Nationally recognized as one of America’s best cities, Greenville’s unique blend of urban living, southern hospitality and natural beauty draws people from across the globe – from foodies and thespians to sports fans and musicians.
Small town charm. Big city opportunities.
Spend a few days strolling along Main Street, soaking up the sights and sounds of downtown, the surrounding Mill villages-turned-cool neighborhoods, and it’s easy to see why people want to live and learn in Greenville.
The South’s Most ‘Tasteful’ Small Towns
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Arts & Culture
Greenville is a haven for the creative type. Start with the city’s music scene. The Greenville Symphony Orchestra attracts renowned performers like Yo-Yo Ma, and several of Furman’s music faculty are members of the orchestra. But if you prefer something outside the classical genre, Grammy-winning artists like Paul McCartney and Willie Nelson take the stage at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
For a taste of theatre, the 2,100-seat Peace Center is the perfect place to catch a Broadway show on tour, such as Hamilton, The Lion King or Wicked. Greenville Theatre and Centre Stage put on contemporary dramas, musicals, mysteries, comedies and histories, and the Alchemy Comedy Theater spotlights local comedians with improv shows at Coffee Underground Theater.
In the mood for art? Get in some reflection time at the Greenville County Museum of Art, or get a glimpse of local artists at Greenville Center for Creative Arts or the Artists Guild. While wandering along Main Street, watch out for the mice –Mice on Main, that is. The Mice on Main are nine tiny statues that make up what may be the most iconic of Greenville’s 90-plus public art pieces.
With over 300 events each year, Greenville’s downtown is constantly buzzing with activity. Saturday mornings from May through October bring nearly 100 hundred local vendors and musicians to scenic main street. Artisphere and euphoria also take place downtown and bring with them the finest culinary, visual and performing arts in the nation.
Dining around Town
Our campus is just six miles from the heart of downtown, where Greenville’s Main Street is lined with a range of Southern cuisine, tastes from the Carolina coast and a variety of ethnic flavors. Passerelle Bistro serves French-inspired cuisine with patio style seating overlooking the award-winning Falls Park. The menu changes seasonally but often features ratatouille, mussels or their scrumptious bistro burger. Looking for something lighter? Try a smoothie or fruit bowl from Southern Pressed Juicery. You can also enjoy cold-pressed juice, vegan sushi and a number of superfood salads. If you’d like something with a more southern flavor, you may want to try Nosedive, located next to the Westin Hotel in downtown Greenville. There, you can sample chicken and waffles for a sweet and savory combination or go straight for dessert and order a candied bacon brownie.
There’s also , which sits on the banks of the Reedy River and along the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville. The once abandoned row of warehouses is now a space where local business and restaurants grow and community gathers, all thanks to alumnus and his two partners. And don’t forget to grab a bite at Gather GVL. It’s an outdoor food hall that has something for everyone, whether you’re in the mood for a lobster BLT or Miami street food. The possibilities are endless and delicious.
Outside of downtown, there are plenty of options in Travelers Rest. Grab a creative coffee or a sweet or savory crepe at . Better yet, order one of each. Trust us. Or give a taste. The bakery is a venture by Furman graduate Cheryl (Boles) Kraus ’09 and her husband, Steve, and all the deliciousness is baked on the premises. Upcountry Provisions is also known for its peanut butter cookies.
Looking for unforgettable queso? Head to Farmhouse Tacos to get your fill of Mexican cuisine made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Sidewall Pizza Company is a must if you’re craving wood-fired pizza. Be sure to save some room for a scoop of their homemade ice cream. It’s churned daily with local dairy milk or vegan coconut milk.
Outdoors & Recreation
From the Blue Ridge Mountains in the upstate to the beaches along the coastline, South Carolina is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Want to explore it? Our campus is the perfect starting point. At Furman, you’re a short distance from world-class rapids, biking and hiking trails and some of the best state parks in South Carolina and North Carolina.
- Caesars Head: Named for the rock formation at the top of the mountain, Caesars Head is a great place to hike or simply gaze over the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. One of the most popular trails in the park, Raven Cliff Falls trail, leads hikers to a suspension bridge with spectacular views of the falls.
- Devil’s Fork: Don’t let the name deter you. Devils Fork is home to heavenly trails, waterfalls and lakeside villas. It offers the only public access point to Lake Jocassee.
