A Recap of our Fun Trip to Greenville, South Carolina

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I had very little context of what to expect from a visit to Greenville, South Carolina. As it turned out, Amanda had visited that city with her family just a month or so prior to when I was offered the opportunity to visit with my family. She had so many great things to share about it that it piqued my interest and I was quickly sold on the idea!

We were set up with a full two-day itinerary and it was perfectly tailored for our family.

Let me walk you through our time there in case you missed it when I shared it on Instagram Stories!

We arrived on a rainy Wednesday evening at the Grand Bohemian Lodge, right in downtown Greenville. We checked into our adjoining rooms, grabbed umbrellas, and started on the short walk over to dinner at Up on the Roof. We walked to dinner on the path that ran along the river, just outside our hotel. It’s so beautifully designed with little areas of grass to play or picnic on, there were sculptures and other beautiful garden landscapes to enjoy, and it wove through lush pockets of trees that made it feel impossible to believe you were still within the center of Greenville.

After our delicious meal, we headed back to the hotel to get settled and rested for a busy Thursday.

On Thursday morning we ate breakfast at Bex Cafe. It’s a small, funky shop with a variety of breakfast offerings from bagels to smoothies to oatmeal. Afterward, we drove over to the Greenville Childrens Museum. My kids were vibrating with excitement as soon as we walked in. We explored all 3 floors but spent the most time letting the kids play with other kids in the middle climbing section. There was an outdoor playground that looked like a lot of fun, but it was steadily raining all morning so we weren’t able to check it out. The museum was a great mix of fun and education, and I think Emily was at a really perfect age for it.

From there we went to lunch at The Commons, which was a food hall-type place near Unity Park. It was torture to drive past the playground and splash pad area while it poured rain, but we were hopeful for sunshine on Friday and promised the kids we would come back. We ate tacos, guacamole, and street corn, and had Mexican cokes for lunch before heading back to our art class.

It was fun to make art prints with Kristen, the owner of TR Makers Co., and we all left with our prints in frames. TR Makers Co. offers playdates, happy hour classes, and more. Kristen was so great with the kids and I was grateful to experience and support her business.

After the art class the rain had lightened up a little bit, so the boys opted to rest in the hotel room while Emily and I explored Main Street. It was a quick 10-minute walk from the Grand Bohemian Lodge to the main shopping and dining area of Main Street, and I was glad to get some fresh air and explore with Emily. We found a cute toy store, stopped in Madewell and Anthropology, and scouted out some ice cream spots for after-dinner later that evening.

We met the boys outside of Group Therapy for dinner and activities. It felt similar to the type of experience you would have at Drive Shack or Top Golf, where there are food options mixed in with fun! We ordered food and drinks, and while we waited we played mini golf at the indoor putt-putt course. Each hole had a different movie theme, from E.T. to Home Alone to Elf. The kids liked guessing which movie it was designed after.

From there we all walked up Main Street in search of ice cream. By that point, we were all pretty wiped from the day so it was time to head back to the hotel.

Friday morning was cloudy but it looked like the worst of the rain was behind us. We walked over to Biscuit Head which had the biggest, fluffiest biscuits I’ve ever seen in my life. Not only was the breakfast outstanding, but I have to say that their playlist was 10/10 that morning. I couldn’t pass up the chance to try biscuit donuts, which were yummy, and after we were sufficiently stuffed we started our walk over to the Greenville Zoo.

We only had a little over an hour scheduled at Greenville Zoo, which I thought was going to be too short, but it ended up being perfect. The sun had come out at this point and we soaked up the warmth while we checked out the animals at the zoo. It really was a perfectly sized zoo for little kids. It didn’t take too long to walk through, and they had lots of fun animals to see.

We walked back to the hotel for a short rest before heading to lunch on Main Street at Nose Dive. I was impressed with the kids keeping up with all the walking we did, especially my 5-year-old!

Our lunch spot was packed and I can totally see why it’s such a popular place. The food was outstanding! The front of the restaurant opened up and there were cafe tables just outside. Justin ordered the chicken and waffles. The waffle was a sweet potato waffle which was so good! If I went back, I would get what he ordered.

From there we had a bit of free time, so we made good on our promise to the kids to check out Unity Park. We met up with some friends who only live about 45 mins away from Greenville and the kids played for a few hours. I was so glad to get some time in the sunshine and let the kids play outside.

We headed to the Roper Mountain Science Center for the Starry Nights show. The kids enjoyed it and it was interesting to learn a bit about the moon and which planets we could see in the sky at this time of the year. When we were finished there, we headed over to Sidewall Pizza for dinner. That was some of the best pizza I’ve had in a while. The atmosphere was fun and lively, it definitely seemed like a go-to neighborhood spot for dinner.

From there we ventured back to the hotel and walked around the river area for a while. It seemed like everyone was happy that the days of rain had ended, so there were plenty of people exploring the riverwalk.

