Swamp Rabbit Inn Q&A With Bill Clevlen Author of "100 Things to Do in America Before You Die"

It's that time of year to search out a great Summer read and plan some cool trips with the family!  Check out this new book from Bill Clevlen "100 Things to Do in America Before You Die".  Greenville, SC is mentioned in his book and specifically our beautiful Falls Park.  Yes, Greenville has a waterfall with a suspension bridge, The Liberty Bridge, in the middle of our lively, cosmopolitan downtown! During his book launch he visited downtown Greenville, SC and we had the pleasure of hosting him at the Swamp Rabbit Inn.  Bill and I met on Twitter (@ontheroadwithbc) and I had invited him to come check out the inn the next time he was coming through Greenville.  I have met some of the coolest people on Twitter and then in real life.  It's pretty amazing!!  I digress ...

Anyway, here is the Q&A between Bill and I during his trip to downtown Greenville, SC.  Hope you enjoy and check out his book and book a room at the Swamp Rabbit Inn if you want to get started knocking off that list this Summer! Rent a bike at the Bike Shed at the Swamp Rabbit Inn and hop on the Swamp Rabbit Trail and ride right past the waterfall and bridge at Falls Park.  We even have bike baskets if you want to pack a picnic!  #bikeinnbikeout


Q&A x10 - Greenville's Swamp Rabit Inn

Greenville, South Carolina is one of my favorite cities! When the opportunity came up to make a return visit, of course, I jumped at the chance! The people of Greenville are super friendly, there must be 200 places to wine and dine downtown and of course - the stunning Falls Park is worth the visit on its own.

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Bike Month in Greenville Just Keeps on Pumpin'!

Keep your helmets fastened, kiddos, 'cause the pace is not letting up!

This Saturday continues the spirit of Bike Month with the Blessing of the Bikes in front of  M. Judson Books on Main.  And then Stephanie Morgan held story time on the front the steps with that book "Hey Blue!" about my cousin's kid, Blue, the bike riding bunny rabbit (wonder where he gets it from?!?).

M. Judson

Later that day the expo for the Mountains to Main Street Triathlon and Half Marathon was held almost next door at  the Marriot Courtyard   where The Swamp Rabbit Inn manned a booth.

On Sunday morning bright and early the race began with the swim in the ultra-pure waters of Lake Keowee in Seneca, SC, and your faithful Swamp Rabbit hopped along for all the action...

Then the bike ride commenced along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  After the ride the participants ran along the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail, around Furman Lake, then toward the city with a finish line overlooking the Reedy River and Reedy Falls in award-winning downtown Greenville, SC.

Congrats, Everybody!!!  You looked fabulous out there!

Now hang with us a little longer here, because May is not done and there are a few diversions left to take inn.  Need a little break from biking?  Well, I suppose you can always easily ride your bike to these events, too,  if you choose (we recommend it)!  The 22nd Annual Upstate Shakespeare Festival begins May 22nd (tonight!) and continues through July 31 in Falls Park.  Shows are FREE and start at 7 pm. See "As You Like It" in May and June, and "Julius Caesar" in July.

Shakespeare in Falls Park

Remember when we warned you:  The Scottish are coming!!!??  Well they are almost here. Gallabrae -Greenville Scottish Games will be hurling away May 27th - 28th.  The Great Scot parade marches down Main Street in downtown Greenville Friday the 27th at 6 pm and the games take place on the 28th, all day, at Furman campus. They call them "Heavy Athletics".  Uh huh!


Did someone say "Where's the beer?" ?  It's Greenville, surely the beer is near!  If you can tear yourself away from the parade, tap into the wild at the Brew in the Zoo, also on the 27th, from 6:30 pm t0 9:00 pm. Adults 21 and older can sample an assortment of beers and enjoy food and live music while exploring the zoo after-hours.  All proceeds benefit various programs throughout the zoo.


Greenville Zoo

See?  Come to Greenville.  Work up a sweat.  Hydrate.  Watch some other folks work up a sweat.  Hand up a beverage.  Get some culture.  Have a beer!  Repeat!  That's a summer day in Greenville!

betterbun copy

After seeing that racer I think I'll rock the rainbow "hare" one more time.  Cheers!


