Liberty Bridge over Reedy River Falls.
Why Now: A forward-thinking renovation of downtown, starting with the Reedy River and a pedestrian-only suspension bridge over its falls, sparked Greenville’s transformation. Waterfront galleries, a bumper crop of new restaurants and the multiuse Swamp Rabbit Trail have added to the excitement.
Where to Go: Serious cyclists will savor a stay at Hotel Domestique, a gorgeous Tuscan-inspired property that’s the vision of Greenville resident and 17-time Tour de France rider George Hincapie, who’s now retired and sometimes joins guests on rides. Meanwhile, the cheerful Swamp Rabbit Inn, just blocks from the Swamp Rabbit Trail, offers a welcoming B&B vibe as well as bike rentals. It’s a short ride to the quaint Swamp Rabbit Café & Grocery; pick up goodies such as homemade scones and sandwiches for a picnic along the 20-mile trail, which runs past former textile warehouses and Furman University. Or stroll through the downtown area brimming with shops, bars and galleries. Fuel up after urban exploration at The Lazy Goat, a riverfront hot spot that prepares locally sourced, Mediterranean-inspired dishes made for sharing (don’t miss the Mer Blanc, a decadent mix of seafood, couscous and creamy vodka broth). Farther afield, the year-old Greenville Center for Creative Arts anchors the burgeoning arts district of the Village of West Greenville and offers classes, galleries and artcentric happenings.