Local Guide: Jeremy & Kristin from Amble Guide

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A little history on how I got connected with Jeremy and Kristin. Since getting on the road and traveling full-time, we have gotten to know this massive community of full-time travelers, RVers, camping and hiking enthusiasts. It’s this whole new world we didn’t know existed and it is a really awesome community to be a part of. I ran across Amble Guide on Instagram and was was so excited to see that these guys were sharing their hiking and camping knowledge from none other than Greenville! Was so excited when they reached out and were interested in writing a Local Guide!

 

Jeremy and Kristin

Hi! We are Jeremy and Kristin, and we are the faces behind Amble Guide. When we moved to Greenville from Texas just a few years ago, we had no idea how much we would love hiking. Our first hike was just a few months after we moved here, and we’ve been exploring the outdoors more and more ever since. We created Amble Guide to help outdoor lovers plan their next adventures by providing reliable and accurate information on trails and parks. When we aren’t exploring in the mountains you can find us walking around our beautiful downtown eating all of the local food we can find (after all… it’s all about balance right.) You can find us on:

Instagram: @ambleguide
Facebook: facebook.com/ambleguide/
Pinterest: pinterest.com/ambleguide/

OUR TOP UPSTATE TRAILS:

Pinnacle Mountain in Table Rock State Park. This state park is most known for the famous Table Rock Trail, and while this is a great trail we believe that taking the path less traveled is the best decision. Pinnacle Mountain Trail is still a good workout but the elevation gain is slower than Table Rock with just as much of a reward at the top. The sweeping view at Bald Knob Overlook is the best we have seen in South Carolina. Plus, if you reach the very top of Pinnacle Mountain you will have hiked the tallest mountain contained entirely within the state of South Carolina (although you won’t find a view up there – be warned).

Pinnacle Mountain

Rainbow Falls in Jones Gap State Park. There are quite a few waterfalls in Jones Gap State Park but we think this one takes the cake. After a challenging climb, you will want to sit and listen to the peaceful sounds of the water plunging 100 feet over a granite cliff and soak up the views of the gorgeous granite walls that surround the waterfall.

Rim of the Gap can be accessed from Jones Gap State Park or Caesars Head State Park. If you are looking for a trail to challenge your technical hiking skills, then this is the hike for you. Rim of the Gap will have you crawling under rocks, hugging a rock face as you sidestep along the trail, and very carefully walking across waterfalls. Make it a loop by adding Coldspring Branch Trail and Jones Gap Trail to get a nice 9 mile hike.

FAVORITE FAMILY FRIENDLY:

Frank Coggins in Caesars Head State Park. This trail is located across the road from the Visitor’s Center. If there has been a good amount of rain recently in the area, you can see a few small but gorgeous waterfalls that will amaze your little ones. Plus, after you finish grab a picnic table to eat lunch and soak up the views of Table Rock from the Caesars Head Overlook.

Frank Coggins

WORTH THE DRIVE:

Stone Mountain in DuPont State Forest. This trail is about an hour drive from Greenville but it is easily one of our favorite trails in the area. It was one of the first hikes we ever went on and the view from the top plus the solitude on the trail keep us going back. It can be a bit of a challenge to reach the peak but once you arrive you can wander around and take in different views from every angle.

If you are looking for more trails to explore in the Upstate be sure to check out our website: ambleguide.com. See you on the trail!!

Local Love: Garage Authority

We love getting connected with local business owners who have chosen to put down roots and grow their dream right here in Greenville. Today we’re sharing a little background Garage Authority, written by owner Nancy Martin,

 
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Nancy Martin’s Garage Authority

Greenville is a wonderful, thriving community! There has been some amazing growth in the area for quite a while now, with an increased activity of culture and diversity. It’s an economically booming area, rich with opportunity left, right and center. The question shouldn’t be, what do I love about Greenville, but more, what don’t I love!

