Greenville SC Insider’s Guide

Greenville has boomed from being the ‘Textile Center of the World’ in the 1900s into being a highly sought after destination. Today, this little southern gem is one of the top emerging centers for work, play, and visit in the country.

Greenville’s green spaces offer ample recreation opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Adrenalin-rush walk trails, stunning performances at the peace center, and outrageous diners are just a few of the many reasons why anyone would want to visit Greenville. The booming local economy and friendly business climate offer excellent opportunities for both employment-seekers and entrepreneurs. This Greenville SC guide acquaints you to the city’s population, weather, accommodation, shopping, fun, real estate, and more!

What is Greenville SC population?

A 2017 report released by the U.S. Census Bureau ranked Greenville the fourth fastest growing city in the country.

The 2017 census estimate puts Greenville SC Population at 68,219. Although this is just a fraction of the more than 500,000 people estimated to live in the larger Greenville County, the city has witnessed a steady pattern of re-urbanization.

With a population density of 2350.26 per square mile, Greenville is the 6th largest city in South Carolina.

Based on 2017 data from the American Community Survey, there were 30, 874 households in the city. The median house has 5 rooms, with a value of $237, 800. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.1%, and the median rent was $832 per month.

There are 19,590 workers who live and work in Greenville SC city.

Greenville SC hotels

There are over 1,000 hotel rooms in downtown Greenville and more than 9,000 rooms in the entire Greenville County. This gives you plenty of options to make you feel right at home in Greenville.

The Hampton Inn & Suites located in the downtown RiverPlace district is one of the best places to stay in Greenville. Well laid out suites, complimentary breakfast and excellent service make this the perfect Greenville accommodation – whether you are here for business or pleasure. Even better, this Greenville SC hotel is located just steps away from the Swamp Rabbit Trail for convenient access to fun outdoor activities.

Embassy Suites is located just minutes away from the bustling Main Street. Here, you’ll find the downtown’s only indoor saltwater pool. There’s a state of the art fitness center, complimentary breakfast, and a rooftop restaurant and bar.

© Hyatt Regency Greenville

If you want to stay at the crème de la crème of Greenville’s hospitality, try the Westin Poinsett Hotel. This facility is strategically located in the middle of downtown so you have walking access to nearly everything. Located right at the NOMA square, the Hyatt Regency Hotel is another popular pick for visitors in Greenville.

Greenville South Carolina weather

The weather in Greenville SC is characterized by hot and muggy summers and cold winters. Temperatures typically vary from 34°F to 89°F over the course of the year. The hot season lasts nearly 4 months, from around May 25 to September 14 while the cool season lasts an average of 3 months from November 27 to February 27.

Greenville South Carolina weather features rainfall throughout the year. Most rainfall is recorded in the month of March, while the least rain falls around October. The snowy period in Greenville will last for about 2 and a half months, from around December 14 to march 2. Most snow falls around the month of January.

Greenville SC weather highlights

  • There are about 220 sunny days each year in Greenville SC, while the US average of 205 days.
  • Greenville receives about 3 inches of snow each year. The nationwide average is 26 inches of snow annually.
  • Greenville SC receives about 50 inches of rain each year, compared to a US average of 39 inches of rainfall per year.
  • Throughout the year, Greenville has about 77 days of precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, or hail).

Factoring in the weather in Greenville SC, the best time to visit the city for warm-weather activities are from early May to early June, and from late August to mid-October.

Things to do in downtown Greenville SC

If you are looking for fun things to do, there’s no better place to be than Greenville South Carolina. A well rounded destination, Greenville offers a little something for everyone – whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, an art buff, a history lover, or just an adventurist.

Warm up your visit to Greenville by visiting Falls Park on the Reedy. Located right in the heart of the downtown, this is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. The park’s walking trails, picnic areas, waterfalls, lush gardens and public art installations are simply thrilling.

The Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail ranks very highly on our list of things to do in Greenville SC. This is a nearly 20 mile long trail that runs along the Reedy River right from downtown Greenville all the way to Travelers Rest (a different city in Greenville County). There are lunch, dinner, picnic and resting spots all along the trail. Visiting cyclists particularly love the paved bike trail with convenient stops situated along the way.

Other top things to do in downtown Greenville SC include visiting the Greenville County Museum of Art, the Runway Park at GMU, the Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, among many other exciting activities.

More: 21 Incredible Things to Do in Greenville

Weekend in Greenville SC

Are you looking to get lost from your town for a day or two? Then a weekend in Greenville SC will do the trick. With its pedestrian-friendly setting and farm-to-table food scene, Greenville is the food lover’s nest. The city was ranked #3 on Conde Nast’s Traveler Magazine top small city destination in the country. Take a stroll down the tree-lined Main Street, stop for a bite at one of the many creative restaurants, or simply enjoy life by sipping a craft cocktail from a rooftop patio. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to visit the 32-acre Falls Park.

