Looking for a nearby destination for a weekend getaway? Consider Greenville, S.C., where hubby and I recently enjoyed a two-night stay. It’s an easy three-hour drive from Knoxville. Here are five reasons to go, though there are many more that could be added to this list.
1. Charming, walkable downtown: Greenville’s revitalized downtown district offers a wide variety of shopping and dining options along with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. At one end of the downtown district is Falls Park on the Reedy, a 32-acre park featuring meandering paths, terraced gardens, and plenty of spots to lounge while watching the rushing waterfall flow over rocks.
2. Wonderful restaurants: Greenville’s lively culinary scene will whet any appetite, whether it’s hometown BBQ you’re craving or something more eclectic. We enjoyed some Southern cuisine at Sassafras one evening, and the next veered into old Europe with Belgian fare and brews at the atmospheric Trappe Door.
3. Parks and trails: Greenville’s outdoor options can keep you busy for days, but if you’re there for just a bit, choose one of the many parks within the county. We wandered through Lake Conestee Nature Park just six miles south of downtown. Its 400 acres of woods and wetlands are known for birding and more than 10 miles of trails.
4. B&B near downtown: If you enjoy the bed and breakfast experience, we’d recommend Pettigru Place B&B. Its lush gardens are inviting for an hour or two of lounging — the complimentary wine and cheese adds to the ambience; its rooms are comfortable and decor charming; and the breakfasts are multi-course and delicious. If B&Bs aren’t your thing, there are lots of hotels to choose from in the downtown district.
5. Nearby state park: About an hour northwest of Greenville is Devils Fork State Park and its centerpiece, Lake Jocassee, a 7500-acre stream-fed lake. The land is mostly undeveloped and offers lots of hiking, biking and boating options. The lake’s clear water attracts scuba divers as well. We found it a nice stop for a picnic on the way home.