10 things to do in downtown Greenville under ten bucks

Greenville’s vibrant, tree-lined Main Street is becoming a popular tourist destination, moreso with each passing year. Home to a gorgeous waterfall, over 100 unique restaurants, art galleries, theaters, small museums, coffeehouses, and boutique shops, visitors from all over the Southeast come to enjoy the quaint setting and abundance of local activities.

Unfortunately, the increased popularity means that the area is getting more expensive. Many of the restaurants, attractions, and boutique shops are quite pricey, and honestly, not a great value. Fortunately, if you are looking to enjoy the downtown on a budget, there is still plenty of fun to be had. Here are 10 great things to do for under 10 bucks.

1. Treat yourself to a wonderful espresso at Methodical Coffee

Mocha and Americano at Methodical Coffee in Greenville, South Carolina

Downtown Greenville is home to a number of great independent coffee houses. It’s great to support local businesses, and in return, enjoy a higher quality product, along with an eclectic local vibe. Methodical, the best coffee shop in Greenville, opened its’ doors in 2015 with a line outside the door all day. To this day, it continues to draw repeat visitors, as well as acclaim from various travel and coffee publications.

Methodical specializes in single origin and pour over coffee. The coffee of the day is always perfectly smooth and delicious. Hands down, they serve the best Americano and mocha in town. If you do not mind shelling out a few bucks, try a Siphon Coffee. This brewing method produces the smoothest, most flavorful cup. The presentation of the drinks in beautiful Blue Willow china definitely sets this coffeehouse experience apart from others in town.

If you are seeking a great place for an afternoon date, Methodical is definitely a worthy contender. The 2 story layout with big windows overlooking the downtown creates a romantic ambiance not found at other coffee shops in the area. While the coffee here is quite expensive ($3-4 for a basic drip), it’s well worth the splurge for a cup of the best coffee in town.

Estimated cost: $3-6 (From a basic drip at 3 bucks to a Siphon at 6).

Location: 101 N. Main Street

2. Treat yourself to a unique steamed bagel at Sully’s

Veggie steamed bagel at Sully's Steamers in downtown Greenville, South Carolina

Sully’s Steamers is the place to go if you want to try something new, and definitely the best quick breakfast option downtown. They offer dozens of flavorful bagel sandwiches, including options to please both carnivores and vegetarians. Whether topped with scrambled eggs, hummus, or loads of meat, there is a bagel here for just about anyone.

The unique aspect of Sully’s is that these are no ordinary bagels, but rather steamed bagels. When you steam a bagel, it turns into a big gooey mess, albeit a very tasty one! Fortunately, the tables are stocked with a full container of napkins! If you are not a fan of tearing your teeth into a hard bagel, you will likely be a fan of these super soft, yet super messy treats.

As an added bonus, they serve Methodical coffee, so if you are in a hurry you can save yourself the extra coffee run.

Estimated cost: $6-9 per bagel sandwich (extra buck for GF), another $2-3 if you order coffee.

Location: 6 E. Washington Street

3. Lace up your skates and hit the rink

Ice on Main in downtown Greenville, South Carolina

Each holiday season, a real ice rink comes to downtown Greenville. As soon as Thanksgiving rolls around, this rink sees consistent business, being that it is the premier holiday attraction in the Upstate. Really, nothing says Christmas is around the corner quite like ice skating under twinkling lights. As this is the only real outdoor rink in the state, the excitement is really in the air as everyone loves a traditional winter activity.

With Christmas lights in the background and holiday tunes adding a cheerful ambiance, ice skating on Main is definitely the best way to get into the holiday spirit. If your visit falls during the months of November-January, you will definitely want to add an ice skating session to your itinerary. Ice skating is affordable, fun, and a great way to burn extra calories!

Estimated cost: $10 ($5 if you bring your own skates). Additionally, a number of discount days are offered throughout the year.

Location: 206 S. Main Street

4. See where “Shoeless Joe Jackson” lived & then catch a game at Fluor Field

Memorabilia at the Shoeless Joe Jackson museum in Greenville, South Carolina

Hey, baseball fans – did you know that Shoeless Joe Jackson’s childhood home is located in Greenville, and has since been turned into a memorabilia museum? Shoeless Joe is most known for the Chicago Black Sox scandal of 1919. If you are unfamiliar with baseball, the scandal involved several members of the Chicago White Sox being accused of purposely losing to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for money.

