Matt McAlister
Friday, August 5, 2016

Guide to Moving to Greenville, SC

Guide to Moving to Greenville, SC

South Carolina, aka "The Palmetto State," is a popular place to live. The U.S. Census Bureau notes that the state's population exceeded 4.89 million in July 2015 and continues to grow, thanks in part to the opportunities provided in many of its cities.

Greenville, South Carolina is like no other. It offers a wide range of amazing restaurants, stunning attractions and much more, making it a great place for South Carolina residents and visitors alike. If you’re moving to Greenville, SC — or thinking about moving to Greenville, SC — explore this guide to the unique city.

1. History and Key Stats

Greenville, SC originally served as a Cherokee hunting ground. In the late 1700s, Indian trader Richard Pearis acquired about 100,000 acres of land from the Cherokees, land which would later would become downtown Greenville.

Greenville County was officially formed in 1786, named after Revolutionary War General Nathaniel Greene. It developed over the years, leading to the construction of the county's courthouse in 1794, as well as many homes. The arrival of the Greenville and Columbia Railroad in 1853 provided residents with faster access to other areas of South Carolina.

In the 1880s, Southern Bell installed a telephone exchange in Greenville County, giving residents the ability to connect with one another like never before. Pipes were laid for sewers and water, electric lights were used to brighten the streets at night and public schooling became available. At this point, the roots of modern Greenville were in place, setting up the city for years of success.

Greenville, SC has thrived over the years, and today, it represents a top place to live in South Carolina. For homebuyers who are interested in moving to Greenville, some of the key stats to know include:

key stats

2. Attractions in Greenville, SC

No trip to Greenville, SC would be complete without visiting some of the city's most popular attractions, such as:

  • Greenville ZooGreenville Zoo is a must-visit attraction. And with its massive collection of animals — everything from anteaters to zebras — the zoo offers plenty of great opportunities to view animals, reptiles and other species you might struggle to find elsewhere.

  • Haywood MallHaywood Mall is a top choice for the latest fashions, electronics and other superior products and services. The mall boasts more than 150 shops, such as Apple Store, Coach and Pottery Barn, and is located at the intersection of I-385 and Haywood Road for quick, easy access.

  • Greenville County Museum of ArtGreenville County Museum of Art is considered one of the premier art museums in South Carolina and features a broad array of works from American watercolors artist Andrew Wyeth. It typically hosts more than 125,000 visitors annually and offers many lectures, music performances and other free programs year-round.

  • Roper Mountain Science Center – Since 1985, Roper Mountain Science Center has served as an excellent option for people who want to learn about physical and natural sciences. It features a planetarium, observatory and other facilities designed to deliver a unique learning experience.

  • Lake Constee Nature Park – Located about six miles from downtown Greenville, Lake Constee Nature Park makes an amazing outdoor day trip. The nature park provides more than 400 acres of natural habitat, which is open for hiking.

  • Peace Center – As South Carolina's premier cultural center, Peace Center offers live performances day after day. It features a 2,100-seat concert hall, numerous indoor and outdoor meeting spots and a 400-seat theater, so you can enjoy events big and small. Peace Center hosts a wide range of events — everything from Broadway-style performances to orchestra shows.

  • Swamp Rabbit Trail – Check out the Swamp Rabbit Trail, where you can hike, picnic and enjoy the great outdoors. The trail offers bike lanes, so you can cruise the trail with family members and friends.

  • Alchemy Comedy Theater – The Alchemy Comedy Theater hosts improv, stand up, and sketch comedy shows every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Greenville’s iconic Coffee Underground theater.
The city’s attractions offer a wonderful mix of education and fun, providing another reason why you should consider moving to Greenville, SC.

greenville sc attractions

3. Restaurants

Grab a bite to eat that you won’t soon forget any of the top restaurants in Greenville, SC. Some of our favorite restaurants in Greenville include:

  • Soby's – For authentic Southern fare, you simply cannot go wrong with a trip to Soby's. The restaurant uses fresh, seasonal ingredients to create hunger-satisfying Southern cuisine that is sure to make a long-lasting impression. The menu includes boiled peanut hummus, upcountry shrimp and grits and other tasty, awe-inspiring Southern cuisine.