Why We Chose Greenville

The growth of Greenville has been constantly on the rise. When we first started this business, Greenville was doing pretty good as a whole. Now it is growing even more than we could have imagined! As a whole, we have been very pleased with how the business has done is such an amazing area.

How We Got Started

I have been designing cabinetry since 2005. My extensive corporate background comes into play as we professionally handle all our business dealings. However, it was my son who first started the business, right after he graduated college. It was back in 2011, we were in the middle of the financial recession. He had just graduated with a degree in Construction Management Building Science and none of the construction companies in the area were hiring.

When he found the Monkey Bars product, he did all the research and planning himself so he could make a living doing something he loved. My initial input was limited to simply advising my son and providing some insight into marketing the business. Since then, we have thrived!

Our Passion

We have strong Christian values which we strive to implement into our daily personal and business lives. Our passion to help those in need extends to everyone! The challenges you face with your garage excites us, and we love to find solutions that will best help your garage. Our philosophy is to try our very best in making a difference in the lives that we interact with. We strive constantly to have a positive impact in everyone’s lives. The world would be a much better place if everyone took a little more time out of their day to care and help one another.

The Garage Authority is your local garage storage, and organization company.

Local Experience: Facial Membership @ Organic Tan Face & Body

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My love for Organic Tan Face & Body is not newfound. I remember going to see boss babe Lindsey Holder Rinehart in the upstairs of her little studio in a historic home on McBee more years ago than I would like to admit. Now Lindsey has a built a successful beauty empire that is based over on Haywood Road.

We were invited out to learn more about their facial membership program. Rachel at @thehealthiestrachel was more than game for a sneak peek of their October facial for members–the Pumpkin Hydrafacial.

For those out there who have never had a facial before…seriously go treat yo self. Your skin will thank you. Here is a quick recap of what it looks like:

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  1. Chat about what your concerns with your are.
  2. Makeup removal and pumpkin enzyme scrub (which eats off the top layer of dead skin).
  3. Extraction (gets all the gunk out).
  4. Treatment with doTERRA essential oil; this one had a antiviral property to help ward off the flu.
  5. 20 minute massage (ahhhhhhh)!
  6. High frequency machine; creates an ozone layer under the skin, which is great for combating acne.

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Facial memberships start at just $59 a month. While the monthly facials will change up, they are always adapted to fit what your skin needs. This is a fantastic way to take care of your skin while still being budget-friendly.

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Local Influencer: Lindley Mayer

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I admit it. I followed her recent wedding countdown on Instagram with more interest than I’ve had in some weddings I was actually IN. But go look at her feed and you’ll understand why! I think she is the perfect person to write our first “Local Influencer” post. @lindleymayer
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As a Greenville native and someone who loves this beautiful city so much, there are still places and things that I haven’t seen. That is what is most exciting about our ever growing home. Thankfully The Local Greenville is the one stop shop for finding the most popular, or the best hidden treasure must see spots in Greenville. I love the Greenville fashion scene, locals who love giving back, fabulous restaurants, festivals, etc. I always keep the latest trends and most popular events on my Instagram page @lindleymayer. Click, follow and stay tuned! 🙂

But First….Fashion:

This city is truly flourishing when it comes to fashion trends. When I moved to Los Angeles, CA after high school where I resided for 7 years, I found my love for fashion. When I made my way back to the East Coast, I was so delighted to find such an incredible fashion scene filled with events, trends, shows and so much more. Here are a few of my favorite local shopping spots. Vestique (trendy, chic, boho), Splash on Main (swimsuits, beach wear and more), Marley Lilly/Monday Dress (online boutique featuring all things monograms and all the latest trends), LuluLemon (fitness clothing), Coast to Coast Style (dance, fitness and athleisure apparel). Every lady loves accessories and another one of my favorites is Julie Mayer Collection. She can be found at @Julie_Mayer_Collection on Instagram and Julie Mayer Collection on FB and all of her designs are handmade and one of a kind. She created the original Tiger Rag Necklaces that has been worn by Kathleen Swinney, Jane Robelot and so many more.
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Giving Back…

