We’re not exaggerating when we say that Greenville is one of the most charming cities you’ll ever come across.
In fact, it’s home to the No. 3 best downtown in the country and continues to top national food destination lists. It’s also been called the hottest craft beer scene in South Carolina—and did we mention there’s a waterfall in the middle of downtown? Catch a Broadway show at the Peace Center, wander the arts district in the Village of West Greenville or check out it’s world-class cycling trails. Read on to learn more about Greenville.
Facts + Figures
Average Household Income
AMONG AMERICA’S FRIENDLIEST CITIES 2017Travel + Leisure
PRETTIEST CITY IN THE SOUTH 2018Southern Living
BEST HOME BASE CITIES FOR ADVENTURE ENTHUSIASTS 2018Livability
AMERICA'S BEST SMALL CITIES TO MOVE TO BEFORE THEY GET TOO POPULAR 2017Thrillist
- Food Scene
- Arts + Culture
- Outdoor Activities
- Business Climate
Home to more than 120 locally owned restaurants, Greenville is on the rise as a food destination. In fact, it was dubbed a “Foodie Paradise” by Southern Living and continues to top national lists, including Tasting Table’s “America’s Most Underrated Foodie Cities.” Greenville has everything from classic barbecue joints like Henry’s Smokehouse and Bucky’s Bar-B-Q to award-winning farm-to-table spots like Anchorage, a James Beard semi-finalist, and Soby’s New South Cuisine, known for its new take on Southern classics like fried green tomatoes. Looking for a reservation for tonight? Browse hundreds of restaurants in and around the city in this searchable restaurant list from Yeah THAT Greenville.
Beyond its restaurant scene, Greenville knows how to cook…and drink. Ten different year-round and seasonal farmer’s markets in the area make it easy to be a chef at home with the freshest produce and artisan products. Greenville’s growing brewery scene includes Birds Fly South Ale Project and Quest Brewing Co.—both of which double as popular hangouts with indoor-outdoor space, tasting rooms and events—plus, Thomas Creek Brewery, Yee Haw Brewing Co., and Brewery 85.
Arts + Culture
Greenville is home to a diverse and growing arts and culture scene that rivals major metros. Attractions include the Peace Center, Alchemy Comedy Theater and the arts district in the Village of West Greenville, which offers more than 60 unique artists, galleries, services, shops and restaurants and hosts “First Friday” open galleries every month. Greenville’s Arts in Public Places program makes art accessible to everyone and adds beauty and energy to the entire city with murals and installations. Downtown Greenville features art studios in renovated parking spaces where you can watch and support local artists at work.
Sports fans will stay engaged with a variety of local games to attend, from Greenville Drive, the minor league baseball team based at Fluor Field in the West End of downtown, to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits hockey team, to Greenville Triumph, the professional soccer team.
Other cultural attractions include:
Greenville is home to some of the most stunning parks, waterfalls and greenways in the country—and much of it is centered in and around downtown where nature and commerce blend seamlessly. Among the most popular attractions is the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a 22-mile multi-use trail system converted from an old railroad track that draws walkers, runners and cyclists from miles around. This connects to an expansive trail network near downtown Greenville.
It’s thanks in part to these immaculate trails that Greenville is known as a world-class cycling destination, but it’s also home to single-track mountain bike trails and miles of bikeable roads. Pro cyclists know Greenville as host to the USA Cycling Professional Road National Championships from 2006 to 2012, as well as the National Criterium Champs in 2015 and 2016.
The City of Greenville itself maintains 40 parks across more than 500 acres of land. Falls Park serves as a centerpiece attraction for Greenville, with its iconic Liberty Bridge, the Reedy River, and gorgeous public gardens. Cleveland Park, also perched along the Reedy River, features tennis courts, softball fields, playground areas, a fitness trail and the Greenville Zoo. Lake Conestee Nature Preserve is a 400-acre preserve perfect for wildlife lovers, featuring paved and natural pathways, boardwalks built over wetland areas, a pedestrian bridge stretching across the Reedy River and a dense wildlife habitat.
Among the best business destinations in the Southeast, Greenville has a broad and thriving industry base, from Fortune 500 companies to manufacturing facilities to fast-growth tech companies. More than 100 different international firms from 22 countries have a major presence in Greenville County contributing to a diverse business community. Greenville’s major employers include:
- Anyone Home
- Bon Secours St. Francis Health System
- Fluor Corporation
- Furman University
- GE Power
- Lockheed Martin
- Michelin North America
- Mitsubishi Polyester Film
- Nutra Manufacturing
- Prisma Health
- Resurgent Capital Services
- Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
- SYNNEX Corporation
- TD Bank
Greenville is home to several top-notch higher education institutions, including Furman University, the oldest private college in South Carolina that’s also ranked No. 14 on the “50 Underrated Colleges Doing Great Things” from College Consensus. Neighboring Bob Jones University is known for providing an outstanding Christian liberal arts education, while Greenville Technical College and the University Center offer regionally accredited degree programs at a lower cost than private college. Downtown Greenville is also home to Clemson University’s MBA Program.
With 76,000 students, the Greenville County School District is the largest in the state and 44th largest in the nation. It’s home to the first elementary school in South Carolina with a school-wide engineering curriculum, A.J. Whittenberg, which partners with major companies like Fluor, GE, and Michelin to give children hands-on learning opportunities.
Greenville is also home to the No. 1 public elementary school in the state – Green Charter School – and the No. 1 best private school in the state – Christ Church Episcopal School. Explore Greenville’s variety of schools below.
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