Greenville SC downtown

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 41
Demographics 47
Economy 53
Education 69
Health 61
Housing 49
Infrastructure 40

#79. Greenville, SC

Pretty as a postcard, Greenville, SC is a friendly and diverse city in South Carolina that has a walkable downtown, lots of green space and a scenic waterfall burbling in a downtown park. It’s also an affordable city that’s located along the growing I-85 corridor, and there’s an abundance of high-skilled, high-paying jobs here, as well as an impressive network of support for entrepreneurs. 

Top Colleges/Universities: Clemson University & Greenville Technical College

Top Industries & Employers: Over the past few decades, Greenville has transformed from the textile capital of the world to a destination with a diverse, tech-driven economy with growth in auto production, aerospace and bioscience fields, to name just a few. Prisma Health, Greenville County Schools and Michelin North America are Greenville’s largest employers and global companies like Lockheed Martin, TD Bank and Michelin North America have a presence in the region. 

Weekend Plans: Discover Greenville’s history with a self-guided tour of 13 African-American cultural sites in the greater Greenville area with a guide curated by the South Carolina African-American Heritage Commission. Sports fans can cheer on Greenville’s minor league baseball team, Greenville Drive, or the region’s professional hockey team, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Or, in nearby Clemson, stroll through the South Carolina Botanical Garden, a 295-acre oasis of gardens, trails and sculptures. 

Favorite Place to Feast: For a decadent weekend treat, head to Duck Donuts, which serves doughnut breakfast sandwiches. 

Beloved Beverage: The dealer’s choice cocktail at Vault & Vator, a handsome speakeasy where cellphones are prohibited. You pick two words (floral, fizzy, smoky, spicy, herbal…) from a menu that describes the kind of drinks you like, and the skilled cocktail artisans will tailor a drink to your taste. 

Outdoorsy Activity: Explore waterfalls! You don’t have to venture far: Falls Park on the Reedy, a scenic downtown park with colorful gardens and home to the Upstate Shakespeare Festival. The park’s centerpiece, a 28-foot waterfall, was once hidden under a bridge. Discover 50 more falls that are tucked away in the Blue Ridge Escarpment.

Rooftop Bar: Catch views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Reedy River from UP on the Roof, which serves creative drinks, like the Reedy Peach vodka cocktail, as well as seasonal small plates and brunch.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Dog Culture Doggie Day Care and Social Hub will pick your dog up in a green grass caravan. The daycare has cams so you can watch your dog play in water features, make new friends and work puzzles.

Remote Work Perk: Take breaks with a walk or bike ride along the 22-mile Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail.

One More Thing … Nine bronze mice sculptures are spread out on Main Street, making a fun scavenger hunt. (You can find hints here).

– Brittany Anas

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