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Greenville (South Carolina)

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Greenville (South Carolina)

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Greenville [1] has been described as Athens, Georgia for adults. Greenville is the county seat of and largest city in Greenville County, South Carolina, United States. Greenville is also the center of the largest metropolitan area of South Carolina. Columbia, Charleston, North Charleston have more people, but the urban area around Greenville is larger. Greenville, with its historic homes and modern office towers, has been described as where "Old South" meets "New South".


Greenville is the principal city of the Greenville Metropolitan Statistical Area (2005 estimated population: 591,251) which is included in the greater Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Combined Statistical Area (population 1,185,534 according to 2005 estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau). Greenville County is the most populous in the state at 407,383, but because its city limits enclose less than 30 square miles, the population of the city proper is 56,002 (2000 U.S. Census). Perhaps a more accurate representation of Greenville's size is the urbanized area, which includes all of the city plus adjacent unincorporated areas and some suburbs that have a high population density, this figure is 302,194. The city of Greenville is one of the most densely populated cities in the state, while Greenville County has the highest population density of any county in South Carolina. Greenville is the primary city of "The Upstate" of South Carolina, an area that includes the six counties of northwestern South Carolina along the borders of North Carolina and Georgia.

Get in

By car

Greenville is located on the Interstate 85 corridor, linking it to Atlanta and Charlotte, and Interstate 26, which is in nearby Spartanburg, linking Greenville to the Midwest. It also is located at the northern terminus of the Interstate 385 corridor. The other freeways that converge in the area include Interstate 185 and U.S. Highway 123 (Calhoun Memorial Highway). Other major highways include U.S. Highway 25, Business U.S. Highway 25, U.S. Highway 29 and U.S. Highway 276. Main Street is home to many of the downtown area's shopping and dining destinations.

By Air

Greenville is served by two airports, Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) and Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP), located in nearby Greer. Greenville-Spartanburg International is the state's busiest airport, while Greenville Downtown Airport is the state's third-busiest.

Get around

  • Greenville Transit Autority, 24 Vardry Street, Suite 105, [2].
  • Yellow Cab of Greenville, 529 W Washington St, (864) 233-6666,
  • Downtown Pedicab, currently servicing eight pedicabs in downtown Greenville.
  • Downtown Trolley, the City of Greenville currently operates two downtown trolleys. [3].


  • Greenville County Museum of Art, 420 College Street, 864-271-7570, [4]. Tu-W,F–Sa 11AM–5PM; Th 11AM-8PM, Su 1PM-5PM. If you weren't expecting great art in this corner of South Carolina, you will be in for a surprise. Regular traveling exhibits combine with the museum's own 32 Wyeths to make this a worthwhile stop for any art love. Free.
  • Falls Park on the Reedy, South Main Street, [5]. This is clearly one of the most unique and beautiful urban parks you'll ever find in the USA. located around the 60-foot Reedy Falls, the park creates an oasis in the midst of the bustling city. This is also the original birthplace of what would eventually become known as "Pleasantburg" - later renamed, "Greenville."


As the largest city in the Upstate, Greenville offers many activities and attractions. Greenville's theatres and event venues regularly host major concerts and touring theatre companies. Four independent theatres present several plays a year.

  • Palmetto Expo Center [6] is the largest convention center between Atlanta, GA and Washington, DC, has more than 315,000 square feet of exhibition space and 88,000 square feet of meeting and conference space. Many trade shows, conventions, and other events are held here each year.
  • Bi-Lo Center [7] is a 16,000-seat arena in downtown Greenville which hosts major concerts and sporting events each year.
  • Peace Center is a performing arts center that hosts touring Broadway shows, symphonies, concerts, and civic events. Known internationally for its excellent acoustics, the Peace Center is also home to the Carolina Ballet Theatre, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, and Greenville Chorale.
  • South Carolina Governor's School For The Arts & Humanities a state-funded residential high school for the Fine Arts and hosts many performances and exhibits put together by its student population.

