At the Crowne Plaza Greenville, your group can use some or all of its 7,000 square feet of flexible meeting/exhibit space. The hotel is eight miles from Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) and can accommodate up to 700 attendees while providing catering or technical support as needed. Also on-site are a 24-hour fitness center and heated garden pool, a café, a lounge and a Ruth’s Chris steakhouse. A free shuttle service goes downtown and to restaurants and shops within a five-mile radius.
The historic downtown district known as Center City is the hub for shopping, dining and entertainment. Look for live-music events and street parties in spring, summer and early fall. Stretches of Main Street to the north and south of Center City also have shops, nightspots, galleries, restaurants, specialty boutiques, salons and spas.
From March to September, Downtown Alive! is a Thursday-night event that doubles as a weekly fundraiser for the Metropolitan Arts Council. From 5:30 to 8 p.m., Piazza Bergamo becomes a concert venue with music ranging from pop and blues to reggae. On Fridays (5:30-9:30 p.m.) from April through September, Main Street Jazz at the Hyatt Regency offers performances, a children’s activity area and more.
The Peace Center presents theater, orchestra and ballet performances and has multiple venues for groups, including an outdoor, riverside 96-seat amphitheater, conference center, on-site dining, and indoor and outdoor special-event facilities. The Upstate Shakespeare Festival has a free Shakespeare in Falls Park series that plays May through August and in October.
The Greenville Drive is a minor-league baseball affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The stadium is a miniature Fenway Park with an interactive video screen, a party deck, a group picnic area, lawn seating, and on-field entertainment and community events at each game. The Riverbend Equestrian Park has a petting zoo and instructional classes as well as corporate rentals for picnics and special events. The BMW Zentrum offers tours of a BMW factory, a 250-seat auditorium, a 60-seat conference room, a café and exhibit space. The Bi-Lo Center has executive suites and club seating for concerts and sporting events.
The Saturday Morning Market on East Court Street downtown is open Saturday mornings from May to September. The Greenville State Farmers Market is open year-round. The Greenville Area Historical Society sells books, maps, artwork, notecards and Christmas ornaments of historic buildings. The popular Mast General Store sells everything from wind chimes and tin toys to old-fashioned candies, handmade soaps and cookbooks.
Northhampton Wines hosts dinners, receptions, wine programs and parties for up to 50 guests; its Tasting Room has more than 5,000 bottles of wine and its Wine Café handles wine-and-cheese receptions as well as formal, multi-course wine dinners. Stax’s Restaurant & Bakery also hosts wine dinners. It’s chef has a weekly TV cooking show on Fox 21. The Overlook Grill provides views of Reedy River Falls along with patio dining and picnic lunches. La Bastide is a fine French restaurant near the Crescent Mountain Vineyards in The Cliffs development, which has inn accommodations and corporate programs. Coffee Underground has a café menu and a 70-seat theater/listening room that hosts poetry slams and musical acts.
Chophouse ’47 has an after-dinner menu of fine cognacs and cigars. Larkin’s on the River is part of the Peace Center and caters events at the Wyche Pavilion. Restaurant O has private dining space for up to 20 people in its Wine Grotto and a 3,000-bottle wine list.
Well-known retailers have shops in the $64 million Shops at Greenridge and at Shops at The Point. Traditional malls include Haywood Shopping Mall and Cherrydale Point Shopping Center. The Prime Outlets at Gaffney has more than 80 designer outlet shops. Explore the specialty shops of Greenville’s Main Street, Augusta Road, West End Market and Historic District.
Twigs Florist specializes in loose European-style floral arrangements and offers lectures, lunches and hands-on workshops. Its special-event facility, Twigs Tempietto, has indoor and outdoor meeting/event space. The Carolina Foothills Artisan Center in Chesnee has arts education, galleries, educational seminars and workshops, and meeting space. Arts education is available from Upstate Visual Arts and the Greenville County Museum of Art.
The Children’s Garden encourages visitors to explore its flowers with all five senses. Other attractions include a Hansel and Gretel cottage, a secret garden and a textile garden. The Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery has children’s tours and activities such as the Young Archaeologist Adventure Scavenger Hunt. The 100-acre Hollywild Animal Park has feeding stations, a miniature steam locomotive and safari rides. The Roper Mountain Science Center has a planetarium, a hands-on children’s lab and a butterfly garden. The Greenville Zoo has children’s play areas as well as animals from all over the world.
The Westin Poinsett is a restored 1920s landmark that once hosted folks like Amelia Earhart and Cornelius Vanderbilt. The open-air Wyche Pavilion is a converted tobacco warehouse, one of the oldest commercial buildings in the city. The Greenville Cultural Exchange Center, a historic home museum focusing on the history of Greenville’s African-Americans, has meeting/banquet space. Falls Cottage, in the Reedy River Falls Historic Park, houses a restaurant and art gallery.
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In addition to one of the largest exposition facilities in the Southeast, Greenville has a vibrant downtown surrounded by performing arts venues, hotels, restaurants and shops. The city is halfway between Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta.
In the middle of downtown is an urban park with a 380-ft. pedestrian bridge over the Reedy River, restaurants and historic venues. Street parties and free concerts are weekly (almost daily) events from April through September. But at any time of year, Center City's Main Street corridor hums with more activity than you'd expect from a city this size.