Greenville, South Carolina absolutely has my heart. This up-and-coming, cute and charming Southern town is the perfect mix of city and suburban, filled with kind-hearted people and lined with the cutest shops and restaurants. Ilir lives about 30 minutes outside of Greenville, so we typically head down there for a day whenever I visit since I absolutely love this spot. During our Carolina road trip, we decided to spend a bit more time in Greenville and actually stayed downtown for two nights, which was such a lovely experience! I cannot wait to get started with sharing our adventures.
What to Do in Greenville
Stroll Down the Riverwalk
My absolute favorite part of Greenville is its adorable downtown. It is such an immaculately kept-up, clean, beautiful area. The Riverwalk is gorgeous and lined with fun restaurants, bars and shops.
Explore the Downtown
Venture off the Riverwalk and explore the cute streets of Greenville, as well. Again, there are more and more restaurants, bars and shops. This town is so stroll-able and cute. Main Street is probably where you’ll want to spend the most time – it is adorable!
Visit Fall’s Park
One second, you are strolling through the downtown streets, and the next you look to your right and you feel like you are in a national park. One of my favorite parts about Greenville is the mix of so many things you love all in one southern town. Fall’s Park is home to the Liberty Bridge which is such an incredible structure that almost looks as though it is floating. It hangs over the prettiest hill and waterfalls, supported by suspension cables that leave the underpass open and beautiful. It’s a must-visit if you are in Greenville. The space underneath it is also gorgeous for picnics or just relaxing. Pictures don’t do it justice – just visit this beautiful place!
Where to Eat and DRINK in Greenville
Up on the Roof
We had the BEST evening that started at Up on the Roof! We came for pre-dinner drinks and appetizers and were absolutely blown away. The drinks, pictured above, come in the cutest vintage bottles with name tags to give you all of the rustic feels. They are just delicious! Ilir and I tried the Reedy Peach, Roof-Tini, Sinners and Saints, and Bohemian Rasp-ody cocktails and our favorites were definitely the first two. Check out the ingredients here – so creative and fun!
The appetizers we tried were also phenomenal! We would absolutely come back to try out more of their menu. I would have never chosen this, but our waitress told us they are known for their Honey Soy Fried Chicken Wraps, so we gave it a shot and did not look back for a single second. They were amazing! We also loved our delicious slider trio.
Normally on trips, I try to avoid chain restaurants since I want to absorb town culture. That said, Ruth’s Chris does an incredible job of immersing their restaurants into local scene. While its national name holds a high standard for its quality, the restaurant itself takes on its own character in each town, which I love! We were especially excited to dine at the Greenville Ruth’s Chris because of the beautiful view of the river and downtown. We loved watching the pretty sunset as we ate some of the most incredible food we had on our entire trip.
We started off with the most delicious cocktails – Ilir to this day raves about his Georgia peach tea cocktail (what an adjusted Southern boy) and my blueberry mojito was one of the best I’ve ever had. We started off with mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat that were just fantastic. We could have had an entire meal of that! For our main course, Ilir got the ribeye and I got the filet. Both were cooked absolutely perfectly and were just incredible. We both got a blue cheese crust on our steaks as well that was just amazing too!
As if that meal wasn’t absolutely incredible enough, we sampled a few of their desserts and they were out of this world.
We were so blown away by our entire experience. The Greenville Ruth’s Chris hospitality was fantastic, the design is beautiful, the view is hard to beat, and I had pretty good company, too. 😉 We will certainly be back!
Ilir and I visited Ristorante Bergamo earlier in the year on another Greenville visit and loved our experience. As Chicagoans, we hold pretty high Italian standards. If you are looking for classic, beautifully made dishes, this is your place!
Stella’s Southern Brasserie
We visited Stella’s Southern Brasserie for brunch and I am so glad we got the chance to visit this cute place! It is such a perfect brunch spot that is just outside of downtown, so it is not too packed, and big enough for groups which is great if you’re traveling with a whole crew.
Our waiter was fantastic and so knowledgable about the menu and Greenville as a whole. He told us a story about how their shrimp and grits were featured in the LA Times by a writer who stopped in while on a vacation and said it was the best she had ever had (read about it here!). So naturally, that’s what I ordered! And let me tell you, it lives up to the hype.
We also tried a few other things from their menu and loved everything! Their sticky buns were fantastic and Ilir said their homemade Oreo cookie was the best he had ever had!
Caviar & Bananas
I am such a sucker for restaurants with beautiful design and so I was dying to head to Caviar & Bananas. The space is so unique and perfect for a casual lunch. I ordered the Avocado Toast and Ilir got the French Dip and we loved both! We will definitely be back to try more (and take more cute pictures, of course).
Ilir told me this restaurant was perfect for me based on the name. I think it was perfect for me based on the food.
Sassfras was our very last stop on our nine-day Carolina road trip so it definitely holds a special place in my heart. We cheers-ed to a fantastic vacation with the yummiest strawberry basil Moscow mules and started off with the most incredible fried green tomatoes, pictured above, which were the perfect touch to an amazing southern trip. Fried green tomatoes are certainly something I will miss here in Chicago – especially Sassafras’. YUM! Ilir ordered the pimento filet which was amazing and I got the chef’s special of the day which was a ravioli with white wine sauce, shrimp, scallops, and garden vegetables. So delicious and such a fantastic experience!
WHERE TO STAY IN GREENVILLE
Home2 Suites Greenville
We absolutely loved our stay in Greenville at Home2 Suites! We have taken day trips to Greenville, but it was so exciting to spend a full weekend there this time. The team at Home2 Suites was so courteous, kind and hospitable and we felt right at home. The location is absolutely amazing and it is just such a perfect fit for anyone looking to explore this pretty city.
One of the most important factors to me when choosing my hotel is ease: ease of living, ease of traveling to and from, ease of checking in and requesting an extra towel; just simple ease. Home2 Suites is the definition of this. They provide just the right amount of amenities paired with exciting design that keep you interested while balancing being the background dancers of your vacation. It truly was our home away from home while we exploring Greenville in a new light without a worry in the world.
Not only was this hotel perfectly hospitable, but the location is ideal for exploring the area. It sits right in the downtown area and was just a quick walk to our dinners each night.
We cannot wait to come back on future visits!
If you are looking for an up-and-coming, charming Southern city, you have to add Greenville to your list. It perfectly blends urban and suburban and is so full of character. I have loved every trip we have made to Greenville and couldn’t recommend it more! If you’ve been, add to the party and leave your recommendations below! XO