As the social scene contributor for TALK Magazine, I get a behind the scenes look at these events and even the opportunity to host. I have a non-profit myself inspired by my two younger special needs siblings and I love how our community comes together to truly make a difference. A few of my favorites events that give back in the community include Couture for a Cause which is an incredible event where all of the models rocking the runway are cancer survivors. The designers design their designs out of repurposed and recycled materials and the best part is…. its all for an amazing cause, The American Cancer Society. Another of my favorites is Fashion With a Passion. This event showcases and highlights local boutiques in Greenville and raises funds to benefit Safe Harbor. I highly recommend checking both of these out in the coming year. The date for Fashion with a Passion has already been set for March 14th. A few others that are not to be missed are The Hope Ball, Euphoria, Artisphere and Fall for Greenville.
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As you can see, fashion and giving are two of the things I love the most about this city. If you are a local looking to make a visit to Greenville, take a look at the events calendar or check out @TalkGreenville to see whats coming up next and stay tuned to The Local Greenville for all of the hottest spots.

Local Experience: Moe’s Original Bar B Que

Mandy over at @hubcitytopknot making our mouths water with her review of the newest BBQ spot in Greenville; Moe’s Original Bar B Que in Westone.

The Food:

They have a pretty diverse menu, so even if you aren’t a fan of the typical BBQ fare, there is truly something for everyone. (Fish and tofu for instance). I loved the turkey, grilled cornbread and coleslaw—which I was surprised about, but they make it with oil and vinegar instead of mayo and it’s super good)! My hubby raved about the smoked chicken wings. But we both agreed our favorite item was the pulled pork sandwich. The combination of pickles with red and white sauces are what we think made it so good. The Mississippi mud pie and banana pudding (tasted like Christmas) are both solid dessert choices if you save room.

The Vibe:

I loved the atmosphere; it was trendy yet still gave you that comfort food/inviting vibe that a lot of little BBQ places in the south have. The owners, John and Sam, were above and beyond friendly. They do serve alcohol; we tried something called the Bushwacker, which tasted like banana ice cream and rum (right up my alley). And of course, they are right next to Liability Brewing, so it’s really the best of both worlds.

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Local Experience: Trifit Barbell

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Go follow Rachel over at @thehealthiestrachel

Welcome back to the second installment of @thehealthiestrachel’s gym reviews! I am eager and ready to share this gym with you all. This gym has been in the area for two years, but I somehow did not know about it. So, I am thinking some of you may have never been there either! Full disclosure, this place is so good that I ended up joining myself. I hope to meet some of you there and if you come by, please SAY HI!!

WHAT:

Trifit Barbell
Think personal training on your schedule!

WHERE:

320 W. Butler Rd. Mauldin, SC 29662
Go down Laurens Road until it turns into Main Street Mauldin. Take a right on W. Butler. The gym is in between the gas station and Sonic.

COST:

There are different levels based on your budget ranging from $50-$120.
$50 gets you access to the gym. $120 gets you the gym, training, workouts, and nutrition.
Looking for something in between? Talk to them about your needs!
Everything is month-to-month- NO CONTRACTS!

THE PERKS:

 The “classes.” Alright, when you look at their schedule you are going to see classes listed. These classes do not work the way you are probably thinking. The programming for these classes is written out on white boards. If you come any time during the day that a class time is listed on the schedule, a trainer will be on the floor to assist with form, questions, a kick in the ass, whatever you need!

 The flexibility. It’s so amazing for anyone with even a slightly busy schedule to not have to arrive somewhere by a certain time or the doors are locked and you must pay a missed class fee! Worked late and don’t arrive until 6:15 PM? Your trainer and training program are still there and ready for you!

