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Things to Do in Columbia Sc : Explore Exciting Activities and Attractions

Things to Do in Columbia Sc

Looking for things to do in Columbia, SC? You’ll find a plethora of options, from exploring historic sites to enjoying outdoor activities.

Nestled in the heart of South Carolina, Columbia is a vibrant and diverse city offering a wide range of attractions and experiences. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the state by visiting notable landmarks such as the South Carolina State House and the Columbia Museum of Art.

Nature lovers can enjoy the beauty of Congaree National Park or take a stroll along the picturesque Riverwalk. For a taste of the local culture, explore the vibrant Vista district with its art galleries, shops, and restaurants. With so much to offer, Columbia, SC is sure to keep you entertained throughout your visit.

Uncover Columbia’s Rich History

When it comes to captivating history, Columbia, South Carolina, doesn’t disappoint. With its deep-rooted heritage and significant historic sites, exploring the city is like stepping back in time. From stately mansions to informative museums, Columbia offers a plethora of opportunities to immerse yourself in its fascinating past.

Visit Historic Sites

If you’re a history enthusiast, Columbia is a dream destination. The city boasts a remarkable collection of historic sites, offering a glimpse into the region’s past. Begin your journey by visiting the South Carolina State House, an architectural masterpiece built in the Greek Revival style. Marvel at its iconic copper dome and take a stroll through the breathtaking gardens that surround it.

Next on your list should be the Robert Mills House and Gardens. As the oldest structure on Columbia’s Main Street, this beautifully restored mansion stands as a testament to the city’s rich history. Step inside to admire the exquisite decor and learn about the life of the renowned architect, Robert Mills.

For a deeper understanding of Columbia’s pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement, a visit to the Modjeska Monteith Simkins House is a must. This historic house, once home to a prominent civil rights activist, is now a museum dedicated to preserving the struggle for equality. Explore the exhibits and gain insight into the challenges faced by African Americans in the fight for justice.

Explore Museums

In addition to its rich array of historic sites, Columbia is also home to several captivating museums. These cultural institutions offer a wealth of knowledge and an opportunity to delve into the city’s past in a different way.

The South Carolina State Museum is a true treasure trove for history buffs. With exhibits spanning from natural history to regional art, this museum provides a comprehensive look at the state’s cultural heritage. Immerse yourself in the stories of South Carolina’s Native American tribes, explore the impact of the textile industry, and marvel at the wonders of astronomy in the state-of-the-art planetarium.

For a more focused experience, head to the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum. This unique museum showcases artifacts from the state’s military history, including Civil War relics and items from both World Wars. Gain a deeper appreciation for those who served and sacrificed for their country as you explore the extensive collection.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Columbia Museum of Art, which features a diverse collection of artwork spanning centuries. Marvel at the masterpieces of renowned artists and discover hidden gems from various periods and styles.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the past, Columbia’s historic sites and museums offer an in-depth exploration of the city’s rich history. Embark on a journey through time and unravel the captivating stories that have shaped this vibrant Southern destination.

Embrace The Outdoors

Things to Do in Columbia SC – Embrace the Outdoors

If you’re visiting Columbia, South Carolina, embracing the outdoors is a must. With its beautiful parks, lush gardens, and opportunities for hiking and biking, the city offers a wealth of outdoor activities for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re looking to soak up some sun, explore scenic trails, or simply enjoy the fresh air, there’s something for everyone in Columbia.

Discover Parks And Gardens

Columbia is blessed with a plethora of parks and gardens, each offering its own unique charm and beauty. From expansive green spaces to meticulously maintained gardens, there is no shortage of places to explore and relax.

One standout is Finlay Park. Spanning 18 acres in the heart of the city, this urban oasis features lush greenery, a serene lake, and picturesque walking trails. Perfect for picnics or leisurely strolls, Finlay Park is a popular spot for both tourists and locals.

If you’re a fan of all things botanical, a visit to the Riverbanks Botanical Garden is a must. This award-winning garden showcases an array of colorful flowers, exotic plants, and stunning landscapes. Take a leisurely walk through the garden’s various themed sections and immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.

Go Hiking Or Biking

For those craving a more active outdoor experience, Columbia offers excellent opportunities for hiking and biking enthusiasts.

One popular destination is the Harbison State Forest, which boasts over 2,000 acres of woodlands and miles of scenic trails. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, the forest has trails of varying difficulty levels, ensuring a suitable adventure for everyone.

