Greenwood, SC: Where Stories Come Alive
If one is looking for a true hidden gem in Upstate South Carolina, Greenwood will exceed your expectations. Serving as the regional hub for retail, dining, lodging, healthcare, education, and more, Greenwood’s hospitality and charm is one of the many reasons why visitor and newcomer traffic is ever increasing.
Uptown Greenwood is a great example of a smaller city thinking big. It has emerged once again as a key economic driver for the city, despite the distinctive challenge of forging a sense of community from an area that was once divided by railroad tracks, and then hundreds of feet of blacktop. By modernizing the downtown (including free WiFi) while keeping an eye on the historic character of Main Street, Uptown Greenwood truly embodies its mission of “Embracing the future and preserving the past.” Over the last 15 years, Uptown has seen a huge increase in retail and dining options, including boutiques, craft breweries, and restaurants.
From upscale cuisine to good old-fashioned burgers, Greenwood has over 200 restaurants, including lakefront dining on Lake Greenwood. Greenwood’s most recent culinary campaign, A World of Flavor, highlights the diversity of cuisine across the area and allows visitors a “sneak peek” of dining options across the county. For the BBQ lover, Greenwood offers its annual SC Festival of Discovery featuring BBQ and blues during the second weekend each July.
Boating, swimming, skiing, fishing—all of the traditional water activities are in play at Lake Greenwood. Live music, nearby restaurants with casual waterfront dining, and July 4th fireworks. Sandy beaches for volleyball and swimming add to the fun. Boat rentals for leisurely cruises are also available and for those who’d like to sit back and let someone else do the driving, boat tours are available as well.
Fishermen flock there for catfish, bass, and crappie. Fishing tournaments are a frequent event. Lake Greenwood State Park provides water access and camping facilities. A three-mile walk and bike trail gives visitors a view from the land. The Lake Greenwood Blueway Trail, a 34-mile trail for paddling, has brought kayakers, canoers, and other water lovers to the area.
For the historian, Greenwood’s rich railroad history is chronicled with the Railroad Historical Center. Open throughout the spring and summer months, the center offers visitors a look at numerous locomotives, dining cars, sleeping cars, and even an executive car used to transport textile CEO’s and customers throughout the Southeast.
The Benjamin E. Mays Historic Preservation Site, located behind what once was the African American hospital for the community, offers visitors a peek at the early childhood and life of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays. Coming from impoverished, humbled beginnings, Dr. Mays rose to become one of the greatest international leaders of his generation. A lifelong educator, mentor to numerous presidents such as Kennedy and Carter, Dr. Mays retired as President of Morehouse College. The Mays Site serves as a reflection to those who seek success that education, determination, and hard work are the essential tools for breaking the walls of poverty and building the ladder to self-sufficiency.
As the nation prepares to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Revolutionary War, history abounds at the Ninety-Six National Historic Site. The site, which is a part of the National Park Service, documents key battles and skirmishes based at the “Star Fort”, the earthen fort built by soldiers for protection. The site also hails as one of the first areas to see a bloodshed battle in South Carolina during the beginning of the Revolutionary War. •
For more information on Greenwood and its many offerings, visit www.discovergreenwood.com or contact Discover Greenwood at 864-953-2466.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.