Greenville has a very strong arts community, enhanced by the following venues and organizations:

Annual Events

  • InnoVenture [8] each March helps build Communities of Innovation around corporations, universities, and emerging companies.
  • ARTISPHERE [9] each April showcases the arts, reflects the area's international flair and maximizes existing arts programs by providing a diverse menu of experiences that center around the arts.
  • Fall for Greenville [10] is a major festival held on the 1st weekend in October. This festival features local cuisine, live performances on several stages, and the Greenville Cycling Classic bicycle race.
  • Greek Festival is a major street festival that is held in May by members of the Greek Orthodox Church that offer Greek food and cultural activities.
  • Arts in the Park is a major arts festival that takes place in Reedy Falls Park near downtown Greenville.
  • Reedy River Run a 10K race that is held in late February or early March.
  • The Red Party [11] annual dance party, held at the History Museum of the Upcountry, is a fundraiser for AID Upstate, an AIDS Service Organization serving Upstate South Carolina (Anderson, Oconee, Pickens and Greenville counties). Currently, AU serves, on average, 750+ clients and families touched by HIV/AIDS.
  • United States Road Race Cycling Championships [12] is held in early September and brings professional cyclists to vie for the crown as the United States National Road Race Champion and Time Trial Champion.



With over 80 restaurants in downtown alone, Greenville has become known as a culinary center in South Carolina. Here are just a handful of the many...

  • Chicora Alley, 608B South Main St. (upstairs), 864-232-4100, [13]. Su-M, 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-mid; Tu-Sa 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-2AM. Veggie-friendly and tasty food. Southern cooking meets Tex-Mex, so expect collard greens in your quesadilla. $8-20.
  • Five Guys, 1175 Woods Crossing Rd, (864) 297-0019, [14]. The Washington (D.C.)-area chain has brought their basic menu and tasty burgers and fries to Greenville. $5-8 (cash only).
  • Henry's Smokehouse, 240 Wade Hampton Blvd, 864-232-7774 (Fax 1-864-232-7237). Get your BBQ fix at what some aficianados consider the best BBQ in town. As befits the food, simple decor, but a pleasant outdoor seating area with a view of the highway. $5-$8.
  • Sushi Wasabi, West Washington Street (at North Main Street), Downtown. Delicious, fresh assortment of sushi in a modern restaurant. Licensed to serve beer, wine and liquor.


  • Coffee Underground, at the corner of Coffee St and N Main St has cozy basement space in the heart of downtown and is a great spot to relax any time of the day or night. In addition to a diverse selection of coffee drinks, teas, and chais (Asian-style spiced teas), Coffee Underground serves muffins and pastries (breakfast), a selection of salads, sandwiches and quiche (lunch and dinner), and homemade desserts (anytime). It's also the place to come for evening entertainment.
    • Mon-Wed 8am-11pm, Thurs 8am-11:30pm, Fri 8am-12:30am, Sat 10am-12:30am, Sun noon-7pm
    • Reservations Not Necessary


  • Westin Poinsett, 120 South Main Street, Tel: (864) 421-9700, [15]. Located in a completely restored 1920's building on Greenville's charming Main Street, the historic Westin Poinsett is Greenville's only four-diamond hotel.
  • AmeriSuites Greenville/Haywood, 40 West Orchard Park Drive, (864) 232-3000 [16]. Located eight miles from the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport and three miles from beautiful downtown Greenville.
  • Hampton Inn Greenville/Travelers Rest, 593 Roe Center Court, Travelers Rest, 1-864-834-5550 (Fax: 1-864-660-0015), [17]. Days and times open. A standard-issue Hampton Inn which has the virtue of being the closest hotel to Furman University . $80-100.
  • Hawthorn SuitesGreenville, 48 McPrice Court, Tel: (864) 297-0099, [18]. Located just 15 minutes from the Greenville Spartanburg airport, the hotel offers excellent access to major highways, shopping, restaurants, area attractions, businesses, and downtown Greenville.
  • Microtel Inn Greenville (Airport-Pelham Rd.), 20 Interstate Court, (864) 297-7866.[19].
  • Microtel Inn Greenville (Mall @ Woodruff Rd), 1024 Woodruff Road, Tel: (864) 297-3811.[20].

Get out

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!