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What small town recently won the “Great American Main Street Award” from the National Trust for Historic Preservation? I visited it last week….yes it’s picturesque Greenville, located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in northwestern South Carolina. This charming Southern town vibrates with energy and Southern charm.  I strolled up Main Street past fountains and historic statues and discovered crashing waterfalls, concert halls, art galleries, warm hospitality and tempting restaurants.

Maple and oak trees form a leafy canopy over North Main Street, which is lined with small stores, coffee shops, eateries, the Performing Arts Center and at the end of the street is the crown jewel; the historic, elegant, Four Diamond,  Poinsett Hotel.  A half block from the hotel you’ll find Liberty Bridge and a park with waterfalls! Yes! That’s right, waterfalls right in the middle of town.

High Cotton, an upscale seafood and Southern cuisine is perched above the falls. (Perhaps you’ve dined at High Cotton, the famous sister restaurant in Charleston). Too bad I wasn’t in town for the Sunday Brunch to listen to live Jazz and watch people promenade through Falls Park and the Reedy River splash over the rocks and cascade below the windows. Oh well, next time.  My next time should be May-October when there is a Shakespeare Festival in the park.

For New Orleans BBQ shrimp or green fried tomatoes dine at Soby’s with New South Cuisine, housed in a renovated 1884 bicycle shop. Save room for the sinful white chocolate banana cream pie.

The crown jewel of the downtown area is Falls Park, with a long suspension bridge, gardens and 60′ waterfall.

Next blog: Where can you visit the largest single collection of Andrew Wyeth and Jackson Pollack paintings?