What’s In Columbia SC

columbia sc

Are you looking for an unforgettable adventure? Are you wondering what’s in Columbia, SC? A journey into the heart of history and culture with something to captivate everyone in your travel party? Look no further than Columbia, SC! From its grand antebellum mansions to its expanding arts scene, Columbia is sure to keep you entertained. Whether you’re a history buff or just someone looking for an exciting trip, there’s something in this vibrant city waiting to be explored. Come and experience all that Columbia has to offer-from treasured monuments and landmarks reflecting local heritage to exceptional food at one of our many award-winning restaurants. An adventure awaits – come explore Colombia SC now! Enjoy our list of exciting things to do in Columbia, South Carolina!

Visit the South Carolina State House

The South Carolina State House is one of the state’s most iconic buildings. Located in Columbia, the capital city of South Carolina, the State House stands as a symbol of the history, culture, and government that shape the Palmetto State. Built-in 1856 on the original site of an older building, this impressive structure has withstood wars, natural disasters, and more than a century of evolving political agendas. The 325-foot dome caps off a breathtaking view for those who visit or work inside as state legislators craft laws and policies to govern South Carolina.

In addition to being an impressive architectural feat, many interesting facts are tied to the State House. It houses priceless artifacts such as Civil War flags and documents reflecting South Carolina’s secession from the Union. Its walls have held some of our state’s greatest leaders, including governors and U.S. senators. The lobby contains eight grand marble columns that are topped by busts depicting significant figures from South Carolina’s colonial period, including Drayton, Rutledge, Pinckney, Moultrie, and Laurens. Outside, the grounds feature monuments recognizing World War I veterans through Operation Desert Storm in Iraq and Afghanistan. Alongside these memorials sit several statues paying tribute to notable individuals in our state’s history, such as John C Calhoun and Harriet Barber Herbert, two prominent politicians who pushed for rights for African Americans during Reconstruction after slavery was abolished in 1865.

A visit to the South Carolina State House is a great way to learn about our state’s government while also taking a look back at its past. From its textured walls to its grandiose dome, it serves as a reminder of where we came from and offers hope for what we will become in the future.

Explore Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is an expansive and exciting destination located on the banks of the Saluda River in Columbia, South Carolina. This world-class zoo and botanical garden feature over 2,000 animals from around the globe and over 4,200 plant species from around the world. There is something for everyone at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden – whether you’re looking for a fun family outing or a unique educational experience.

Visitors to Riverbanks Zoo & Garden can explore several exhibits dedicated to different animal species. This zoo houses some of the most fascinating creatures in the animal kingdom from monkeys, birds, and reptiles to larger mammals such as tigers, elephants, rhinos, and gorillas. Not only will visitors have an opportunity to observe these amazing animals up close and personal, but they’ll also be able to learn about their habitats, dietary needs, social behaviors, and other interesting facts about each species. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden also has several gardens featuring a wide variety of plants from around the world, including native plants such as azaleas and magnolias. Visitors can wander through rose gardens with breathtaking blooms or stroll along shady pathways beneath towering trees such as oaks and maples.

This incredible outdoor space provides a tranquil spot where visitors can pause to relax amid nature’s beauty while being surrounded by wildlife. In addition to exploring its animals and gardens, Riverbanks Zoo & Garden offers plenty of interactive activities that allow guests to get even more involved with the attractions at hand. From feeding giraffes right out of your hand or spending time with a staff member talking about their favorite creature at the zoo, there are numerous opportunities for guests of all ages to learn about nature in an entertaining atmosphere. For those seeking an unforgettable day outdoors full of learning opportunities for both adults and children alike, a trip to Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is sure to provide an adventure like no other!

Enjoy A Day Out On Lake Murray

Located in the heart of South Carolina, Lake Murray is a beautiful oasis that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to relax and take in the scenery or an exciting adventure to explore its depths, Lake Murray has it all! This 50,000-acre reservoir was created by damming the Saluda River and features over 500 miles of shoreline with plenty of opportunities for recreation.

Visitors can boat, jet ski, or kayak along the lake’s winding waterways while taking in picturesque views of lush green woods, dramatic bluffs, and sandy beaches. If you’d rather stay ashore, numerous parks around the reservoir offer camping, hiking trails, fishing piers, and nature centers. The fish species that inhabit Lake Murray are plentiful, too –with largemouth bass being a popular catch among anglers. It’s also home to several species of catfish, including spotted and blue catfish, which can add to your catch if you like some variety. Lake Murray is home to more than just wildlife; however – it’s filled with history as well.

