Thirty years ago, I relocated to a Greenville that was more “meh, that” than “yeah, that.” Why? What was the attraction to a Greenville that still had a four-lane bridge over the Reedy River falls, farms on Woodruff Road and I-85, and still served drinks in mini-bottles?
I saw something real here. I saw a community that was not living in the past, but looking to the future. Three decades later, more people than ever are seeing what I saw then. Here are some things we all should love.
- There is more than one downtown in Greenville County. Main Street deserves the love it gets from national media and travel guides, but there is a lot more going on here. In many ways, Downtown Greenville served as a template for the other cities in the county to create their own unique destinations. From the Swamp Rabbit Trail winding through downtown Travelers Rest to the rollicking Trade Street in Greer to the burgeoning Golden Strip hubs of Mauldin, Simpsonville, and Fountain Inn, Greenville has plenty of fantastic downtowns.
- You can be “deep in the forest” in less than 20 miles from Main Street. Actually, less than that. Take a walk at the Conestee Nature Preserve, which actually is partially located in Greenville city limits, and you will feel you are in the wilds. Same goes for the trails of Paris Mountain State Park. But to get that real forest feel, just drive north into the mountains that make up the “Blue Wall.” You’ll thank me for it.
- We are a Southern community that reflects an amazing international feel. How to explain this? Greenville is the kind of community that embraces baseball (Greenville Drive), and soccer (Greenville Triumph) almost equally. People hold doors and say “yes, ma’am” or “no, sir,” but don’t be surprised to hear those words in a German or French accent.
- Greenville is making new history every day. Ever go to a place and it seems like it is stuck in its own past? That navel gazing is the biggest thing they do? Greenville isn’t like that. This is a community where business leaders from other parts of the country come to explore. They want to see how we do things because we do so many things so well.
- The traffic isn’t as bad as we think. Yes, I-85 slows at rush hour and Woodruff Road can be annoying, but most other metro areas would love to have our minor traffic issues.
What are your favorites?