greenville city guide

Illustration by David Siglin

Our Greenville City Guide comes to us from David and Rachel Siglin, who have called Greenville home for the past ten years. David designs books and Rachel teaches piano. Most Saturdays, they can be found either searching out new places or revisiting favorite spots. They enjoy showing friends around downtown, discovering coffee shops and finding thrift store treasures. And now they share with all of us the wonders of this great city! Thanks, David and Rachel, for this fabulous tour of Greenville! — Stephanie

CLICK HERE for the full guide after the jump!

About Greenville

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains between Atlanta and Charlotte lies the perennially scenic city of Greenville, SC. Its original name, Pleasantburg, is an apt description. Thanks to extensive renovations, the once fading downtown is now a vibrant tapestry of art, food and culture. A wooded park winds through the heart of downtown, while the Reedy River Falls run beneath the award winning Liberty Bridge. Two free trolleys are operated downtown by the Greenville Drive baseball team. Also, on weekends, horse-drawn carriages are a common sight along Main Street. But Greenville is more than just a vibrant downtown. Among other attractions, a short drive can take you to a family-run gem shop brimming with natural beauty, a sushi pub seemingly straight out of a Tokyo side alley and nature trails winding through the Appalachians to breathtaking vistas. For more information on why Greenville is such a great city, check out this review from

Things To Do

Falls Park — The focal point of downtown Greenville and the go-to spot for a picnic, a study spot in the shade, or running and biking. Spanning the river is the award-winning Liberty Bridge, a beautiful pedestrian suspension bridge.

The Swamp Rabbit Bike Trail — A 13.5-mile walking/biking trail that runs along the Reedy River and connects Travelers Rest with the city of Greenville.

The Upstate Shakespeare Festival — Offers free open-air summer performances in Falls Park.

Moonlight Movies — During May and September, Moonlight Movies light up the night beside the Reedy River.

Indie Craft Parade — This September, Greenville hosted the first annual Indie Craft Parade, which yielded overwhelming success. Area artists showcased handmade paper crafts, jewelry, pottery, food, 2D art and much more.

Paris Mountain State Park — Miles of scenic walking and bike trails, as well as picnic areas. For more hiking opportunities, the Appalachian Mountains are also within 30 minutes of Greenville.

The Peace Center for the Performing Arts — Located on Main Street, the Peace Center for the Performing Arts center features Broadway shows and music legends right in downtown Greenville.

The Arts

Photo courtesy of  Bryan McKinnon

Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery — The world’s second largest collection of religious art. The university also sponsors the Museum and Gallery at Heritage Green, a smaller, centrally located satellite of the larger museum where the entire top floor is an interactive children’s center (also great fun for adults).

Christopher Park Gallery — A non-traditional gallery featuring funky art and recycled jewelry by rising artists.

Lily Pottery — Each piece of Lily’s jewelry is a unique, wearable and handcrafted work of art that has been stamped with her one-of-a-kind stamps and finished with her custom designed glazes. An original, fashionable line of jewelry that is aesthetically pleasing and a pleasure to wear.

Michael McDunn Gallery — Showcases original works by artists of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and the surrounding southeast region. The gallery features furniture, woodturning, ceramics, sculpture, textiles and blacksmithing.

Pendleton Street Arts District — Up-and-coming arts center with open galleries on the first Friday of each month. One fascinating gallery is Art and Light.

Art & Light — With a mix of art, furniture, lighting, accessories and eccentricities, the gallery features unique visual presentation, which aids in selecting items that work well together.

White Whale — A sprawling old house, which is home to a diverse array of artists: potters, illustrators, graphic designers and painters.


Photo courtesy of  Tony Crescibene

Saturday Morning Markets — During the summer, Greenville hosts Saturday Markets in the middle of Main Street where local farmers, artisans and vendors gather to sell freshly picked or handcrafted goods.

Christina Nicole Studios — Studio 110B, 300 River-Street, Greenville, SC, 29601, P: 864-609-7057. Jewelry creations that bring timeless elegance and vintage fashion together with a modern twist. Capturing the couture classics, Christina Nicole restores brooches, charms and heirlooms that illustrate her vision of celebrating the modern, yet feminine, woman.

Dapper Ink Custom Outfitters — Opening a storefront this November to sell hand-printed, artisan-created tee shirts and other vintage-inspired wearables. They will also partner with artists to create limited runs of specialty tees and carry local handmade goods.

Dixie Gem — 2517 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, SC 29609, P: 864-235-7309. An intriguing collection of nick-knacks, jewelry and fossils. Perfect for unique gifts and jewelry-making supplies.

Galleries of Brian Brigham — Fine antiques and interior design services. The galleries are situated in an old fashioned, Southern-style house. A walk-through is like a museum visit.

Knack Studios — Owner Barb Blair is a weekly contributor to D*S for all things furniture. She specializes in totally resurfaced pieces and sells unique found goods, as well as new home accessories that complete the Knack look.

