Come play in Greenville!

Athletes, fans, families and friends make this fun South Carolina town a top goal for travel.

Whether you’re a participant or a spectator, Greenville, S.C., is the ideal destination to feed your hunger for sports. With just a two-hour drive up I-85, you can enjoy the city’s family-friendly sporting events, vibrant downtown and four-season climate.

On April 16-17, the USA Cycling Professional Criterium and Team Time Trial National Championships – also known as the Bikeville Classic – provides a top-notch series of races and events that beckon both riders and watchers.

“The Greenville community is starting to become a destination for cyclists, so it makes sense they’d want to hold some races here,” said Meredith Rigdon of Notus Sports, which plans and manages regional sporting events.

More than 500 riders representing more than 50 teams will participate in two signature events, Southern Connector Saturday (which will be followed by team time trials) and Sunday’s professional criterium race in downtown Greenville.

The Southern Connector ride provides a rare opportunity for cycling enthusiasts to ride on I-185 (which will be closed Saturday, April 16) before the professionals take to the same road for team time trials. Anyone can ride all or any part of the course, said Rigdon.

“There aren’t a lot of places you can do that as a regular human being – share a race course with a professional athlete,” she said.

The weekend highlight is Sunday’s criterium, with the start/finish line located near ONE City Plaza in downtown Greenville at the intersection of Coffee and Main streets. There will be amateur races in the morning and early afternoon before the pros take over for the men’s and women’s national championship races, where riders compete on a closed course for multiple laps.

“We’ll have eight tight turns and our downtown is hilly. It’s not a flat course at all,” said Rigdon. “It’ll be exciting for sure. It’s going to be a really cool weekend for Greenville.” (, @BVilleClassic)

Greenville’s revitalized West End is bustling with shops, restaurants and residential development. One of the pioneers of the area’s resurgence was the Greenville Drive baseball team; a Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox that plays at Fluor Field at the West End. A brisk walk from downtown, the 5,700-seat stadium also features its own version of Fenway Park’s “Green Monster” in Boston, a 30-foot-high wall with a manual scoreboard.

The Drive consistently draws full houses for its games, which begin the second weekend of April and continue through early September. In addition to baseball, Fluor Field offers attractions similar to other major and minor league parks. The weekends are full of events like Thirsty Thursdays, fireworks on Fridays and national acts, like the lovable inflatable mascots known as the Zooperstars, on Saturdays.

“For three or four hours, we have 5,000 people in the ballpark, and yes, it’s about baseball, but it’s also about what else is going on in the park,” says Drive General Manager Eric Jarinko. “We want to create a memorable experience so people will come back.”

Fluor Field, which opened in 2006, also features 18 hospitality suites, an open-air suite called the Upper Deck, a field-level suite and the 500 Club, a sports bar/restaurant down the right-field line. On the third-base side is the stadium’s family-friendly area, with a large playground. (, @GreenvilleDrive)

Sports fans can also track the fortunes of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits hockey team, which plays at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena from October to early April. The Swamp Rabbits compete in the East Coast Hockey League and are affiliated with the NHL’s New York Rangers (, @SwampRabbits). Hockey fans will want to put the 2016-2017 season on the calendar!


An exciting new event for Greenville this year, the inaugural Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse National Invitational Championships takes place May 4-7. The tournament will showcase teams from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics with games at Sirrine Stadium, located downtown at Cleveland Street and University Ridge. (, @NAIA_News)

On May 19-22, the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by Synnex Corp. will be held at Thornblade Club in nearby Greer, The Reserve at Lake Keowee and The Preserve at Verdae in Greenville. This tournament is the only stop on the PGA Tour, where amateurs and celebrities team up with professionals in a four-day better-ball competition. Players will rotate on the three courses for the first three days of the tournament. The final day will showcase the 10 lowest-scoring pro-amateur teams, the six lowest-scoring pro-celebrity teams and the lowest 65 pros battling it out at the Thornblade Club.

Past celebrity competitors include musicians Mark Bryan (Hootie and the Blowfish) and Ed Roland (Collective Soul) and actors Lucas Black (“NCIS: New Orleans”), Jeffrey Donovan (“Fargo” and “Burn Notice”) and Patrick Warburton (“Seinfeld”). (, @BMWCharityProAm)

College baseball fans will want to look in on the 33rd annual Southern Conference baseball tournament, set for May 24-29 at Fluor Field at the West End. Mercer defeated Samford in the 2015 championship game. Other competitors in the 2016 tournament include North Carolina-Greensboro, Wofford, VMI, Stanford, East Tennessee State, The Citadel, Western Carolina and Furman. (, @SoConSports)

Mad about plaid? You won’t want to miss the Scottish extravaganza known as Gallabrae scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.

The Great Scot! Parade is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, May 27 on Main Street in downtown Greenville, with the Scottish Games set for Saturday, May 28 at Furman University. There will be piping contests for music lovers and some rough-and-tough tossing, slinging and playing competitions for those who share the Scots’ fierce thirst for victory.

Also scheduled are a salute to the military forces of the United States and Scotland, Celtic music, Border Collie herding demonstrations, a car show featuring the best of classic cars from Great Britain, the Miss Greenville Scottish Games, and a Scottish happy hour and Celtic jam, among other activities. (, @GreenvilleGames)


There are plenty of hotels for an overnight stay in Greenville. Here are a few spots to consider:

The Westin Poinsett, Greenville — The AAA Four-Diamond property dates back to 1925. It’s in downtown Greenville, next to the Peace Center for the performing arts and less than a mile from Fluor Field.

120 S. Main St., Greenville, S.C., 29601

864-421-9700, @PoinsettHotel

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Downtown Greenville — A full-service facility that offers free parking, Holiday Inn Express is also close to the Peace Center and less than a mile’s walk from Falls Park on the Reedy, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate and the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

407 N. Main St., Greenville, S.C. 29601

864-678-8000, @HIExpress

Embassy Suites by Hilton Greenville Golf Resort & Conference Center — Minutes from downtown and complete with anything a visiting sports fan could want, including a championship golf course and four lighted tennis courts.

670 Verdae Blvd., Greenville, S.C. 29607

864-676-9090, @EmbassySuites

The Greenville Marriott — Located between the serenity of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the bustle of downtown Greenville it offers services for business and leisure travelers.

One Parkway East, Greenville, S.C. 29615

864-297-0300, @GVLMarriott

The Hampton Inn Greenville I-385 Woodruff Road — A short drive from downtown and Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

15 Park Woodruff Drive, Greenville, S.C. 29607

864-213-8200, @HamptonByHilton

Sleep Inn at TD Convention Center — Approximately 3 miles from the Peace Center and Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

231 North Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville, S.C. 29607

864-240-2006, @ChoiceHotels


Downtown Greenville is about a two-hour drive on I-85 North from Atlanta

Be sure to stop by our VisitGreenvilleSC Visitor Center

City Hall Office Bldg., 1st Floor

206 S. Main St., Greenville, SC 29601

Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m., weekdays; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays; noon-4 p.m. Sundays

800-717-0023, @Greenville_SC