Wonders of Greenville's West End - A Rabbit's Eye View

While winter did indeed get around to visiting Greenville, General Beauregard Lee and Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, PLUS, it’s Valentine’s week, SO, what better time to take a stroll in the West End and see what’s what!  I’ll share with you a few of the sights that caught my eye.

Of course I picked one of the chilliest, most blustery days to get my hop and shop on.  Lucky for me, Swamp Rabbits come with a fur coat as standard issue!  I know!  How about we start with a little coffee to warm up?  Bex Café is one of the newest editions to the West End and if you walk straight up to Main from the Swamp Rabbit Inn, cozy classic, Bex is the first business you come to on the corner.  How perfect is that?!

Fluffing my fur as I head out with my cuppa, I’m not thinking beach time, but Splash on Main does have the right attitude!  It’s cruise wear season in swimsuit world and Splash has the fashion to get you set for the Lido Deck.

Coming up on Custard and Mainstream they are definitely feeling the love.  Such cute dresses they both have too!  Lots of special sales in the West End this week involving pink and red so be sure to check in with your favorites.


The old and new mingle in this historic district.  A lot of cranes towering over the details of a more ornate era.  A little too early for a drink, but,  On the Roxx will be ready and waiting when we are!

Be still my heart!  Free books!  travel books!  Out in front of Joe’s Place Bookstore.  They decided to lighten the inventory a bit for Valentine’s Day.  How generous!  Ooh, here’s one on the Amazon, the Nile… That’s it!  I could start a travel agency for Swamp Rabbits.  Destination: the world’s great rivers.  I’ll call it  “Hare Travel”!  Moving on… It’s getting a bit…froggy out here.  Did you guys lose your way back to the Reedy?  A little froyo for the Blueberry Frog and this escapee from Christopher Park Gallery found the bar at Rainer’s Café to rewet his whistle.  Just another frog king having a smoke!  Pace yourself, buddy; it's early.

Meanwhile, across the street in Provence…, er, Postcard From Paris and Vintage Now Modern, I’ll peruse the shabby chic and sublime finds for some home décor to liven up the burrow and maybe delight some friends with the perfect stylish accent. Oui, oui, mon cheri!

But what about the kitchen?  Oh this is lovely!  My people!  Now I have everybunny on my Valentine list covered!  Rainbow carrots, my favorite!  Thank you, Cook’s Station!

Speaking of greens… Crossing over to Augusta Street, a restaurant after my own heart, hearts of romaine, one hopes!  Green Lettuce, organic and so fresh.  Ahhh.

Now that we’ve grazed a bit, next door, eclectic fashion and all kinds of interesting items delight the eye in Emporium.  This is a fun shop.  My uncle Roger will love this lamp!  I could spend hours in here!

Perhaps we should catch a show tonight at the Warehouse Theatre.  I love Chekhov!  Always something interesting to see here!  We can have a bite of sushi at Purple beforehand ( I love a seaweed salad!).  Everything on the menu is a feast for the senses and as you can see, rabbit approved!

Evidence that spring is on the way is found at Augusta 20.  Their windows are in the perfect place to catch the late afternoon sun so all their accessories gleam and sparkle.  Sandals and soft colors are on display!

Spring can't get here fast enough?  How about we duck into the spa to take the edge off that cabin fever (please don't actually let the ducks in - noisy!).  That robe looks so cozy!  The Spa At the West End has the full compliment of spa and salon services to give you back your glow.


How could I blog without a nod to the bike?  Carolina Triathlon  has something in my size!  In the same block,  the event venues Zen and Old Cigar Warehouse have set the scene for many a happy memory for  Wedding party guests of the Swamp Rabbit Inn.

Speaking of cycles, not to be outdone, Edward Jones provides us with a late winter still-life:  Frozen Water Dish w/ Schwinn.  The Trolley will save me the hop back to the Falls on the Reedy.

I hope you enjoyed our tour around the West End!  A little wild, a little weird an a whole lotta warm and wonderful.  Come on down and fall in love!