Kudzu — 1 Augusta Street, Greenville, SC 29601-3584, P: 864-271-4888. Specialty home accessories and personal gifts.

Mayme Baker Studio — Beautiful shop featuring high-end home decor and jewelry.

The Needle Tree — Offers needlepoint supplies, fine yarns, baby yarns and felted purse kits.

Postcard from Paris — High-end European-style home goods.

Shinola Art and Antiques — 19 Mohawk Dr, Greenville, SC 29609, P: 864-235-5055. An intriguing collection with a surprise around every corner.


Brew and Ewe — Serves Counter Culture coffee and tasty baked goods. The second half of the shop features exquisite hand-knitted delights.

Café Crema — These people are passionate for and highly informed about coffee. Stop by their cozy shop and have a chat with the owners while you wait for your drink. Arguably the best cup of coffee in Greenville.

Coffee Underground — A favorite study spot or group hang-out. Coffee Underground also offers performances in their Theater Room and features art by locals.

Leopard Forest — Located just outside of Greenville in Travelers Rest, this Zimbabwe-based company grows and roasts their own beans. The owners chose the location because the area reminded them of their farmland in Zimbabwe.

Liquid Highway — A South Carolina company that gives all profits to charity. Their coffees never fail to impress.

O Cha — Here I tasted my first bubble tea and learned to love hot tea. Among their many offerings are milk tea, green and black teas and their exclusive LaTEAs.


Davani’s — A fine dining restaurant with cozy seating located on historic Augusta Road. Their menu offers continental cuisine alongside old world classic French and Italian dishes made with premium cuts of meat, fresh seafood and local ingredients.

Larkins — High-class dining and amazing steak. Their terrace seating faces the Reedy River and an old, open warehouse used for parties and receptions.

Lemongrass — Fine Thai dining where the Pineapple Fried Rice is exceptional.

Mary Beth’s — Mouth-watering breakfast menu.

Nations Bakery — 105 Spartanburg Highway, Lyman, SC 29365, P: 864-949-0819. Actually a few miles out from Greenville, but too good to miss. An amazing European-style bakery with very friendly service. The owner trained in New York City before moving to the upstate area. Great breakfast offerings, which include very yummy banana bread French toast.

Ristorante Bergamo — Chef/owner Nello Gioia is a native of Bergamo, Greenville’s Italian sister city. The restaurant features northern Italian cuisine and is known for its fresh ingredients, homegrown organic herbs and Chef Gioia’s first-hand knowledge of authentic Italian style.

Shane’s — Delicious, homemade Southern selections. The carrot cake and the She Crab Soup are amazing.

Smoke on the Water — Elegant Southern comfort food and breezy outdoor seating.

Sushi Masa — For an authentic Japanese sushi bar experience, this is the place! Fresh sushi, wide selection, good prices.

Table 301 Group — Devereaux’s, Soby’s, Lazy Goat — Sophisticated Southern food experiences. Lazy Goat adds a Mediterranean twist — order several small selections and share. Soby’s offers leisurely fine dining with front door seating that opens onto Main Street. Devereaux’s is upscale and features delicious creations and a chef’s tasting menu. All Table 301 locations are glad to accommodate special dietary needs and prepare vegetarian or vegan dishes.

Blueberry Frog — Frozen yogurt with great fruity, nutty or sweet toppings.

Spill the Beans — 531 S. Main St, Greenville, SC 29601, (864) 242-6355. Located at the heart of downtown with an impressive view of Falls Park. STB offers hand-mixed ice cream; their chocolate with brownies and peanut butter is incredible.

Luna Rosa Gelato Cafe — Wide, authentic selection and lovely sidewalk seating.


Candleberry Inn Bed and Breakfast — Favorite for girl-weekend getaways and weddings.

Pettigru Place Bed and Breakfast — A picturesque home with romantic rooms, English-style gardens and a tasty breakfast.

The Phoenix — Located conveniently near downtown, shopping and the interstate.

Soby’s Apartment — Fully furnished with a kitchen, 20-seat dining room, roof-top patio, living room and two luxurious bedrooms.

Westin Poinsett — A lovely, historic hotel in the heart of downtown.

  1. Brenda McGregor says:

    Nothing could be finer than to live in GREENVILLE, SC.

  2. Roseann says:

    OK, I’m new here and yes I’m a Yankee. My husband and I are looking, Looking and looking some more for a great place to move. We original wanted NC…put to many tax stuff changing..not for the retired benefits. SC…much more tax friendly from were I sit.
    We will both have to work…I am a jewelry designer (handmade) and would love to work for another artist with the same passions I have had for the past 14+ years. Hubby is in the HVAC industry….We are hoping to work 4 days a week. We would love to rent for the fist year…..have heard Five Forks is a great place….any info would be great. Also heard Somerville is great…any thoughts comments that could help us would really be appreciated.


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