If biking is more your speed, check out the Three Rivers Greenway. This scenic, paved trail follows the banks of the Congaree, Broad, and Saluda Rivers, offering breathtaking views along the way. Rent a bike and pedal your way through the trail, or simply take a leisurely stroll and soak in the serene surroundings.

With its abundance of outdoor activities, Columbia, SC, presents countless opportunities to embrace the outdoors. Whether you choose to discover the city’s parks and gardens or venture out on a hiking or biking adventure, the natural beauty of this vibrant city is sure to captivate and inspire.

Indulge In Culinary Delights

Experience the vibrant food scene in Columbia, SC by immersing yourself in a variety of cuisine and flavors. Local restaurants and food festivals offer a delicious journey through the city’s diverse culinary landscape.

Try Local Restaurants

Embark on a culinary adventure by trying out the local restaurants scattered throughout Columbia. From southern comfort food to international fusion dishes, these dining establishments showcase the city’s culinary diversity.

Experience Food Festivals

Immerse yourself in the bustling food festivals held in Columbia, where you can savor a myriad of local delicacies and artisanal treats. These events are a Feast for the senses, offering a unique opportunity to explore and celebrate the culinary traditions of the region.

Things to Do in Columbia Sc  : Explore Exciting Activities and Attractions


Shop Till You Drop

When it comes to shopping, Columbia, SC offers a wide array of options to satisfy every shopaholic’s desires. Whether you’re looking for unique boutiques or fresh produce at farmers markets, the capital city of South Carolina has something for everyone. So, get ready to explore and shop till you drop in Columbia, SC!

Explore Unique Boutiques

If you’re in the mood for delightful and unique finds, Columbia’s boutiques won’t disappoint. From trendy fashion to handmade crafts, Columbia’s boutiques offer a diverse selection of items. Stroll along Main Street and discover charming shops brimming with one-of-a-kind treasures. Go ahead, indulge in some retail therapy while supporting local artisans!

Visit Farmers Markets

For an authentic taste of Columbia’s local flavor, make sure to visit the city’s vibrant farmers markets. With an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, and homemade goods, Columbia’s farmers markets provide a delightful shopping experience. Engage with local vendors, savor the farm-to-table goodness, and take home some of the freshest produce around.

Attend Cultural Events

When visiting Columbia, SC, be sure to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant cultural scene by attending a variety of engaging events. From music concerts to art exhibitions, there is something for every cultural enthusiast to enjoy.

Enjoy Music Concerts

Columbia hosts a plethora of music concerts throughout the year, offering diverse genres and performances by both local and international artists. Check out the schedule for renowned venues such as The Township Auditorium and Colonial Life Arena for a chance to experience live music at its finest.

Explore Art Galleries

Uncover the thriving artistic community in Columbia by visiting its numerous art galleries, showcasing an array of captivating pieces by talented local and regional artists. Head over to the Columbia Museum of Art or take a stroll through the charming districts to witness the city’s rich artistic heritage.

Experience Family-friendly Fun

Exploring Columbia, SC with your family offers a plethora of exciting and enriching activities suitable for all ages. From immersive zoos and aquariums to engaging kid-friendly events, there’s no shortage of fun-filled experiences awaiting you in this vibrant city.

Visit Zoos And Aquariums

Embark on a wild adventure with your little ones by visiting Columbia’s renowned zoos and aquariums. Riverbanks Zoo is a top attraction offering up-close encounters with exotic animals in naturalistic habitats. South Carolina State Museum boasts an impressive marine life exhibit at its state-of-the-art planetarium, perfect for a family outing.

Attend Kid-friendly Events

Immerse your family in the local culture by attending various kid-friendly events happening throughout the year in Columbia. From festivals celebrating art and music to storytelling sessions at the library, there’s always something captivating for children of all ages.

Enjoy Nightlife And Entertainment

Welcome to Columbia, SC! If you’re looking to enjoy a vibrant and lively nightlife scene, you’re in luck. In this thriving city, there’s never a shortage of things to do after the sun sets. Whether you’re a fan of local bars and clubs or live performances, Columbia offers a wide range of entertainment options to suit your interests.