A tour through the area reveals remains from ancient civilizations and early colonial settlements, highlighting this unique location’s past lives. Spanning Hardy Davis Island on the lake’s lower end is one example – an old mill that dates back to 1820, originally built as an industrial operation but later converted into a state park in 1972! Whether you’re looking for outdoor recreation or want to take a step back in time, Lake Murray is undoubtedly a must-see destination!

Shop For Souvenirs and Local Produce At The State Farmers Market

The State Farmers Market in Columbia, South Carolina, is an amazing destination for anyone looking to experience the best of local produce and goods. Located just minutes away from downtown Columbia, this vibrant marketplace offers freshly harvested fruits, vegetables, and flowers picked right from nearby farms. It’s also home to some of the most delicious baked goods, homemade jams and preserves, and other unique specialty items you won’t find anywhere else!

The State Farmers Market is open six days a week, from 8 am – 6 pm on weekdays and 8 am – 5 pm on Saturdays. During the summer, it can get crowded with eager customers looking to pick up fresh produce from local farmers or delicacies from food vendors offering fried pies and boiled peanuts. You’ll also find a great selection of beer, wine, flowers, and plants at reasonable prices. In addition to its traditional offerings, The State Farmers Market also features various events throughout the year, such as cooking classes, live music concerts, and more. With such a wide variety of things to do here, it’s easy to see why this destination has become so popular among residents and tourists alike! From acquiring tasty treats like farm-fresh eggs or locally made cheese to browsing through handmade crafts by experienced artisans – there’s truly something for everyone at The State Farmers Market in Columbia!

Take a tour of the University of South Carolina Campus

Exploring the University of South Carolina is an incredible experience! Located in the heart of Columbia, this esteemed university offers many opportunities to learn, grow, and be inspired. Whether you’re a student looking to explore college life or an outsider eager to check out its sights and sounds, The University of South Carolina is sure to have something for everyone! For starters, the university grounds boast over 800 acres of beautiful green space that’s ripe for exploring. The campus has both walking trails and bike paths that wind through its many attractions, such as The Horseshoe – a grassy area with trees perfect for picnicking or simply soaking in the sun.

Beyond these attractive outdoor areas, USC also hosts numerous museums, galleries, and other educational destinations. During your tour, you can take part in one of many free guided walking tours that are offered by the Office of Orientation & Tours. These tours give visitors an opportunity to view iconic buildings like Thomas Cooper Library, Russell House University Union, and Longstreet Theatre while learning more about what makes USC so unique. The University of South Carolina isn’t just about academics; sports fans can cheer on their favorite teams at William-Brice Stadium during football games or catch some basketball action at Colonial Life Arena throughout the year. And if you’re hungry, there are numerous options ranging from casual eateries like Los Tios Grill to fine dining restaurants located all around the university grounds. From educational institutions to playing fields, taking a tour of USC is a great way to discover why people love being part of this vibrant community!

Enjoy a day at Finlay Park

Finlay Park in Columbia, South Carolina, is a popular destination for both locals and visitors alike. This scenic park offers plenty of green space for leisurely strolls and is also home to various recreational activities and events throughout the year. With its convenient location near the city center, Finlay Park is the perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon or evening outdoors! Spanning over twenty acres, Finlay Park offers many attractions like paved walking trails, a huge amphitheater, multiple playgrounds, and several picnic areas ideal for hosting family gatherings. During the summer months, visitors can take advantage of its two large pools, which provide a refreshing escape from the heat.

For those looking to stay active, there are also six lighted tennis courts and volleyball courts open all year round. When it comes to entertainment, Finlay Park frequently hosts various festivals and concerts that draw thousands of people from near and far. From Fourth of July celebrations to fitness programs such as Yoga in the Park – this vibrant destination has something for everyone! Even food vendors offer delicious snacks during certain events, so you can make a day out of your visit! Finlay Park is an excellent place to explore in Columbia, whether you’re looking for a fun outdoor activity or just want to soak up some sunshine. With its diverse range of attractions, there’s something here sure to delight everyone in your group!

Take a stroll through Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park is a must-see if you’re looking for adventure in Columbia, South Carolina! This 8,000-acre park features a unique and diverse landscape of wetlands, bottomland hardwood forests, and towering cypress trees. It’s one of the few remaining old-growth forests in the United States – making it a popular destination for adventurers who want to immerse themselves in its stunning beauty. Congaree National Park has plenty of activities to explore. From canoeing or kayaking down the Congaree River to hiking one of its many trails, this destination is ideal for active visitors looking to explore nature’s wonders up close.

