the Crepe Canard with duck confit and it was delicious! It is wonderful for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or a sweet treat in the middle of the afternoon. They make the crepes right in front of you, and have all kinds of cocktail options to accompany your crepes.
Nantucket is one of my favorite restaurants in Greenville. When I lived there I actually used to eat there about once a week, and then enjoy a show at the Peace Center across the street. It is an incredible seafood restaurant (some of the best scallops I’ve ever had). They also have an incredible seafood tower!
Another Charleston based restaurant, but with it’s own Greenville twist by becoming farm to table. The service is phenomenal. The staff made us very comfortable and gave us a very enjoyable experience. But the cocktails stole the show. My “If I had an Orchard” was absolutely delicious, and David’s “Call me Old Fashioned” was incredible. You can see the burning cinnamon stick that added a great smoky taste.
Greenville is full of wonderful places to wet your whistle day and night. They have a ton of coffee shops all over downtown, and several juice bars for a healthier pick me up. They also have a great nightlife, with plenty of options no matter your preference.
This is one of my favorite coffee shops, I used to go and do schoolwork here quite often. They are true coffee connoisseurs. There is an area great for conversation with small tables, booths, and couches spread through out, and there is a quiet room behind the red velvet curtains if you need to do a bit of work. This is a great place to rest your feet for a quick coffee. They also serve adult coffee based beverages at night!
This is a fantastic juice bar with grab and go juices, made to order smoothies, and many delicious energy bowls. The juices are fantastic, and if you are in the mood for a juice cleanse they can set you up and guide you through the process. They also have plenty of seating options if you are interested in relaxing and enjoying your juice.
This bar, located on the roof of the new Hilton hotel, provides plenty of indoor seating, but also a beautiful outdoor area with fires for colder nights and beautiful views of the city. I really enjoy just going up with a cocktail and watching the city come to life.
There is so much to do in this town, you will never be bored. There are plenty of family friendly activities, lots of adult activities, and indoor and outdoor options. There is lots of shopping as well as plenty of activities to keep you busy!
This is a beautiful oasis located right in Downtown Greenville. It features lush fields, beautifully cultivated gardens, and the centerpiece of the park, the Falls Park Bridge which overlooks the Reedy River waterfall. The bridge is perfectly situated to view the sunset, if you have time to sit and relax. This is a great park to grab a picnic from Caviar and Bananas and relax with a book outside for an afternoon.
Greenville has a mini scavenger hunt around the city in which you try to find a series of mice on Main Street. This activity is great to keep children occupied while parents explore downtown, but I won’t lie, I always get a little thrill when I see one of the mice. There is also an accompanying book, and Mast General Store sells replica mice if you would like to take one home!
Mast Gen is a fun store, reminiscent of an old time general store. With locations across the lower Appalachian Mountains, each store has a variety of outdoor paraphernalia, as well as an incredible cooking section (my favorite), and a variety of local items (such as the aforementioned Mice on Main). They also have a fun candy section, and a checker board to help pass the time.
Greenville is a very biker friendly city. Driving around you are likely to see a road bike racing around, preparing for a race. But if you aren’t comfortable riding on the road, the city has built the Swamp Rabbit Trail currently from downtown to north of Traveler’s Rest, and growing. There are plenty of bike shops and kiosks around the city that will allow you to rent a bike for an afternoon of fun!
The town is set at the base of the Appalachian mountains, which you can see from just about every unobstructed high rise building. But with those mountains comes beautiful hiking trails, and my favorite, waterfalls. The photo below is from our hiking trip at Paris mountain. We took the Sulpher Springs Trail, roughly 3.6 miles long, a beautiful trail with lots of wonderful views. We are far from capable hikers and enjoyed the short moments that made us feel like experienced hikers, but most of the trail is just a dirt path. There are plenty of shorter and longer trails depending on your preference and ability.
If you are in the market for a weekend away, give Greenville a spin. There are so many more hotel options, restaurants, and activities, I simply could not list them all. It is such a lovely town, it is definitely worth a weekend away!