After living in Georgia for the first 18 years of my life, I never considered destinations in the southeast particularly appealing. With only a couple of exceptions (Charleston and Savannah), I didn’t see why anyone would choose to visit the region when there are so many more exciting places to see. I’m sure others would find visits to southeastern destinations enjoyable, but the area has never suited me.
Recently, however, I discovered another destination to add to my list of exceptions. Greenville, South Carolina, pleasantly surprised me as I visited and learned more about this growing town.
Ironically, the only time I have flown through Greenville’s airport was a time I wasn’t visiting Greenville itself. However, I have to say that this is one of the cleanest and most stress-free airports I’ve visited. It isn’t crowded like other airports but does offer direct flights to and from a surprising number of destinations. Driving to Greenville and finding parking is also less stressful than driving in many other areas.
Falls Park and other Outdoor Experiences
The primary outdoor space to visit in Greenville is Falls Park. Here, a suspension bridge extends over the Reedy River and allows pedestrians to view the park and falls below. In addition to views of the scenery, this is also a great spot for people-watching.
If you’re looking for a longer experience in nature, you can spend some time on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Though the full trail is nearly 20 miles long, you can reach the quaint town of Traveler’s Rest in about 13.5 miles. If you’re like me, walking that far still sounds ambitious, but the trail is paved and relatively flat, ideal for a bike ride. If you don’t wish to make the 13.5-mile ride or walk back, arrange for transportation at one end or catch a bus along the way back. The Greenville bus system doesn’t quite extend to Traveler’s Rest, but it will still trim some of the distance off your return trip.
Downtown Greenville offers an abundance of shops and restaurants concentrated in a relatively small area, making it easy to explore on foot. When I visited, locals were playing music outdoors, contributing to the lighthearted atmosphere. This may sound like summer in a beach town, but I visited in February (though the temperature sure didn’t indicate that it was winter).
If you’re traveling with children (or even adults who enjoy a scavenger hunt), keep an eye out for the “Mice on Main”. Don’t worry, I’m not implying that Greenville has a rodent infestation. Instead, nine small bronze mice sculptures can be found along Main Street. They can be a bit tricky to spot until you know what you’re looking for, so check out these hints if you want to be pointed in the right direction.
Whether you stay for a weekend or longer, Greenville, South Carolina, has something for all travelers. Be sure to keep it in mind for your next trip to the southeast!