 The location. You guys may think I’m crazy for saying this but hear me out! This pricing is significantly less than any personal trainer I’ve used in Greenville and still a good bit less than the specialized gyms in Greenville as well. Could the fact that the town name is “Mauldin” and not “Greenville” be playing in to this? I don’t know for sure, but it’s something to think about!

 The people. Everyone that works out here is nice! Have you ever entered those classes where people are grouped up and don’t talk to anyone else? That is not a thing here. Also, people are workin’ hard, so no forced long conversations or lingering.

 The trainers. I can’t speak for all of them! I have worked with Logan as I am in no way a morning person and he is the one there in the afternoons/evenings. They are extremely knowledgeable though, and will figure out which program will work best for your goals. Also, they are personable and make you feel comfortable throughout your fitness and exercise journey!

THINGS OF NOTE:

 There is a boot camp class on Saturday mornings if you’re really craving that group structure.
 You can use the open gym any time from 6 AM- 8 PM during the week, 8 AM- 5 PM on Saturday and 10 AM- 2PM on Sunday. If you go during open gym when a class is not scheduled, someone will still be there for questions, but they won’t be as actively training on the floor.

PRO TIP:

 Call or email them for a tour of the facility and receive a week-long pass to try it out for yourself!

Check out their website here:
www.trifitbarbell.com

Local Guide: Tyler Center

I have lived in Greenville my entire life, and I cannot imagine growing up anywhere else. I have seen first hand how Greenville has grown, and how our little town has turned into a city full of opportunity.  I love going downtown on a Sunday afternoon for brunch, and just taking in the sights and sounds of Greenville. I enjoy working out, running, and trying new restaurants/bars with friends.  I love how there is always something new and exciting happening in our city! – Tyler Center @guysguide_

Favorite Outdoor Spots:

One City Plaza:

One City Plaza sits in the heart of downtown Greenville; it is home to many great shops, restaurants, and businesses.  I love it because it has a different vibe when I go to a restaurant there or up to Sip; from the Plaza I feel like I am transported.  It has such a peaceful yet vibrant feel, especially on a warm weekend afternoon.  You might find some live music from various local musicians, or you might run into a friend doing some shopping at Anthropologie or grabbing a bite to eat at Tupelo Honey. 

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Tourist Madison Wright enjoying the pink wall above One City Plaza, located at the top of the Aloft parking deck.

 

Pretty Place:

Pretty Place Chapel is a not so secret chapel in the mountains of Greenville.  I have been going to Pretty Place for about 5 years now, and every time I go I stand amazed by the beauty of where we live.  Only about an hour from the heart of Greenville, Pretty Place is a breathtaking chapel housed in YMCA Camp Greenville.  While Pretty Place has gained popularity through the years, its beauty has remained constant and steadfast.  Whether you go at sunrise or in the middle of the day you are sure to get some beautiful pictures and create even better memories. 

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Favorite Healthy Spot:

Southern Pressed:

If you want to enjoy something sweet, yet don’t want to worry about the calories; you should probably pay a visit to Southern Pressed Juicery.  My favorite thing on the menu is the Bees Knees energy bowl. 

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Favorite Family Brunch:

Halls Chophouse:

There is simply not a better place (in my opinion) to enjoy a nice relaxing brunch in town then at Halls Chophouse.  On Sunday there is a fantastic live band, and the views of the Reedy River are second to none.  If you like shrimp & grits Hall’s offers some of the best, and don’t miss out on their Eggs Benedict or French toast.  Lastly, no brunch would be complete without a signature mimosa or Bloody Mary; both go great with anything on the menu. 

Favorite Flavorful Eats:

Tsunami:

I have been going to Tsunami for what seems like forever, the staff is always so accommodating, the food is always delicious, and the atmosphere is perfect for a date night, or just a fun night out with friends.  If you like sushi the city roll is the best in town. 

Sabroso Mexican Grille:

There are few things better in life than a margarita and some chips & salsa, Sabroso’s offers a variety of margaritas, as well as a selection of other cocktails that pair perfectly with their mesquite grilled quesadillas.

