Greenville SC might look small on the map, but it is, in fact, a part of something much larger. The entire Palmetto State doesn’t look very big on the map of the United States, and it’s honestly not a huge geographic area. Those going north to south on I85 or I95 might not even have to pull over for gas as they pass through the state, although they possibly should. The low taxes on gas give South Carolina some of the lowest gas prices per gallon in the region.
Greenville is in the western end of the state, often referred to as the High Country, as compared to the central rolling hills of the so-called Piedmont or the Low Country of the coastal plains and beach-side towns, cities, and counties. Greenville is also sometimes called Greenville-Spartanburg, a reference to the other city that is nearby. It’s smaller, but it’s also so close that outside of government purposes, the two are indistinguishable as one larger metropolitan area.
Despite the massive population growth over the last few decades, Greenville is still not a big city, but it is a part of something bigger. Economists have started realizing that some cities actually string together along transit connections to form larger economic zones. One such example is “BosWash” which shows how closely correlated the cities of Boston and Washington are, with New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia in between. The Tidewater area of Virginia and its capital of Richmond form the southern boundaries.
Richmond and the Tidewater have lots of empty or rural counties between them and the Triangle area of North Carolina, which starts the I85 corridor that connects them with Charlotte and Atlanta. Greenville is between those two cities, and as such, sees quite a bit of commerce with both of them.