Try Local Bars And Clubs

If you’re in the mood for a night out on the town, Columbia’s local bars and clubs are sure to impress. From cozy neighborhood pubs to stylish cocktail lounges, this city has it all. Sample craft beers at The Whig, a hip downtown bar known for its laid-back atmosphere and extensive beer selection. Craving some live music? Head over to Molina for a night of great tunes and a lively crowd. No matter your preferences, Columbia’s local bars and clubs are sure to keep the party going.

Attend Live Performances

When it comes to live performances, Columbia has plenty to offer. From theater productions to live music shows, there’s something for everyone. Catch a show at the historic Town Theatre, where talented local actors bring productions to life on stage. If you’re a fan of live music, you won’t want to miss Tin Roof, a popular venue that hosts both local and touring bands. Whether you’re into comedy, drama, or music, attending a live performance in Columbia is the perfect way to spend an entertaining evening.

Things to Do in Columbia Sc  : Explore Exciting Activities and Attractions


Take Day Trips To Nearby Attractions

When visiting Columbia, SC, there is no shortage of things to do and explore. But why limit yourself to just one city? With its central location, Columbia serves as the perfect base for day trips to nearby attractions. Whether you’re interested in exploring surrounding cities or immersing yourself in the natural wonders of the area, there are plenty of options to keep you entertained.

One of the best ways to make the most of your time in Columbia is by taking day trips to explore the surrounding cities. Each of these cities has its own unique charm and attractions, offering a different experience from the bustling capital.

Charleston: A historic and picturesque city, Charleston is known for its well-preserved architecture, cobblestone streets, and vibrant food scene. Take a leisurely stroll along The Battery, visit the renowned Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, or indulge in some fresh seafood at one of the many waterfront restaurants.

Greenville: Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville offers a mix of natural beauty and urban excitement. Explore Falls Park on the Reedy, a stunning park with waterfalls and gardens, take a bike ride along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, or simply wander through the charming downtown area filled with shops and restaurants.

Charlotte: Just a short drive from Columbia, Charlotte is a bustling city with a thriving arts and culture scene. Visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame, catch a game at the Bank of America Stadium, or explore the vibrant neighborhoods such as NoDa and South End, known for their art galleries and trendy eateries.

If you’re more inclined to spend your day trips surrounded by nature, Columbia and its surrounding areas have plenty of natural wonders to offer.

Congaree National Park: Located just 20 miles southeast of Columbia, Congaree National Park is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With its towering trees, diverse wildlife, and scenic trails, it offers a peaceful escape from the city. Hike the Boardwalk Loop Trail or paddle along the Congaree River for a truly immersive experience.

Lake Murray: Situated just a short drive from downtown Columbia, Lake Murray is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Known for its crystal-clear waters and numerous recreational activities, this man-made reservoir offers boating, fishing, swimming, and even camping opportunities. Relax on the sandy beaches or take a boat tour to appreciate the natural beauty of the lake.

Table Rock State Park: If you’re willing to venture a bit further, Table Rock State Park is worth the drive. Located in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, this park is a hiker’s paradise. Climb to the top of Table Rock Mountain for breathtaking views, go fishing in Pinnacle Lake, or simply enjoy a picnic surrounded by nature.

When in Columbia, don’t miss the chance to explore the surrounding cities and soak up the natural wonders that await you. With a variety of attractions just a short distance away, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to make unforgettable memories on your day trips.

Things to Do in Columbia Sc  : Explore Exciting Activities and Attractions


Frequently Asked Questions Of Things To Do In Columbia Sc

What Are The Top Attractions In Columbia Sc?

Columbia SC boasts a range of attractions, including the Riverbanks Zoo, South Carolina State House, and the Columbia Museum of Art. With a rich history and diverse cultural offerings, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy in the city.

Where Can I Find The Best Dining Options In Columbia Sc?

Columbia SC offers a vibrant food scene with a variety of dining options. Explore the Main Street district for trendy eateries, or head to the Vista for eclectic cuisine. From Southern comfort food to international flavors, there’s a culinary experience to suit every palate.

What Outdoor Activities Are Available In Columbia Sc?

Columbia SC is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy hiking and picnicking at Congaree National Park, kayaking or paddleboarding on the Saluda River, or exploring the scenic trails at Harbison State Forest. The city offers ample opportunities to connect with nature.


Explore the vibrant culture, delectable dining, and outdoor adventures Columbia, SC has to offer. From historic sites to shopping districts, there’s something for everyone. Plan your trip and make unforgettable memories in this charming Southern city. Start your journey today and experience the best of Columbia!