The Boardwalk Loop Trail is especially recommended – taking you on an easy 2.5-mile walk through the park’s signature swamp habitat with plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife! If you’re an avid birdwatcher, then this is also the perfect place – Congaree National Park is home to nearly 200 species, including hawks, woodpeckers, songbirds, and more! Even guided walks are offered, so you won’t miss any interesting sights during your visit. In addition to its great outdoor attractions, Congaree National Park also hosts special events throughout the year, such as night hikes and stargazing sessions that are fun for both young and old alike. Whether you’re interested in exploring nature or simply want to appreciate its beauty from afar, Congaree National Park will delight every visitor who sets foot here!

See a show at the Koger Center for the Arts

Located in the heart of Columbia, South Carolina, The Koger Center for the Arts is a premier destination for performing arts enthusiasts. It includes three performance venues catering to various artists and audiences – making it an ideal spot to experience some of the area’s best entertainment. The center’s main venue is the 1,941-seat concert hall, offering performances by world-renowned symphonies, opera companies, and musical theater troupes. Guests can also enjoy live comedy shows, children’s programs, multimedia presentations, and more!

Its state-of-the-art acoustics and superior sightlines make it easy to see why so many people come here for an unforgettable experience. Next up is the smaller 300-seat theatre, which hosts intimate recitals, dance performances, lectures, and special events year-round. For those looking to get creative themselves, classes are offered in drawing, painting, and photography throughout the year too! If you’re searching for a fun night out or are simply interested in experiencing one of the arts, then visiting The Koger Center for the Arts should be on your list of things to do during your stay in Columbia. With its stellar lineup of performers and diverse range of activities on offer, this cultural landmark is sure to provide something that everyone can enjoy!

Visit the South Carolina State Museum

Nestled in the heart of Columbia, South Carolina, the South Carolina State Museum is an impressive experience for all ages. From its fascinating collection of artifacts to interactive exhibits and hands-on activities – it definitely has something for everyone! The museum’s permanent galleries feature a wide range of items from South Carolina’s past and present, including one dedicated to African American history, another showcasing decorative art, and several devoted to natural history. The galleries are supplemented by interactive temporary exhibitions, allowing visitors to explore their topics even further.

Little ones also won’t want to miss out on the museum’s Discovery Room! This children’s area is packed with educational fun – featuring games, puzzles, and more that teach you about South Carolina’s diverse geography and rich history. With its stunning architecture and wealth of offerings, the South Carolina State Museum is sure to please everyone’s curiosity. Whether you’re looking for a family outing near Columbia or just want to soak up some knowledge, this incredible destination won’t disappoint!

Tour the Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens

When one imagines a historic home, few can compare to the grandeur of Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens in Columbia, South Carolina. Built in 1818 and situated along the banks of the Congaree River, this elegant estate has welcomed numerous esteemed guests over its 200 years of existence. Today, it serves as a reminder of South Carolina’s unique history – showcasing stunning architecture, beautifully landscaped gardens, and an impressive collection of period antiques. Inside the mansion, visitors will explore eleven historically restored rooms filled with original furnishings and artwork from the late 1700s to early 1800s.

Each room tells a different story about life during that time and provides insight into how people lived during them! It’s truly a fascinating experience for history buffs. Outside, guests can amble through two acres of enchanting gardens designed in 1862 – featuring intricate walkways, classic statuary, and majestic trees that provide plenty of shade on hot summer days. Visitors can also try their hand at lawn bowling or admire some of the artwork located throughout the grounds. Whether you’re looking for a unique learning opportunity or just want to bask in its grandeur, Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens is sure to please any visitor!

Shop at Vista’s Shops, Restaurants, and Night Life

Situated in the heart of Columbia, South Carolina, The Vista is a vibrant neighborhood that serves as a hub for shopping, dining, and entertainment. With its eclectic mix of restaurants, bars, and boutiques – it’s an ideal spot for those looking to explore all that the city has to offer. The Vista’s attractions include a variety of cultural experiences – like art galleries and museums – as well as trendy shops offering everything from eclectic antiques to modern apparel.

Visitors can also catch a show at one of the several music venues or participate in some outdoor activities such as canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding on nearby Lake Murray. Plus, with many great restaurants serving up delicious dishes, there’s something to satisfy any appetite. No matter what time you visit The Vista, it’s clear why this lively area continues to draw big crowds! Whether you’re looking for a place to browse high-end stores or just want somewhere fun to hang out – it’s sure to be an experience you won’t soon forget.

Visit Columbia’s Historic District

Rich in history and culture, Columbia’s Historic District celebrates its unique past with its must-see attractions. A stroll through this area – which stretches from downtown to the Congaree River – will transport visitors back in time with its many restored buildings, monuments, and sites that pay homage to the area’s storied past. One highlight of the Historic District is the South Carolina State House, which was built in 1875 and is home to many interactive exhibits highlighting South Carolina’s achievements throughout history.

