Out of the Southeast Shadow
This article was written by Blake Miller and was featured in our April issue of Home By Design magazine. To visit the original Home By Design article and view more photos, click here.
GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA
For what feels like decades, Charleston has been lauded as the number one destination in South Carolina. It is, after all, one of the most charming, historic US cities. And while Charleston certainly deserves its praise, there is another desirable low country locale that has long been overshadowed by its southern neighbor: Greenville.
Photography courtesy of VisitGreenvilleSC, Grand Bohemian Lodge Greenville.
Greenville, South Carolina too often gets overlooked, which is exactly what makes this little gem of a town that much more endearing. Once known for textile manufacturing, Greenville is now one of the fastest growing cities in the US—and for good reason. With an up-and-coming culinary scene that rivals neighboring Asheville and Charleston, breweries and moonshine distilleries creating fantastic craft microbrews and spirits, a minor-league baseball team, great shopping, and a walkable downtown, Greenville is on its way to becoming the new “it” city of the Southeast.
Until this past fall, Greenville lacked the luxury accommodations that neighboring cities benefitted from. With the opening of the Grand Bohemian Lodge, though, travelers have what is easily the top place to rest your head while visiting the city. Its proximity to the park, dining, nightlife, and shopping on Main Street make it a must stay. Overlooking the famous Falls Park on the Reedy River, the hotel is nestled into the trees like a lookout over the city. Soak in the views with a cocktail in hand on the outdoor patio of the hotel’s Spirit & Bower. The House Old-Fashioned is a fan favorite.
With a downtown that’s best seen by foot, you’ll want to start on the south end of Main Street where a walk through Falls Park kicks off your day. Stroll through this meticulously manicured park where inviting gardens and trails wind along the water and through the woods, revealing secluded benches—the perfect place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee before more exploring. Afterward, swing by the statue of Greenville native Shoeless Joe Jackson, which is right near the entrance to the park, and briefly read how the pro-slugger’s nickname came to be.
If it’s baseball season, grab tickets to see the minor league affiliate for the Boston Red Sox: the Greenville Drive (a nod to the local auto industry). The family-friendly atmosphere at Fluor Field in the West End paired with stunning sunsets on a spring evening make it a fun destination or date night.
Greenville has no shortage of culinary hot spots, which is why it’s quickly made an impression on foodies’ palates all over the Southeast. CAMP Modern American Eatery is on par with anything you’d see in Charleston in both its decor, vibe, and food. French Laundry alum chef Drew Erickson is at the helm and turns out delicious dishes such veal short rib that’s the perfect comfort food. For something slightly different but similarly delectable, head to Urban Wren where chef Taylor Montgomery uses his own farm (Montgomery Sky in nearby Leicester, North Carolina) as a source for produce in many of the restaurant’s dishes. Although he only harvests produce and eggs, the farm (available for tours and special events) hosts Scottish highland cattle, Valais blacknose sheep, chickens, horses, Nubian rescue goats, KuneKune pigs, and . . . five dogs.
|When to Go: Summers in the South can be brutally hot, but spring, fall, and even December can be quite delightful. If you are heat- and humidity-shy, visit October through May.
Get There / Get Around: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) is a quick Uber ride from downtown. The city center is easily walkable, so once there all you’ll need are some comfy shoes and a desire to explore. Unlike other larger urban centers, Greenville does not have accessible public transportation. Renting a car is the best option if you want to visit some of the breweries or Furman University.
Where to Stay: Downtown is a must. Anywhere else will feel like you’re missing out on what Greenville has to offer. Stay close to Falls Park on the Reedy, which is central to almost everything in town.