Just a five and a half-hour drive from Nashville, Greenville is the perfect choice for a couple and their dog to spend a quick weekend. I hadn’t been to South Carolina yet, so it allowed me to check a state off my list for my 50 States By 25 goal, and it’s close enough that we were able to drive up on a Friday night, see the city, and head home on Sunday afternoon.
We stayed at an Airbnb that’s just ten minutes from downtown Greenville but still secluded and private enough for our tastes. The rental home is a nice family’s guest house. Their dog, chickens, and goats are friendly, and they even left us some farm fresh eggs! I definitely recommend this Airbnb for couples (and their pets).
The Lazy Goat
We didn’t get into Greenville until about 7:30 PM, so we met our Airbnb hosts, got ourselves settled in, and ordered takeout from “The Lazy Goat,” a restaurant downtown. The Lazy Goat is one restaurant I do not recommend for a great dinner, but would suggest for a fun night out with drinks and appetizers. The food was good, but overpriced and served in very small portions. The menu is incredibly unique. We enjoyed our steaks and flowerless chocolate cake, but it didn’t feel like a full meal; more like a cocktail hour.
Cedar Falls Park
The next morning we put a harness on Gaia, our Lab-Chihuahua-Shepherd-Mutt mix, and drove 30 minutes south to Cedar Falls Park. Planning a trip with a dog who has separation anxiety and cannot be left to her own devices in a hotel room can be tricky, but we successfully spent our entire Saturday outdoors with her.
When we pulled up to the park, I was concerned and disappointed – we saw a family having a BBQ at the small picnic area, and we saw small children climbing around the playground, but we didn’t see what Trip Advisor had promised me. When we got out of the car, the only walking trail we saw was a quarter-mile-long sidewalk loop. Slightly disgruntled, we started walking Gaia around that path until we came upon what I was really expecting – a trail map.
There really is more than meets the eye at Cedar Falls Park, and once we found our way onto the actual hiking trail, we were more than satisfied. The terrain is not difficult, but not boring. For the most part, it was quiet and not busy, which we liked. We saw families walking with their kids, people walking their dogs, and a runner or two. The park really works for everybody. You walk along a river and through the woods, and it’s beautiful. The trails are short, but it’s all we needed to see a South Carolina nature trail.
After completing a loop on the trail, we headed over to CityScape Winery for our 1 PM Girl Scout Cookie Pairing reservation. I 100% recommend stopping in at CityScape. I don’t always enjoy the wine at small vineyards in smaller cities, and but we actually left with a half case. I strongly recommend the Pineapple Riesling and the Barrel Aged Malbec (paired with Thin Mints).
The winery itself was small and charming. Based on their website and social media, I was expecting a slightly bigger place. Instead, we drove through rural South Carolina to pull up to a house converted into a wine tasting room. We had our tasting outside with our dog sitting next to us. There were goats not too far from where we sat, and halfway through our tasting, we were introduced to the CityScape Winery family’s pig.
CityScape is very clearly a family business, and the family obviously cares about what they do. I’m a big fan of wine tastings and vineyards, and CityScape may be my favorite.
Falls Park on the Reedy
To finish out our one-day-in-Greenville adventure with our dog, we headed downtown. We paid $10 for parking (which is amazing when we usually pay $30 in Nashville) and walked a few blocks to Falls Park On The Reedy, which I LOVED. It’s a small park attached to the bustling downtown area. It runs along the river and there are several shops along the path, but it’s a green park nonetheless. It made for a great stroll with our pup. From there, we headed towards…
Grill Marks prides themselves on having the “best burger in town,” but we mostly went because they have outdoor seating and we read online that they would give our dog a water bowl and a bone. It was all true.
They gave us a bowl of water for the pup (no charge) and we paid a few dollars for her to chew on some bone marrow while we ate.
The burgers were pretty good, but if that’s as good as the burgers get in Greenville, I’d be sad to live there. We’re spoiled with amazing burgers in Nashville. Regardless of the burger quality, the milkshakes at Grill Marks are something else. They tower above the glass they’re served in and create a sloppy mess no matter how careful you are. If nothing else, stop by Grill Marks for a milkshake and a great bone for your dog.
Mast General Store/Downtown
By the time we finished our meal, the sun was already setting and we were at the tail end of a long day. We decided to spend the rest of our time wandering around the streets of downtown Greenville, which turned out to be a pleasant experience. I’ve lived in Nashville for just over four years and I can hardly stand to get myself downtown anymore because you can’t walk ten feet without a drunk person falling into you. Greenville had a decent crowd (likely because of the taco festival that was in town) but it wasn’t insane. There were a few bars that definitely had some excitement, but nothing we couldn’t walk through peacefully.
We wandered into Mast General Store mainly because they allow dogs, and we were quite pleased with what we found. Not only is the store adorable, but their stock is fun and unique as well. The front half of the store has a wide range of clothing items, from crazy marked down jackets and winter gear (which we took advantage of) to local college and City of Greenville t-shirts and sweatshirts. When you walk towards the back of the store, you’ll find an old-fashioned candy shop. We were still sugared-up from our milkshakes, so we pulled ourselves away from that section.
After we checked out, the manager asked if she could give our pup a treat (to which we said, “absolutely”). She even asked if she was trained. When we said yes, she asked her to sit before giving her a treat, which I greatly appreciated. I love smart dog people.
My Greenville Opinion
Overall, I loved Greenville. I’ve had a lot of weekend road trip adventures near Nashville, and Greenville was one of my favorites. However, disclaimer: It’s not really a tourist town. I liked that, because it allowed me to truly see the culture of a small city in South Carolina, but if you’re planning a vacation that’s longer than a weekend, you may want to consider a larger city like Charleston…or Nashville, TN!
Would I go back? Sure! There’s a lot more of this country (and of South Carolina) that I would like to see before I start backtracking, but this is definitely a city I’d love to spend another long weekend in. There are more wineries, more parks, and more delicious food there that I’d love to try.
Originally published 3/11/18, last updated 5/8/2020.