Several monuments, such as the Tower of Freedom and the Confederate Soldiers Monument, are also located here. In addition to its sights, there are plenty of great restaurants and bars where you can find exquisite dining options and an authentic atmosphere. From stylish bistros to lively pubs, there’s something for everyone – making it a great place for a night out or just a casual day trip. Whether you’re looking for an educational experience or simply want to explore some of Columbia’s most iconic spots, Columbia’s Historic District is sure to have something for everyone!

Immerse in Nature at Saluda Shoals Park

Nestled along the banks of the Saluda River in Columbia, South Carolina, Saluda Shoals Park is a beautiful outdoor destination that offers visitors a chance to experience nature at its finest. From hiking trails and picnic areas to kayaking and fishing, there’s something for everyone here – making it an ideal spot to explore the great outdoors. The park’s trails are perfect for hikers of all levels, with several options branching off from the main pathways.

Depending on which trail you take, you can expect woodland scenery, breathtaking views of the river, or wetlands filled with wildflowers and other native plants. In addition to hiking, visitors can also enjoy a variety of activities such as birdwatching, horseback riding, canoeing, and fishing. For those looking for a more relaxed day out; Saluda Shoals Park offers plenty of different amenities, such as playgrounds and picnic areas; making it a great spot for families. There’s also an interactive Education Center where guests can learn about local wildlife and ecosystems – providing an educational experience unlike any other! Saluda Shoals Park truly has something for everyone – making it one of Columbia’s most beloved outdoor destinations.

Visit the Edventure Children’s Museum

Located in Columbia, South Carolina, EdVenture Children’s Museum is a unique place for kids of all ages to explore and learn. From hands-on exhibits to educational programs and activities, there’s something for everyone at this fun-filled museum! Visitors will find an array of interactive exhibits at the museum that focuses on science, art, and culture. Kids can learn about dinosaurs or explore the powerful effects of a hurricane through virtual reality experiences. There are also many opportunities to get creative with arts and crafts projects like paper mache and origami.

In addition to its exhibits, EdVenture Children’s Museum also offers several educational programs to help further develop children’s understanding of their world. From parent/child classes for infants and toddlers to after-school classes for elementary students, there are plenty of ways kids can connect with their environment in meaningful ways. Whether you’re looking for an interactive learning experience or just some fun with family and friends, EdVenture Children’s Museum allows visitors of all ages to explore the wonders of their world!

FAQs for Columbia South Carolina

Q: What is Columbia, SC known for?

A: Columbia is the capital of South Carolina and is known for its civil rights history, vibrant culture, and rich heritage. It’s a city filled with beautiful parks and gardens, exciting nightlife, eclectic eateries, and plenty of outdoor adventures. Columbia also has many historical sites, including the South Carolina State House, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, Fort Jackson, and The Congaree National Park. With so much to enjoy in this lively city, there’s no shortage of things to do in Columbia!

Q: Why do people visit Columbia, South Carolina?

A: People visit Columbia, South Carolina, for its rich history, vibrant culture, and beautiful scenery. From the renowned Riverbanks Zoo and Garden to historic sites such as Fort Jackson and The Congaree National Park, there’s plenty to explore in this lively city. Columbia also offers a variety of activities like kayaking, hiking, biking, bird watching, rafting, and much more. Columbia offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for an adventurous getaway or a relaxing weekend with friends and family!

Q: Does Columbia SC have a downtown?

A: Yes, Columbia, South Carolina, has a downtown. The city boasts a vibrant art and culture scene, with many theaters and galleries featuring local artists. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops to choose from in the downtown area. The popular Vista is located in the district’s heart and features several bars, clubs, and eateries. Downtown Columbia also hosts several events throughout the year, including the annual Indie Grits Film Festival and the Greek Festival.

Q: How do I spend a day in Columbia SC?

A: A day in Columbia, South Carolina, could be packed with fun activities. Start your day off with a visit to the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden for a unique wildlife experience. Afterward, take a stroll through the picturesque Congaree National Park for some hiking and bird watching. In the afternoon, explore the downtown area, where you can go shopping and grab a bite to eat at one of the many local restaurants. End your day by taking in a show at one of the theaters or attending an event at The Vista. Whatever activity you choose, there’s plenty to do and see in Columbia!


There’s no shortage of amazing things to do in Columbia, South Carolina! From exploring the beauty of nature at Saluda Shoals Park to learning about science and culture at EdVenture Children’s Museum, there is something for everyone. Columbia has it all if you’re looking for an adventure outdoors or a fun-filled day with the family! So grab your friends and family and explore all that this vibrant city has to offer!

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