Greenville, North Carolina is a near and dear place to my heart. I spent 3.5 glorious college years in the town while attending East Carolina University before graduating and moving to Raleigh. I have fond memories of the town from my childhood, too, when my dad (hi Big Dave!) and I used to go to ECU football games together usually the day after Thanksgiving. I loved my time in undergrad at ECU and met some of my life long friends while there. One of my dear friends and her family live in Greenville and I always enjoy visiting and checking out the new additions to the city. Here is a guide of things to do in Greenville, NC on your next trip to this eastern North Carolina gem.
A Guide on Things to Do Greenville, NC
Things to Do in Greenville, NC: Where to Eat
My OG favorite restaurant in Greenville is a Tavola! For both my graduation lunches, I requested a Tavola! I have fond memories of my weekly girls’ night with my BFF Amanda from when we were in undergrad. It’s usually a spot that Hillary and I stop at for lunch when I come visit as well. Some of my favorite dishes include: their seafood bisque, their crab dip in a bread bowl, their shrimp po’ boy with fried okra and their seasoned fries.
Whew, y’all! What a beautiful and delicious spot. Both times I’ve visited, I’ve only had starters, and wow are they delicious. Most recently, I had their blue crab and pimiento cheese dip and their deviled eggs which I highly recommend. And if you’re there and the fried okra is on the menu, order it and don’t ask any questions. It’s some of the best fried okra I’ve ever had!
My friend Hillary has raved about Ford + Shep for the past couple of years and she has been right. It is a culinary gem in eastern NC! Their menu changes frequently so I suggest asking the server about their recommendations from the menu. On our visit, Laura had the burger, Hillary had the seared tuna, and I had the oysters and we spit the Brussels sprouts. It was delicious and the space is stunning!
I mean, you can’t talk about Greenville and not talk about BBQ. While I know there are several options for good BBQ in the area, Sam Jones is definitely a favorite of mine! The BBQ sandwich and macaroni and cheese with a Cheerwine is my go-to order. If you can get the sweet potato muffins though, do it.
And if you’re interested in trying more BBQ in the area, pick up a Pitt County Brew & ‘Cue Trail “PassPork” and collect official stamps from the locations included. Once completing your passport, you can get either a t-shirt or pint glass.
Things to Do in Greenville, NC: What to Do
Grab a Coffee and Browse Coastal Fog
Coastal Fog is such a lovely spot in Greenville. I could have included it in the section above as a spot to eat because they do serve food, including tomato pie and pimiento cheese. They also have a market where you can pick up a whole tomato pie to heat up at home. They sell a delicious selection of wine, other market goods, and gift basket staples like cheese straws. Coastal Fog has great coffee table options, interior decor items, and is just such an eclectic spot. Hillary and I got a coffee to enjoy while browsing, and their honey lavender latte was divine!
Shop the Latest Fashion at Monkee’s of Greenville
I was a junior in college when Monkee’s opened in Greenville and I was absolutely over the moon with the fashion that Lauren brought to the area. Lauren has such an incredible eye for fashion styles and has a wide range of options, plus statement earrings and necklaces, an excellent shoe selection, and the best candles. Her staff is knowledgable and helpful in selecting pieces no matter the occasion.
Catch an East Carolina Athletic Event
You honestly can’t go to Greenville and not attend an athletic event. You’d be missing out on a huge experience in the city. While spectator sports are still adjusting to COVID-19 procedures, whenever it is safe to begin attending athletic events, add an ECU game to your list. I was a proud member of the Student Pirate Club all throughout undergrad and always enjoyed attending athletic events. David and I try to attend games whenever we can, and I highly recommend experiencing an ECU baseball game.
If you’re in town and there isn’t an athletic event, I still recommend taking some time to stroll through campus. While a lot has changed since I attended college in 2005-2008, it’s such a gorgeous campus and so many lovely spots on campus to enjoy, including the musical chimes at Joyner Library, the Cupola, and Wright Plaza.
Visit the Greenville Museum of Art
The Greenville Museum of Art always has unique exhibits featuring local artists including a current one, Healing through Art, with a focus on mental health awareness. It’s a great spot to explore while in Uptown Greenville.
Try a New Beer at a Local Brewery
It’s amazing to see all of the growth that is happening in Uptown Greenville, including the additions of breweries in the area. Pitt St. Brewery is where we headed after my graduation and lunch at a Tavola to continue our celebration. The “PassPork” would come in really handy here for exploring the new breweries in the area!
Things to Do in Greenville, NC: Where to Stay
While I haven’t stayed at a hotel in Greenville in quite some time, the Hilton has always been a favorite of mine. I do tend to prefer boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts, so the two accommodations listed below are ones that peeked my interest for their history.
The beautiful 5th Street Manor is located in the College View Historic District on corner of East 5th Street and Library Street directly across from East Carolina University’s main campus. Built in 1924, the 5th Street Manor is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is the official home away from home of the East Carolina University Alumni Association. During the day a steady stream of foot traffic moves along the tree-lined street from families and students heading home, student organizations, staff from ECU offices, and even the Chancellor and his family who live a couple of blocks down. Unwind on the cozy porch and enjoy end of the day! Private parking is available.
The Music House, owned by ECU Music Professor John O’Brien, is a Victorian home — one of the oldest in Greenville — which has been meticulously preserved and decorated in period style. Built 1901-04 by Jesse Moye The Music House serves as a unique bed & breakfast and live music venue!
It’s located just a short drive from Uptown Greenville and ECU’s campus. It includes a hotel restaurant and bar plus an outdoor pool.
Which of these things to do in Greenville NC look the most fun to you? Let me know in a comment below!