The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Exploring the upstate: Greenville

Contributed by Darby Werner

It’s Saturday and you need a quick road trip adventure. Downtown Greenville is the perfect getaway because it is an easy 37-minute drive from Clemson. What is so amazing about this city is its unique atmosphere and the variety of fun things to do. Here are some of Greenville’s must do’s if you are looking for a day of authentic coffee shops, spectacular art and hidden bookstores.
Every good adventure starts with a great cup of coffee. Luckily, Greenville has more coffee shops than Clemson students have parking tickets. Although there are plenty to choose from, the two that you absolutely have to visit are Coffee Underground and Methodical Coffee.
Coffee Underground is a pretty well-known coffee shop, especially for college students. It is perfectly located on East Coffee Street, but be careful, you just might walk past it as this hidden shop is truly located underground. The lights are dim and the vibes are mellow. Coffee Underground has something for everyone, so whether you want strong black coffee or a typical white girl complicated order, they can do it. Two things that separate this particular coffee shop from the rest are the food and their “underground theater.” Unlike most coffee shops, you can order big portions of food from their extensive menu. Their breakfast foods are phenomenal. The underground theater hosts improv shows, poetry slams and open mic nights in the evenings. If you’re looking for a trendy place to start your trip, this is a great option.
Methodical Coffee has a very different feel than Coffee Underground and is my personal favorite. The shop is much smaller but extremely bright. The walls are white and everything feels fresh. The menu is very specific, offering: pour-over coffee, drip coffee, expressos and some teas. The employees are incredibly friendly, the atmosphere extremely enjoyable and the coffee – outstanding. In this special place, it is as though centuries collide. The coffee is served in Chinese art patterned mugs and the walls are decorated in historical artwork, but it is all combined to make one modern coffee shop. The best part about this individual shop is the background music, which is actually played by a record player. Every once in a while you see the employees changing it to their favorite vinyl. The authenticity and simplicity of this special coffee shop are not experiences to miss out on.
Greenville also has some extremely talented artists. Take a stroll down River Street and explore some of the local art galleries all sitting next to each other, just feet away from the river. Whether or not you enjoy art, you must visit Mark Mulfinger’s gallery. Not only is his artwork remarkable, but the artist himself is special. Mark loves to talk to the people who come into his gallery. He describes his artwork as belonging to the poetic representation genre. What really stuck out to me was that he explained how every piece of his art has some kind of story behind it before it is ever created. Mark Mulfinger was able to explain his thought process and story behind each of his individual pieces with so much passion and enthusiasm. He’s the kind of old soul whom one would benefit from just by asking questions and listening to him speak. This is not a gallery you want to idly pass by.
There are two spectacular hidden bookstores nested inside downtown Greenville. The first is M. Judson Booksellers & Storytellers, which is located in a beautiful, historical-looking building on South Main Street and (quite honestly) looks nothing like a bookstore from the outside. Their hodge-podge of items set this place apart from most bookstores. They sell mugs, jewelry, journals, photobooks, cook books and more. It also has a little bakery inside and a large room in the back for all readers to use as their personal reading nook. The whole store is roomy and bright, as if the room itself was begging you to come and explore all it has to offer.
The second bookstore is called Joe’s Place. Joe’s Place drags you into its own little world as soon as you step through the front door and the smell of book pages hits you in the face. It’s cozy and covered from top to bottom with books of all kinds. I loved the fact that I could find my favorite Harry Potter book and two minutes later, find an antique-looking Complete Sherlock Holmes collection by Arthur Conan Doyle. Joe’s Place is known for having a bar area with delicious food and beverages. They host game nights, murder mystery nights, book clubs, wine classes and open mic nights. The best part about this bookstore is that it truly is a hidden treasure. The manager said that most of the local people don’t even know about Joe’s Place. It is mostly a destination store visited by tourists from out of town. So why not enjoy some food and fine literature in a hole-in-the-wall bookstore?
Coffee, art and books are just a small taste of all Greenville has to offer. Do yourself a favor and take a trip to this flourishing city – you won’t regret it.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *