Greenville. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, the booming city in the upstate where the SEC basketball tournament took place and half of friends are from. The city situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is teeming with cool restaurants, exciting (and free) events and lots of outdoor activities.
The perfect weekend destination, here’s a list of the top spots to visit when you head up 26 to G-Vegas (we’re working on the nickname).
Food, food and more food
Happy + Hale: The Raleigh-based healthy fast-casual restaurant has quickly become one of the most popular places in town. Smoothies, poke bowls and more await you in the Main Street location. Check out Southern Pressed Juicery (also downtown) if the line is too long for your liking at Happy + Hale.
Tandem: Get to this Travelers Rest favorite early to beat the lines and find a seat. The restaurant exclusively sells crepes sweet and savory. Their excellent coffee bar ensures you’ll be caffeinated for a day of sightseeing.
Tipsy Taco: A little out of the ways from the downtown district, but well worth the trip. In a city overflowing with tacos, the Pelham Road taco joint offers the best atmosphere, biggest servings and best drinks. If you’re looking for more tacos, Willy Taco, Papi’s, Farmhouse Tacos and a newly-opened White Duck Taco Shop are all serving up hipster-friendly taco fare.
Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery: Farm to Table, pizza and a picturesque spot by the Swamp Rabbit Trail make this locally-minded restaurant a must-visit. Pick up some fresh produce while you’re there too.
Main Street: The crowning jewel for Greenvillians, Main Street anchors the downtown district and offers everything from shopping, eating and tons of events like Downtown Alive and the TD Farmers Market on Saturday mornings (think Soda City Market, but bigger). Warehouse Theatre, Fluor Field and the insta-worthy Falls Park all sit on the one-mile stretch.
Swamp Rabbit Trail: Stretching from Traveler’s Rest to the edge of Greenville, the 20-mile trail is an easy trail perfect for walking, running and especially biking. Funky restaurants are dotted along the trail, so bring cash and be sure to rent a bike.
Taylors Mill: About 20 minutes from Main Street, the renovated mill features a weekly market, tons of artist studios, Due South Coffee and 13 Stripes — a gritty-looking brewery with lots of offerings and plenty of space.
What to avoid
Woodruff Road: I highly recommend never going near this stretch of traffic hell. Costco, a cinema and a Target among others make this four-lane highway a purgatory-level area that is overdeveloped and not that great.
Haywood Mall: Another overdeveloped section that is not worth the large groups of middle schoolers and angry moms and their minivans. Just avoid this entire area to be safe.