Currently one of the South’s most buzzworthy cities, Greenville, South Carolina, glistens with rich history, spirited culture and community sensibilities
You’ve heard the buzz. Greenville, South Carolina, is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, consistently topping the travel lists of many Southerners curious about its charming locales. Making its name as a textile industry leader in the early 1900s and now centered around culture and the arts, it’s safe to say Greenville is rich in history and even richer in community.
With just over 75,000 residents, Greenville’s small-town feel lives large thanks to revitalization efforts over the last two decades. Outdoor pursuits abound for visitors. Rent a bike and coast the 22-mile Swamp Rabbit Trail that weaves its way through the city’s parks, and don’t forget to stop at Falls Park on the Reedy. A nature lover’s paradise, the park is an oasis within the city that features gracious gardens and 30-foot waterfalls, best viewed from the Liberty Bridge. Nearby, Greenville’s Main Street—where numerous boutiques, eateries, art installations and entertainment venues are aplenty—is best explored by foot.
After a morning of activity, quench your thirst with The Brewery Experience, where guests sip and stroll at up to seven different local establishments. Say hello to the on-staff pups at Liability Brewing Co. and linger longer at brother-owned Tetrad Brewing Co., where family comes first but great craft beer is a close second. In between stops, guide Gary Glancy plays Gary Gose Gump, a professionally made parody of Forrest Gump. Scrap your preconceived ideas, because come end of the tour, you’ll be requesting a few more trips around the block to see the ending.
After a long day of exploring, unwind at the new AC Hotel by Marriott Greenville Downtown, located in the developing Camperdown Plaza. Once home to The Greenville News building, the 196-room hotel pays homage to its publishing roots with deconstructed newspaper prints, large factory-style windows and a speakeasy titled The Press Room—its entrance evoking an editor’s room and signature drinks inspired by the newspaper. Additionally, the hotel celebrates its own with one of the largest privately owned art collections in the county, featuring more than 100 works from over 30 local artists.
At its debut, the hotel introduced five new dining concepts to the plaza, including Mediterranean-inspired tapas bar Paloma, and Juniper, a 16,000-square-foot rooftop restaurant offering delectable dishes and spectacular city views. The restaurant’s draping greenery is thanks to Atlanta’s Boxwoods Gardens & Gifts, who played a part in the establishment’s floral design.
If you’re looking for both adventure and a top-notch culinary experience, make your way to Travelers Rest, a small town located just outside of the city and accessible by car or bike using the Swamp Rabbit Trail. What started as a place to host cyclists for a bite to eat is now home to more than a dozen hot spots, from Topsoil (led by James Beard Nominated Best Chef Southeast Adam Cooke) to Monkey Wrench Smokehouse with South Carolina-style barbecue. Don’t forget your appetite.