Surprising Greenville SC to Awesome Asheville NC
We took a great trip to Greenville in the Upcountry of South Carolina and then took a mini road trip up to Asheville NC with a couple of stops along the way. Next time you are looking for a 5 or 6 day getaway, this could be a great trip for you.
Driving up I-85 from our home in Atlanta, a brief stop at Chateau Elan, a winery – resort would be a good stop. It is right off Exit 126 in Braselton.
The drive up to Greenville is a pleasant drive of only a little over 2 hours. We stayed at the Hampton Inn Downtown at River Place which has a great location on the Reedy River and next to Main Street and Falls Park on the Reedy. We parked our car and didn’t touch it until our departure.
Greenville is very walkable with a main street with restaurants, bars, shopping and Main Street has many fine historic buildings plus has the river and the park right there downtown.
Before you go, check the schedule for the Peace Performing Arts Center which is located on Main Street and is just across the river from the Hampton Inn. Oh, Greenville has a baseball team and stadium downtown too.
We had lovely dinners at Larkin’s on the River and also Soby’s New South Cuisine which was our favorite. Many people told us about Smoke on the Water and Ford’s Oyster House which are favorites. Tripadvisor has 753 restaurants listed for Greenville so you will have many choices. To help with that we recommend taking the Chefs Table Culinary Tour as soon as you can – this is rated one of the top activities for Greenville and will tour several restaurants for food tastings. Right next to the Hampton Inn where we stayed is the Lazy Goat restaurant which you should take advantage of their patio for cocktails and watch the activity on the Riverwalk below.
We walked the Falls Park on the Reedy and enjoyed the wonderful waterfalls right next to Main Street! Check the schedule for the Festivals and Events in Greenville. Take your camera to Greenville as there are wonderful photo ops all around. Below is a photo of the Liberty Bridge (built 2004) across the Reedy River which gives you a good view of the falls.
For serious hikers there is the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail that starts right in downtown Greenville and goes 13 miles to Travelers Rest.
We only stayed three days in Greenville but we can’t wait to go back. We loved walking to everything, the great restaurants, the wonderful Main Street and the park in town.
PS: Since writing this post a few weeks ago we have been back to Greenville and this time stayed at Pettigru Place Bed & Breakfast and loved it. It cheaper than the hotel we stayed at before but we enjoyed it as much or more. Lori the owner was very nice to us and we loved talking with the other guests. Lovely room, house and gardens. Close to Main Street also.
Our next overnight stay was in Asheville NC only about one hour away. About halfway, we stopped for lunch at a quaint charming Mayberry style town of Saluda NC to have lunch with friends at Ward’s Grill on Main Street downtown (you can’t miss it) and then to visit the charming general store and get some ice cream.
Next back on I-26 we stopped at Historic Hendersonville NC which has one of the most amazing Main Street I have ever seen. People were out enjoying it even in the middle of the day and is an attraction in itself. We stopped by and talked with the helpful people at the Visitors Center at the end of Main Street. Hendersonville is popular with visitors as well as retirees taking advantage of hiking, fishing, golf, and the cooler mountain air.
Asheville is a great town to visit with plenty of sites, not the least of which is the Biltmore Estate – house and gardens. In fact you may want to stay in a hotel or B&B near the entrance to the Biltmore house or in a cabin around Asheville or downtown Asheville to be near the bars and restaurants. If you have never been to the Biltmore House, well that is a must. Take a look at what you will be seeing at Biltmore Estate.
Downtown Asheville is very interesting and walkable. We started off with a visit to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial with a tour of the house and life of author Thomas Wolfe. This is an interesting 13 bedroom house and the guide had a great narrative.
Next we took the Asheville Food Tour with Patrick visiting six restaurants and sampling the food at each (beer and wine too). There was about 10 of us on that tour and we had the best time and had fun with the other travelers on our tour.
All the restaurants were good especially one named Chestnut which was probably our favorite. We also heard about The Corner Kitchen in Historic Biltmore Village is supposed to be the best in the area.
We began and ended that tour at the Grove Arcade, one of Asheville’s architectural jewels and the idea of Mr Grove of Grove Park
Inn. We tried to get in Wake: The Foot Sanctuary for a highly recommend foot soaking and massage but they were booked for the rest of the day. Our friend recommended Limonnes, an upscale Mexican restaurant and it was excellent.
Five days did give us enough time to enjoy this trip but I could see spending a few more days in either Greenville or Asheville. But I did like experiencing both in one trip as they are only an hour apart. Our favorite was surprising Greenville and we already know we are going back for another visit.
Boomer Travel doesn’t have to be all international trips or cruises but working some of these regional trips in can be very satisfying.