Greenville is much more than meets the eye

Savannah and Charleston are not worth the time. The southern charm of Greenville is the newest sight to behold on these waters. She’s stunning on the outside and incredibly fascinating on the inside. She has all the makings of a star when it comes to seductive allure. The media has been paying a lot of attention to this community in South Carolina, and with good reason.


The cultured Greenville. She is very interested in the arts and spends a lot of time at galleries, theaters, and concert halls. The Greenville County Museum of Art is a must-see for art enthusiasts because it houses the largest public collection of Andrew Wyeth drawings in the world in addition to works by other masters such as Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe, and many more.

As part of the Arts in Public Places program, public works of art can be located all over Greenville outside of the museum. More than seventy whimsical pieces are currently on exhibit. They are enjoyable unexpected finds as you wander the city.

Popularly known as “Gumby,” a red steel sculpture by Joel Shapiro labeled “Untitled 2002-2003” is one of the most recognizable pieces. The bronze wild boar, “Il Porcellino,” by Pietro Tacca is also a noteworthy piece of art.


Walls in the metropolis are covered with murals as well. The one adorning the eight-story office structure Canvas Tower stands out. This photorealistic work, by Australian artist and photographer Guido van Helten, covers the complete building’s exterior. Artist Statement: “Using the history of integration in education as a symbolic theme, this work focuses on diversity and unity in Greenville.”

In addition, the Sigal Music Museum is remarkable. It’s not often that you stumble upon a store specializing in historic and unique musical instruments from around the globe. There are scores of harpsichords and pianos from the late 1500s to the 1845s, from England, Europe, and the United States.

It has been said that a juvenile Mozart played one of the harpsichords. The flute section is particularly strong. Visiting the museum is like taking a musical journey through time and space; visitors can even stop at listening booths to hear pieces played on some of the instruments on display.

Greenville is a city that loves its live performances, and the city’s many theaters, such as the Greenville Theatre, Warehouse Theatre, and Peace Center Concert Hall, regularly host a wide range of productions, from Broadway tours to world premieres by emerging writers.

The city is also notable for its music culture. Attend a performance at Smiley’s Acoustic Café, Gottrocks, or Blues Boulevard Jazz. Greenville is not a “roll up the sidewalks at sundown” kind of place, so feel free to dance late into the night.

Greenville proudly displays her age and rich heritage. If you want to get a feel for the region’s history, the Upcountry History Museum is the place to go. Extensive displays, murals, audio recordings, artifacts, and interactives tell the tale of the Upcountry.


The pioneers of the Upcountry Frontier are the subject of one exhibition. The governmental, economic, and social differences in South Carolina are explored in another book.

Upcountry settler Mary Logan shares her perspective on the problems from the comfort of her home’s front porch in the 1790s.

In a separate room, tourists can view replicas of buildings from Greenville’s commercial district and religious institutions as well as character figures and interactive displays from the time period. The museum also features exhibits on post-Civil War reconstruction, the New South textile industry, the Upcountry’s military facilities, and the region’s post-World War II history, including the Civil Rights movement.

Visit the “Shoeless” Joe Jackson Museum if you’re interested in baseball’s past. Joe, a native of Greenville, is remembered for his possible involvement in the 1919 World Series fixing controversy involving the “Black Sox.”

The museum is located in the home where Joe Jackson resided and passed away (from a heart attack at the age of 63). He started his career with the minor league Greenville Spinners and finished with the third-best career batting average in major league history (.356). Joe is widely regarded as the game’s best natural hitter by many of its all-time greats and scholars.

His nickname, “Shoeless Joe,” was given to him after a single contest in June of 1908. Joe pulled off his brand new cleats because they were giving him blisters. A fan of the opposing squad yelled, “You shoeless son-of-a-gun!” after he hit a monster home run while wearing only socks. Joe may never again play a game without shoes, but he’ll be known as “Shoeless Joe” forever.

The museum may be tiny, but it is packed to the gills with artifacts, books, and documents commemorating Joe’s life and work. Its goal is to teach the public about the real life and work of the guy behind the legends.

The Greenville Drive, a Class A farm team for the Boston Red Sox, play their home games at Fluor Field, which is directly across the street from the museum. As visitors enter the park, they are greeted by a monument of Joe.

If you’ve ever been to Fenway Park in Boston, you might recognize the stadium. That’s because, like Fenway, Fluor is a miniature version.


Greenville is home to seven distinct historic areas filled with gorgeous architecture, some of which dates back to the early 1800s. The Wilkins House and the J.M. Geer House are just two that can be found on the National Historic Registry.

The Kilgore-Lewis House (built around 1838) is likely the earliest home still standing in the city. It’s a Classic Revival-style Upcountry home with beautiful landscaping.