Meet Percy the Swamp Rabbit of the Swamp Rabbit Inn


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Meet AJ Maronie Our Queen of Clean

AJ Maronie

Considering that our Head of Housekeeping just had a birthday we could say her sign is Capricorn but if you asked our guests at the Swamp Rabbit Inn they would tell you that AJ’s sign is “Welcome”.  Warm as hot cider in January and refreshing as a cold lemonade in July, AJ Maronie is just one of those people who has a knack for putting others at ease.

Aj Maronie and Wendy Lynam Swamp Rabbit inn

It’s not surprising, considering she is the oldest of four children, two boys and two girls, born to her young parents in Laurens, South Carolina.  Her folks divorced early on and her father went to work in Washington DC.  When AJ’s mother would go to work in the hosiery factory, AJ would look after her siblings and keep the house in order.  She was often called a “mother hen” even as a young girl.  She considered herself serious, shy, and an ‘old soul’, preferring to go her own way rather than follow the crowd.

Visiting her father in DC every summer gave AJ an experience of a larger world, and the bustle of the international city fueled her dreams.  But it was marriage that would bring her there as an adult.

Mack and AJ

She met her husband, Mack in a club in Laurens when she was 16.  She had seen him only once before.  He had just started college and had a car. He had given AJ and her sister a ride home from town one day and though AJ sat behind the driver’s seat, Mack kept adjusting his rear view mirror to gaze at her.  He literally spotted her across the crowded room of the club and came over to ask her to dance.  She accepted.  The fast song ended and when the slow one began she was nervous but gave him a chance, stuck it out, and something just clicked.  Ever the gentleman, Mack worked hard to win her heart with love letters, potted flowers (so they would grow, not just wither and die) and even did silly things like push ups on the lawn to impress her!  They married a few years after AJ graduated high school and then moved to the big city.

DC indulged AJ’s love of music “ I’m a cuckoo bird without my music!” she says.  She also loved the cosmopolitan atmosphere and her job as a dental assistant but the harsher realities of city life began to put a strain on the marriage.

Savannah Georgia and Tybee Island were the antidote.  The couple had family there.  They joined a new church and settled into what seemed like a more “grownup”, sedate lifestyle.  AJ always had a flair for making a house a home and it gave her joy to host dinner parties and tend her garden.  She explored the city by bicycle, convertible and on roller skates, swam in the ocean and went on fishing excursions with her family.  She discovered her 'nature girl' side, hiking, exploring the woods and learning about herbal medicine.  At one point she held an unlikely job as a security officer for a gated community in Hilton Head.  Part of her job was keeping hoodlums from breaking into the pool at night and indulging in... ‘intimate activities’.  “ I was tiny but I was tough!” she recalls.  It was a wild experience.  We can just imagine!

AJ and Chefs

Life took a serious turn five years ago when her father-in-law passed away and then her little sister became terminally ill.  That is what brought AJ and Mack back to South Carolina and Greenville.  Anita Michelle was known as Chelle and considered ‘the stylish one’ of the two sisters.  Unfortunately, they had grown apart over many years.  But in those last years when AJ cared for Chelle the two truly became best friends.  This is the time that AJ cherishes most of all.

AJ Holidays

As you can see our Housekeeping Queen has a long herstory of caring for others, a knack for nurturing and looking after folks.  Her marriage to Mack has been going strong for 30 years.  AJ is looking forward to building her career here in Greenville.  The couple is working toward owning a home again.  She has six assorted nieces and nephews to dote on.  When asked what her ideal retirement retreat would be the answer was easy:  an island somewhere surrounded by flowers, with great music where she and Mack can dance on the beach.

Photos credit: ovsjournalists

Sounds perfect!  We raise our tropical umbrella drinks to you, AJ (on a winter's evening where the forecast includes snow).  Thank you for sharing your island breezy attitude and big warm heart with all who visit the Swamp Rabbit Inn.

