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America’s Best Small Cities Under One Million People

Compact, historic and open for business, Greenville is capturing the imagination of investors and travel media equally.

This compact city nestled up against the Blue Ridge Mountains has received a flurry of accolades in recent years, including a Top 5 placing in 2017 in Conde Nast Traveler’s “The Best Small Cities in America” as well as a Forbes Top 20 placing for Best City for Young Professionals.

The takeaway: this city is doing a lot of things right and its Top 10 ranking in our Product category proves Greenville has invested well in its institutions and attractions.

From the Bob Jones Museum and Gallery, one of America’s finest collections of paintings from Italian masters like Giotto di Bondone, to the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library that allows visitors into the home where the baseball legend lived and died, Greenville’s cultural credentials earn it a #9 ranking in the Museums subcategory.

The Gorge Zipline Canopy Tour and the Blue Ridge Escarpment are some of the local attractions easily accessible from Greenville. While Falls Park on the Reedy is a lovely landscaped area in the center of this city of 70,000, the artfully cantilevered Liberty Bridge next door is an equally impressive destination—a pedestrian walkway above the falls (named in honor of the now disbanded Liberty Corporation, a media company originally based Greenville.) The city ranks an impressive #13 for Attractions.

The TD Convention Center, with 280,000 square feet of exhibit space and 60,000 square feet of meeting space, is minutes from the Greenville Downtown Airport and historic downtown Greenville, earning the city a #6 ranking in the Convention Center subcategory.

Annual visitors to Greenville County are estimated at more than 5 million, which provide over $1.19 billion in visitor expenditures and $72.3 million in state and local taxes. These travel expenditures benefit area residents with $264 million in wages and salaries and 10,300 jobs.