Exercising Options in Greenville, SC Near the Swamp Rabbit Inn

DSCN0691 "Oh the weather outside is..." Meh.  We have to admit, sometimes conditions aren't perfect for cycling here in Greenville.  While there are the diehards, the intrepid ones, who think toughing it out through sleet, snow, drizzle, wind... builds character, others of us (go ahead, call me a fair weather cyclist!) like getting in our workouts with a little less drama.  Also, we know that plenty of the folks who stay with us at the Swamp Rabbit Properties couldn't give a fig about cycling, period, and that's okay!  Then there are those "mixed marriages" of cyclist/non-cyclist traveling together.   No worries!  Greenville has you covered!  There are many exercising options in Greenville, SC near the Swamp Rabbit Inn, most within walking distance.  Also, many offer traveler's rates or one day rates.  So let's get you acquainted with some of Downtown Greenville's indoor exercise fun.

First and closest option to the Swamp Rabbit Inn, is practically across the street.  You could throw a rock at it from the porch (You could. I can't throw; I'm a rabbit).  The gorgeous Kroc Center is a 20 acre facility with grounds for all manner of field sports and indoor options.  They have a lap pool and recreation pool, full gym equipment, multipurpose gymnasium for basketball and volleyball, and tennis center.  Many types of movement classes like  Zumba and Hydro Tone are available as well as swimming lessons for all levels and ages, plus tennis and soccer lessons and camps.  You can enjoy the weather through the giant windows while you sweat safely inside.


Zanti Power Yoga is right around the corner from the Inn ( S. Main at Perry) and a classy, cozy spot to get your hot yoga on.  Classes are available in many temperatures and speeds to fit your stretchy/bendy needs.  Ten minutes on foot, door to door, tops.  Boom!  Soul Yoga is also open in the Swamp Rabbit Cross Fit Building and also in the same building check out Physio Health Studio PT where Dr. Harry  Dinwiddie will get you back on your game!

For you urban warriors, Crossfit Reaction is also right around the corner, even closer than Zanti, at 9 Ferguson, and Swamp Rabbit Crossfit  (my little brother, Spike, posed for the logo) is a mere ten minute jog up the Swamp Rabbit Trail.  Both offer the array of crossfit options, coaching, personal training, open sessions and classes.  Take that, Winter!

Hanging from the ceiling in graceful or contemplative positions is great fun and great training!  MAYA Movement Arts, located at 201 Smythe near the Swamp Rabbit Cafe will get you swinging like a bat in no time.  They offer acro-yoga, aerial yoga, mysore ashtanga yoga, hoop dance, belly dance and more.  Go fly!

Barre, the fusion of ballet, Pilates and yoga is the latest thing in fitness and we've got that close at hand too! Barre Evolution can be found just off S. Main at 400 E. McBee and is the place for a high intensity, low impact, full body workout.  A healthier way to 'hang out at the barre'!

Looking for something more exotic to maybe practice by the fire when you get home?  Downtown Greenville Pole, Exotic, Chair and Lap Dance at West End Dance Company will take the chill off your winter blues!  No description required.  Twenty one and over only, please!  Find them at 21 Augusta Road, naturally!  Perfect for Bachelorette parties!

Did we get too fancy?  Just want a gym to go workout?  Of course we've got that!  Both off Main Street, also easily walkable, Carolina Fitness, and Anytime Fitness provide all the pushing/pulling plates and cable classics you know and love.

Many of these folks have complimentary 'first time free' offers.  Please check their websites for more info.

Whew!  I'm exhausted!  Time to hit a nice restaurant, maybe get a drink and then have a long nap.  Thank goodness I needn't hop far!  It's all Inn the neighborhood around the Swamp Rabbit Inn!

Meet Percy the Swamp Rabbit of the Swamp Rabbit Inn--Percy


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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!


The Most Beloved Thursday Starts the Season of Holiday Happenings in Greenville SC

12278797_10207845494281417_7831032700418459909_n National holiday on a Thursday?  When Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national holiday to be observed throughout the land he could guess at, but surely not foresee, its endurance or impact on our culture. He chose Thursday because it did not conflict with the sabbath days of the major religions.  During the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt changed it to the fourth Thursday to give retailers more time to sell goods before Christmas, and there Thanksgiving has stayed.

