The leaves on the trees are red and gold. The air is crisp. And on the second weekend in October, downtown Greenville hosts its award winning and highly popular event, the St. Francis Fall for Greenville festival.
It’s the Upstate’s largest festival with 4 music stages, food booths from over 43 of Greenville’s finest restaurants and more than 150 art vendors. From the kid’s area to the Bartender Mix-Off, the 150,000 people that attend this yearly event aren’t lacking for entertainment.
While you’re downtown, be sure to visit Falls Park and Liberty Bridge. Falls Park sits on the site of an old sawmill and has a self guided walking tour with historical markers. It also boasts the only waterfall in a city downtown. The Liberty Bridge spans across the Reedy River and is one of two single sided suspension pedestrian bridges in the world. There are miles of hiking trails that connect up to Cleveland Park. This downtown park is 126 acres and has fitness trails, tennis courts, playgrounds and picnic areas. It also houses the Greenville Zoo.
Fall for Greenville takes place in the West End Historic District. This area is considered the arts and entertainment center of the city. The Peace Center for Performing Arts hosts local and Broadway shows. Browse through one of the many art galleries and boutiques.
When you get hungry, head to one of downtown’s premier restaurants. Located right across the street from Falls Park, High Cotton touts that it is Low Country magic served daily. Lured by Greenville’s charm, Chef Jason Scholz and Restaurant Manager Julia Scholz left Charleston’s High Cotton restaurant and relocated to Greenville to open its second location. The restaurant offers fresh fish, steaks and seafood. Other great local choices are Soby’s, Larkins on the River and Smoke on the Water.
After dinner, take a walk up Main Street to aptly named Coffee Street and grab a coffee or an espresso at Coffee Underground. Arguably better than the chain coffee shops, they also have great desserts and pastries. Try the strawberry cake; you’ll be glad you did.
Walk across the street and go shopping at Mast General Store. It’s an old-time general store with traditional mercantile goods, candy barrels where you can buy candy by the pound and outdoor wear and equipment. For an eclectic mix of fine, handmade jewelry, check out Llyn Strong. Her store features pieces from over 100 different artists as well as her own. Llyn is an award winning artist who has been creating pieces since 1972. Her studio and loft are right above the store.
Too tired to walk? Grab a free ride on the Greenville Trolley. The trolley runs on weekends from the North Main Street Area to the West End. Trolley schedules are posted at several downtown locations.
If you want a little more romance, take a horse and buggy ride. Pick up is in front of the Westin Poinsett. Built in 1925, this fully renovated hotel is the only four diamond hotel in Greenville. George Clooney stayed here while he was in the area filming “Leatherheads”. Rates are still affordable starting at $159.00 a night.
Take a day trip to Paris Mountain State Park. Just four miles north of downtown, this 1540 acre state park has two marked hiking trails, a lake and several picnic areas. You can rent a kayak or pedal boat, do some fishing or just kick back and watch the bicyclers ride up and down the hills.
With all of the things to see and do, this truly is a great time to fall for Greenville.