Sunday, August 18, 2013

Greenville, Best Town 2013!

If you haven’t seen it, Greenville has once again made it on the “best” list, this time Outside magazine’s “Best Towns 2013.” Mentioned in the article were the Swamp Rabbit Trail, the new bike share program, the abundance of great restaurants and the proximity to the great outdoors - Paris Mountain and the National Forests of the Upstate specifically mentioned. The great thing about these lists is that they just reinforce what I already know; there is tons to do in and around Greenville! Other than the bike share program we’ve tried/been to every activity/place in the article in the recent past, hiking on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, catching a Ranger-led creek tour at Paris Mountain SP, trying out new restaurants and indulging in fresh, local food from the state farmers market and local groceries.

Enjoying a summer stroll on the Swamp Rabbit Trail
The easy access to nature might be my favorite thing about Greenville, but the availability of healthy, local food probably comes in second. I’ve already blogged about my favorites: Tomato Vine, the Swamp Rabbit Café & Grocery and the state farmers market, but there are plenty more options in the area. Saturday we headed out to the downtown market, which is possibly a little pricier than the year-round alternative, but is more of an experience than a shopping opportunity.

We picked up some breakfast and coffee, found a spot to let the boys run around and took a pause: on a beautiful summer morning this is a great destination. It wasn’t all just lounging around, as we did buy a wonderful chèvre from Spinning Spider Creamery,  but mostly it was slow strolling – a perfect start to a relaxing weekend. There are often cooking demonstrations and live bands playing, but make sure to drop by soon, as the Saturday Market only runs until October 26th.

A very recent favorite local store of mine is Parkersway Food. Another place that isn’t much to look at from the street, this family owned business supplies many local restaurants with their meat, including Northgate Soda Shop, famous for their pimento cheeseburgers. On my first visit I was a bit put off by the grocery selection, but after driving by a few more times and seeing steaks and other cuts of meat advertised outside I decided to stop by again and give the butcher a chance. Am I glad I did! At competitive prices the meat is loads fresher than what the local supermarket stocks, and the owner cuts to order. We buy almost all of our beef, pork and poultry there now and have not been let down once. They make their own sausage, smoke their own pork and can get me almost anything I ask for. The customer service cannot be beat, and giving a local store my business in exchange for fresh food is a win-win in my book. Tip: they stock Suber’s Old Style Water Ground Meal, produced the old-fashioned way by grinding with a water-turned stone. To get the best tasting grits and cornmeal you’ve ever had, try Suber’s Corn Mill’s products.

The best “local” experience in the past week however, did not come from a store. Imagine the boys’ happiness at finding heavy machinery, chain saws, men in hardhats and a roped-off street… without having to leave the front porch! An old telephone pole was finally removed, freeing us of the worry that the already-loose post would topple on a passerby or vehicle, and this mom got her 15 minutes of zen… They say they’ll be back tomorrow to fill in the hole, maybe if I time it right I’ll get another 10 minutes of peace.


  1. So---getting that old telephone pole down was the HIGHLIGHT of the week????? Great entertainment for kids!!!!!

    Congrats to Greenville. It obviously is a great little city...It's too big for me to call it a town. I live in a TOWN--much smaller than Greenville. ha

    Parkersway Food sounds great...I'd love it...


  2. Looks absolutely nice town! I love the towns life where you can get entertainment for kids and local beauty for grown-ups.


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