Nestled inland next to Tar River, Greenville, North Carolina covers an area of 27 square miles and holds over 60,000 residents. Greenville is the perfect place for beauty and bike rides since it is also known as "BMX Pro Town USA". These pro BMX riders must be onto something!
Let's grab our helmets and take the road of discovery to learn more about this place that was voted into the top 100 Best Communities for Young People list.
History of Greenville
Originally called Martinsborough, then later named Greenville was founded in 1771. The name change was to honor Nathanael Greene, a Revolutionary War hero. Well into the 1800s, cotton was a major export of the area. However, tobacco eventually overtook that spot. Greenville was suddenly North Carolina's leading center for distribution.
By the 1960s, the market and financial landscape of the city changed. Greenville became a college town by introducing East Carolina Teachers College and East Carolina University, a local landmark. It was in the same decade that a pharmaceutical firm, Burroughs Wellcome, moved in. Other companies such as Rubbermaid followed suit and brought new jobs. Greenville has had economic growth ever since.
You've learned about what made Greenville what you see today. Now we learn what helped to form it. Going on 200 miles long, the Tar River used to be the lifeblood of getting around via steamboats. These days it's a leisurely flow all the way to the Virginia border. That means there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy some activities on the water. The most popular river adventures involve:
Want to make your experience out on the river even more interesting? Take a tally of the wildlife! There is plenty to see along the banks and swimming alongside you. Here is a sample list of what you could easily spot while out:
River Park North
Wondering where a good spot on the Tar River is to do some of these things? River Park North has over 300 acres for you to do just that. This might be the most budget-friendly activity that costs admission. Tickets are only $2 for ages 12 and up, or $3 if you're a non-resident. Before you head out, check the hours of operation because, depending on the season, they change.
Amenities available in this recreation area:
Greenville Convention Center
This might not be a huge city, but it is jam-packed with entertainment. That's thanks to one of the biggest venues in the southeast. There is always something going on! So if you want to come in from the outside, the convention center has an event with your name on it. From consignment sales to boat shows and all the expos you could imagine, they keep a unique schedule that goes on all year.
Greenville Museum of Art
Just like the convention center, you will want to take a look at their calendar. There are new exhibits and events going on that you will not want to miss. Admission is free and photography is welcome as long as there is no flash. In addition to thought-provoking art, the museum offers art classes and workshops. So, visitors and locals can create something special of their own.
Top Local Eats
While you are on dry land, it's lunchtime somewhere. Here are some of the top-rated local places to get your grub on.
Dickinson Avenue Antique Market
Need to walk off all those carbs? Aside from an all-day stroll at the Greenville Zoo, there's another place to get some exercise that has air conditioning. Take a leisurely stroll through the two-story shop full of goodies, old and new. People come from far away to get an item that speaks to them or that's been be featured at a big event. A future bride shared, "Found the PERFECT antique vases and bottles to use as table decorations for my upcoming spring wedding!"
No matter what you feel like doing when visiting Greenville, you can maximize your time in town. There are plenty of outdoor activities to keep all ages amused by nature's form of hands-on stimulation. When your family is ready to go indoors, there are events big and small that will keep you coming back to this city by the coast.