Greenville

Where waterfalls and parkland complement a thriving urban core

02BGreenville’s River Walk along the Reedy River

Located approximately a half an hour drive to the south of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville anchors the Upstate region of South Carolina.  While only a mid-sized city, it anchors the largest metropolitan area in the state of South Carolina.  That said, this once industrial textile city now outshines many larger cities with its surprisingly inviting, lively, and naturally beautiful downtown area.

12.JPGFalls Park on the Reedy River

Falls Park on the Reedy River is the mindblowing centerpiece of this urban showcase. Here, just blocks from the skyscrapers, beautiful waterfalls plow over the edges of large boulders, turning what was once an unappreciated, unnavigable section of river into an extraordinary urban oasis.

01 (2).JPGPedestrian-only Liberty Bridge over the Reedy River

These same falls that once powered mills now take center stage for their beauty, surrounded by a multitude of colorful boulders and stones.  The River Walk parallels the Reedy River on both sides through this stretch, providing direct pedestrian access to the central business district on the west bank and expansive, landscaped green space on the east bank. Furthermore, Liberty Bridge is a striking pedestrian-only bridge that passes high over the river, linking the two sides while offering aerial views of the waterfalls.

09 (2)Downstream from the waterfalls at Falls Park

Just to the west of Falls Park, Main Street runs through the heart of Downtown Greenville.  Unlike the urban cores of many larger cities of the South that boomed with the rise of suburbia, Greenville has a thriving central business district.  Main Street is lined with diverse restaurants, interesting shops, and even a couple of luxurious hotels.

07.JPGFalls Park on the Reedy River

Not only does one feel safe walking along Main Street, but the city has even provided children with a unique diversion called Mice on Main.  A collection of small bronze mice statues are actually hidden at various locations along Main Street.  Clues are provided by various businessesto aid children in their efforts to find all the mice.  In addition, lots of shade trees also add to Main Street’s allure.

08.JPGDowntown Greenville

We explored Falls Park and Main Street in the summer of 2015 as a part of a group of ten family members day-tripping from my brother’s home in the North Carolina Mountains. We picnicked on the green with a view of the waterfalls, ambled along the River Walks, crossed the Liberty Bridge, visited a few shops, and even checked out the lobbies of the Westin and the Hyatt Regency while we were in town.  Afterward, we grabbed dinner at an On The Border Mexican restaurant in a nice suburban part of town.  That one day Greenville shot up the ranks as one of my favorite cities of all time.

04.JPGAlong the River Walk
06Falls Park on the Reedy River
11.jpgThe formerly industrial riverfront, with skyscrapers in the background 
10.JPGMice on Main
SCRIPTUREIMG_2223.JPGMain Street architecture
13.JPGThe rocky rapids of the Reedy River
IMG_2190B.JPGInside the atrium of the Hyatt Regency on Main Street, where we found shelter from a passing rain shower
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