  • Smoke on the Water – Sample a delicious burger in a calm, comfortable dining atmosphere at Smoke on the Water in Greenville, SC. Enjoy top-notch fare from the grill or smoker, as each meal is prepared to perfection. You can enjoy fried catfish, crab cakes, filet mignon and other delightful dishes at Smoke on the Water. Don't forget to sample the fried bourbon bread pudding and other mouthwatering desserts.

  • Trio – Do you enjoy the comfort and sophistication of a brick oven café? If so, you're sure to love Trio, a Greenville café located on the corner of Coffee and Main streets. Trio serves superb soups, salads, pizzas and much more, all from its warm, cozy dining room. Trio also boasts an extensive wine list, so you can enjoy a lovely vintage when you visit.

  • The Pita HouseThe Pita House is an excellent choice for Greenville diners who want to try something different, as it offers Middle Eastern cuisine such as shish kebab and shawarma. You can also enjoy delicious deli and pastry items.

  • Rick Erwin's West End Grille – Steak lovers are sure to rejoice when they visit Rick Erwin's West End Grille in Greenville. This unforgettable steakhouse is located on Main Street in the Historic West End and offers premium cuts of beef. The restaurant's menu includes steak, seafood, pasta and other unbelievable dishes. Rick Erwin's West End Grille remains a popular choice for a casual dinner with friends or a thrilling night in the city.

  • The Trappe DoorThe Trappe Door in Greenville offers "food built from the flavors of the land [and] beer that knows no boundaries." It provides comprehensive food and drink menus, as well as a peaceful dining room setting, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy traditional American fare.

  • Larkin's on the RiverLarkin's on the River has received many accolades over the years, and the restaurant's staff consistently strives to provide visitors with a dining experience they won't find elsewhere in Greenville. The restaurant offers tasty appetizers, delectable main courses and sweet, satisfying desserts. Book reservations early if you hope to nab a table at this top Greenville restaurant.
In many cities, finding a high-quality restaurant remains a major challenge. In Greenville, however, you can visit a wide array of restaurants and sample fantastic cuisine around the city.

greenville sc restaurants

4. Annual Events

Greenville, SC hosts a variety of fun-filled annual events designed for visitors of all ages. The community takes pride in creating a fun, safe environment for residents and visitors, so it offers a range of annual events including the following:

  • Upstate Shakespeare Festival – Watch the legendary works of author William Shakespeare come to life at the Upstate Shakespeare Festival. The annual celebration of all things Shakespeare has been a Greenville staple for over two decades and continues to grow. Visitors can watch live performances by local actors in a comfortable outdoor setting.

  • Mutt Strut – Who says you and your pooch can't race together for a great cause? At the annual Mutt Strut, you and your four-legged friend can run a two-mile race together. All proceeds benefit the Greenville Humane Society. The event features live music and many family- and pet-friendly activities, making it a must-visit event for dog-loving Greenville residents year after year.

  • Boo in the Zoo – At Greenville Zoo's Boo in the Zoo event, visitors can enjoy a one-of-a-kind Halloween celebration. The event takes place every October and boasts trick or treating, activity booths and, of course, its famous "un-haunted house." Boo in the Zoo gives kids and adults the chance to dress up for Halloween and spend time together at one of the nation's top zoos.

  • Greenville Craft Beer Festival – If you enjoy craft beers, planning a trip to the Greenville Craft Beer Festival is a must. The event typically features more than 40 locally, regionally and nationally crafted beers to sample. It even offers "beer college" classes on site, making it easier than ever to learn what it takes to become a master brewer.

  • Artisphere – Meet some of your favorite local arts and view many vibrant masterpieces at the annual Artisphere festival in Greenville. The event brings art to life, as it enables you to admire paintings, statues and other artwork from local artists. You can also learn what it takes to build your own skillset, too.

  • New South Comedy Festival – If you love to laugh, don't miss the New South Comedy Festival, featuring improv, sketch shows, stand-up, and workshops open to the community. The Alchemy Comedy Theater hosts this 11-day festival every November.

