We’ve visited Greenville, SC twice now and can’t wait to go back. It’s clean, organized, entertaining, and everything’s within walking or biking distance. If you’ve never been, check out our guide below. We’ll give you some helpful pointers for where to stay, eat, and play.
Our first trip to Greenville was by accident. We went to a wedding (shout out Jeff & Emily) in Asheville in the fall, but there were no hotels available, so we stayed in Greenville instead (hour away). We got to spend a day downtown and realized we needed to come back, so we did! Our next trip, funny enough, was paired with another wedding (shoutout Tyler & Beth), over Memorial Day weekend. Their wedding was actually in Westminster (hour away).
So, with some research and some now good experience, we can share with you how to experience Greenville.
Where to Stay
There are a couple of hotels and B&Bs downtown, but the most important factor in where you stay is staying downtown. Don’t stay on the outskirts of town. If you stay downtown, you won’t have to drive anywhere. The city is laid out and developed very well, so you can walk and bike anywhere. We chose to stay at the Courtyard Marriot because it didn’t cost us a dime to stay. If you’ve read our other blogs, you’d know we stay for free because we have the awesome SPG Amex. The hotel was nice and right in the middle of town, next to Falls Park. The actual courtyard of this hotel is pretty awesome too. A turf yard with waterfall on the side. Our kids love it!
Our only complaints of the hotel is there’s not a lounge or complimentary breakfast. There’s café and restaurant that looked nice though.
I think our next trip, we’ll use our SPG points and stay at the Westin Poinsett. It’s just a block away from the Courtyard.
Where to Eat
Oh, this is the best part and it’s going to be real easy to explain. Breakfast = Biscuit Head. We ate at Biscuit Head twice while we were there. The best breakfast we’ve ever had (period). It’s not downtown, but an easy 5 minute bike ride will get you there. A hipster joint with long lines on the weekend (worth the wait) that specializes in unique biscuits and breakfast. The biscuits are enormous and ridiculously good. There’s a Jam Bar with an array of jams, jellies, and butters.
The coffee is very good too, but if you’re downtown, you’re only other option is Coffee Underground. They have great coffee and a neat setting.
For lunch, we recommend the buffet at Handi. A great selection of Indian foods! For dinner, make your way back towards the river and get a seat at Smoke on the Water. Some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had. They have a great BBQ sauce selection, There are many more highly suggested restaurants to choose from like Tupelo Honey, Pomegranate on Main, and the very cool Nose Dive (get the French toast).
What to Do
Once you make it out of your biscuit coma, there are many things to do downtown. Besides walking and shopping on Main Street, you can walk and bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail or Falls Park. You can rent bikes in many locations downtown. Either from a bike rental company or use the BCycle the city offers. If you’re waking around downtown, a few places worth stopping is the Mast General Store, O.P. Taylor’s Toy Store, and Crème Shack. The toy store is probably our favorite. They have toys from when Reese and I were kids. Brings back a lot of memories; etch-a-sketch, auto bingo, cap gun, slinky, etc. The Crème Shack is a unique ice cream shop were they make the ice cream in front of you. The cream is poured out on a -30 degree metal counter and then scraped into rolls.
As you will quickly realize, Falls Park on the Reedy is Greenville’s main attraction. A huge downtown park with a river and waterfalls. There’s always something going on there.
The nearby colleges attract a lot of art and design which has made a great impact on the city design and culture. One neat thing we found while walking Main Street was a scavenger hunt called Mice on Main. Based off the book, there are 9 bronze mice hidden along Main Street. You have to use the book or hint sheet to find them. You may find a few on your own while walking around. The girls love finding them.
Another really neat place our kids enjoyed was the Children’s Museum. Three story building full of arts and crafts, games, interactive technology, and exhibits. We spent nearly a whole afternoon inside. It’s not free but it’s worth the price. They offer military discount as well.
The county maintains three really cool waterparks if you’re there at the right time of year. Don’t forget, Asheville is a stone’s throw away. Another great city worth visiting. Lastly, there’s tons of places to explore in the local area. There’s a list of really cool waterfalls in the area. During our trip, we rode over to see Issaqueena Falls. There’s a very cool train tunnel in the same park. The tunnel was never finished because of the hard granite that took workers a month to dig 200 feet.
We hope this info will help you plan your trip. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or message us directly.