When I pulled into gregarious Greenville, SC and sauntered down N. Main Street, I wondered if I’d wandered onto a movie set. I found tidy sidewalks under a leafy green canopy, open shop doors, happy people lunching on patios and a feeling of lightness that I’d nearly forgotten existed. And, this month, the city opens its arms to welcome visitors to the 41st annual Fall for Greenville Festival, October 14-16, along one of the sweetest (and soon, busiest) main streets here in the South.
James Beard-nominated chefs serve up their signature dishes alongside some of the city's most authentic international eateries. There’s also live music, with free performances from more than 60 bands on five stages across downtown Greenville, a walkable and vibrant neighborhood on the Reedy River.
There, you'll find Falls Park, dipping down from the soaring Liberty Bridge, where it reigns over the picturesque urban riverside park full of picnickers, young families and nappers sprawled out in the early autumn sunshine. The waterfall that commands attention here, once covered and forgotten, has been resurrected thanks to a successful (and rare) partnership between community activists and strong city leadership. This sort of love of community shines through so much of what you’ll discover on your visit.
Australian artist Guido Van Helten spent 704 hours painting an 18,900-square-foot mural that is impossible to miss as you enter Greenville. The mural features Pearlie Harris with seven children, including some current students from A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering; founded by A.J. Whittenberg, a pioneer for civil rights in Greenville.
As one of the South's hottest food cities, this is the perfect weekend to taste why; there are no guest chefs or pricey wine dinners- this is ALL Greenville, and most dishes are $3- $5.
Chefs compete for the coveted Silver Spoon, an honor given to the best-tasting bites from more than 250 dishes, awarded by a panel of guest judges representing some of the top food media in the US.
Known for its variety of culinary offerings --50+ local eateries set up pop-up tents along 8 blocks of Main Street offering up samples of their most popular dishes-- Fall for Greenville also means 3 days of live music from some of the best young talent on the East Coast.
This sense of place and respect for history makes me love Greenville even more. FallForGreenville.net
Are you looking to stay in the heart of downtown Greenville? Centrally located on Main Street, AC Hotel Greenville offers spacious and understated rooms with a modern design. On weekends, catch live music at Paloma where you can enjoy Spanish and Mediterranean-inspired tapas and unique cocktails. Or reserve a table at the hotel’s rooftop garden bar, Juniper, for small plates or drinks with breathtaking sunset views overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains.