Pack your bags, weekend trippers! We’re going on a road trip to the South Carolina Upstate. Known for its perfect blend of natural beauty and local art, Greenville serves up a rich dose of rich Carolina culture in an outdoor paradise just in time for the beautiful fall weather. There’s more than enough to fill up a quick day trip (it’s about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Charlotte), or make a weekend out of it. Either way, you’ll be counting the days til your next trip back.
If you jumped in the car early on Saturday morning, you’d be just in time for brunch at The Green Room
(rumored to have the best fries in the U.S.). Inspired by the local fare? Check the source by browsing the Farmer’s Market on Main Street (check seasonal hours). From fresh produce to beautiful blooms to live demonstrations from local artisans, you’ll get to experience just a taste of why Forbes ranked Greenville among America’s Best Downtowns.
There’s always something going on in Greenville. Keep up with NOMA Square, Greenville’s largest public plaza, on Facebook
for community event updates, like free yoga classes al fresco.To get moving, trolley down Main Street to the 14 acre Falls Park to see nature unexpectedly thriving in a vibrant downtown. Catch a great view of the area from on the suspension bridge above the Reedy River. As you walk, you’ll be taken back in time as the rich history of the falls and surrounding area is told by signs along the way. Stop for coffee from one of the many restaurants along the park for a mid-morning pick me up. Our pick: Spill the Beans Coffee Shop & Creamery
Think it’s all city? Pack your hiking shoes for a longer trip on Swamp Rabbit Trail, where you can hike up to 30 miles. Try the route from Cleveland Park to Falls Park to enjoy the Downtown Airport Park, creeks, and suspension bridge. Keep going and you can enjoy seeing Furman University’s beautiful campus, ending up in sleepy little Travelers Rest, the quintessential country mountain town. Half-day bike rentals are the way to go for that one, and Reedy Rides
is inexpensive, reliable, and convenient to Main Street. If shopping is your idea of cardio, the shops downtown on Main street will keep your heart rate up with a perfect blend of local antique spots, boutiques, and well-known brands like Anthro and Brooks Brothers.Once you’ve worked up an appetite, the hardest decision of the day will be where to eat. Greenville’s thriving “foodie” scene (Main Street alone has over 110 restaurants!) offers endless “soil-to-city” options, from locally sourced American Grocery
to handcrafted sushi at Koi. Other don’t miss stops are Lazy Goat
, which seamlessly blends traditional Mediterranean with other global influences from around the world, and Roost
on Main Street where chef Trevor Higgins crafts the perfect Southern Delicacy: deviled eggs. Smoke On the Water
has a rich barbecue menu, and Soby’s
offers the most gourmet twists on traditional Southern cuisine (their spicy pimiento cheese served as a fondue, is out of this world).Now it’s time for some culture, and Greenville has something for everyone no matter what you’re into. During baseball season catch the Greenville Drive at Fluer Field, which was constructed with brick from old mills. Or support local talent with a night out to see the Greenville Symphony Orchestra
at The Peace Center, the largest performing arts center in South Carolina.
If you’re into art, stroll along the river to Art Crossing Studios. Upon entering you’ll be welcomed with paintings, sculptures, and more from a community of over twenty local artists working in garage converted studios. If you happen to be in town on the first Friday of each month, join many of the artists and others for First Friday, Greenville’s premier gallery guide and studio walk.
After a day jam packed with activity, art, and really good food, what more could you wish for than a peaceful place to lay your head? Park House Bed and Breakfast is a charming 100 year old home sure to provide the perfect getaway. Park House, featured in Southern Living and a Trip Advisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence honoree, is within walking distance of Main Street. If you want to relax in true luxury, experience one of Greenville’s elite 4 diamond hotels at the Westin Poinsett. Situated in the heart of downtown, this 12 story hotel, originally opened in 1925 and on the register of Historic Hotels of America, was completely restored to take visitors back in time in luxury. Not quite ready for bed just yet? Head down to their Piano Bar and Lounge for live music.For a town with a little bit of everything, you’ll get a lot out of a day or weekend trip to Greenville this fall. What favorite Greenville area spots top your must-do list?