Ready to Ride: Art and Adventure

Arts and outdoors enthusiasts Clint and Alexandra McNeal explore Greenwood's varied attractions.

  • Publication date October 28, 2021
  • Categories Shopping
Conservationist Clint McNeal and wildlife artist Alexandra Nicole recently took a Ready to Ride trip to Greenwood. Their love of the outdoors found new expression in Greenwood’s variety.

Ever wondered about that couple you see tooling along in an open-top car and enjoying the sites in Greenwood’s Ready to Ride video? That’s conservationist and avid outdoorsman Clint McNeal and his wife, artist and biologist Alexandra Nicole. 

Clint and Alexandra have gained a sizable social media following for their outdoor and artistic adventures, around the studio, in their hometown of Athens, GA, or on the road exploring outdoor locales. Their mutual love of the outdoors and wildlife inspired their choices in education, careers and, of course, travel.

Clint and Alexandra McNeal drive along Lake Greenwood

After growing up on an island, Alexandra became a biologist, earning degrees in wildlife biology and fisheries science and working with shore animals. Today, she is a full-time artist known for her coastal-inspired artwork incorporating wildlife.

Raised in North Georgia, Clint spent his childhood in all kinds of outdoor endeavors, became an avid hunter, fly fisherman and competitive bass fisherman. After finishing a graduate degree in natural resources management at the University of Georgia, he entered a career as a private lands conservationist. 

Visiting Greenwood

In their first trip to Greenwood, to film the Ready to Ride video, the couple enjoyed the trails and woods when they visited Lake Greenwood State Park, fished for stripers at Lake Greenwood and spent some time in Uptown’s shops, restaurants and the art museum.

“We did zero research on the town before the trip, so we honestly had no idea what to expect,” Clint says. “The state park and the lake in general were both beautiful places, and we really enjoyed our time there.

“As avid anglers, I would have to say that fishing was our favorite activity, and we would absolutely love to go back and fish Lake Greenwood again.”

Clint fishing at Lake Greenwood

There wasn’t time for golf on this trip, but, Clint says, “I would love to get back over there and play some of the courses in the area, because I have heard good things. I think we both would have liked to just spend more time getting to know the area.”

It’s Uptown, Not Downtown

After a few friendly reminders that it’s Uptown, not downtown, Clint and Alexandra spent time in the shops and restaurants. As an artist, the Arts Center of Greenwood was a must for Alexandra. 

“We were blown away by how nice Uptown Greenwood is,” Clint says. “I have traveled extensively all over the Southeastern US and been through hundreds of small to mid-sized ‘downtown’ areas. Greenwood rivals any of the nicest ones I’ve been to. It’s extremely refreshing to see a city take pride in their Uptown area in a time when so many have let sprawling development run rampant, and have turned their back on their historic towns. 

“The shops and restaurants were all fantastic, but I think the most striking thing upon entering the uptown area is by far the landscaping. All of the landscaping is impressive, but the topiaries scattered about the town really steal the show.”

“We have told so many people about Uptown Greenwood since we visited. Any town where you can go to a roadside produce stand and pick up some boiled peanuts and fresh peaches right in town is a great town in our book.”

Friendly Locals

Another aspect of Greenwood that always makes an impression is the locals. 

“The town and the people were straight out of a Hallmark movie, and I mean that as a huge compliment,” Clint says of the people they met. “The people are so friendly and welcoming that I felt like I could move there and be a part of the community instantly.”

While they don’t consider themselves influencers, Clint says, “We are fortunate that there are many like-minded individuals who also share passions for hunting, fishing, art, and conservation and have decided to follow along on our journey together.”

If you’re interested in following along on more of the McNeals’ adventures, check out artbyalexandra.com or follow them on social media. You’ll find great travel (and fishing) stories on Instagram @clint_mcneal, and travel and art inspiration @artbyalexandra

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