Day Trip Review of Greenville, South Carolina

greenville south carolina's liberty bridge over the reedy falls

Greenville South Carolina

Greenville is a one of a handful of crew-favorite layovers. The downtown area is a fantastic way to spend a day trip. From wonderful restaurants, rooftop bars, to exploring parks and paths on foot, you have plenty of ways to visit Greenville. If you are here on business, or just on vacation, you will fall in love with Greenville, South Carolina.

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Where is Greensville?

Greensville is located about half-way between Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC on Highway 85. The first thing I noticed when flying down was the proximity of the city to the Smoky Mountains. I knew we wouldn’t have enough time to see them this time, but they are supposedly spectacular. This is definitely something to think about if you stay for more than a day. But 

The Perfect Day Trip in Greenville

You must go downtown Greenville on your day trip. There is so much to do there. Our layover hotel is in a development with other hotels and restaurants. But for a $13 Uber, you can be dropped off at the Peace Center, centrally located in downtown Greenville. 

You can tell very quickly that Greenville has done a great job planning out the downtown area and has a very active tourism bureau. It doesn’t really matter where you get dropped off downtown, the whole area is designed for you to be able to walk around … and that is exactly what I recommend you do. 

 

Things To Do In Greenville

As you walk around the downtown area, you will see a lot of sculptures, installation pieces, and other attractions. One of my favorites was this drooling hog. A good friend on Instagram pointed out that it would have been fun to watch the planning council on this one. He is right, I would have loved to see when the artist proposed a drooling hog. I can just imagine the conversation: “Guys, I have this great idea… It’s a hog that is drooling and gives you good luck if you put a coin in his mouth… it’s going to be great… you really need one downtown.” 

But there is really so much to do. I will hit a few of them below:

Falls Park on the Reedy

This park is on the south end of downtown. It is a large regional park and the gardens throughout it are wonderful. It is almost a botanical garden all by itself. I first visited Falls Park in Greensville in early spring when the trees first started budding and the first flowers were blooming. 

  

The next time I visited was fall, during the peak of the fall colors. This is the Reedy River just above the falls coming out from the downtown area.

The day I visited was very warm and people were walking everywhere! It was fun to see so many locals and tourists alike come out to enjoy such a cool setting.

Don’t just come to see the waterfall. Follow the paths and explore some of the magnificent gardens and landscaping that the park provides. Just downstream from Liberty Bridge on the Reedy is a wooded gardening area that leads to the Historic District. It is definitely worth the walk. Here you can see some of the trails that help you meander back up the hill on the other side of the park.

Liberty Bridge

Before you leave the park, you must walk across Liberty Bridge. This suspension bridge is the cornerstone of the park offers stunning views of the waterfalls and gardens.

On the East, it is connected to the trail systems, and to the West, it brings you to an intersection of the Reedy and the historic district. The red awning to the right in the picture below is a resturant I write more about below.

Falls Park on the Reedy is beautiful. It’s a large attraction for pedestrians and tourists whom take advantage of this bridge on a daily basis. It is a little unfortunate that I didn’t have another day here. Later in the day, the city was going to have a rubber duck race and they were dumping hundreds of rubber ducks upstream and people got to place bets on which one would win. I think it was a raffle-like fundraiser. That would have been fun to watch all the people cheering on the bridge while the rubber ducks got demolished by a real waterfall

Greenville Historic District

After your time in at the Falls on the Reedy, take the Liberty Bridge west to the Greenville Historic District. It is just to the southwest of the downtown area.

  

If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you may be interested in the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

Swamp Rabbit Trail

From the park, you can access Swamp Rabbit Trail which is a 20-mile long multi-use greenway. Next time I go to Greenville, I will be renting a bike (more on that below) and riding this trail.   

Downtown Greenville

Plan your day trip to Greenville so that toward the end of your day, you walk Main Street. There are plenty of bars for an evening out and shops and restaurants for the rest of the day. As evening approaches and the other areas of town die down, this street literally lights up.

I recommend riding the free trolly if you legs get a bit tired. It is a good way to relax and see the the downtown area.

Toward the evening, there was a football game between Lousiana and Georgia. The cheers from this restaurant could be heard from three blocks away. The city is alive with young people and they like to party.

I would plan on ending your afternoon on this street. Many of the other downtown areas are better during the day and when the sun starts to set, this street lights up. It seemed like every block or so live musicians would perform. These were two violinists playing by the drooling hog.

As it got darker and darker, more ane more street lights came on and more fun seemed to be had by all. Just because it got dark, didn’t mean this place slowed down!

As some relailers closed for the day, underground coffee shops and comedy clubs came alive.

Resturants in Greenville South Carolina

There are many restaurants throughout Downtown Greenville. The two I tried and highly recommend are the Passerelle Bistro and Up On The Roof, a rooftop bar.

Paserelle Bistro

Passerelle Bistro – Before I recommend just a single restaurant, I have to say there were a lot that looked very good. I just happened to be near the park for the one meal I was going to have on this little day trip. The Passerelle Bistro has a scenic patio where we ate lunch and looked over the park at the falls. I had a fantastic burger. The fries were fresh and the burger was delicious. I’m undecided if the best part was the arugula or the home-made buns (at least I think they were home-made). Very delicious. The bistro had a great setting and the other food I saw looked delicious too.

This is the view from across the river and is probably the best place to grab a bite by the falls.

This burger is part of the perfect day trip from greenville

Up On The Roof

Up On The Roof rooftop bar may have been one of my favorite places in all of Greensville. I am writing another post just on this venue and will make a link here when it is finished. But in short, the bar is on top of the Embassay Suites on the water and has a fantastic view of downtown that is second only to it’s food and beverage.



More to do on my next day trip from Greenville

Helicopter Tour – If you dare ride a fling-wing-death-trap … Shadowhawk Aviation. 

Zoo – The Greenville Zoo was described to me by a local as “Great, for a city this size.” What does that mean? I don’t know. But that’s what I got for you. I do know this is very close to the downtown area. It can be accessed by the Swamp Rabbit Trail. 

Museums – Check out the Greenville County Museum of ArtBob Jones University Museum and Gallery, and Roper Mountain Science Museum.

Festivals and Events– The city has a lot of festivals and they all seem to be located downtown. I didn’t list any because the dates change year to year and but you can see them on the Visit Greenville site.

Rent a Bike – There are several bike rental places in town. Check out Reedy Rides ($20 for 4-hour half day) located right in the middle of downtown and Pedal Chic ($20 for half a day) located adjacent to Falls Park and the West End Historic District.

Thanks for reading! If I missed something, please let me know. If you are a pilot and want to contribute your layover advice, please message me! Otherwise, we would love for you to follow us and share this article.

I hope you enjoyed your virtual day trip from Greenville! What did we miss? Let us know down in the comments

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