Meet Percy the Swamp Rabbit of the Swamp Rabbit Inn


Hopping into the New Year! Greenville Bed and Breakfast Looks Ahead to 2016


Who doesn’t love a fresh start?  By all accounts, Greenville had a smashingly successful and eventful 2015, but we’re only beginning to pick up steam!  Greenvillians are full of big plans and big dreams for 2016.  As we look toward the horizon we see the cityscape growing, changing and glittering.  More corner cafés are opening, stylish apartments are being built and more services for urban dwellers are filling in to make our metro hum.  Downtown Greenville’s continued attention to arts and culture is adding layers of intrigue and vibrance.


The Swamp Rabbit Trail will expand in several directions in the new year and the features that support it will develop along with it.  A new park just to the west of downtown is in the design phase and will center on the Trail and the Reedy River.


Here at the Inn all of the bunnies are reflecting on the past year and Inn-visioning for the future as well.

Wendy and girls

Innkeeper, Wendy Lynam’s favorite memory of 2015 was the grand finale of Truck Inn Tuesday.  Greenville was showing the love with the biggest turnout of the summer that included a spontaneous petition by attendees to keep it going through fall.  Community spirit was high and a good time was had by all.  Patience! Summer will come again! 

Wendy’s favorite Greenville happening was watching the Farmer’s Market grow and combine with other features like outdoor yoga in the parks for an all-around sublime Saturday out and about.  Another highlight of 2015 was the Greenville Chamber's Inter Community Leadership visit to Austin TX.  

For 2016 our Innkeeper looks forward most to meeting all the cool people that stay at the inn and properties, quality time with her girls, taking her yoga practice to new levels, unveiling the new organic farm at the Swamp Rabbit Lodge, riding her bike in Greenville's glorious countryside, turning her "Cycling Greenville SC" guidebook into an app, revealing our cool new designer kits and our amazing new event on April 3rd (stay tuned) and watching the West End grow and swirl around the Inn.  Whew!!

AJ and Chefs

AJ Maronie, Housekeeping Queen, loved hosting the chefs that graced our halls and, ahem, ‘rehearsed’, in our kitchen throughout 2015.  Attending the Competition Dining Series and becoming friends with Chef Heidi Billotto were highlights.  AJ especially enjoyed watching the Swamp Rabbit Properties become a favorite hub for new residents relocating to Greenville.  She likes being able to give a warm welcome to folks and assist in easing the transition with long term stays in our diverse range of accommodations.  Publicly, Mrs. Maronie is excited by the rumors that a light rail system is being considered here in Greenville to make traveling in and around the urban centers efficient and stress free.  Personally, career growth, increased prosperity, a peaceful environment and a little more travel top her wish list.

Lisa with Dylan

Lisa Parks, Manager and Retail Wizardess, was amused, flummoxed and aggravated by turns in 2015 with the saga of capturing the wild, urban rooster, General Pickens (blog post to follow), but can now claim Rooster Whisperer status.  This city girl turned farmer tended our hay bale garden and hydroponic tower garden to yield amazing amounts of greens, squash, watermelons and tomatoes.  

Her pick for significant Inn event: the addition of the beloved Bike Shed to the Swamp Rabbit Properties, expanding retail in the West End and satisfying everyone’s need for bike rentals, Latte Rides, Bunny Rides, bike apparel and bike jewelry. 

Top of her wish list?  For all, a life less consumed by auto use, which she knows is a strange wish for a Motor City girl!

Bunny Suit

Not so surprisingly,  Artist at Large, and cycling nut, Kathleen King, echoes the desire for a friendlier future for the car-free and car-optional lifestyle.  She looks forward to seeing infrastructure blossom with bike lanes in Greenville County, making the roads safer for all.  Her favorite aspect of the Inn this past year was seeing the local community embrace it as a convenient central meeting place for monthly gatherings and special events.  Ms. King’s personal focus this year is expanding the public art landscape as she launches a non-profit to achieve that goal.  In addition, she says she’s only just begun to explore the South and looks forward to that relationship deepening.

