Although Greenville, South Carolina, has long flown under the radar, the city is finally enjoying some well-deserved recognition as an adventure destination. Recently ranked as one of the best small cities in America, Greenville has ample food and nightlife options, a vibrant arts scene, and Southern charm in spades. Plus, its picturesque location in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains makes it the perfect jumping-off point for a variety of outdoor activities. Visitors can hike and bike nearby trails or even book a tee time at one of the many top-rated golf courses in the area.
When it comes to lodging, few parts of the city provide quite as much excitement as downtown Greenville. Located on Main Street, the roughly 10 blocks boast one-of-a-kind boutiques as well as dozens of independent restaurants serving everything from sushi to Southern staples. Looking for family-friendly activities? The Children’s Museum of the Upstate and Greenville Zoo will keep little ones occupied for hours. Later in the day, you can turn up the volume at a live show or go for a serene stroll through Falls Park on the Reedy River.
BEST LOCATED HOTELS IN GREENVILLE SC
Homewood Suites By Hilton Greenville Downtown
South Main Street
RECOMMENDED / BEST VALUE
197€ - 215$
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Greenville Downtown
East Washington Street
218€ - 238$
Aloft Greenville Downtown
North Laurens Street
233€ - 254$
Hyatt Place Greenville Downtown
East Broad Street
251€ - 274$
Embassy Suites by Hilton Greenville Downtown Riverplace
258€ - 281$
AC Hotel by Marriott Greenville
South Main Street
286€ - 312$
The Westin Poinsett, Greenville
South Main Street
329€ - 359$
On the map, which shows the best area to stay in Greenville SC, you can see a selection of some of the best located hotels.
Downtown has something for everyone—solo travelers, couples, families, and more. During the day, you can sample bites of local cuisine and shop ‘til you drop at the 115-plus retailers in the area. Art enthusiasts are in for a treat, as downtown hosts a number of galleries and studios in addition to the annual Artisphere festival. For some fresh air, walk along the Reedy River at Falls Park.
Save some energy for the evening, too. Hip bars and clubs abound, not to mention comedy clubs and live music venues. But you might catch the most memorable performances on street corners, where artists frequently play in the evenings.
With plentiful public parking and hotels, including the 4-star Westin Poinsett, getting downtown is a cinch. Once there, explore all of the area’s hidden gems by foot or trolley. You can even try a scavenger hunt for the nine bronze mice sculptures on Main Street.
With the largest mall in the state of South Carolina and seemingly endless casual dining and shopping opportunities, Haywood is an unmissable stop for the 20-something crowd. Retail options at Haywood Mall include Lush Cosmetics, Cotton On, and the Greenville Gem Mine, among over a hundred others. New stores and restaurants pop up all the time, so keep an eye out for your favorite shopping or snack spot.
If you’re not in the mood to mall crawl, hit the streets. Stores and restaurants outside Haywood Mall can be a bit of a trek, but parking is almost always available. The Local Cue sports bar is strictly 21+, so diners can spend a night away from the kids while catching the big game. For heaps of seafood and beachy vibes in the heart of the upstate, check out Bimini’s Oyster Bar and Seafood Cafe, conveniently close to several hotels.
Don’t let the name fool you, Roper Mountain provides fun for kids of all ages. The area is also much more centrally located than you might think. Visitors will find themselves in close proximity to some of Greenville’s most popular spots, while remaining off the beaten path.
If more quietude is needed, you can take your time at The Preserve at Verdae, a public golf course adjacent to the Embassy Suites. But Roper Mountain is best known as the home of the Roper Mountain Science Center, where guests can spend hours exploring the butterfly garden and the dinosaur trail. You can also go out of this world at the planetarium or observatory. And, although only open to the public for special events, the living history farm is another highlight. Replica buildings, including log cabins, a barn, and a blacksmith shop, showcase life in upstate South Carolina during the early 1800s.
Woodruff is a must-stay destination for any shopaholic. Much like Haywood, Woodruff encompasses several retail centers where you can pick up just about anything on your shopping list. Seriously, anything—stop by Couture Cakes for custom baked goods, or go to Kendra Scott to snag the perfect accessory for a night out.
Speaking of nights out, get ready for some unique after-dark experiences in Woodruff. Fancy a piano duel? Try Jack ‘n’ Diane’s, where you can listen to live-band karaoke competitions year round. If dueling pianos aren’t enough to lighten the mood, grab a meal at Cafe and Then Some, a comedy-dinner theater where performers roast the city of Greenville itself. On the other hand, those looking to indulge their inner child should head to Frankie’s Fun Park, which stays open until 10 pm and offers more than 14 acres of laser tag, go karting, and arcade games.
Young and young-at-heart folks alike will enjoy a trip down Augusta Road. Also known as “The 05” (a reference to the local zip code), this area is one of Greenville’s oldest neighborhoods. The distinction is reflected in the many impressive, historic residences that line the street, inviting visitors to take a driving tour. Beyond its architecture, Augusta Road has also become a premier shopping destination, with an eclectic assortment of high-end boutiques, antique shops, and outfitters. If you visit during the holidays, you can marvel at the stores and businesses participating in the annual Lights on Augusta display.
Where there’s shopping, there’s dining, and Augusta Road has no shortage of upscale offerings. Between charming standouts like Blockhouse Restaurant and Oyster Bar, The Vista, and The 05, you can munch on something new every day. For an unforgettable stay, book a bed at Modal, a combination hostel, coffee shop, and art gallery.
Cherrydale Point, or North Greenville, is an ideal spot for travelers with hiking or biking on the brain. The area is seen as the gateway to everything north, including the Appalachian Mountains, but you don’t have to go that far to reach the great outdoors. A short drive will bring you to Paris Mountain State Park, where you can hike, bike, swim, and fish on 1,540 forested acres. Or, hop on the 22-mile Swamp Rabbit trail to explore the Reedy River.
Putters can also tee off at one of Cherrydale Point’s golf courses. Furman University’s greens are rated among the best campus courses in the country, while the private Green Valley Golf Course offers a non-resident membership for anyone already planning a return trip.
After working up an appetite, make sure to snag a table at Peddler Steak House. A Greenville favorite, the restaurant has been operating since 1969 in a historic stone building over a century old.
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