It’s been a while since I did a round up of my favorite places in Greenville, and now that I am looking at a month of back and forth up to my hometown, I’m reminded of all the reasons I love the Upstate of South Carolina. Fall is the best time in Greenville – being in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, it gets cooler much earlier than Charleston and the city actually gets fall weather complete with leaves changing and the opportunity to hang outdoors in jeans come September.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to stay at Hotel Domestique, my favorite boutique hotel in the area. Located just outside of Greenville (about 30 minutes from downtown), Hotel Domestique feels like a tiny part of Italy nestled in-between Greenville and Asheville.
The hotel was actually the first place I ever stayed when I learned that I was moving to Greenville. Formerly La Bastide, the property underwent a renovation under the ownership of cyclist and local George Hincapie. Now Hotel Domestique, the rooms are uber chic and minimal, the moody fountain outside the French doors ends with a mountain view and the menu at Restaurant 17 leaves me questioning how many courses is normal. If I can find an excuse to spend the weekend at Hotel Domestique, it never disappoints. Click here to book your stay and receive 10% off.
Running around in downtown Greenville between meetings and the store, my day starts with coffee either at the Village Grind (iced rose cardamom latte with oat milk) or Methodical Coffee at the Commons (Les Fleurs with oat milk, light on the syrup). There is no shortage of good coffee in Greenville, but these two are run by some pretty cool people and I’m equally addicted to both orders.
If I can squeeze it in, my favorite workout lies with Soul Yoga. Soul Sculpt is by far the most challenging class I have ever taken in any city. Set in a heated room, Sculpt combines yoga with weights, small spurts of circuit training, and really good music that is so loud you almost forget how much pain you’re in. I wish Sculpt could follow me everywhere. I’ve almost lost friends taking them there, but they always seem to come back. I hated my friend Sarah when she took me immediately after landing from a girls weekend in Mexico, but the addiction remains.
For lunch, it’s either Kuka Juice, Swamp Rabbit Grocery, Luna Rosa or Pomegranate on Main. I have had countless numbers of açaí bowls, but Kuka Juice still has the best. Their hot vegan meals are also very comforting and sometimes that what I feel like is missing from vegan food. Kuka Juice has paninis and soup of the day specials that are always just what I need for a fall lunch. Swamp Rabbit kills it with their Peach Rosemary smoothie, turkey sandwiches and OMG the vegan donuts. They are what dreams are made of, folks.
Luna Rosa has been my mom and I’s favorite for a long time. They have incredible sandwiches and the gelato is straight heaven, especially in the fall.
Pomegranate on Main has the perfect patio for a lunch outside, or I have it delivered to the store. During quarantine, they started delivering and it has changed my life while I’m in Greenville. I asked the manager James if he feels like a drug dealer when I’m in town and he replied, “Yes. A cranberry rice drug dealer.” I order the beef torsh kabob, sub cranberry rice. Sometimes a side of pesto hummus and veggies if I’m really hangry.
Stopping in to see my friends and fellow small business owners, I never miss kids store Vann and Liv or grabbing something for Gina at Paws and Claws. Jennifer at Augusta Twenty sees my face every time either because I’m dropping off a consignment piece for Les Fils, her online resale shop, or spending the money I made buying something new. Around the corner is Anne at Splash on Main with the swim store that has everything. Anne and I were born in the same small town in Georgia and grew up going to a bathing suit shop that she has now recreated in Greenville and I love going to see her. We Took to the Woods is a must, especially in the fall. Bob curates antiques all year round and combines them with his candle line that makes you feel like you just walked into some remote cabin that you never want to leave. I also usually find a reason to celebrate something with a small sweet potato cake from Brick Street.
My newest addition to the Greenville tour is Swordfish Cocktail Club. I met my friend Frances last time I was there, and I felt like I was in a moody bar in New York. From the logo to the menu to the decor, they really got it right. This will always be a stop for me when I visit. I’m also excited to try the new Exile cocktail bar this week.
For dinner, my rounds are made up of Northampton Wines, Jianna, Coastal Crust, or the Anchorage. Grabbing a bottle of Chianti and ordering the meatloaf (seasonal) at Northampton is the best end to the day. Usually if I’m meeting my friend Sarah for dinner, she doesn’t even have to ask where. Jianna is another favorite with great views of Greenville from the patio. Their house made pasta and oysters are great anytime of the year. If you have had Coastal Crust in Charleston, we also have one in Greenville. The menu is different, and I’m not saying it’s better…but I am saying that Charleston should get that chorizo pizza asap. And the Anchorage is a James Beard nominated restaurant with incredibly fresh and seasonal options with a minimal and perfect atmosphere. Then repeat.
Getting the store ready over these next few September weeks I’m looking forward to getting through my days, spending time with friends and falling for Greenville all over again.
Happy fall, friends.