Aunt Esther Bunny

As for me, your Bunny Blogger at Large (in my burrow under the pecan tree), Watching Greenville dominate all those national top ten lists was a fun surprise that filled all of us with pride!  Watching you bipeds in general is immensely entertaining.  I’m a romantic and the wedding parties that have sashayed through the Inn bring a joy to my heart.  Y’all are so adorable heading out all gussied up, nervous and thrilled all at once.  In my wild dreams you folks keep planting more backyard/sideyard/frontyard… gardens.  Carrots are especially hearty and easy to grow!  May Greenville continue to manicure the banks of my beloved river and my family’s namesake Swamp Rabbit Trail.  The keyword for Greenville in this new year is “Motion”!  Tallyho, 2016!


Fall Festival in Greenville SC: Hoptoberfest at the Swamp Rabbit Inn

We had such a great time with Truck INN Tuesdays this summer that we're at it again. We're hosting THE BEST fall festival in Greenville, SC. Join us October 25th from 4-7 for our first annual Hoptoberfest! Swamp Rabbit Inn is a hotel alternative in downtown Greenville, SC near Furman and Clemson

We're thrilled to have Charlotte bluegrass and Americana musicians My Girl My Whiskey and Me (and their sweet pup Homegirl), Automatic Taco food truck, and all our local Makers like Modern Forestry Soy Candles, Reedy River Farms, Greenville Goods, Jocie Pots, Bone and Ink, and many more.

Super excited to have our  special guests from Tennessee @brewbracelets and @thebeertrale. Give a listen to an episode of The Beer Trale, an entertaining look at the world of Craft Beer.  They will be coming here to do an episode Greenville's craft brewing community so please connect with before or at Hoptoberfest!

Of course, The Bike Shed at Swamp Rabbit Inn will be open as well. And no proper fall festival would be without a kids and pets costume parade!


Swamp Rabbit Inn is a hotel alternative in downtown Greenville, SC

If you're a local looking to partake in a family and pet friendly Sunday event, we're the fall festival for you. In town for the Hincapie Gran Fondo or other local event?  Join us for a fun, relaxing time! We look forward to seeing all our friends, fans, guests, and neighbors in a few short weeks.

P.S. Mark your calendars for our holiday event in the inn, Holiday Hoppinings, December 10th.

Rent a Bike from the Bike Shed at Swamp Rabbit Inn

Greenville is a cycling town, there's no denying that. The integration of bike lanes into new road projects, pump tracks and new mountain bike trails being added to parks, and the ever-expanding Swamp Rabbit Trail has all lent a hand to the boom of bikes in this city.

The close proximity to the Swamp Rabbit Trail (SRT) from the Swamp Rabbit Inn has had many out-of-town guests clamoring for a bike to use while they're staying. Our solution? The Bike Shed at Swamp Rabbit Inn: a small spot behind the Inn full of vintage treasures, local tees by the folks at Greenville Goods, cold and hot beverages, and bike rentals for locals and guests alike. For $15 a half day or $25 for the whole day, this includes a lock and a helmet (safety is sexy y'all). Our Bike Shed Manager, Lisa, is happy to give you pointers on where to go, or buy a Cycling Greenville Guidebook for your return travels.

The Bike Shed is open seasonally on Friday-Monday 9am to 5pm and Tuesdays from 3-8:30 during Truck Inn Tuesdays. You can always call 864-517-4617 to rent a bike during off hours as well.

#bikeinnbikeout #shoptheshed #biketique

bike earrings


Events Happening at Swamp Rabbit Lodge

The Swamp Rabbit Lodge is quickly becoming a hotspot of activity, especially for our athletically-inclined guests. Just last week we were privileged to have TriMarni hold their triatholon camp at the Lodge.  Here's what they had to say: "Our first Greenville Trimarni camp is now complete!! Blog recap posts to come..... We knew our campers would be exhausted on day 4 but we didn't take it easy onthem. 

We started with a recon ride of our run course and then a climb up and down Paris Mountain followed by a very technical course before repeating the climb up to Paris Mountain one more time with a very strong effort. ~3600 feet of climbing. After the ride, a quick transition to our 7-mile run. ~950 feet of climbing on a beautiful hilly course with a "best effort" up Roe Ford road to finish off camp.