- Kings Mountain: Be sure to visit this park in November when a living history demonstration is held in the park’s replica of an 1800s farm. No matter what time of year, you can enjoy the park’s hiking and nature trails.
- Paris Mountain: Less than five minutes from campus, Paris Mountain is a popular destination for our students. The park offers swimming, paddle boat rentals, biking, camping, fishing, bird watching, and more.
- Swamp Rabbit Trail: One of Greenville’s most popular attractions is the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail. The 22-mile walking and biking trail is accessible from the Furman campus.
- Table Rock: Got seven hours to kill? Hike to the top of Table Rock. At 3,124 feet, Table Rock offers views from one of the highest points in South Carolina.
- Chattooga River: One of the Upstate’s unwritten rules is that you can’t leave without taking at least one whitewater rafting trip. The Chattooga is less than two hours from Furman, making it a great weekend trip for whitewater rafting.
- Green River: Winding through the Blue Ridge Mountains is Green River. This river features some of the best fly fishing as well as Class IV rapids. Those of you who prefer a float over a kayak will be happy to know that lower class rapids are also available to enjoy the scenery.
- Lake Jocassee: A fisherman’s paradise, Lake Jocassee offers fishing for brown trout, rainbow trout, white bass, small-mouth bass, large-mouth bass, bluegill and black crappie. The lake’s water is also unusually clear, making it the perfect spot for scuba divers and snorkelers.
- Lake Keowee: A quick car ride from Furman will land you at one of South Carolina’s most beautiful lakes. Known for its clean, emerald-green waters, the lake is perfect for fishing, boating and waterskiing as well as camping.
- Saluda River: South Carolina’s first designated scenic river, the Saluda River runs through Jones Gap and offers some of the best trout fishing in the state.
- Falls Park on the Reedy: Snap a photo on the stunning Liberty Bridge in the 32-acre Falls Park, which is ranked #7 in USA Today’s Best City Parks along with Golden Gate Park and Central Park. The park also includes outdoor amphitheaters that showcase a variety of performances, from concerts to the summer series of Shakespeare in the Park.
- Fluor Field: Snag a foul ball at a Greenville Drive baseball game at Fluor Field located in Greenville’s iconic West End. The ballpark’s design pays tribute to the historic Fenway Park and includes its own 30-foot high replica of the “Green Monster” and “Pesky’s Pole” in right field.
- Greenville Zoo: A trip to the never disappoints. Just minutes from the heart of downtown, the zoo offers 14 acres of open-air exhibits that are home to some of the cutest little (and big!) critters this side of the Mississippi.
- Hampton Station: What was once an old cotton warehouse has now become a Greenville favorite. Hampton Station combines outdoor games and green space with local restaurants and businesses to create a social hub that is uniquely Greenville.
- Lake Conestee Nature Preserve: Encompassing 400 acres, the preserve features 14 miles of trails that wind through hardwood and evergreen forest and extensive wetlands. Forty interpretive signs guide visitors throughout the park.
Greenville is fast-paced, yet still charming. Recognized as one of the top 50 cities in the US to start a business, Fortune 500 companies and rapidly growing start-ups continue to flock to the area.
Furman’s relationships with local companies and organizations – through our career center, four institutes and engaged alumni – allow students unique access to internship, research and career opportunities in a variety of sectors. Large corporations like BMW, Fluor, General Electric and Michelin lead the way in hiring new Furman graduates. In fact, Greenville has the highest foreign manufacturing investment per capita in the nation. And Greenville’s proximity to Atlanta and Charlotte adds both to its economic development and engagement with the world.
Also, Furman’s institutes and their partnerships with local and national leaders provide students unparalleled access to research, internship and career opportunities.
The Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities brings together students, environmental scientists and economists, urban planners and policy experts, faculty, community members, sustainability visionaries and elected officials to collaboratively pursue, promote and develop sustainable communities.
In collaboration with local organizations, the Institute for the Advancement of Community Health connects students with engaged learning opportunities that will prepare them for careers in community health.
The Hill Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship connects students who are aspiring entrepreneurs with civic, corporate and academic institutions to accelerate the development of ventures.
The Riley Institute sharpens students’ leadership abilities and broadens their perspective on issues critical to progress in South Carolina and beyond through sustained, meaningful experiences that link classroom learning to real-world experience.
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