This tour provides a unique look into Greenville’s past as an intriguing backdrop for its current revitalization and development.
Highlights of sites on the tour include:
- Architectural insights into the 1918 Courthouse, which also witnessed the trial case of the last lynching in SC.
- A visit inside the 1925 historic Poinsett Hotel, once voted the best mid-sized hotel in America.
- A 1903 cigar factory that later became a facility for one of the world's largest textile companies.
- A 1900 church housing the oldest African-American congregation in Greenville.
- The bronze memorials to Joel Poinsett (namesake of the poinsettia plant) and Vardry McBee (the "Father of Greenville").
- Discover a unique, family-favorite scavenger hunt called, "Mice on Main."
- A heart-warming story of friendship behind a store-front sculpture.
While scheduled tours are limited, please feel free to request additional tour days/times by contacting us via the "Contact GVLTours" link.
What Is Not Included?
- What is a Historic South Main St. Walking Tour?
- This historic walking tour will give you a thorough overview of the development and history pertaining to the South Main St. portion of the city. The tour begins at the historic center of the city, Court Square, which was laid out in 1797. This tour provides a brief overview of the city's earliest settlement but also touches important buildings and sites from the early 20th century that were largely part of Greenville's heyday as the Textile Center of the World. Historic buildings, 19th century ruins, statues of famous Greenvillians, and also some of Greenville's modern achievements will be covered on this tour.
- Where do I go on a South Main St. Walking Tour?
- The tour begins at historic Court Square where the city's early history will be discussed and revealed in old photographs, paintings, and maps that are shown. The tour continues north along Main St. with discussions of the transformation of Greenville and key buildings, people, and events that were key to those changes. The distance is equivalent to about 4-5 short city blocks.
- How long in advance can tickets be purchased?
- Tickets may be purchased until 1 hour before the start time of the tour.
- What kind of places do we go to on the tour?
- We will start at historic Court Square, continue along Main St and visit many historic buildings, 19th century ruins, statues, and more.
- What should I wear?
- Casual clothing for the current season is appropriate. Since it is a walking tour, we encourage you to wear comfortable shoes.
- What is the minimum and maximum capacity for culinary tours?
- All tours have a minimum requirement of 2 people and a maximum limit of 25 people. The first tickets sold for the tour will require a minimum of two tickets. All tickets thereafter may be purchased in single or multiple amounts.
- Are there age restrictions for the tours?
- No, there are no age restrictions for walking tours. Children ages 3 and younger are free and do not require a ticket. There is a limit of two free children (ages 3 or younger) with each paying adult.
- Is the tour wheelchair accessible?
- Yes, this tour follows a straight, flat path down Main St. and is easily accessible for wheelchairs. Seniors who are concerned about stairs and obstacles are encouraged to take this tour, as it is free from obstructions and inclines.
- Are tours offered in inclement weather?
- If weather is moderate, we will most likely run the tour. If the weather is severe enough that we are forced to cancel, we will be happy to reschedule the tour for as soon as the weather clears or offer you credit to come back on a future tour. Please contact the tour operator directly for questions about continuing in inclement weather.
- Can you accommodate private group tours?
- Private group tours of up to 25 people outside of regularly scheduled tour times can be arranged with advanced notice of one week, based on availability. If interested, click on the "Contact GVLTours" link to make a request.
- Do you offer gift certificates?
- Gift certificates are not offered at this time. Feel free to purchase tickets as a gift for a friend, though!
- Non-refundable, cannot be rescheduled.
- Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded and cannot be rescheduled because your space is being guaranteed at the event.
- Activity may be cancelled due to severe weather.
- The activity usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the seller may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If the seller cancels the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.
- Children ages 3 and younger may attend without a ticket.
- Children ages 3 and younger may attend the tour for free and do not need a ticket; however, we do ask for a limit of two free children ages 3 and younger per paying adult.
Greenville History Tours
Whether you are a visitor to the city on business, a family with children, a new resident of the Upstate, or a native Greenvillian, your guide will be able to share both in-depth history and also contemporary developments that will be of interest to all.