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.
Bike the Rabbit nestles snuggly on the Swamp Rabbit Trail—a 17.5-mile paved way that snakes along next to the Reedy River. From their outpost, they supply visitors with high quality bike rentals so that they can enjoy the lush flora and fauna of the serene greenway. Their arsenal of bikes includes touring bikes, kids bikes, and bikes with baby seats from brands such as Motobecane, Gravity, and Ozone. Their service department also offers comprehensive tune-ups, detailing, and replacement and repair of parts.
A lengthy lineup of traditional game-day fare and a sports atmosphere captivate fans at Fox and Hound - Bailey's, where the kitchen remains open as late as its neighboring fully stocked bar. Chefs cook until the wee hours of the morning and always until the bar closes, baking Bavarian pretzel starters, crafting towers of onion rings, and preparing hand-battered chicken tenders that are cooked until they are golden brown. They blend their own seasonings to sprinkle over grilled-to-order burgers, and draw from a diverse roster of cheeses and toppings to crown their wood-oven-inspired flatbreads.
While manning the bars, bartenders tap into a stash of libations, such as UV Whipped vodka and Patron Silver tequila, to mix their specialty cocktails. To further foster a sporting ambiance, high-definition TVs glow with sports games and custom music-video playlists, and guests partake in pastimes of ump bashing, billiards, or competitive people watching.