The Daily Gamecock

Road Trip Towns: Greenville, SC

<p>Only a two hour drive from Columbia, Greenville, SC offers tasty ethnic cuisines and a beautiful view.</p>
Only a two hour drive from Columbia, Greenville, SC offers tasty ethnic cuisines and a beautiful view.

Nestled in the heart of the Upstate, Greenville combines a fun and modern downtown setting with natural surroundings.

It’s easy to fall in love with the city the minute you turn the corner on East Coffee Street. Though many neighboring towns are much smaller and lacking in things to do, Greenville provides a wealth of restaurants, shops and outdoorsy locales for its residents and visitors.

For the best experience in the city, allot half the day for shopping and strolling around the downtown area. Trees and lights beautifully decorate the streets, knitting together the urban feel with a touch of tranquility.

Additionally, you can find lots of artsy boutiques, stores to rep your USC pride and unique shops like the Mast General Store and the Greenville Army & Navy Store, where you might find that one-of-a-kind gift for your hard-to-please family member. Haywood Mall is also a short drive away and includes two floors of your favorite chain stores.

After hours of perusing stores, you’ll surely want to stop for a bite or two. Fortunately, Greenville has a plethora of restaurants that are sure to inspire your taste buds. If you’re aiming to mix it up for lunch, try Saffron Indian Cuisine, which features a unique buffet that allows you to expand your palette much further than campus dining.

If Italian is more your speed, Trio is located in the center of downtown and offers a menu that’s sure to impress any Olive Garden frequenter. Or, if you fancy a classic barbecue, Bucky’s BBQ is a short drive away and features some of the best entrees and sides of any nearby smokehouse.

Of course, you have to account for those special dessert cravings as well. The Chocolate Moose specializes in gourmet cupcakes, but also crafts delicious coffee drinks and milkshakes. Spill the Beans and Coffee Underground also prepare a vast selection of beverages and pastries. Spill the Beans even serves up ice cream so you can enjoy a chilly bowl or cone with your warm cup of joe.

Down the street from Spill the Beans, you can find Falls Park on the Reedy River, a great spot to take pictures to commemorate your trip, a relaxing walk or a reading break. While the water is not the safest to drink or swim in, you can certainly admire the falls' beauty and the ducks that flock to it.

The city is also close to a number of hiking and biking trails. Consider stopping by downtown Greenville on your way back from Table Rock or Caesars Head State Park,which are both located within Greenville County, but are each about a 45-minute drive from the metropolitan area. Closer hiking spots include Paris Mountain State Park and Lake Conestee Nature Park.

Whether you’re hoping to explore a new downtown area with friends or find an escape in nature, Greenville is certainly a place to keep on the list. It’s cute, cozy, relaxing and exciting all in one remarkable city.


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