Lucky for us, we've been located here for nearly 9 months now. So how do we feel about that? Let's take a closer look at Greenville, SC and the surrounding area.
First of all, where is Greenville? It's located in what South Carolinians call the "Upstate", vs. the more traditionally thought of "low country".
The Town: Greenville itself is a pretty active town. The activity of choice? Biking. In the past decade Greenville converted old railroad tracks leading from downtown to a northern suburb known as Travelers Rest into a 17 mile paved trail. This trail is known as the Swamp Rabbit Trail and it is a novelty to many of Greenville's population. The trail veers from Travelers Rest right past Furman University (FU), through some early 20th century industrial areas, and ends up smack in the middle of downtown at the Falls Park on the Reedy.
If paved trails aren't your thing, then a nearby state park will probably do the trick. Just four miles from downtown is a mountain biking hub named Paris Mountain State Park. At FNO we are located about half a mile from the summit of this small peak (just short of 2000'). Despite of the mountain's size, the 15 miles of MTB trails within the park make it a favorite destination for much of the city.
South of Greenville: I am doing this section first because there is relatively little to say about going south of town. About 1.5 hours south and you'll end up in Columbia. With a city catchphrase of "Famously Hot" posted all over town, Columbia doesn't come as a top choice for me. Unless your looking for some open hunting land there isn't much reason to be in the area between Greenville and Columbia.
East of Greenville: This area is about as exciting as going south, minus a toasty destination at the end of the drive. Unless you're looking for a buck (of the deer nature), you don't see much recreational travels out this direction minus the four hour drive to the Atlantic Ocean.
West of Greenville: This is where things start to get fun. Within an hour drive of downtown Greenville you can end up at some good-sized lakes that border South Carolina and Georgia. Clemson University is located on one of these lakes, known as Lake Hartwell. The odd thing about these lakes.-They're all man-made. They were nearly all created at the turn of the century by the Corp of Engineers. Even more odd is that when the water gets low like it has in the recent years, you have to worry about what is beneath the lake. Nearly a century ago small towns had to be evacuated in order to make room for these lakes which means that at low water levels there is a possibility of hitting of 19th century development. (Divers Find Hotel Under Lake Jocassee) That weirds me out a bit. Regardless these lakes make awesome recreation for boating, fishing, and hiking.
North of Greenville: To me this is the most exciting direction to go. Within about 30 minutes you can end up at three state parks that border the North Carolina line. Jones Gap State Park, Caesars Head State Park, and Table Rock State Park are all easily accessible from Greenville. These parks mark the beginning of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I have been to each of these parks a handful of times and they each offer something different given your tastes. Jones Gap is known for its great trout fishing and its waterfalls. Caesars Head is known for its great views and proximity to Raven Cliff Falls which is the tallest waterfall in the state. Table Rock is known for its challenging hiking and awesome, but sometimes deadly, rock outcroppings.