Candy barrels: Mast General Store on Main Street is filled with old fashioned penny candy barrels sitting atop wooden floors that actually creak as you walk on them.
Published: October 2, 2017
By: Cindy Richards
The first stop on any family visit to Greenville has to be Falls Park. Falls Park is home to the rushing waterfall that now serves as the centerpiece of Greenville. However, this wasn’t always the case. Local waterways had been polluted by textile mills and were eventually covered by a highway. Efforts made by the local gardening club and Mayor Knox White successfully worked to save the Reedy River and its waterfall. Now Falls Park, this waterfall and the surrounding area are a shining example of urban reclamation and political vision.
The best view of the waterfall is from the 345-foot Liberty Bridge. This curved bridge is held in the air by a single suspension cable. I was so taken with the beauty of the falls as we wandered along that I wasn’t thinking that a suspension bridge is, um, suspended. When a group of runners pounded past, the bridge flexed. I immediately screeched and grabbed for the railing as my husband looked on and chuckled. Fortunately, the bridge held, and I recovered my dignity in time to not screech when the next group came rumbling past.
Rent bikes at Reedy Rides, and hit the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. It’s a 19.9-mile multi-use urban trail that runs alongside the Reedy River. It’s a flat trail and an easy ride, even for little legs. Back in town, take the kids for a treat. You can head to Mast General Store, which is filled with old fashioned penny candy barrels sitting atop wooden floors that actually creak as you walk on them. Or, if you prefer a savory treat, stop in at Poppington’s Popcorn, and sample some of their incredible gourmet popcorn flavors. Birthday cake popcorn, anyone?
Head down Main Street to Grill Marks for lunch. The burgers and accompanying fries are some of the best I’ve ever eaten. The restaurant also serves “adult” milkshakes. Yeah. Those were pretty good too. Hey—we had just biked the Swamp River Trail, so we deserved it. You will want to come hungry, as the portions are very generous. You can work off lunch by enjoying the more than 70 pieces of public art, including some cute little bronzed mice that are hidden in plain sight, as you stroll down Main Street.
For a more educational endeavor, head to Heritage Green. This urban arts and cultural campus is home to the Upcountry History Museum, Children’s Museum of the Upstate, Greenville County Museum of Art, and Bob Jones Museum and Gallery. The children’s museum alone is likely to keep the kids busy for several hours.
If you happen to be visiting on the second Saturday of the month (and I recommend planning your trip so you do!), don’t miss a stop at Roper Mountain Science Center. The majority of the time, it’s open only to lucky Greenville students. However, on the second Saturday of the month, Roper Mountain offers science programs to the public. The planetarium is open for star gazing on Friday night, as well.