Why Greenville Is The South's Next Big Charming Destination

Move over, Charleston and Savannah.

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Photo By: Courtesy of VisitGreenvilleSC

Photo By: Courtesy of VisitGreenvilleSC

Photo By: Courtesy of VisitGreenvilleSC

Photo By: Courtesy of VisitGreenvilleSC

Photo By: Courtesy of VisitGreenvilleSC

Photo By: Courtesy of VisitGreenvilleSC

Photo By: Courtesy of VisitGreenvilleSC

Photo By: Courtesy of VisitGreenvilleSC

Photo By: Courtesy of VisitGreenvilleSC

Photo By: Courtesy of VisitGreenvilleSC

A Main Street to Write Home About

Lined with boutique shops and restaurants, Greenville's downtown is a slice of Southern charm. One of the city's most beautiful attractions, Falls Park, is located right on Main Street, which helped to spark a pedestrian-friendly revolution in town when it opened in 2004. Speaking of which...

A Natural Retreat, Downtown

In Greenville, you don't have to trek out to the 'burbs for a healthy dose of nature. Falls Park on the Reedy River is a 32-acre wooded wonderland adjacent to the city's vibrant downtown, set on land used by textile mills going back more than a century. These days, visitors can watch the park's gorgeous waterfalls from a 355-foot-long pedestrian suspension bridge.

Once a Railway, Now a Walking Trail

Want to work up a sweat? Greenville's Swamp Rabbit Trail is a roughly 20-mile-long walking, biking and hiking path that crosses straight through Falls Park downtown. Following the path of an abandoned rail bed, the route is another example of how Greenville has reimagined the remnants of its industrial past.

Barbecue As Far as the Eye Can See

Barbecue is a way of life in Greenville, and for good reason. This stretch of the world is known for four — yes, four — distinct styles of BBQ sauce: mustard, vinegar and pepper, light tomato and heavy tomato. Favorite spots to sample the local goods include Bucky’s Bar-B-Q, Henry’s Smokehouse and Mike and Jeff’s BBQ.

An Heirloom Revolution

Chef Sean Brock's pioneering Southern-inspired restaurant Husk, which places a spotlight on long-forgotten heirloom ingredients, opened its third location in Greenville last year. Come for next-level Southern fares like cornmeal-fried chicken skins and crispy pig ear lettuce wraps.

A Southern Speakeasy

Secreted away in a subterranean basement, Vault & Vator serves some of Greenville's most enticing libations with a modern speakeasy flair. The vibe can't be beat: No cell phone use is allowed inside, a no-baseball-hats-or-flip-flops dress code is enforced and you'll find nary a shot or light beer on the menu. Instead, expect classic cocktails like a gin-splashed, floral-scented aviation and a downright deadly whiskey sour with house-made sour mix.

A Historic Hotel

The most luxurious hotel in town is The Westin Poinsett, a historic property built in 1925. At the time, its famously beautiful interiors and high-end furnishings cost $1.5 million, the equivalent of roughly $21 million in 2018 dollars. Although the Poinsett has had its share of ups and downs over the decades, today it's the jewel of the city's hotel scene.

An Eye to the Heavens

In Greenville, it's not a bad thing to have your head in the clouds. Every Friday from January through November, guests to the Roper Mountain Science Center are invited to peer through the main observatory's massive refracting telescope. Built in 1882, the telescope is the eighth-largest of its kind in the United States and was used by Princeton University and the U.S. Naval Observatory before heading to Greenville in the late 1960s.

A Pilgrimage Site for Baseball Lovers

"Shoeless Joe" Jackson lived and died in this modest five-room brick home at 356 Field Street in Greenville, which today is a museum dedicated to the baseball legend

A Taste of South Carolina Bounty

Farmers' markets are old news in some parts of the country, but in Greenville, it's still the best way to get a real taste of South Carolina's home-grown bounty. The TD Saturday Market is massive with more than 75 tents. Vendors range from the small-batch artisanal cheese company Blue Ridge Creamery to third-generation organic beef operation Gibson Farms.

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