Your weekend in Greenville SC will not be complete without sampling the city’s barbecue scene – which is ranked by the Thrillist among the top 10 in the United States. And if you still have time to spare, the Peace Center combines a theater, concert hall, and outdoor Amphitheatre all in one location – adjacent to Falls Park.  For those who enjoy the nightlife, downtown Greenville has plenty of options, right from the WXYZ Bar to the Swamp Rabbit Brewery that was opened in 2014 by Ben Pierson.

More: Best Things to do in Greenville

Greenville SC tourism

Enjoying great outdoors is second nature in Greenville South Carolina. Nestled in the heart of the state’s mountainous Upstate, the city is the perfect breeding ground for adventures of all kind. From unforgettable outdoor escapes to world-class fine dining. It’s easy to escape to the Paris Mountain State Park right at the edge of the city. This park – a particularly popular attraction for outdoor enthusiasts – offers premier hiking and biking trails, fishing, swimming, and educational tours for kids.

Other top tourism spots within and around the environs of Greenville include the Gorge Zipline Canopy Tour, the Greenville Zoo, LeMans Indoor Karting, BMW Performance Center, GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail, Rand Caesars Head State Park.

Greenville SC upcoming events

One of the best things about living in Greenville is the many events that give live to the city. These festivals – which attract visitors of all ages – are distributed throughout the year. The Artisphere is a local festival that takes place in the second week of May. This event brings together over 100 local artists, local food and beer. Another fascinating local event is Euphoria Greenville SC, which takes place in September and includes cooking demos, wine seminars, and live music.

To check out Greenville SC upcoming events at any time of the year, try the following sources.

Greenville SC downtown

Set against the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains and featuring a unique ‘floating’ suspension bridge, Greenville has one of America’s best downtowns. Because the city is a shining gem in the South, it attracts over 5 million visitors from all over the world each year.

Main Street is the heart of the Greenville city, calibrated by restaurants, nightlife spots, and the breathtaking Falls Park.

Greenville SC downtown area boasts a thriving art scene, hundreds of restaurants, popular festivals, shops, and multiple historic sites and museums. It’s no wonder the city has won multiple awards and accolades from National Geographic Traveler, Livability, US News and World Report, and many other publications.

Greenville hasn’t always been this successful. The city’s authorities have worked very hard over the last 2 decades to attract investors and turn it into a major destination.

There are over 200 retailers and restaurants within a 10 block radius in downtown Greenville. The city’s residents and visitors get a chance to celebrate this vibrant restaurant scene during Greenville Restaurant Week – which takes place in January and August.

Festivals such as Fall for Greenville, Euphoria breathe new life to the area every year and attract hundreds of thousands of visitors. The downtown area enjoys more than 300 events every year – from concerts, sporting events, family events, and Broadway shows. There are also plenty of watering holes in downtown Greenville where you can enjoy a craft cocktail or grab a beer.

With more than 39 parks covering over 400 acres of land, Greenville is full of green spaces. It’s easy to see how the city got its name.

Greenville SC Shopping

Whether you are looking for souvenirs, outdoor gear, or just want to try some window shopping – Greenville’s Main Street is the place to be. The city offers a variety of shopping experiences. Shop in one of the national brand store or visit a local owned boutique in search of hidden treasures.

Explore all the corners of the city and you’ll find discount fashion, antiques, gift shops, retail, and shopping malls. The downtown district is the place to go for jewelry, original artwork, collectibles, and hand-made furniture.

Greenville South Carolina real estate

The Greenville real estate market has the privilege of being located in one of the fastest growing areas in the country. In fact, the growing job sector is expected to support both supply and demand for the subsequent housing sector. If you are interested in gaining more knowledge about Greenville South Carolina real estate, the Palmetto Park Realty team is just a call away. Whether you are a home buyer, an investor, or a potential seller, our team will provide the right information and help make your transaction smooth. Feel free to contact the Palmetto Park Realty team at 844-414-2000, or go to our homepage to check available listings.

Greenville SC FAQs

What are the best neighborhoods to live in Greenville SC?