Today, you can take free tours of Joe’s Greenville home (which was physically moved from its’ original location and transported to its’ current location across from the field). It’s completely free to tour the home and there are lots of nostalgic pieces to browse through. Field of Dreams fan will also want to check this museum out!

Right across the street is Fluor Filed, home to the Greenville Drive, a class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Games start at just 5 bucks and even if you are not a huge baseball fan it’s a great way to get outside for a bit and enjoy the mild spring weather.

Estimated cost: $5-8 per game ticket, free museum entrance.

Location: 356 Field Street

Greenville Drive tickets

5. Shop for local produce & goods at the TD Saturday Market

Saturday market in downtown Greenville, South Carolina

One of the premier events in downtown Greenville is the summer/fall farmer’s market, held on Saturday mornings (8-noon) from May-October. Here, you can sample all sorts of local goods, as well as pick up freshly baked breads, pastries, seasonal fruits and veggies, and even raw milk products. Most products are fairly priced, and some cheaper than that which you would find at a supermarket.

Overall, it’s a nice way to get out in the cooler morning hours of the hot summer season, while also getting in a little workout and enjoying the fresh air and lively setting. Be sure to try out some delicious stecca bread from the Swamp Rabbit Cafe.

Estimated cost: Varies (although you can walk away with a nice assortment of goods for under 10 bucks).

Location: Main Street

TD Saturday Market vendor map

6. Pick up a fresh coffee to go at and take a stroll around Falls Park

Falls Park in downtown Greenville, South Carolina

Falls Park on the Reedy, a quaint 32 acre oasis in the city featuring a gorgeous waterfall, is the centerpiece of downtown Greenville. So many tourists are drawn to this beautiful urban oasis, with many repeat visitors claiming this park as the main reason they return to Greenville time and time again. Take a walk across Liberty Bridge to get a really great view of the falls or opt for a peaceful stroll along the tree-lined trails.

Reedy River Falls in downtown Greenville, South Carolina

Before your walk stop by a nearby coffeeshop (Spill the Beans, Joel’s Java, Old Europe) for a fresh cup of coffee to-go. Or, if you prefer, take a seat by the window at Spill the Beans and enjoy lovely views of the waterfall. This tourist favorite is well known for their gelato and specialty coffee drinks. Other options nearby including Old Europe which specializes in decadent pastries and Joel’s Java, an affordable choice located inside the Westin Poinsett hotel.

A beautiful mild morning, a walk around a peaceful park, and a great cup of coffee – there really is no better way to spend a morning in Greenville!

Estimated cost: $3-6 for your drink of choice and a few extra bucks for a pastry

Location: 601 S. Main Street

7. Stroll around the Mast General Store and pick up a local southern specialty

Mast General Store in Greenville, South Carolina

Mast General Store is a wonderful old-fashioned shop with several locations throughout the Carolinas. The store is packed with people all year-round due to the abundance of specialty goods jam packed into the small space. Here you will find outdoor gear, nostalgic toys and games, books, Southern style food and gift sets, beautiful seasonal decor around the holidays, as well as an old-time candy counter.

Treat yourself to a homemade jar of jam, fresh locally made honey, or a package of Southern style grits. You will also find lots of cute souvenirs and general knick knacks for the house too. They have a huge candy department with all the old-time favorites on the lineup like A & W rootbeer barrels, NECCO wafers, and candy necklaces to name just a few.

Overall, it’s a fun place to browse around, whether or not you plan on buying anything. Although, it’s hard to get out of here without at least one treat or cute little knick knack for your house.

Estimated cost: Varies, although there are plenty of treats and cute knick knacks priced under 10 bucks!

Location: 111 N. Main Street

8. Enjoy a savory crepe at Bonjour, followed by a stroll around the Greenville County Museum of Art

Roland Poska exhibit at the Greenville County Museum of Art

The Greenville County Museum of Art, although quite small, is impressive enough to warrant a visit. Featuring the largest collection of watercolors by renowned artist Andrew Wyeth and rotating special exhibits throughout the year, this little gem is a must-see for any art lovers visiting the area. Admission is free and parking just a buck or so.