On Saturday morning we grabbed a steamed bagel at Sully’s Steamers, just off Main Street, and then walked through the Saturday Market. It was full of local small food businesses, some crafts, and flower shops. We got there on the early end but it started to fill up quickly, so it was clear that was a popular spot to hit on a beautiful weekend morning.

While I would have loved one more day to have the chance to ride bikes along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, we had to head home after the market. The great thing is, Greenville is only about 4 hours from Raleigh, so it’s a very easy drive.

I can honestly say that this trip exceeded my expectations. I was open-minded about checking it out after hearing Amanda and some other friends share how much they liked it, and now I can see why it’s such a beloved city. What made it feel unique is the river walk through the middle of the downtown, the quaint Main Street shopping area, and the rolling hills that surrounded the city.

I told Justin that if I was in a phase of life where I was looking for a place to settle down, I would absolutely put Greenville, South Carolina on the list. It has the combination of city energy with beautiful nature mixed in, all nestled in the slower pace of the South.

VisitGreenvilleSC invited us and set us up with our entire experience in the city, and we loved it. Huge thank you to that team for creating a top-tier trip for my family where we made memories and enjoyed time exploring a new place together.


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Jen Smith says · 06.29.23

My family and I just relocated to Greenville from the West Coast (we’re originally from Naperville, IL).

I love your trip recap as I am finding all of our new hometown’s hidden gems and your list doesn’t disappoint!

We are so excited to be here! Glad to see you enjoyed yourself here, too. 🥰

Leesa Simmons says · 07.04.23

I’m so glad you enjoyed your time in Greenville. The SC upstate is where I call home, living in Spartanburg and working in Greenville, until the pandemic allowed me the opportunity to work from home full time. It is lovely here with plenty to do. Justin would enjoy the Gran Fondo biking event in October, with George Hincapie. There are so many beautiful things to see & do here in the upstate! I hope I get a chance to spot you out & about on your next visit.

Joseph Prince says · 07.04.23

Next time you’re in Greenville, you should put a day aside to go over to Furman University and walk through their campus. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Neil Heater says · 07.04.23

I’m from Colorado and my wife is from Arizona and that is where we met 35 years ago. Both went to college there and I spent a lot of time in the area working and visiting. It’s a beautiful area

Matt Hotchkin says · 07.04.23

Great article on the place that my family calls home! We love our city and I’m glad you did too! If you ever need someone to show you homes in the Greenville area, I’m your guy! I’d love to serve your family. – Matt

Alex says · 07.05.23

Oh my goodness! I’ve followed you for YEARS and am low key crushed I didn’t see you (to fangirl) in my city! So glad you loved it!🤍

Leslie says · 07.05.23

Please come visit Greenville but do not move here! Greenville has doubled in size in the last 20 years and we are losing the quaintness and the Green in Greenville to crazy development!

Denise says · 07.06.23

Love this so glad you enjoyed our City and shared this – I will definitely visit The Commons that I was not aware of and the Art shop(And I live here) with my granddaughters !!

Paul Gee says · 07.06.23

It’s very cool that you had the whole free ride for your trip. With a family your size that could be a $3000 weekend, so yeah Greenville seems pretty cool. You could have just about as much fun with a free picnic at Falls Park, or the Greenville zoo or Furman, just going by a local place and make your picnic fixings might be more fun for the kids

Kate says · 07.09.23

hi Paul! We partnered with Greenville to highlight a few of the many great parts of the city. Thanks!

Sydni says · 07.07.23

Sounds like the cutest little town!! There is also a Biscuit Head in Asheville, for next time you’re there. And other readers – they have the best gluten-free biscuits in the world!!

Malia Marcell says · 08.28.23

Booked a trip to Greenville in 4 days thanks to this recommendation! I was feeling stuck in GA and needed an adventure. I was watching your stories tonight and someone mentioned a move from Greenville to Raleigh and you joked about why someone would move from Greenville. It reminded me of your trip and I booked right away.
We can not wait! First stop Unity Park!

Patricia says · 10.28.23

I took my 7 year old to the Greenville Zoo for a school field trip a few weeks ago. We liked the park next to the Zoo. It has covered picnic shelter with tables. I did not see any of the other things you were talking about. We liked the zoo. It is the right size for a young child to explore. I found my way to a Burger King in the old bypass district, not the historic district. Burger King was not such a great experience. I tried to find a McDonald’s which apparently were so out of the way. I would like to to take my other grandchildren to the Greenville Zoo next spring. It is an hour and half from us.

Dean Thomas says · 02.13.24

Thank you for sharing the love of Greenville, SC!! I am a long-time resident of Greenville and am so happy when people come to visit and see how great it is. There are so many things to do and beautiful areas and I am happy to call it my home. It also has a lovely community and great businesses all around so you don’t have to travel far for what you need. For example the other day I went on Google and searched “dumpster rental near mel ” and I had many great options to choose from. I hope this article helps get the word out on Greenville, but not too well. I’d also like to keep Greenville South Carolina’s little secret!😉