As I sat, gathered with new friends around a long table, many miles from my original home I saw many classic dishes, familiar since childhood, that no Thanksgiving would feel authentic without.  I mused on how iconic this shared experience had become.  Across the many cultures and cuisines that comprise the tapestry of our nation, on this Thursday one could sit at any feast table in America and find a dish they recognized.  There are many adaptations and ethnic variations on the standard menu but it is all about Comfort Food, belonging, coming home, participation and connection.  The memories, anticipation, and fulfillment of Thanksgiving are celebrated in the American soul.

For those who travel frequently, major holidays sometimes find them far from loved ones.  One can’t help but contemplate the meaning of Thanksgiving themes: home, family, belonging, and of course, favorite foods!  Seasoned travelers will tell you that the best way to really enjoy any adventure is to get to know the locals, that “family” can be found or made most anywhere.

Greenville really knows how to do holidays, so come hang out with us!  Trade stories.  Break bread.  Share in celebrations!  Here at the Swamp Rabbit Inn we take pride in making our guests feel cozy, comfy, welcome, and ‘at home’. Our philosophy is really just an extension of the warmth of Greenville itself.  We want you to feel at ease here and enjoy all that we have to offer. If you’re visiting Greenville during the winter holidays there are plenty of opportunities for festive, frosty fun and we Inn-vite you to join us!  The following list should provide a good start for finding holiday cheer.


Greenville is noted for its delightful downtown.  Main Street has decked its historic corridor for a wondrous winter and gets the party started with the Poinsettia Christmas Parade, Saturday, December 5th from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Come light the giant menorah on NOMA Square at Chanukah on Main.  Traditional hot latkes and doughnuts will be served, with dreidels, games and chocolate gelt for the kids.  December 6th starting at 4:30.

Next, dive right into a megadose of seasonal décor at the Hyatt Regency for the annual St Francis Festival of Trees display.  Need decoration inspiration, or just a rush of childlike awe?  This is for you. The fest includes the Martinis and Mistletoe event on Dec. 3rd and the Teddybear Luncheon on Dec. 5th.  The trees are on display through December.


There's a great mix of live theater on Greenville's stages this season from traditional standards to the downright edgy.  A Christmas Carol will cure you of your wicked ways, Dec. 11 - 20th and T'was the Night Before Christmas will enchant you Dec. 16 - 19th, both found at Greenville Little Theater.  The International Ballet accompanied by The Greenville Symphony Orchestra will provide the Russian fantasy of The Nutcracker at the Peace Center, Dec. 11-13.  Joyful voices rise for Christmas with the Chorale at Furman University, Dec. 11th at 7:30.  Kids will love Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells Dec. 4 - 13th at the Peace Center's Gunter Theater.  For something more adult,  Christmas on the Rocks explores what might happen if all of your favorite children from the Christmas classics walk into a bar on a cold, winter’s night.  What could go wrong?  Playing at the Warehouse Theater, Dec. 4 - 20th.



Downtown Greenville Holiday Happening (Dec. 10 -14) is where to get your gift shopping on!  Peruse Main Street shops in an atmosphere filled with music, food, art and entertainments while taking advantage of many discounts and special promotions.  Here at the Swamp Rabbit Inn we kick off the event on Thursday, December 10th with our Holiday Hoppenings (aka #HolidayHop) Open House with unique local artisans filling the inn with unique local made gifts and some live music and holiday cheer!  Stop by from 4 - 7pm.  Not in town??  For all things Swamp Rabbit shop our online store!

December 10th Open House with local Makers: gifts and goodies for the Holidays

Be dazzled by Roper Mountain Holiday Lights, now in its 24th year, nightly from now until Dec. 30th, 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.  Proceeds from Holiday Lights benefit Rotary Charities and educational programming for the Roper Mountain Science Center.

If you want to get old-fashioned, hop on over to Fountain Inn and stroll into the Spirit of Christmas Past Festival.  A host of simple pleasures and classic holiday activities are on offer with a calendar of various events from Dec. 2 - 19th.

If you really want your socks knocked off visit TNT Holiday Light Display in Mauldin, SC from Dec. 1 - Jan. 1.

Whew!  If all that does or doesn't give you holiday overload, Greenville has all the ingredients and quiet nature spaces to saddle up your imaginary reindeer and go in search of a holiday magic to call your own.  The Swamp Rabbit Inn, Lodge, and Cottages will be here for you when you need to warm up, crash, re-group and commence the reveling afresh!  Do I hear jingle bells...?

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Swamp Rabbit Inn Ready for the Holidays

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