Set on 14 acres within Cleveland Park, the Greenville Zoo houses more than 350 animals in recreated terrestrial habitats. The walking trails typically take between 60 and 90 minutes to tour, guiding guests to creatures such as lions, orangutans, and elephants. Giant tortoises lumber along to the delight of kids watching, and just down the path, giraffes curl their black tongues around clusters of leaves.
Through their accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, zookeepers uphold high standards in animal care, from maintaining realistic habitats to ensuring animals eat what they would in the wild. These AZA standards extend through other parts of the zoo's operations as well, including its educational programming and conservation efforts—the Quarters for Conservation initiative raises funds for local and global conservation programs.
To ensure that visits are relaxing and convenient, the zoo grounds include two playgrounds and several picnic facilities. The surrounding Cleveland Park affords further recreation such as walking paths and tennis courts.
The Generous Garden Project works to combat hunger in local communities by growing a steady supply of fresh produce, which it donates to local ministries and food banks. Volunteers plant and harvest vegetables in a 4.5-acre garden in Greenville, and share their skills by teaching others how to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Local farmers also call upon The Generous Garden Project’s volunteers to glean crops that would otherwise be left to rot in the fields or be plowed after a harvest.
Ax-prentices can visit the Greenville Guitar Academy—which is under the guidance of owner Stephen Williams and his experienced staff—to wail, shred, riff, and strum their way from atonal ignorance to the heights of music nirvana. Half-hour private lessons are available for any experience level. Secure from acoustic interruption in one of the academy’s practice spaces, novice players and road-hardened rockers alike can perfect their jazz, blues, metal, slide, and other string styles with guidance from seven personable and knowledgeable instructors.
A local cultural stalwart for more than 60 years, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra now proudly boasts world-class wand-wielder Edvard Tchivzhel as its conductor and music director. During the Grand Finale concert, Tchivzhel will lead skilled musicians through the melodic maze of Dvorak's Symphony no. 9 and Mussorgsky's engaging Pictures at an Exhibition, which synthesizes the aural and the visual better than a loud tropical shirt. Audience members in the upper balcony seats may check out free MP3 players proffering a wealth of concert information to additionally enliven listening.
Brimming with works from up-and-coming artists across South Carolina, Southern Galleries treats aesthetes to an exclusive selection of paintings and custom frames. The gallery is overseen by an experienced team of curators and artists in residence, who also use the studio for fun, informative painting classes for adults and children. Located across from the clock tower in historical downtown Simpsonville, the gallery fosters a creative environment with ceiling-high bay windows, rustic exposed brick walls, and a catcher-free environment where dreams can roam unhindered.:m]]
The Center of Bliss, LLC, helps clients achieve peace of mind and body by offering a holistic health plan. Founder Katie Edwards heads a team of acupuncturists and herbalists who use traditional Chinese medicine to keep bodies healthy and in balance. Ashtanga yoga classes help clients foster a deeper connection to their own bodies and breathing, and a massage therapist soothes stress in connective tissues.