When the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods visits Greenville, S.C., fans and families will find a delightful host abounding with aesthetic accents and engaging activities to keep them occupied while their favorite angler goes to work on nearby Lake Hartwell.
Boasting the hip and hashtagable slogan “Yeah, THAT Greenville,” this eclectic upcountry town nestled in the Blueridge foothills offers a heaping helping of southern hospitality, draped with natural splendor and seasoned with a blend of influences honoring the historical and embracing the contemporary.
A handfull of notables
- Named for Nathaniel Greene, commander of the Southern forces in the Revolutionary War, Greenville traces its roots to the earliest settlements in 1770.
- Greenville County is South Carolina’s most populated with 491,000 (65,245 in the city)
- Furman University was founded here in 1852.
- Home to more than 250 international firms, Greenville is deeply connected to the automotive industry with Michelin and BMW moving their North American headquarters here in 1986 and 1990, respectively. Also, Greenville is home to Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR)
- The South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center was once the WWII-era Donaldson Air Force Base
- Recognition has included:
“52 Places to go in 2017,” The New York Times
“50 Top Best Places In the World to Travel in 2018,” Travel & Leisure
“Top-10 Traveler’s Choice Destinations On the Rise 2018,” Trip Advisor
Greenville is divided into eight distinct areas, each with its own unique character, shops and eateries. Most visits start in the upscale, yet decidedly cozy downtown, with its numerous pocket parks, statues and perennial light strings adding a warm, festive feel to the lush tree canopy arching across Main Street.
A well-planned design provides safe, easy walking routes between major elements, but if you’d rather pedal your way through town, rent a bike at Reedy Rides or use Greenville’s subscription-based B Cycle bike sharing program that spreads 28 bikes over six locations. If you’d prefer a more relaxing ride, climb aboard a Whispering Winds horse-drawn carriage for a private tour.
Artwork peppers the downtown district with sculptures of hometown luminaries, abstract works, wall murals and fountains of traditional and creative design. Don’t forget to look down, lest you miss Greenville’s charming rodent miniatures, affectionately known as “Mice on Main.” Searching for these nine figures takes you on a self-guided tour through downtown.
And how about this for urban accents: Located in downtown’s historic West End District, Falls Park on the Reedy River offers spectacular views of cascading waterfalls from the river side or the historic Liberty Bridge.
For an elevated downtown perspective, visit UP on the Roof at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Greenville Downtown RiverPlace for an unforgettable skyline view. Especially popular at night, this rooftop bar serves small plates and creative libations, with fire pits for killer ambiance.
Greenville’s thriving culinary scene presents a tasty tapestry of cultural influences from Dutch to French, Thai to Greek, Italian and Mediterranean. Fine dining, pizza parlors, sushi bars — Greenville has you covered. And for a legit farm-to-fork authenticity, visit the Roost Restaurant, which uses only locally-grown organic and seasonal foods. Guests enjoy Roost’s Harvest Table where you can work with the chef to build your own meals.
And, of course, there’s barbecue. In the downtown, an award-winning professional competition BBQ team runs a happening food truck named Smoking Butt Heads, but don’t miss Burley Bill's BBQ on Hwy. 11, outside of Greenville.
Also, on Hwy. 11, Victoria Valley Vineyards welcomes guests to sit in the French "chateau" styled tasting room overlooking the 47-acre property and sample the homegrown European Vinifera wines.
Sweet tooth? Enjoy the DIY shaved ice and ice cream flavors at Kona Ice, sample the Salted Caramel Banana Pudding at the Chocolate Moose Bakery and Cafe or create your own treat at The Donut Experiment.