 

Local Experience: Gold’s Gym

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Rachel Brandenburg has her own intro below but I wanted to make sure I included mine for her as well. If I’m going to try a diet or workout regime, I typically will always ask Rachel what she thinks because 9 times out of 10 she has done/researched it. You can typically find her traveling with her very crafty husband Matt (a local business owner who makes things out of wood at @upstaterepurposed), doing outdoorsy things in/around Greenville or taking pictures of her cute dog. It’s unfortunate that on a blog you can’t hear Rachel laugh, because she has the best one I’ve ever heard.
She probably should start a podcast. In the meantime, you can follow her here at @rachelbrandenburg_fit.
-Courtney

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Hi guys! I know most of you reading this don’t know me, so I thought I would introduce myself and let you know about my health journey so far before jumping into my first review. I’m so excited! My name is Rachel Brandenburg, obligatory self-promotion @rachelbrandenburg_fit, and I am passionate about being healthy. That’s right, I’m not passionate about six-pack abs and macro counting. I’m passionate about being strong, healthy and happy in my skin and I want everyone else to be able to have that, too!

This may sound weird as there seems to be two categories of “health” people out there- the elite fit and the love yourselfers. Well, my mindset is very much in between those two places. I was very active through high school and college, so I never really had to think about what was being put in my mouth or if I exercised that day. After college, I married my super cool, talented husband, who still has the metabolism of a growing, teenage guy somehow and I quickly found out that I do not. That was not fun. I put on weight. I felt bad about myself. I felt lethargic. All those glorious things.

So, I started to try EVERYTHING. Seriously. It’s still a joke among my friends how many fitness scams I fell for. After the diet pills, teas, shrink wraps, and whatever else didn’t work, I tried this crazy new idea called eating healthy and exercise! It has changed my life. I’m still a work in progress and have goals for my bod’s strength, looks, and general athletic performance, but I’ve learned so much about figuring out what works for yourself and not falling into the trap of just trying what is currently being shoved down your throat by marketers! I want to share that with you all by doing the work of trying these places out for you so that you can make an educated decision on where you want to try out and join. Your time is precious right?! Leave it to the crazy girl who loves trying new gyms to do the leg work for ya!

I see that a handful of the reviews on the blog are for specialized gyms- which I love- but I thought I would start out with something more traditional for all those that don’t want to spend half their paycheck on a gym membership! Here we go!

WHAT:

Gold’s Gym

This is really your traditional gym structure. There is a cardio equipment section, resistance machine section, and a free weights section.

WHERE:

There are several locations, but I visited the location on South Pleasantburg Drive across from Home Depot.

1332 S. Pleasantburg Dr. Greenville, SC 29605

COST:

One visit free pass

$39.99/month with a 90 day contract and month to month payments after that.

There are more expensive membership packages available as well, but this one really has everything you need.

THE PERKS:

This place really does have a bunch to offer.

  • They have childcare! Kids Club is open Monday-Friday 8 am- 1 pm and 3 pm-9pm, Saturday 9am-3pm, and Sunday 1pm-4pm.
  • There is an indoor pool, sauna, and hot tub available.
  • If you don’t like working out by yourself all the time, they have lots of classes available. Everything from barre to yoga to boot camp to sculpt! There are more specialized classes that only come with the more expensive membership packages as well.
  • They keep the entry area stocked full of healthy snacks, drinks, and a smoothie bar. I know other places have this as well, but I was truly impressed with their selection.
  • The locker room is extremely clean and spacious. Taking a shower and getting ready for your day after hitting the gym would not be a problem here.
  • The selection of dumbbells, racks, resistance bands, kettlebells, etc. was great. I was also very impressed by the wide range of equipment available- TRX, wall balls, kettlebells, an actual power rack!
  • Lastly, when you use your free pass, they don’t prey on you like hungry lions trying to get you to join! This was an awesome change of pace for me. They are more than happy to answer your questions and sign you up if you would like, but they won’t blow up your phone every hour for the next six months trying to get your money.

