Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why Greenville, SC is the Bomb

I know that everyone thinks their home town is awesome, so of course, I am biased, but as much as I enjoy traveling and exploring new places, I still find myself appreciating the beauty I see when I'm here. It's a little gem that not many people not of, so here are my ten reasons why I love my hometown.

Greenville, SC (source)

1. Education - while our state is having some major issues with education, it turns out greenville county is not. One thing we have are charter/magnet schools. Places like Stone Academy and Blythe offer programs that help children learn a language at a young age or practice an art such as dance or music. Greenville Tech has a charter school offering children courses to help them prepare for college. Relocate America recently ranked Greenville in their top 10 places in which to relocate and used education as one of the factors. To quote from their article:

There is something for everyone in Greenville in regard to education and the community is dedicated to ensuring that quality options exist. Greenville is home to the 51st largest school district in the nation, serving nearly 70,000 students. The community recently put the finishing touches on the largest educational building project in the state's history a six-year, 70-school, $1.88 billion construction project.
Every public school student is now in either a completely new or an extensively remodeled facility.
In another example of how seriously the community takes its commitment to education, Greenville County Schools has been awarded National Accreditation from the AdvancED Accreditation Commission, recognizing the school system as a high quality school district and granting full accreditation to the school district and all of its schools. This is no small feat."

And then obviously, I am a product of Greenville County Schools... so... case closed

2. Greenville is Green. Duh! We have lots of parks, lakes, etc. Cleveland park is home to another fun feature, the Swamp Rabbit Trail (which I will mention later). It has been newly renovated so there are lots of new playgrounds. It houses the Greenville Zoo and is home to the Rock Quarry. We also have Falls Park downtown which is located under the infamous Suspension Bridge (largest walking suspension bridge in the US, I think) and along side the Reedy River.

Cleveland Park Playground (source)

Falls Park (source)

3. Proximity to everything. Greenville is in a unique location because we are close to pretty much anything you would want... unless you want a desert and then I just can't help you. We have the beach (closet is Charleston, SC which is 3 hours away), the mountains (Pisgah is about an hour), two major cities (Charlotte is an hour and a half and Atlanta is two and a half hours) and several lakes. If you want to swim, hike, shop, see a pro sporting event or sit in the sand, we can get you there in half a day. BUT we're also protected my the mountains/foothills because we don't get tornadoes or hurricanes, we don't really get that much snow - enough for you to enjoy, but not enough to be annoying, and it's not quite as hot as Charleston/Columbia. But I mean, it's like, 94 degrees today so I'm not saying we're los angeles or anything.

4. Greenville is GREEN. Did I mention that already? Ok, now, I mean this differently. I mean, Greenville is dedicated to being more green. Duke Energy and GE just launched a new plan called the "Greening of Greenville Initiative". The plan is to "reduce energy consumption, provide more efficient lighting, and reduce the number of gasoline powered vehicles on the road." (source). They are putting electric car charging stations throughout the city so that it's more energy efficient vehicle friendly. The city provides recycling services to people living within Greenville City limits and there are lots of recycling stations throughout areas that aren't in that location. Downtown has installed bike trails so that it's more commutor friendly (but we do have a LONG way to go with this). Duke Energy will send you free energy efficient light bulbs and offers a program to help you learn how to reduce energy consumption. Obviously, we have way more we can do, but I appreciate that it's in our minds and we're trying to make our city much greener. I can say that most other cities in this state are NOT doing that. (i'm talking to you myrtle beach)

5. Recreation - there is a lot of outdoor recreatio which is nice consider summer lasts from april until october. and it can get hot. We have:

Lake Hartwell (30 min drive) (source)

Lake Jocassee (source)

Lake Keowee (source)

(all of those are within 45 minutes but not in Greenville County)

Clemson Football

Furman University - which you can run/bike or go to a football game (source)

and really I could go on and on...

6. Farmers: we have LOTS of Farmer's markets. We some different food co-ops. There is an urban farm tour and a farm tour of places outside of the city. South Carolina is a traditionally agricultural state (let's not talk about the civil war) and it still is. While we have a respect and understanding of the industrial world (we've got BMW, GE, Michelin) but also support and welcome our farmers!!

7. George Hincapie - yes, George is from here. And because of that, we have a big cycling community. And really a running community. Obviously, we have Go Run, Greenville Spinners, and Girls on the Run. We have the Swamp Rabbit Trail which begins in Greenville and ends in Travelers Rest. It's family friendly and great for a long run. (that's where I'll be doing my 12 miler on Sunday).

(p.s. they're all free)

8. Greenville Drive - this used to be the Greenville Braves back in the day, but the city decided to move the stadium from an undesirable location to downtown. Because the Drive are a farm team of the Boston Red Sox, they designed the stadium to look like a miniature Fenway Park. It's absolutely beautiful.

Baseball is a BIG deal in this state so it's nice to have a minor league team since the nearest major league team is in Atlanta.

9. Restaurants - Greenville is known for many of it's restaurants and we have many many many. There is obviously lots of the southern charm type places like Sassafras and Brick Street Cafe. We also have some nice steakhouses such as Chophouse 47  and Rick Erwins. There are some international influences such as Pomegranate, Rio Grille, The Lazy Goat and Irashai

If you want an in depth restaurant review, please read this (my friend Jane's very very very detailed greenville restaurant review)

10. Last and the most important: Downtown. That seems so silly, but if you've ever been to Greenville's downtown, you know what I'm talking about. About 15-20 years ago, Greenville began putting a huge emphasis on building downtown and making it a family friendly place. The first major thing added was the Peace Center for Performing Arts.

Then slowly, they started to add artwork, clean up the streets, redesigned an old, abandoned hotel into a Westin

redesigned the West End and added the baseball stadium

and made it a beautiful place to visit. I live very close so I run through downtown all the time.

I could keep going but I feel like this post is already long so we'll just leave it at that!!

Have you ever been to Greenville?
What do you like about your hometown?


  1. Umm I loved this post...Greenville, SC is I miss it! (and you friend!!) I am so glad that I had the chance to live there!

  2. You are lucky to live in such a nice place. I live in CT and it stinks. Rough weather, very expensive. Schools are good, and people are decent though.

  3. The bad news about Greenville! - We don't live there - YET!

    The good news about Greenville? - We will be retiring there!

    We visited in April' 2011 and fell in love! -- It is by far the most beautiful "little" big town we have evern seen, or spent time it. It has everything one needs without the noise, congestion, and problems of a big city.

  4. Loved Greenville so much that we just this week moved here from Michigan...We came down in October 2011 and moved here November 11, 2011...

  5. Lynn, that is great!! My friend Jane, who used to live here, was from Michigan and I have in family-in-laws that live in Detroit! I LOVE Michigan! I could do a blog post about that!