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Greenville, South Carolina. The BEST Small Town in America??

23 Views· 18 Jan 2022
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I've rarely been to a place that was as charming as Greenville, South Carolina.

Now I’ve been to a lot of big cities and small towns and everything in between. And I have to say, of all the places I’ve been, there are very few cities and regions that I would consider to be just about perfect. There are some places in Colorado and North Carolina that I like a lot. But none of them are quite like Greenville, South Carolina.

Actually, I might have to say that Greenville might be the best small town in the country right now. And I’m sure people in Greenville might be like - DAMMIT. Some YouTuber with a bunch of subs just told everyone about us. There goes the neighborhood.

Sorry Greenville peeps. But it’s true.

I visited Greenville during a southern road trip in late November of 2021. We’re going to take a drive of downtown Greenville in this video and talk about what’s good and if there’s anything bad about this place. We’ll even talk to someone who lives here to get his perspective on what it’s like here. It was a really nice morning when I took the drive. I think you’ll be quite impressed.

Greenville south carolina! Woo whee this place is special. Right now we’re in downtown Greenville and it’s early morning on a weekday. There’s no hustle and bustle here though. That’s because it’s not a big city. There’s only about 70,000 people here.

Greenville is located in what South Carolina people call the Upstate region. It’s the part of the state that touches the North Carolina and Georgia borders. The whole upstate region is a pretty neat place, actually. Everything from Spartanburg in the the east to Clemson in the west is one big newish safe neat region. The total population of upstate South Carolina is 1.3 million people. You could break the metro area up into three regions - Spartanburg, a neat college town that’s home to the University of South Carolina, the Clemson-Anderson metro area which is home to Clemson, and the Greenville metro area, which has more than 700,000 people.

Greenville has won a bunch of awards for being an awesome place to live. Forbes called it the south’s most tasteful town. Another publication called it the most underrated travel destination in the nation once. And Money Magazine called it one of the best places to live in the country. Yahoo, CNN and ME - we’re all saying it’s super cool here.

But Greenville’s growing fast. In fact, it might be growing TOO fast. That’s my opinion, because right now, it’s the perfect size. A few years back, it was in the top 5 for fastest growing cities as a percentage of its population. There’s a lot of room to grow, and Greenville has done a great job of managing it’s growth. Apparently.

The area used to be off the radar. But then BMW opened up a manufacturing center, and tire company Michelin did the same. That jump started a big growth phase, and other companies, jobs and people followed. Today, there’s a lot of growth here, and there’s even some tech companies moving into the region. Lockheed, 3M and GE also have a big presence.

With all that growth comes change. Locals might say Greenville is getting too crowded, and that the culture is changing. Greenville has managed to remain a very southern place, but it’s slowly becoming more posh and cosmopolitan. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it’s happening. People from outside the region are diluting the southern vibe here.

Cost of living wise, Greenville is a STEAL people. It’s far below the national average for a home- as of this writing the average home price is pushing $260,000, but it’s going up fast. South Carolina is in the top 5 for fastest growing states, as people come for the warm weather and low taxes. So for many people, they can experience the south without it costing a lot. And did I mention it’s at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains?

As we’ll see, downtown has a lot going on. There’s plenty of bars and restaurants and shopping. There’s also lots of artsy stuff, but it’s not posh artsy. Just regular artsy. There are events here all the time, too.

They have an ice skating rink downtown during the holidays.

The coolest part of downtown at night is Falls Park. There’s a river that runs through downtown and they made it look really cool. From the top of nearby rooftop hotels, you can see how cool Greenville really is. The whole region, actually. Upstate South Carolina people.

#southcarolina #moving
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