Before your visit, treat yourself to a wonderful crepe at Bonjour, a quaint French bistro specializing in both savory and sweet crepes. If you are seeking something savory, opt for the spinach, mushroom, and cheese crepe. On the other hand, if you are in a mood for something sweet, you cannot go wrong with the Main St Crepe, featuring Almond Cream Cheese mousse.

Update: Unfortunately, Bonjour has raised their prices dramatically! Most crepes are now priced at $15! The Crepe Sucre (basic sugar crepe) and Crepe Citron (fresh squeezed lemon, sugar, and butter) are still priced under 10 bucks. Due to the insane pricing, I recommend heading over to Biscuit Head instead. This local favorite serves giant biscuits, with a self-serve jam bar or gravy flights available!

Bananas Foster crepe at Crepe du Jour in downtown Greenville, South Carolina
The Bananas Foster crepe is a must try for anyone with a sweet tooth!

Estimated cost: Free-$1 for museum parking, $8.50-9 per crepe

Location: 20 S. Main (Bonjour), 420 College St (Museum of Art)

9. Treat yourself to a Southern style biscuit and then take a healthy ride along the Swamp Rabbit trail

The Swamp Rabbit bike trail in Greenville,South Carolina

The Swamp Rabbit trail is the premiere recreational attraction within the Greenville city limits. The 22 mile long paved path is shared amongst runners, dog walkers, rollerbladers, and cyclists. There is a nice section of the path which begins near Cleveland Park in downtown Greenville. The trail connects various city attractions such as the Greenville Zoo.

Before your ride, treat yourself to a Southern style biscuit and gravy (or mix and match local jams at the self service bar) at Biscuit Head, a local’s favorite for a quick, tasty, and affordable breakfast. They offer an excellent Half Breakfast deal where you get 2 eggs, a side, and a huge biscuit for just 6 bucks. Not a bad way to fuel up before your ride!

Biscuits and gravy at Biscuit Head in Greenville, South Carolina

Estimated cost: $6 for breakfast at Biscuit Head. Tip: Bring your own bike if your traveling via a road trip to save on the insane bike rental fees. If you need a rental, Reedy Rides is the best option downtown.

Location: 823 S. Church St (Biscuit Head), Cleveland Park Dr & East Washington (Cleveland Park SRT)

10. Relax with a refreshing cup of tea at Crafty Cats

Update: Crafty cats closed in 2022. However, they plan to reopen in a new location.

Blooming Tea at Crafty Cats in Greenville, SC

Crafty Cats is a unique tea/coffee/craft brewery on the quieter West end of Main Street. This place really did a great job decorating their space. The adorable cat themed decor really sets it apart from most other coffeeshops in the region. The vibe is super relaxed being that it is located far away from the main touristy section of downtown. A tea bar, coffee, specialty espresso drinks, and a variety of food items are available.

The highlight here is the blooming tea which is served in a beautiful glass teapot. It’s fun to watch the tea open up as you wait for it to brew. The cute tea cups are an extra bonus. Overall, a great place to take a relaxing break away from the action!

Cat themed cafe in Greenville, South Carolina

Estimated cost: $6 for a pot of Blooming Tea, $4-5 for specialty drinks

Location: 1021 S. Main Street

A few more budget friendly tips for visiting downtown Greenville

Budget friendly lodging: Most hotels downtown are quite pricey. Embassy Suites typically offers lower rates than other comparable hotels in the vicinity and also offers a great free breakfast and complimentary happy hour. Book your room in advance and plan your visit on a weekday if possible.

Budget friendly dining: Affordable and tasty breakfast options downtown include Sully’ Steamers (delicious bagels) and Biscuit Head (best biscuits in town). Affordable lunch options include Handi Indian (wonderful lunch buffet for just 10 bucks), Greektown Grill (great lunch pita wrap specials) and Roost (delicious soup and salad lunch buffet for just 16 bucks). The best cheap coffee shop is Joel’s Java inside the Westin Poinsett (under 2 bucks for a small cup).

Free parking: Free parking is available on most side streets for a 2 hour max. Additionally, the Richardson Street garage (66 Richardson St) is free on weekends. This garage is centrally located to most attractions and dining.