Greer sits 10 miles and less than 20 minutes west of the Greenville-Spartanburg I-85 corridor. Located 11 miles from downtown Greenville and 22 miles from downtown Spartanburg, this neighborhood provides residents with easy access to these two major cities. Major attractions in Greer include its historic downtown, also called Greer Station, and the BMW manufacturing plant, which provides jobs and fun times for locals. Greer Station includes 12 square blocks of retail, dining, entertainment and professional establishments. More than 40 buildings in Greer Station find themselves on the National Historic Register, and the entire downtown district has earned the distinction as a National Historic District. In 1994, residents of Greer welcomed to their city the establishment of the first and only BMW manufacturing plant in North America. The plant not only employees some 4,600 workers, but estimates state that auto suppliers it attracted to the area employee over 12,000 workers. Not just any manufacturing plant, the BMW complex contains a museum, offering weekday tours that allow visitors to see the cars being built, and a performance driving school.
Restaurants & Nightlife
For nightlife, locals choosing to stay close to home can enjoy live music at Rhythm & Blues in downtown Greer. The music venue serves up live blues and rock music five nights a week, a full menu with over 20 flavors of wings and an extensive beer list. Locals in the mood for something a little more low-key head over to the Pour Sports Pub & Grille to watch the game on one of six large-screen TVs. Serving a full menu, signature drinks and craft beer, the pub also stays open late, until 1:30 am. How about something a little more refined? You can make the short drive into Greenville to enjoy a play at the Greenville Little Theater, take in a ballet at the Carolina Ballet Theater or delight your ears with a performance by the Greenville Symphony Orchestra.
As for dining, Greer’s downtown historic district consists of over 10 local eateries. Otherwise, diners can drop into a few local and a number of chain restaurants that dot the major thoroughfare, Wade Hampton Boulevard/Highway 29. Favorite local establishments include wine bar, BIN 112, Wild Ace Pizza and Pub, and barbecue joint Mutt’s. At BIN 112, start your meal off in flames with a local favorite, the flaming cheese. Known on the menu as Flaming Kasseri, this appetizer consists of Greek Mediterranean melting cheese, which is seasoned, floured and fried golden brown, finished with fresh lime then flamed with Tequila tableside. Served with warm bread, this cheese proves to be not only fun but delectable. Just around the corner, head into Wild Ace Pizza and Pub for a meatball sub that has been called "positively dreamy." Listed as the Bomber Girl on the menu, the sub consists of meatballs, marinara and mozzarella, all served on baked panini bread alongside chips or loaded potato salad. In the mood for BBQ instead? If so, head 1.5 mile south of downtown to Mutt’s BBQ, where locals say you must order the ribs of the “fall off the bone” variety. You can choose either a five-bone plate or a 10-bone plate and two sides. For a uniquely southern experience, pick the locals’ favorite sides, the sweet potato crunch and mac & cheese.
History & Culture
Originally hunting grounds for a local Cherokee tribe, the town of Greer grew up when the railroad laid its tracks in its midst in 1873. Erected on land owned by James Manning Greer, the railroad named the train stop Greer Station. The town incorporated three years later, and throughout the 1900s, Greenville and Spartanburg residents would travel to Greer to shop at Greer Station.
You can learn more about the history of Greer by dropping into the Greer Heritage Museum in downtown Greer. Throughout the year, the Greer Cultural Arts Council hosts plays and art shows, and the city and chamber of commerce host a number of annual events. Locals enjoy street festivals, including Oktoberfest in the fall and Family Fest in May, in downtown Greer. You can check the city’s website for all upcoming cultural and annual events.
With 16 square miles of area, Greer residents tend to travel by car and appreciate the plentiful free parking at local retailers and in the busy downtown district. Once parked, walkers can easily enjoy strolling and shopping around downtown. As few bike-friendly roads exist, bikers do best to stick to neighborhood streets or pack the bike and cycle the 20-mile Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville. Uber, Budget Cab and Yellow Cab serve Greenville and the surrounding areas, including Greer, but you need to call ahead to arrange a pick-up. The city does not maintain any public transportation, but discussions of implementing a system have occurred in city council sessions. For interstate travel, locals can be on Interstate 85, located 10 miles away, in under 20 minutes.
The cost of living in Greer averages slightly lower than in Greenville, with a one-bedroom apartment running $758 per month. The city does not provide public transportation, but car travel remains affordable, with gas prices hovering around 15 percent lower than the national average. Prices for goods and services stand about the same as in Greenville, with a domestic beer costing around $3.50.
Greer provides locals with both retail chain and local specialty store shopping. Big box stores, such as Walmart, Target and Lowes, cluster along the main thoroughfare, Highway 29.
Greer Station, the downtown district, provides locals and tourists alike with a range of specialty stores, such as Smith & James, a men’s clothier, and Talloni shoe salon. Smith & James has sold menswear to Greer locals for over 98 years. With clothing, shoes and hats by labels that include Trands and Cotton Brothers, Smith & James decks out local men in stylish duds for any occasion. Only a block away, you find shoe salon Talloni, which sells colorful jewelry and a variety of shoe labels, including the always popular Toms. Locals say Talloni's service cannot be beat.
For local veggie shopping, head into downtown Greenville for the Saturday Market, held from May through October. The market showcases local produce, cooking demonstrations and live music. For traditional shopping, Ingles and Bi-Lo lie within the neighborhood.
Greer stands out among cities of its size for its parks and recreation initiatives, which provide youth, adults and seniors opportunities to participate in a number of city-sponsored activities. For kids, programs include a number of sports teams, arts and crafts, piano lessons, and summer camps. Adults enjoy softball, basketball and golf leagues. Greer’s senior initiative, Seniors Out and Around (SOAR), plans weekly activities and luncheons as well as local trips for seniors.
Finding an exercise area in Greer remains easy for locals of all ages. City Park, 12 acres of green-space in downtown Greer, includes walking trails, gardens, a play area, amphitheater and picnic shelters. Additionally, the city operates a senior center, tennis facilities, a soccer complex and a number of baseball parks throughout the neighborhood. The city hosts an annual Christmas tree lighting festival in City Park, complete with vendors and live music. All of the city’s recreational facilities remain free and open year round. You can bring the doggies, but make sure to leash them to comply with the city’s leash law.