Andrew and I have been celebrating my birthday with some sort of trip every year. Sometimes we go with with friends; sometimes it’s just the two of us. Sometimes we go for two weeks, sometimes we go for a day. Sometimes we fly to another country; sometimes we bike to another county. This year we drove down to Greenville, South Carolina for the weekend.
I’m sharing things we did as well as things we would have loved to squeeze in if we had more time.
How to Get Around in Greenville, SC
Greenville is an extremely walkable city so definitely take advantage of that.
Greenville BCycle electric bikes are available at bike share stations across the downtown.
Free vintage trolleys run on six different routes around the downtown area from Thursday through Sunday.
What to See in Greenville, SC
Your time in Greenville will mainly be spent in the vibrant downtown area, just walking around and exploring up and down and around Main Street. Fun fact: there are 9 bronze mice hidden up and down Main Street. And be sure to check out M.Judson Booksellers for curated book collection and quirky gifts.
You’ll definitely also want to take a few steps away from Main Street to explore Falls Park on the Reedy which gives you the feeling of being surrounded by nature without having to drive somewhere.
Beyond Falls Park is the Historic West End with more galleries, restaurants, and funky shops.
Where to Stay in Greenville, SC
We enjoyed our stay at the Hyatt Place Greenville/Downtown. It was nice and easily walkable to everything.
But here are a few other places that look nice and have good recent reviews.
What to Do in Greenville, SC
If you get into Greenville Thursday or Friday evening like we did, this Craft Cocktail Tour could be a fun way to meet a few people and get to know the city. Or this Breakfast and Walking Tour could be fun if you feel more sociable in the morning.
Check out the Saturday Market on Main Street every Saturday morning from May through October for fresh produce, specialty foods, and random crafts.
The big thing we would have done if we’d had one more day in Greenville is rent a bike from Reedy Rides and explore the 22 mile Swamp Rabbit Trail. Luckily we were still able to spend hours exploring Falls Park on the Reedy on foot. It is a beautiful, garden and waterfall-filled park right downtown. Don’t miss the Liberty Bridge, a unique curved suspension bridge, that provides a great view of the ducks, the falls, and is itself a beautiful backdrop for photos.
In case Greenville doesn’t feel southern enough to you, hop in your car or order a Lyft for a quick visit to Bob Jones University. Their president petitioned the IRS to regain tax-exempt status in 2014 because they no longer prohibit interracial dating.
Where to Eat in Greenville, SC
The long lines are worth it at Methodical Coffee. Grab whatever you fancy before exploring downtown.
Sully’s Steamers is open from 7am most mornings and stays open until 3am Friday and Saturday nights so these steamed bagels can be enjoyed any time of day. They’re perfectly soft and chewy and will either put you into a food coma or keep you going for many hours. I loved my California Steamer with bacon, egg, avocado, cream cheese, on an asiago bagel. But I dare you to try the Nacho Maximus.
Similarly, if you’re craving something sweet any time of day, swing by Old Europe for a cruffin and cappuccino or a slice of chocolate bourbon pie and champagne. Please leave the tiramisu for me though.
Aryana is an Afghani restaurant serving melt-in-your-mouth dumplings, lamb and chicken cooked to perfection, the rice of your dreams, and legume and veggie sides that stand up. Don’t miss it.
Trappe Door was recommended to us by a mob boss in Baltimore so we had to try it. It’s a charming underground restaurant and bar with a solid bottle list focusing on Belgian beers. Their specialty is moules frites or Belgian mussels and fries, but unfortunately our mussels were extremely under-seasoned and lightly under-cooked. That said, I can highly recommend the Pork and Cherry Sausages.
Every good city needs a good pizza place and while Trio – A Brick Oven Cafe doesn’t serve a typical pizza, it is good. Their wood-fired pizza comes with a soft crust reminiscent of freshly toasted pita that’s sturdy enough to hold up to piles of delicious toppings.
Fireforge Crafted Beer is just a few blocks off Main Street in a cool warehouse with eclectic décor and airy indoor-outdoor space. They’ve got quite a variety of styles to suit any mood so get a flight or two. Try everything.
Just a block away is Yee-Haw Brewing Company with an equally varied tap list and huge TVs set up for watching sportsball. The real selling point for me is that they serve Prince’s Hot Chicken from one of the famed Nashville hot chicken joints.
Itinerary for a Weekend in Greenville, SC
From my experience, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for a first visit to Greenville. That said, I’m not going to spell out a detailed itinerary for you because you may want to do slightly different things than we did, but hit me up if you want help coming up with your own personalized itinerary. Here’s my Google Map that you can use to start planning your own adventure in Greenville, SC.