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How to Spend a Day in Greenville, SC

How to Spend a Day in Greenville, SC

(UPDATED APRIL 2022) Greenville, South Carolina is a city I recently visited that left me intrigued and highly excited. I did not know much about Greenville other than following their culinary scene through social media, but I knew I wanted to visit. I am still in awe at how fun and beautiful this city is, and at how friendly its people are. Those who choose to make Greenville their home really love it—it’s easy to see why. Here is how I made the most of 24 hours in Greenville, South Carolina. Yeah, that Greenville. 


Things to Do in Greenville

A stroll through downtown Greenville is a must when visiting. Shops range from high end cosmetics and fashion (Bluemercury, J McLaughlin, and Beija Flor Jeans), to a 100+ year old general store (Mast General) where you will find everything you ever dreamed of, and more. O. P. Taylor’s is a locally-owned toy store with educational, trendy, and retro toys all rolled into one.


River Street Sweets is one place to satisfy your sweet tooth in downtown Greenville, along with Poppington’s Gourmet Popcorn, The Bakery Off Augusta for pastries, and Kilwins ice cream.

Another awesome find in downtown Greenville is the independent bookstore, M. Judson Booksellers. Chocolate Moose Bakery is attached for your sweet tooth and caffeine needs; how convenient is that? 


Greenville is an artsy city, so pay attention to the sweet sayings etched on the sidewalk in places, bells hanging in the trees, and the many elegant statues. A fun thing to do with kids is to find the Mice on Main, a scavenger hunt created by the tourism board. You have to look low and high to find all nine of the bronze mice. Click here to download a printable version of the scavenger hunt clues.   


Fun Fact: Joel Poinsett brought the poinsettia flower to the states from Taxco del Alarcon, Mexico. A statue is erected in his memory on Main Street. 


Where to Eat in Greenville

When I arrived in Greenville, I grabbed an early lunch from Nose Dive. This was the coolest place! I sat at the gastropub bar, adorned with colorful light on the bar itself and the wall in front of me showcasing the alcohol choices.

The daily $10 lunch special was Chicken Tikka Masala, and I was sold. The dish was tasty and full of exotic flavors. A beverage came with the lunch fee, which was a great value.


A group of friends and I had a plethora of appetizers from Oak and Honey, the bar off of the SpringHill Suites hotel lobby. The Charcuterie Platter, piled high with salami, olives, and cheese, and the 4-Dip Platter (roasted red pepper, eggplant, pimento cheese, and hummus) served with grilled breads were my favorites.


Other dishes we tried were wings, truffle fries, and honey jar dips with grilled flatbread. Oak and Honey serves prohibition style cocktails so be sure to try one. 


Though it could technically fall into either where I ate or what I did in Greenville, South Carolina, a food tour was in order. If you only have 24 hours in Greenville, South Carolina, this would be my top pick.

Join Greenville History Tours for a five restaurant visit through downtown. Our tour included dishes ranging from Prosciutto-wrapped Scallops to Italian Meatballs, Persian rice to Mediterranean artichokes. The restaurants we visited were The Orient Hibachi Asian Kitchen, Southern Pressed Juicery, Pomegranate on Main, Abanico Tapas Bar and Restaurant, and Limoncello


Where to Stay in Greenville

I stayed at the new SpringHill Suites Greenville Downtown by Marriott, a dual property shared with sister hotel Residence Inn. My room had nice linens, a great desk area for working, couch, plenty of outlets, and a couch. I’m always a sucker for quality hotel toiletries and the Spring Hill Suites offered Tea Tree, a brand I really like. 


The lobby was incredible, full of interesting seating groups which were perfect for visiting, contemporary art, and cool white wicker swings that hung by the window for great light and visuals. The swimming pool was outside of the back part of the lobby and had lounge chairs in the shallow parts for optimum sunbathing. Outdoor fire pits and seating arrangements were also scattered around the courtyard. 


SpringHill Suites offers free bike rental, perfect for riding through this pedestrian friendly town. Hop on the Swamp Rabbit Trail to head over to Travelers Rest, a local hotspot right outside of town.

A Surprise Amidst Downtown

Little did I know that a gorgeous waterfall was in the midst of downtown Greenville, South Carolina. I walked over after our food tour for exceptional night views of the beautiful falls. I then went to the rooftop of the Embassy Suites (Greenville Downtown Riverplace) for fantastic views of the entire city, definitely the place for photographs though I would recommend coming in the daylight.

The rooftop restaurant and bar was exciting and inviting, too—a great place to enjoy an adult beverage. 


Greenville, a City to Fall in Love With 

I’m still in awe of the impact that Greenville, South Carolina, had on me. People love living there. They are so passionate about their town and so proud. It was a breath of fresh air to visit someplace with such a sense of purpose. I hope you love it as much as I did and have fun, even if for only 24 hours in Greenville. 

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Read more about South Carolina:

5 Day Guide to Myrtle Beach

South Carolina’s Hammock Coast

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Kevin | Caffeinated Excursions

Friday 29th of March 2019

Ugh, I lived in Columbia SC for over a year and spent a lot of time in Charlotte... I also visited Charleston, Savannah GA, and a few other areas nearby but never Greenville unfortunately! I'll have to live vicariously through your post until I have the chance to go back! Many people have told me how lovely it is, but your post really proves it. Finding the mice on Main Street sounds like a fun activity even as an adult! Thanks for sharing, Melody!


Saturday 30th of March 2019

Thanks for reading! I really love Charlotte and Savannah, too. Haven't spent much time in Columbia or Charleston, but I'm sure they are great, too.

The Travel Bunny

Thursday 28th of March 2019

This post began with a visit to a distillery, followed by one to a bookshop. That's my kind of travel! Great suggestions for spending a day in Greenville. Haven't been yet, but it seems like my cup of tea.

Michael Hodgson

Thursday 28th of March 2019

Absolutely LOVE Greenville and have been there a number of times ... for conferences and also to visit Mast General when I wore another hat as a journalist, reporting on the outdoor trade. ;-) Know the town well and you did it up absolutely superbly and deliciously. ;-) And you are right ... locals LOVE their city, as well they should.


Thursday 28th of March 2019

That's so exciting! What a cool town. I'll bet you had a blast, too. ;) Thanks for reading.


Monday 25th of March 2019

You have definitely seen plenty of Greenville in just 24 hours :). The shops look charming and the food looks delicious. Joining a food tour sounds like a great way to do if you are there for 24 hours. It looks like Greenville’s food scene is thriving and very interesting!

Jenn and Ed Coleman

Sunday 24th of March 2019

I have always wanted to go to Greenville. My sister lives down the road in Columbia and the family homestead is in Lancaster SC. I love it that Springhill Suites offers free bike rentals. Greenville looks like it is a very bikeable town. I always wanted to play disc golf in Greenville. One of my old cubemates swore that Greenville had the best courses he had ever played.


Sunday 24th of March 2019

Awesome! I think you would really like it there. ;)

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