Greenville SC real estate offers proximity to walkability, ample green spaces, and beautiful scenery around the city. Residents and visitors have a number of nice neighborhoods to choose from, the best of which include:

  • Downtown Greenville
  • Augusta Road Area
  • Overbrook Historic District
  • North Main Community
  • Botany Woods

Related Content: Top 10 best neighborhoods in Greenville South Carolina

Why Greenville SC is a great place to live

  • Strategic location in the booming Charlotte-Atlanta corridor (Greenville SC is just 2.5 hours from Atlanta and 1.5 hours from Charlotte by car)
  • Excellent parks and ample green spaces
  • Vibrant economy and availability of job opportunities
  • Cultural mix of urban sophistication and traditional Southern charm
  • Excellent museums, robust restaurant scene, music, walkability and outdoor opportunities
  • Top-rated day to day livability

How is traffic in Greenville SC

Greenville SC traffic could be bad in specific areas, especially along Interstate 85. Greenville is ranked #926 in the world for traffic congestion, which is not even close to cities like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Atlanta that rank among the top 10. Compared to many other cities, Greenville has a lot of alternative back roads to avoid traffic jams. Nonetheless, you should keep a watchful eye when cruising around the city. Greenville is ranked #1 in traffic deaths in South Carolina. Old data (2014) ranked the entire state #3 for worse drivers in the nation.  

How is living in Greenville SC

Greenville is often ranked among the best places to live and retire in the country. The city is ranked #3 by Niche.com as one of the best places to live in based on suitability for families, diversity, public schools, housing, and nightlife. Just about 40 percent of residents own a home, which means the majority rent housing (usually condominiums and apartment complexes) within and around the downtown area. In terms of weather, Greenville is a relatively comfortable region compared to other parts of the nation. The town is extremely family friendly and it is possible to enjoy the area at a low cost.

How are schools in Greenville SC

Greenville County has the largest public school system in all of South Carolina. With over 76, 000 students, it’s also the 44th largest in the nation. The county is generally considered to be a leader in education. There are many good private and public schools in the area. Furman University in Greenville is one of the nation’s top private liberal arts colleges. Check out GreatSchools.org’s ranking of the best elementary, middle and high schools in Greenville SC.

Is Greenville SC a city?

Greenville is a city of 68,219 that is located in Greenville County, South Carolina. Based on information from the US Census Bureau, Greenville is the 6th largest city in South Carolina. The population density here is 2350 people per square mile and median age of Greenville city residents is 34 years.

What’s in downtown Greenville SC?

A unique and vibrant downtown is part of what makes Greenville SC unique. Liberty Bridge & Falls Park on the Reedy – located right in downtown Greenville – provides an escape from conventional city life. Another world-class spot in downtown Greenville SC is the Peace Center. Several museums, restaurants, watering holes and green spaces located right in the downtown area make Greenville SC a true oasis.

What airport for Greenville SC?

The Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport offers commercial airliner services into and out of the area. This airport is located about 30 minutes by car from downtown Greenville. Although located closer to the city – the Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) is much smaller and usually just deals with business charter planes.

What colleges are in Greenville SC?

Some colleges and centers for higher education located within a 20 mile radius of Greenville SC include Greenville Technical College, Bob Jones University, Brown Mackie College, Virginia College Greenville, Furman University, and North Greenville University. Others located close by include Southern Wesleyan university, Spartanburg Community College, University of South Carolina Upstate, and Wofford College.

Where to visit in Greenville SC?

If you are in the downtown area, visit Falls Park on the Reedy, Liberty Bridge, The Peace Center, or the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. There are also various museums and art centers to whet your appetite for the arts. If you are open to taking a little trip away from the city, visit Unity Park, Cleveland Park, or Legacy Park.

What lakes are near Greenville SC?

There are several lakes near Greenville town if you are looking for water activities. These include smaller lakes such as Lake Robinson and Lake Cunningham. Both have public parks with picnic facilities. The closest lake large enough to support power boating is the Saluda Lake. At 60 miles southwest of Greenville, Lake Hartwell is the largest lake within driving distance where you can have a water-based weekend vacation. You can stay at a cabin or campsite at any of the lake’s state park units while you enjoy boating, water skiing, swimming, jet skiing and water boarding. Other large lakes that are popular with visitors include Lake Keowee and Lake Jocassee.

What is restaurant week in Greenville SC?

Restaurant Week Greenville is an annual festival that celebrates South Carolina cuisine. Dozens of participating restaurants run special menu items and offer promos and discounts. This event provides an opportunity for both residents and out-of-town visitors to sample Greenville’s restaurants – both new and old. Restaurant week gives food lovers an opportunities to experience great lunches and dinners at Greenville’s value restaurants. Information on participating restaurants and their menus can be found via Restaurant Week South Carolina.

What hospitals are in Greenville SC?

Some of the top hospitals in Greenville include the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Group, Patewood Memorial Hospital, Greenville Memorial Hospital, St Francis Downtown, and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Greenville. There’s also the Greenville Hospital System Heart Institute, and North Greenville Hospital close by in Travelers Rest.

What are some of the bad things about living in Greenville SC?

  • Traffic can be quite a problem particularly on Woodruff Road
  • Greenville County crime rate is higher than the national average
  • Many places in the city lack sidewalks
  • Black ice during winter that can make driving dangerous
  • Not much public transportation is available, and taxi rates tend to be high

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