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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 been recognized as one of the top 10 best downtowns in the county, is the #4 Best Place to Live in the U.S. as ranked by U.S. News in 2024, 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 its world-class cycling trails. Read on to learn more about Greenville.

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  • Food Scene
  • Arts + Culture
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Business Climate
  • Education

Food Scene

Home to more than 120 locally owned restaurants, Greenville is on the rise as a food destination. 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.

Beyond its restaurant scene, Greenville knows how to cook… and drink. Ten different year-round and seasonal farmers 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 Thomas Creek Brewery, Yee Haw Brewing Co., and Southernside Brewing Co., a popular hangout spot with indoor and outdoor spaces along the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail.

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. The Metropolitan Arts Council hosts “First Fridays” open galleries every month and partners with the City of Greenville’s Arts in Public Places program to make art accessible to everyone and add 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:

Outdoor Activities

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 26-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. 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.

Business Climate

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:


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. 2 top college in South Carolina from the Forbes “America’s Top Colleges.” 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 to prepare the Upstate’s workforce. The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville is a four-year medical school offering a hands-on medical education. Downtown Greenville is also home to Clemson University’s MBA Program and Furman University’s Hill Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

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. Learn more about Greenville County Schools.

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