There are plenty of reasons to plan a sojourn in Greenville. Lots to do and see, great downtown area, walkable city. For some, a visit led to a lifelong love affair with the Upstate.
“I grew up in Western New York, but after graduating from college, I moved to Pendleton, in the Upstate of South Carolina for a change in lifestyle and climate,” Heather Frechette explains. She knew one older couple who had moved to the area, and she wanted to be in a small town near a college. She also knew that Florida was too far away. “ People from home thought I’d come running back, but that was fifteen years ago, and I think I’m settled here.” Ms. Frechette cites Greenville’s central location between mountains, beaches and Atlanta. “I really love the size of Greenville because it gives you a city feel without having to deal with so much traffic and congestion on a daily basis.”
Her choice is Griffin Park, a new traditional neighborhood development in Simpsonville, 15 miles from downtown. Ms. Frechette works for a technology company in Greenville, but her commute takes just 15 minutes because the neighborhood is minutes from Interstate 385. And, she is perfectly in tune with the advantages of living in a satellite town.
“I subscribe to the Peace Center Broadway Series, and I really look forward to each season,” she says. Other downtown favorites include Falls Park on the Reedy, with its arts and special events, including Shakespeare in the Park. In the summer, she enjoys movie nights outside at the Park, and concerts across the street at the Peace Center.
“I really like what has been done to revitalize downtown Greenville,” she adds. And although there’s always something to do a short drive away, Simpsonville has its pleasures, too. “It’s a small town, but it’s got stores I like.”
Today, Greenville simmers with international commerce and higher education. Furman University, Clemson University, Bob Jones University and North Greenville University are here, as well as Greenville Technical College. In addition to nearby college teams, Greenville has sports of its own. The Greenville Drive plays baseball in Fluor Field in Greenville’s West End.
Greenville’s Main Street is the envy of many Southern cities. It’s a leafy, lengthy stroll that affords the pedestrian a variety of experiences. Step into the historic Poinsett Hotel, exquisitely restored into a Westin property. Pop into a high-end boutique or one of several interesting cafes which provide amusement and respite for business and recreational travelers.
At Falls Park on the Reedy, visitors and locals enjoy walking over the Liberty Bridge, which is a work of art in itself, as well as providing a magnificent view of the waterfall. Below the bridge at the site of the falls is where Greenville’s first European settler, Richard Pearis, established his trading post in 1768. The Peace Center that Ms. Frechette enjoys is a $65 million dollar complex whose concert hall is acknowledged to be one of the finest performance facilities in the Southeast. Broadway comes to Greenville quite regularly now, attracting area theater lovers.
Meanwhile, the Greenville County Museum of Art is home to extensive collections of America’s foremost artists – Andrew Wyeth and Jasper Johns – all available to the public at no charge. The Governor’s School for Arts & Humanities educates the state’s brightest high school juniors and seniors, many of whom recently have been accepted into the prestigious Julliard School. And, South Carolina’s oldest symphony is still in fine fiddle after 50-some years.
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