Living in Greenville, SC
Moving to Greenville, SC? You're in good company with the great people currently living in Greenville, South Carolina!
In 2020, South Carolina was the second most popular state to move to after Idaho. During the pandemic, nearly 16 million Americans moved, with many choosing South Carolina for retirement, work, and family. Why are so many people moving to this southern state? It's because people love living in South Carolina!
If you've been paying attention to some of the up-and-coming cities in South Carolina and even in the whole country, maybe you've heard about Greenville, SC.
Considered to be a nice, small city with friendly and outgoing people, Greenville has recently landed on the radar of a lot of individuals considering making a move. Within driving distance to both the beach and the mountains, as well as thriving downtown, this is a lovely spot to call home.
Are you thinking of moving to Greenville, SC? Let's dive in!
17 Things to Know Before Moving to Greenville, SC
1. Living in Greenville, SC Is Affordable
Greenville is one of the most affordable cities that you can live in the south that's also a truly nice place to live. With transportation and housing costing significantly less than other southern cities like Ashville and Atlanta, you can experience the joys of the south without it costing you an arm and a leg. The cost of living in Greenville, SC is a big part of the reason people are moving here.
Most times, you are faced with the decision to live somewhere cheaper but less interesting or somewhere more expensive that's culturally thriving. With Greenville, you don't have to make one of these compromises!
Need some outside affirmation about the Greenville cost of living?
Greenville was listed by Yahoo as one of the top ten "coolest cities with the lowest cost of living in the U.S." Honestly, does anything sound better than that? Not only do you not have to sacrifice your savings to live in a cultural center, but Greenville is legitimately cool and cheap. That's hard to beat.
2. You'll Be Able to Have Fun Outside All Year Long
It's hard to do any better than living in Greenville, SC when it comes to experiencing the great outdoors while still having access to important amenities. This city is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, waterfalls, rivers, and lakes. Your kids will be begging you to go hiking rather than begging for a little more screen time!
You can experience the great outdoors right in Greenville with the nearly 20 mile Swamp Rabbit Trail. Once an abandoned railway line, now this trail has more than 500,000 users every year. Perfect for walking, running, or biking, there have been proposals to expand the trail network to be even longer.
Right outside of town, you'll also be able to visit the Lake Conestee Nature Preserve. A gorgeous 400-acre wildlife preserve, you can find more than 200 bird species, bog walks, and paved trails here.
Paris Mountain State Park is located a bit north of Greenville, which offers dozens of campsites, kayak rentals, and miles of hiking and biking trails. This is a great spot if you're not looking to take a big trip but need to get away for a while.
To the west of Greenville, you can find the Jocassee Gorges Wilderness Area, which is more than 50,000 acres of lush, protected forestlands. Tucked away in pristine wilderness, you can go fishing, hunting, hiking, and birding in this incredible and pristine wilderness.
Frankly, there are too many nearby parks and wilderness areas to list here. You can rest assured that once you are living in Greenville, SC, you'll be able to book your weekends out to infinity by exploring new beautiful and natural areas of the south.
If you're relocating to Greenville, SC, you're only a short drive from nearly endless miles of mountain biking and hiking trails that you can explore. If you're feeling more adventurous, there are also great opportunities for kayaking, zip-lining, white water rafting, sailing, and even ice skating during the winter months. If you enjoy living outdoors then you'll enjoy living in Greenville!
3. There Are Tons of Things to Do in Greenville
Whether you want to have fun exploring Greenville culture during the day or after the sun sets, there is something to do for everyone!
The downtown is absolutely beautiful under the light of day, with amazing scenery such as the Liberty Bridge that overlooks Falls Park. At night, there is a lively nightlife scene with plenty of restaurants and bars that stay open late.
Every year, there are more than 300 events that happen downtown including sports events and festivals. You definitely won't get bored living in Greenville, SC!
Looking to compare Greenville to other cities in SC? Check out our list of the best places to live in South Carolina. We developed this resource for the people who are considering moving to South Carolina.
