GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA -- My brother recently moved to Greenville, a southern city nestled in the foothills of the gorgeous Appalachian (Ah-puh-LAH-chyin) Mountains and blanketed by a thick layer of hardwoods. Small southern homes pepper rolling forested hills amidst twisting roadways bathed in light rain falling from the misty mountain air and offer a small-town feel with a robust offering of lifestyle, entertainment and good eatin'.
I had the opportunity to visit him while I was traveling through the area and took the day off to go up early and see the sights and sounds the area has to offer.
The drive up from Sumter was straightforward and I landed downtown. Lined in a mix of beautiful shops and dining, thick trees, cultivated flora and broad sidewalks, the main strip invites pedestrians to spend time exploring main and back-alley gems.
Light rain and cool breezes gave the perfect atmo for an easy stroll up and down the strip. I gazed through shopping and dining windows, eyed small-alley signs calling for patrons, hunted down a small off-the-main cigar shop and bar, and even shopped at the Maast General Store, finding that perfect pair of khakis I'd spent weeks looking for. A recommendation landed me at Nose Dive for lunch. The service was friendly but the tasty but unremarkable fish and chips I ordered might not be the choice meal to try there.
I left downtown to check out the UpCountry History Museum, Reedy Falls and the Artisphere. I later returned after a search for local coffee shops to find one right down an alley I remember eyeing during my earlier stroll through downtown. This turned out to be the gem of the trip (other than visiting my brother, of course).
Later, my brother showed me a lake he'd found while exploring the area. Having moved from Charleston, he sorely missed walking the beach with the waves. To his surprise, he found the lake not merely an alternative, but a superior place to find silence and peace. He plans to get himself a kayak. I hope to join him one day out on those sparkling waters!
My trip centered around my brother's passion of college football -- specifically G-Day -- and I wanted to accompany him for the spring game.
Returning from the game, he and I enjoyed some steaks from his grill on his cozy back porch and a beautiful sunset through spring trees dancing in the evening breeze.
Though I'd visited Greenville once before as a child, I must say the town I encountered as an adult has untold amounts of charm and character which suit me quite well. Old homes and small, cultivated yards, centuries of American history and incredibly convenient to Charlotte and Asheville, NC, Columbia, SC and Augusta, Athen and Atlanta, GA, it's the perfect getaway -- but not too far away -- kind of place to live!