Weekend trip to Greenville

17 September 2015

One of my very favorite things about living in North Carolina’s Triangle is how many opportunities there are for weekend trips. Our home base is perfect for exploring Virginia (Richmond, Charlottesville, Williamsburg), South Carolina (Charleston, Beaufort), Georgia (Atlanta), and, of course, the Old North State (Asheville, Wilmington, Beaufort, Boone, Highlands). Those are just a few of the spots we’ve been lucky enough to travel to over the last six years, but one that was not on the list until a few weekends ago was Greenville, South Carolina.

We didn’t know too much about Greenville until our visit, but I have to say, we were blown away. We did read a few guides to prepare, including this one and this one.

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We stayed about fifteen minutes outside of downtown Greenville, at Hotel Domestique in Traveler’s Rest. Hotel Domestique really does feel like a transplant from Tuscany (not that I’ve ever been, but it’s what I imagine Tuscany looks like!). It has a cozy, rustic vibe, perfect for fall.


The view is not half bad, either.


We ate dinner and breakfast onsite at Hotel Domestique both nights (Restaurant 17), and everything we tried was delicious! The only downside was that we didn’t get many chances to visit other restaurants. We did have lunch at the Lazy Goat outside on the patio, which was the perfect place to munch and people watch. If we were returning, I’d love to try American Grocery and Soby’s.


Before and after lunch we wandered around Greenville’s downtown. The shopping district reminded me of Aix-en-Provence, actually! It’s lined with trees, has a great mix of independent shops (like M. Judson, a bookstore in the historic courthouse) as well as desirable chains (like Anthropologie), and was bustling with people when we visited.


The neatest thing about Greenville’s downtown, though, is that there’s a waterfall running through it! A few years ago, the area underwent a huge revitalization, including moving a four-lane highway to reveal the river and then building parks, a suspension bridge, an ampitheater, and other fun things around it. It is really beautiful, and clearly beloved by Greenville’s residents!


Our last big adventure in Greenville was a hike just outside of town. Greenville seems to be a town of active outdoors lovers — it’s a big training ground for cyclists, and there are tons of trails and greenways to explore. We chose Falls Creek. It was rather steep for this pregnant lady, but with a beautiful and worthwhile payoff. The round trip took us about two hours. Recommended!


Finally, we always try to attend worship when we’re traveling, both to, well, worship, but also to experience new ways of doing things that we might be able to bring back to our church. While in Greenville we chose Grace Church Downtown. It’s in a beautiful old building that’s been retrofitted, and they are doing lots of interesting things. If you’re in your twenties and looking to get connected to a community, Grace also seems like the place to go :)


Weekend road trips like this are my favorite, so I’m eager to hear the city or town you most love to visit in the South! Or, if you’ve had the chance to visit Greenville, what did you love about it?

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September 17, 2015 9:43 am

I love reading about your travels. I am a native North Carolinian and moved to the mid-west a little over two years ago. Reading about your explorations really inspires me and my husband to explore our new home. It also makes my heart giddy to know how much you all have come to love North Carolina and it’s neighboring states. I must say, the Old North State is my most favorite place in all the world and South Carolina isn’t half bad either :)

September 17, 2015 10:56 am

Such a great post! I smiled because you love living where you do for the exact reason I love living where we do – ease of weekend road trips! It helps that neither of us grew up in our respective current regions – there’s still so much of New England that is new to me. But really, I still have so many places in both regions to see. If only there was time for all of it!

September 17, 2015 11:36 am

I absolutely LOVED this post, Emily! Isn’t my hometown amazing?? Growing up in Greenville was so wonderful, and now that I live in Columbia, SC, I relish every chance I get to visit my parents and go downtown! I’m dying for a little weekend getaway to that gorgeous hotel. Who knew you could get a little piece of Tuscany in Greenville County?? Glad y’all had such a great time! xo

September 17, 2015 1:22 pm

What a fun weekend! I love being able to take a trip within a short driving distance. You feel like you’re on vacation but you didn’t have to really travel very hard to get there. We are in Northern VA so some of our driving distances overlap with you. I’m eager to really explore Richmond just for fun (not being there for a wedding or other celebration)!

Josh and I love spending time in Charlottesville and Williamsburg! This weekend we’re driving down to cville for a quick weekend away and the UVA game. And next month we’ll have Josh’s homecoming at William and Mary in Williamsburg. They are such great cities that really make you feel like you’re away from the hustle and bustle of home. Let us know when you go if you need restaurant recommendations. :)

September 17, 2015 2:15 pm

Great trip Em!! Good for you for being a trooper on the hike.

Unrelated question – I would love to use the photographers you know and love, but they seem to all be based in the south (which makes sense). I know some of your relatives are in NYC – do they have any recs for maternity/newborn/family photos? Also, do you think you’ll do maternity photos or just newborn shots – I can’t tell what I think about those…

Thanks as always for your help!

September 18, 2015 8:07 am

Thanks Em!

September 24, 2015 3:11 pm

Em – I think I found a great photographer in NYC! but thank you so much for your offer anyway! Think I’m going professional just with newborn photos and will have relatives take the bump/hospital photos.