4. Every Year There Are Wonderful Festivals and Events
People from all around the country arrive in Greenville to attend the countless events and festivals that are held here. If you're moving to Greenville you will be able to experience these festivals and events in your own backyard - part of what makes the city such a great place to live, work and play!
From Artisphere, art, music, and culture festival, to the BMW Charity Pro-Am Golf Tournament, you can really find something for the whole family.
Check out the wonders of Greek culture with the Greenville Greek Festival or delve into the Greenville Chautauqua Festival that highlights the stories, events, inventions, and personalities that have helped form the US into the country it is today.
Do you love crafting? There's even a festival event for you! The Indie Craft Parade is a whole weekend of vendors selling handmade items.
There's a country music festival, tons of food festivals, a pumpkin festival, and even a craft beer festival. You won't run out of things to do in Greenville if you love the excitement of a good festival!
Do you want to know what's so great about the state of South Carolina? Check out our list of 12 reasons you're going to love living in SC!
5. The Weather Is Pretty Much Awesome Year Round
Located in the Piedmont region of the U.S., Greenville has a humid subtropical climate. You'll get to experience four distinct seasons here, but the weather is generally mild and enjoyable. The weather is a big reason people are choosing to move to Greenville, SC!
The summer in Greenville is hot and humid, with the average temperature sitting around 80 degrees. Roughly 43 days have highs above 90 degrees on average, and the growing season is typically 217 days long.
The winters in Greenville are cool, dry, and short. The average temperature in January during the day is 42.2 degrees. On average, 4.7 inches of snowfall and sleet and ice storms can occur during the winter. The driest month of the year is April, while the wettest month of the year is July.
There is more precipitation in the spring than in the fall, typically, but precipitation is largely evenly distributed year-round.
Greenville is a pretty sunny place, with 220 sunny days per year on average. For comparison, there are 205 sunny days on average in the US as a whole. When living in Greenville you'll surely enjoy the milder climate.
6. Greenville Is Located Close to a Lot of Other Fun Cities
Upstate South Carolina is located in a wonderful spot, letting you easily connect to a number of other cities and states in the region. Only a few hours away from the many beaches of the east coast and nearby to Asheville and a long list of adorable mountain towns, this is a great place to be in.
Asheville is only a little over an hour away from Greenville, which makes it a great day or weekend trip. While Asheville is an incredible mountain town that has a unique culture, all of its perks have made it a fairly expensive place to buy property in recent years. If you want to be able to enjoy the cultural scene of Asheville without spending nearly $300,000 for a 1000 square foot house, Greenville is a great place to be.
Halfway between two of the major urban hubs of the South, you can easily visit both Atlanta and Charlotte from Greenville. Other reasonable short trips to take include visiting Knoxville, Huntsville, Charleston, and Savannah.
Many of the folks who are being transferred for a job relocation end up living in Greenville even if they work in the cities nearby thanks to everything the city has to offer.
7. The Arts Are Alive and Well in Greenville
If you love all things creative, you'll be happy in Greenville. You can even experience the wonderful worlds of the arts while just walking around Greenville, where there is a diverse collection of public artwork.
You can download an app called the City of Greenville Public Art Walking Tour, which helps guide you to a long list of cool public artworks.
You'll also want to check out the Artist Guild Gallery of Greenville, which is a large gallery that features the artworks of over 20 regional and local artists and artisans. You'll be able to find jewelry, pottery, photography, sculpture, mixed media, watercolors, paintings, and more here.
The Greenville County Museum of Art is home to the world's largest public collection of Andrew Wyeth watercolors. It's also considered the premier American art museum in the entire South!
You'll also be able to find a big collection of works by Jasper Johns here, along with a respected Southern Collection of American art all the way from colonial times to the present.
The Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery is also worth a visit, with incredible pieces in their collection including some works by van Dyck, Rubens, Cranach, and Tintoretto.