Greenville is the adventurous sort. Her crowning achievement is Falls Park on the Reedy, a popular public park known as the “living room” of the city.

A long-forgotten forty-foot waterfall and overgrown river basin were the inspiration for this park in the heart of the city. It’s famous for its breathtaking overpass that provides unrivaled access to the breathtaking Reedy River Falls.

The Liberty Bridge is a curved construction that spans 345 feet and is suspended in the air by a single cable. It’s the only bridge of its kind in the entire nation.

Trails wind through the park’s landscaped sections and wooded valleys, leading visitors from the city to the river. The pathways are popular among both residents and visitors, and they feature benches for rest stops.

The Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit path is a well-known paved path that was formerly a railway and is 22 miles long, perfect for a grueling workout. It connects Travelers Rest, a neighboring town, to Greenville, South Carolina, by way of Falls Park and Furman University.

The path is used by joggers, walkers, cyclists, and skateboarders, who use it for transportation and recreation.

The Lazy Goat’s menu is influenced by the cuisine of the Mediterranean. Photograph by Debbie Stone


The reputation of Greenville’s restaurants has spread far and wide. Downtown has more than 110 eateries, each offering a unique take on international cuisine.

The city’s cultural diversity enriches the food landscape. Caribbean and French cuisines sit alongside those of Asia, the Middle East, India, Greece, and more. And there are, of course, regional specialties from the South.

Sassafras is the place to go if you want to try Southern cuisine with an inventive twist. Salmon and Lump Blue Crab, Charleston Shrimp and Grits, Seafood Trio (scallops, shrimp, and blackened or grilled Catfish), and the proverbial Fried Green Tomatoes and Pimento Cheese are just a few of the mouthwatering specialities on the menu.

The hospitality of the staff here is second to none. Don’t forget to save space for dessert, specifically the Deep Dish Peanut Butter Pie or Key Lime Pie.

Enjoy the riverside atmosphere of the Mediterranean-themed Lazy Goat as you indulge in a falafel bowl, handmade pasta, paella, or rustic Italian flatbreads. Then, for dessert, try the Winter Citrus Loukoumades, which taste like doughnut holes dipped in lemon glaze and served with fruit in the Greek tradition.

Visit Old Europe Coffee and Desserts for a delicious brunch or midday snack. Pastries with a European flavor and locally roasted coffee are the focus at this inviting café. Looking at all of the newly made treats made me feel like a kid in a candy store.

Coconut crème cake, tiramisu, hazelnut Napoleons, Lemon Bavarians, and macarons — they all beckoned to me. I limited my food choices to breakfast products because it was early in the day; these included a scone, a cruffin, and a slice of vegetarian quiche.

The latter, as I recently learned, is a type of muffin baked using croissant pastry. In a word, delicious.


Those in Greenville love to buy. This trendy metropolis has everything you could want, from the hottest fashions to one-of-a-kind accessories and even handmade goods.

Visit Mast General Store on your travels if for no other reason than to look around at all the cool stuff they sell, from games to South Carolina trinkets to camping supplies.

The place is a time capsule, complete with squeaky wooden floorboards and penny candy barrels stuffed to the gills with more than five hundred varieties of retro sweets. For me, it was like taking a trip down memory lane.

If you’re a bookworm, you’ll love M. Judson Booksellers and Storytellers. This locally owned bookstore is the center of intellectual activity in the neighborhood. Books, cookbooks, new releases, children’s books, and unique South Carolina souvenirs are the store’s specialties. It is housed in Greenville’s old courthouse.

Camilla’s Kitchen is located directly inside the shop, so if you get hungry you can still shop without leaving the building. The Pipi Longstocking is a coffee with orange, vanilla, and white chocolate that tastes like a Creamsicle, and it goes well with a sea salt chocolate chip cookie.

Don’t forget to include Poppington’s Popcorn in your plans. Rose and Bob Augustyn, the business’s owners, produce over seventy-five unique varieties of popcorn. Step outside your normal beverage routine and try the Bloody Mary, Spicy Dill Pickle, or Asian Spice.

Greenville’s Southern hospitality is on full show for her many visitors. In my experience, locals go above and beyond to be useful and pleasant. And the city’s central district is fully walkable, so tourists can get around with ease.

As a result, you won’t have to worry about parking your vehicle in order to visit the area’s many shops, restaurants, and museums. The perfect method to get your steps in every day!


It’s also comforting to know that there are plenty of hotels in Greenville, South Carolina, so you can find one that fits your needs and your wallet. The Hyatt Place Greenville Downtown was a great place to call home while I was in town.

The hotel is conveniently located just off Main Street, the city’s main hub, and close to Falls Park on the Reedy, where guests can enjoy a morning stroll before starting their day.

There is a fitness facility, pool, and bar, and the rooms are large and comfortable. The establishment welcomes pets, so feel free to bring Fido along

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