  • Fall for Greenville – To sample some of the best fares from Greenville's top restaurants, visit Fall for Greenville. It features dozens of local restaurants, providing hundreds of great menu items. Come out and sample extraordinary cuisine before you decide to visit the renowned dining venues.
Some communities only host a few annual events, but Greenville devotes the necessary time and resources to exceed residents’ expectations. People who move to Greenville are sure to find numerous exceptional annual events to enjoy across the city.

5. Golf Courses

For many South Carolina residents, nothing beats a day on the golf course. The smell of the fresh-cut grass, the warm sun and the outstanding views make golfing in South Carolina a first-rate experience.


Greenville, SC boasts 31 golf courses within 20 miles of the city, and these golf courses include deluxe features that are sure to make them instant favorites for pro and novice golfers alike. Some of the premier golf courses in and around Greenville include:

  • The Preserve at Verdae – You don't need to be the next Jack Nicklaus to enjoy a round of golf at The Preserve at Verdae. This picturesque golf course includes hills and mountain-like brooks that give it a unique look and feel. The golf course is located in mid-town Greenville.

  • CrossWinds – A par 3 signature golf course, CrossWinds offers the perfect blend of form and function. It was designed by some of the world's top golf course architects, who worked to create a golf course that provides golfers with a memorable experience every time. The course delivers a mix of easy and difficult holes, making it a terrific choice for first- and long-time golfers.

  • Greenville Country Club – Since 1905, Greenville Country Club has been a top golf destination in South Carolina. It provides two championship-caliber golf courses, along with 17 tennis courts, exceptional dining amenities and much more. Complete a round of golf and enjoy a fun-filled celebration with family and friends at the excellent country club.

  • Paris Mountain Country Club – Established in 1938 at the bottom of Paris Mountain, Paris Mountain Country Club offers an 18-hole golf course and driving range that are sure to make you smile. The golf course empowers visitors to showcase their golf skills and compete against family members and friends on a spacious, beautiful golf course. Meanwhile, the country club's driving range empowers you to perfect your driving skills, build up your strength and stamina and maximize your performance on the golf course.

  • Green Valley Country ClubGreen Valley Country Club is located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountain, a serene setting that can help transform an ordinary round of golf into a memorable one. The country club features a golf course that originally was completed in 1958 and remains a favorite for golfers of all skill levels. Green Valley Country Club also offers tennis, swimming and other amenities that make it an ideal family-friendly destination.

  • Bonnie Brae Golf Club – Whether you're looking for golf lessons from a Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA) pro or simply want to enjoy a quick nine holes, Bonnie Brae Golf Club in Greenville is sure to serve you well. The local golf destination offers a pristine golf course, making it a popular choice for Greenville residents and visitors.

  • Donaldson Center Golf ClubDonaldson Center Golf Club is a nine-hole course stationed as part of a working air-strip used by military and private airplanes to help create an unforgettable golf experience.
Thanks to the large range of courses available in the Greenville area, you're sure to find plenty of fun and challenging golf courses to enjoy year-round.

Find Your Dream Home in Greenville, SC Today

There are many reasons to consider moving to Greenville, SC. From the city's rich history to its outstanding golf courses, Greenville has much to offer residents. With the right homebuilding and real estate company, moving to Greenville, SC can help make it a reality.

The team at SK Builders and McAlister Realty will help you take the guesswork out of your relocation plans and ensure you find your dream home quickly and effortlessly.

At SK Builders, we see building as a way of life. We focus on providing quality custom homes with beautiful design to ensure you're fully satisfied with any home we build for you.

We also boast comprehensive industry experience and continue to serve as a proven Greenville, SC homebuilder and real estate company.

With our understanding of residential construction, we can anticipate your home concerns at every point during the build. From contract to close, we are prepared to meet your real estate needs.


Today we offer more than 20 beautiful communities, each with its own look and feel. You can select from numerous top-notch residences without sacrificing your personal style. If you have concerns or questions along the way, our team of homebuilding and real estate professionals can quickly address your needs.

Simplify the process of moving to Greenville, SC by choosing SK Builders. With our team, you will be fully supported throughout the moving process. We'll guide you along the building process and help you find a location that suits your every need.

Discover the benefits of SK Builders and McAlister Realty for an upcoming move to Greenville, SC. To learn more about our homebuilding and real estate services, contact us today.

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