If you're more into music than the visual arts, you'll find some places to explore as well. The Sigal Music Museum is an impressive collection of historically significant instruments as well as an amazing collection of sheet music, record albums, record albums, and more. This is part of the reason people are moving to Greenville, the culture extends far beyond that of most cities.
8. If You Love BBQ, You'll Be Happy Here
Greenville is famous for barbeque, and for good reason. Two Greenville restaurants are even featured on the "100-mile bbq" list, which lists restaurants that would be worth driving 100 miles for. These include Bucky's Bar-B-Q and Henry's Smokehouse.
Those are only two of the great bbq restaurants in the area, though. You'll also want to check out Mike & Jeff's BBQ, Sticky Fingers Rib House, Smoke on the Water, Moe's Original BBQ, and Mac's Speedway Shop.
9. The Economy Is Strong and the Future Looks Bright
Even though Greenville isn't a huge city, it has a higher concentration of corporate headquarters than any of the other cities in the region. With a skilled workforce, market accessibility, and low tax rates, this is a great city for commerce and economic interests.
In Greenville, you'll be able to find the headquarters of a number of fortune 500 and multinational companies like Lockheed, BMW, 3M, GE, and Michelin.
One report released by the U.S. Census Bureau listed Greenville as number four on a list of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. With surpluses in tax revenue and steady investment in infrastructure, it is expected that Greenville will be able to accommodate even more growth in the future.
Are you weighing out the pros and cons between South and North Carolina? If so, check out the 12 best places to live in NC. A lot of folks who are considering a move to Greenville also check out the neighbor to the north. No matter the Carolina of your choice, they are exploding with growth and a strong economic outlook!
10. The School Systems Are Excellent
If you are moving to Greenville, SC with school-aged children, you'll be happy to know that the school systems are considered to be some of the best in South Carolina.
The school system in Greenville is considered to be the state leader in school choice, with schools available in rural, suburban, and urban settings as well as magnet academies that offer studies in specialized areas like science and mathematics, the arts, communication arts, and languages.
This school system prides itself on having something for everyone. With a Fine Arts Center, Baccalaureate studies at all grade levels, gifted and talented programs, special education, and so much more, they really work to make it so the needs and abilities of all children can be met.
Greenville is also home to one of the top private liberal arts schools in the country, Furman University. You'll also find Clement University International Center for Automotive Research and North Greenville University here. If you're living in Greenville you'll notice the city has a strong commitment to academics and that is part of what is bringing people to the area.
11. Great Restaurants Live in Greenville
If BBQ isn't your thing, never fear. Considered to have one of the best food scenes in the south, every foodie will be happy with what they can find here.
There are over 100 restaurants within a mile radius in the downtown of the city, so you'll hardly get bored anytime soon. You can get great surf and turf at Larkin's on the River, or you can check out the Halls Chophouse on Main Street for a fine dining experience.
Ink N Ivy is a great place to get raw and fresh seafood, delicious cocktails, craft beer, and Angus steak. If you're looking for an incredible Mediterranean-style restaurant, you'll want to check out The Lazy Goat.
Looking for something a little more southern? Stroll over to Tupelo Honey, where you'll find a mixture of southern charm and creative ingredient combinations. For some more traditional southern fare, head over to Soby's New South Cuisine.
12. Falls Park Will Become Your New Favorite Spot
Considered to be the crown jewel of downtown, Falls Park is a 36-acre park filled with historic mill ruins, green spaces, and gardens. During the year, you can even find free Shakespeare play performances or movies to watch while enjoying the incredible weather and scenery.
Falls Park is a nature lover's paradise, but it's also so much more. Located in the Historic West End of downtown Greenville, Falls Park really is an oasis right in the heart of the city. People gather there to play, work, and enjoy and celebrate life. With a multi-use facility on-site, a long list of activities occurs here throughout the year for everyone to enjoy.