THINGS OF NOTE:

  • I tend to enjoy high intensity workouts which is not the general feel of the free weights section. It is very much your typical gym environment where everyone stares at themselves in the mirror while doing slow, calculated reps. Which is totally cool! Just depends on what you like.
  • There are personal trainers available if you would like to use them. I did see a couple working with people. Generally, the trainers that I’ve seen at national gyms like this don’t seem to put a ton of effort into their clients. I would recommend getting workouts elsewhere rather than paying extra for a trainer here.

PRO TIP:

  • They do offer week long passes on occasion. When you go in to use your free pass, ask if you can do a week! If nothing else, you may get a few extra day passes!

Check out their full website and locations here:

https://www.goldsgym.com/

Seedlings @ TCM

Last weekend we had a chance to check out the new Seedlings restaurant (owned by Farm Fresh Fast) in the basement of The Children’s Museum. AND we were able to hang out for the “Microgreen Tasting” with Upstate Greens. (Somehow they had my child eating pea shoots like they were candy!) The Seedlings programs happen once per month and you can find upcoming programs on the museum’s website (linked above). Loving that this farm to table, organic option is now available and that the programs help teach kids about eating healthy and where their food is coming from!

Big thanks to TCM and Seedlings for having us out!

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Local Experience: Burn Bootcamp

Lindsey Breitwieser: NY transplant, Cyclebar instructor and sweat enthusiast. Checking out all of the health and wellness options that Greenville has to offer. @getfitgvl
What:
Burn Bootcamp has, as it’s name would imply, bootcamp style group workouts. All bootcamps are group sessions and circuit style, meaning you will be switching up your moves throughout the 45 minutes. It all takes place in a fun, energetic atmosphere.
Where:There are two locations in Greenville, however I believe they are independently owned franchises. I attended class at the Five Forks location.

Five Forks, SC

1618 Woodruff Rd

Greenville, SC

Suite B101, 215 Pelham Rd
Cost:
14 day free trial
6-18 month packages available $115-$145 per month for unlimited bootcamps!
Why You’ll Love It:
  • Free childcare — I repeat, free childcare!
  • The workouts are a great length. 45 minutes felt like the perfect amount of time to get a great workout in and get on with my day.
  • If you feel like your workout is getting a bit stale they definitely have some unique moves that will ensure you don’t get bored.
What To Expect:
The first thing I noticed when I walked in to Burn was how large the space felt. There is a large workout floor where the bootcamp takes place that has some padding and give, a separate check in area, and then the child care room.
I got myself checked in dropped my bag in a cubby and hit the floor. There was no slow stretching or casual warming up, the instructor had us begin with some high energy dynamic moves and then we were launching right into the workout. The moves for the day were written out on a whiteboard and the instructor demonstrated each move before divvying us into groups. This happened rather quickly so if it’s your first time don’t be discouraged if you get a little lost. For this particular workout there were 10 stations and I loved the unique combination of moves. I go to a lot of studios and there were moves I had never tried before with TRX straps and resistance bands so it made it fun and definitely unique.
With 10 stations it did feel like it was a little difficult for the instructor to keep their eye on everyone, but they were definitely coming around as able. Everyone also seemed to be doing their own thing, which made it a little hard to know where I was supposed to be intensity wise. For example, some clients were bursting out fast reps and then resting and others were going at a slower steadier pace.
Overall it was fun and there was a very encouraging environment. If you’re looking for something that will definitely challenge you, introduce you to some new fun workout moves, and you want to hang with some fun people definitely check this place out!

Pro Tip:

*They offer free bootcamps ever Saturday at 9:30 am
* They offer a 14 day free trial, which is by far the longest one I’ve experienced. Take advantage.
* They are very female centric – the bootcamps in the morning are women only with co-ed camps later in the day.
Check out their full site here.