2011 – When I was visiting my brother near Columbia, SC, he told me that Greenville was his all-time favorite downtown area. He has visited and lived in a good number of cities and said he had never seen a better job of downtown revitalization so I had to check this out.
Strolling the shady, tree lined streets, I could easily agree with his assessment. There are lots of places to stop and rest, eat, drink, snack and enjoy people watching between stopping in to the neat shops all along the way.
“Art in Public Places” is another feature of downtown and other areas throughout Greenville. Statues of notable founders and figures significant to Greenville are all around.
I enjoyed another stop in to Mast General Store (established 1883). I was first introduced to this great emporium during my tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway in 2007. Try not to go through here without drooling over the candies-by-the-barrel. I had a good time shopping here for little gifts to send home to the kids.
The art that I enjoyed the most, though, were the bronze mice placed along a 9 block stretch of Main Street. “Mice on Main” was the brainchild of one of Greenville’s high school students. Based on the book “Goodnight Moon” the 9 mice are part of a scavenger hunt that is fun for kids of all ages. The first one (Marvin) is on the fountain at the Hyatt Hotel by the book.
Of course I had to see how many I could find and I picked up a free Hint Sheet at Mast General Store and wound up finding 6 of them. Here I am with Melissa, found by the health food store.
Mary Beth’s at McBee Station – Another tip my brother gave me was to get breakfast at Mary Beth’s. It’s not right on Main Street, but it’s worth the extra few blocks east to get there on McBee Ave. He recommended the scrambled eggs with scallions and cream cheese and that sounded like a winner to me, but I absolutely could not believe how good these eggs are! It was so good, I actually went there twice to get the same thing. I tried to talk myself into something else, but I couldn’t help it – the memory was just too strong and I just had to see if lightning could strike twice and they could be that good again. They were! I talked to one of the owners, Andy, when I went back and he told me that recently US Airways magazine voted them “Best Breakfast” in a section they did about Greenville “Best Bites.” They recommended the fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes or lump-crab eggs Benedict with a side of crisp-applewood-smoked bacon. Me – I’m sticking with the scrambled eggs with scallions and cream cheese!