13. Living in Greenville, SC: Close to the Mountains and the Ocean
This is one of the best things about living in Greenville, SC. While there's so much to keep you occupied in the city that you might forget that you ever want to go elsewhere, it's always good to have the opportunity to get out of town and experience something new for a while.
When you live in Greenville, it's so easy to escape to either the mountains to the west or the ocean to the east. Greenville is located right among the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, meaning that your opportunities for hiking are only bounded by how far you want to drive to explore.
While it's a several-hour drive to the Atlantic coast, it's totally a doable weekend trip. You can also experience the beach closer to home by checking out one of the many lakes in the region.
Lake Jocassee, Pinnacle Lake, and Lake Placid are all nearby and great spots to take a dip. You can also check out Riley Moore Falls, Chau Ram County Park, South Cove Park, and Lake Lure to relax in the sun and let your worries melt away.
14. A Family-Friendly Environment Filled With Great People
Southern charm is alive and well in Greenville. Many out-of-towners are truly impressed by both the sophisticated and laidback atmosphere of the area.
Downtown, you'll find a mix of work-class business culture and local entrepreneurs. There is truly a beautiful vibe to the city and the vibe of the inhabitants are similarly as pleasant.
This really is a great place for families, too. You can find the Upstate Children's Museum in Greenville, which is a Smithsonian Affiliated museum. There's also the Fall for Greenville Festival, which is a family-oriented festival that's a ton of fun.
Moving to Greenville with a family can be tricky so be sure to connect with one of our top local experts for help in organizing your relocation!
15. You Can Experience a Number of Educational and Interesting Museums
There are more than just art museums in Greenville. You can also check out the Upcountry History Museum, which is operated by Furman University. Exploring the history, culture, and heritage of the South Carolina Upcountry is a great way to get to know the area better.
There's also the Roper Mountain Science Center, which has walking trails, an amphitheater, and a planetarium. With a water lily pond, butterfly garden, and a vegetable garden, this isn't technically a museum, but you'll want to check it out all the same!
You'll also find the American Legion War Museum, the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library, the Greenville Cultural Exchange Center, and so much more!
16. Greenville Real Estate Is Affordable
Usually, when you're looking into buying a home, you're faced with an impossible conundrum. Should you buy an expensive place in a desirable location, or an affordable one in a spot you aren't psyched about?
Greenville, SC is really on the up and up, but real estate is still generally affordable in this desirable location. With housing expenses that are 22% lower than the average in the US, you can find a home you're happy with without having to make as many financial sacrifices.
17. There Are a Number of Beautiful and Fascinating Historic Districts
There are seven historic districts in Greenville, where the architecture of a by-gone era has been preserved.
In Colonel Elias Earle Historic District, you'll find two of the earliest landmarks in the city. These are Whitehall and the Earle Town House.
In East Park Avenue Historic District, you'll find the oldest public park in the city, McPherson. This park provides a buffer between the downtown Central Business District and the neighborhood.
Prior to the Civil War, the first house in the area was built by a man named Pinckney. This was in what is now the Hampton-Pinckney Historic District, which was the first "trolley car" neighborhood in the city.
You can find bungalow-style 1920s homes in the Heritage Historic District, which is northwest of downtown Greenville.
The West End Historic District was settled as early as the 1830s, but the real boom in growth was in the 1850s. Located near the original campus of Furman University and the first train on the Greenville and Columbia Railroad, commercial and residential development grew during this era.
Other historic districts include Pettigru Historic District and Overbrook Historic District.
Moving to Greenville, SC: Is It the Right Move For You?
There are a lot of great reasons that make moving to Greenville, SC a viable option for many families and individuals. With great opportunities for outdoor adventure, lots of cultural events, a low cost of living, and so much more, it's no wonder this city has generated so much buzz in recent years.
If you're living in Greensville - you know exactly what we are talking about! Connect with one of our local real estate experts who can help assist you with your potential relocation to Greensville, South Carolina!
Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.