What an amazing group of athletes who gave 100% for every workout at camp. We are all exhausted, hungry and extremely sore.......Trimarni Greenville camp was a great success! Karel and I can't wait to plan our next Greenville camp!!

Thank you to our amazing photographers Taylor and Elizabeth and to Tricia and Taylor for providing the BEST SAG Support throughout our camp. We were well hydrated and fueled thanks to them!

Thank you Trimarni camp sponsors: Run In Veronica's Health Crunch Clif Bar TrainingPeaks Canari Cyclewear

And thank you Swamp Rabbit Lodge for providing the perfect place for our campers to stay!"

We're also excited to announce Velo Girl Rides First Annual Upstate SC Tour. This is currently open to the public and is held at the Swamp Rabbit Lodge from October 21-25. Enjoy great accommodations, fully sagged and support ride, and fun camaraderie with fellow cyclists. It's sure to fill quickly so reserve your space today.

In Case You Missed Our Sneak Peek at the Swamp Rabbit Inn, Greenville, SC

Here is an online sneak peek of the six bedroom European style inn that we fondly refer to as the Swamp Rabbit Inn.  We welcome anyone to this inn and particularly those who like to explore on two wheels.  Please enjoy this sneak peek of the Swamp Rabbit Inn which will open in June 2014 and share with your friends.  Book whole house by calling 864-517-4617 or individual rooms online now!  

Friday Swamp Rabbit Inn T Shirt Contest

Swamp Rabbit Inn T Shirt  

This week's t shirt contest:  Follow us on Pinterest and repin or fav one of our pins for your chance to win a free t shirt as pictured above.  Winner will be announced on our FB page Friday at 5 pm.  Check back every Friday for a new contest until we open in Spring of 2014!  #BikeInnBikeOut

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Welcome to Momentum Bike Clubs!

Watch this video to learn more about a wonderful movement in our community Welcome to Momentum Bike Clubs! and this video. If you would like more information please email us using the form below.

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The Making of an Inn Update - Designing the Guest Rooms at The Swamp Rabbit Inn Cycling B&B

IKEA I am resolved to make the weekly trek, ok twist my arm, to IKEA in Charlotte until each and every piece is ordered in an orderly fashion.  I chose to furnish the Inn solely in IKEA for two reasons.

1) I liked the price

AND ..

2) I heard the design is pretty brilliant with regards to style and function

Well, after my third trip there, I have to say I am getting the brilliance of the design.  My first trip several months ago was to "kick the tires", so to speak; to see if the quality met my standards for the inn.  It was a fairly overwhelming experience because it is HUGE and, if you are not familiar with the brand, it may not seem like your style, at least not right away.

My first trip confirmed that this was definitely the style I wanted for the inn.  It is simple, comes in fun colors, is super functional and has a laid back intelligence to it.  I think this modern, simplistic design with be joyful, playful and create a great place to escape to explore Greenville and ride bikes.  I think it will be whimsical and for a short getaway, transport guests into the right frame of mind to get on a bike and ride … childhood!

The main reason I like to ride my bike is because I am breathing in the fresh air, catching some sun and it makes me feel free!  It truly is a great escape and I hope you will stop in and check out our somewhat funky, fun interior the next time you pass through town or are in the neighborhood.

We will soon have a fleet of city bikes thanks to our new friend Randy at Carolina Triathlon and our bike socials begin in April.  Check back for more posts and to stay informed sign up for "News from the Inn" over there in the side bar.  We're pumped!  This is going to be fun!

P.S.  Here's a preview of the guest rooms.  We'll show before and afters in the next few weeks.  Kitchen cabinets arriving this week : )

Swamp Rabbit Inn, Greenville, SC

Swamp Rabbit Inn Cycling B&B Greenville, SC

Swamp Rabbit Inn Cycling B&B Greenville, SC

The Swamp Rabbit Inn Bike Trail Lodging Greenville SC

The Swamp Rabbit Inn Bike B&B Greenville, SC

The Swamp Rabbit Inn Cycling B&B Greenville, SC


More details on the rooms can be found on our Facebook page!