Before my husband had received his acceptance letter to medical school we knew we wanted to move south. We loved everything about the south from the southern charm to the Barbecue and the Sweet Tea! Once we found out we were moving to Greenville, SC we were more than thrilled! I am going to share with you all of our favorite things to do and places to eat in Greenville, SC! So pack your bags because your next adventure starts now….
Let’t start in the heart and soul of the city… Downtown Greenville. This little city is filled with everything you need from nightlife to southern culture to the fine arts. While living in Greenville we saw some amazing plays such as Junie B. Jones meets Pinkalicious to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. It even has something for the kids like Mice on Main which is a well known scavenger hunt made up of tiny bronze mice that are hidden up and down Main St! (Can you find them all?) While you’re downtown be sure to check out Falls Park on Reedy River. This gorgeous park is located right in the heart of downtown. It has a footbridge so visitors can take in the picture perfect view, it also has plenty of nature trails, picnic areas and of course the Reedy River in all of its glory!
Since we are downtown lets take a trip to The Children’s Museum of the Upstate! This museum is the first children’s museum in the US that is a Smithsonian affiliate, and trust me it shows because this place is amazing! The exhibits range from a children’s hospital, to a news studio, and a Publix market! My kiddos loved the Construction Zone as well as the Reedy River Bend! If you are traveling with little ones this is a must do!
One of my absolute favorite things to do with my kids downtown is the Greenville Zoo! I love that the parking is FREE! There is also a huge playground out front with plenty of picnic tables and sometimes the Kona Ice truck will even pay a visit, so be sure to have some cash on hand. Most of all I love the animals! The zoo is on the smaller side but that is fine by me because it means, most kids will be able to walk it with out a stroller. They have a great selection of animals to view from Giraffe’s, to an Orangutan, to the Red Panda’s and the African Lions! What’s not to love! My favorite time to visit is in the fall just before Halloween when the weather is cooler and this is also when the zoo holds a special event called Boo in the Zoo. The zoo is decorated for Halloween and on select days your kids can go trick or treating in the zoo. Be sure to go early because this event is very popular!
Forget to pack something or are you looking for a quick bite to eat? Then I have the place for you! The Haywood Mall has it all, from great stores to delicious food. When we first moved to Greenville, this mall had just started it’s renovations. So we have seen how far it has come over the years. Our favorite store is the Palmetto Moon, it is where we bring all of friends and family when they come into town to stock up on Greenville, SC one of a kind merchandise. Our favorite restaurant is the Cheesecake Factory, because who doesn’t love a 30 page menu and the cheesecake is to die for! My favorite is the Adam’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple Cheesecake, so yummy! Even if you aren’t in the mood to shop or snack, this mall is a great place to get some exercise on rainy days, so lace up those sneakers and grab a friend to join you!
If you are looking for a place for little ones to burn off some energy or to watch some planes take off then check out Runway Park at GMU. This park is located right next to the downtown Greenville airport and you have a front row seat to watch some incredible aircrafts take flight. The park has picnic tables, a small track for kids to run or ride scooters on, plenty of benches for parents to sit back and relax, and the playground is our kiddos favorite because it is aviation themed. I will warn you this place gets pretty busy on the weekends so go early!
One of my favorite things to do in the Palmetto State is eat! (Food is what the south is known for!) South Carolina is known for the best southern food around! My husband stuffed his face with shrimp and grits, collard greens & barbecue! Although his biggest weakness comes from a gas station called QT in the shape a maple frosted donut, haha. These donuts are delightful and don’t forget to grab your QT cup to grab a drink to accompany this tasty treat! I, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough of the biscuits! I don’t know how South Carolina does it but I have never eaten more delicious biscuits in any other state in my life! I have two favorite places to eat biscuits. My first favorite place is Biscuit Head. Here the biscuits are literally the size of the plate, so I suggest sharing. What I love most about this place is the Jam Bar! Every jam, jelly and butter is made in house and is fresh daily and you can mix match and blend till your little heart desires. I am a big fan of the classics and the strawberry jam is my favorite. My second favorite, is Maple Street Biscuit Company. I lucked out big time because Jacksonville, FL happens to be the headquarters of this wonderful business which means even in Florida I still get to eat my favorite biscuits! Score! What I love about Maple Street is that they take my two favorite things, chicken and biscuits, and put together one of the most unique menus I have ever eaten. I also love how the question of the month is different. So each visit seems like a new experience. The one thing that is hard to find in Greenville is good pizza. The closest thing we could find to good pizza was a place called Copper River Grill, they have the best Stone fired BBQ Chicken Pizza around. I also, highly recommend ordering a side salads as well, mostly because they come with a butter croissant that melts in your mouth that is drizzled in a sweet glaze. Yes, it tastes as good as it sounds!
If you are traveling in the summer and are looking to beat that Carolina heat check out the Greenville County Waterparks! Greenville has three small waterparks: Discovery Island Waterpark, Otter Creek and 7th inning Splash. Discovery Island is our favorite it has a small lazy river, two water slides, and a great water structure that our kiddos loved to play on! Another great summertime activity is catching a ballgame at Fluor Field and if you are Red Sox fans like us than you are in luck because the Greenville Drive happens to be the affiliate team for the Boston Red Sox!
If you are traveling in the winter months our favorite thing to do is to get in the car turn on some holiday music, grab some hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts (since I am a New England girl) and check out the holiday light displays throughout the city. If you are looking to extend your car ride, take a day trip to Asheville to see the lights at the Biltmore. Another holiday treat is ice skating on Main St also known as Ice on Main! To the folks of Greenville this is a must do holiday activity!
I hope you love the Palmetto State as much as I did! If not then bless your heart! One of the best things about Greenville, SC is the people who live there. You will never meet nicer people in your life no matter where you travel. These people will give you the shirt off their backs. They bring a whole new meaning to southern charm and hospitality. Now every time I travel and hear a “Hey Y’all!” it brings me back to the upstate and the amazing memories we’ve made there!
Disclaimer: This article is based on my opinions and is not affiliated or being endorsed by any of the companies listed above.