The South Carolina State Capitol is located in Columbia and contains a number of monuments, portraits and statues pertaining to the state's history. The city has several museums dedicated to history, art and children, including the Columbia Museum of Art and the South Carolina State Museum. The area is also home to many outdoor activities including camping, fishing and kayaking. Plus, there are no shortage of college games to attend during football, baseball and basketball seasons.
Take It or Leave It: The Historic Columbia Foundation gives tours of the city's historic homes.
Where to Stay
Columbia has a range of lodging options. The Columbia Marriott, located downtown, offers a fitness center, a restaurant and bar and an airport shuttle. Another luxury option is the Whitney Hotel, which contains suites with balconies and kitchenettes, as well as an outdoor pool. A number of chain hotels like the Ramada, Residence Inn and the Sheraton, are also available in the city.
Take It or Leave It: Staying downtown will keep you close to the action.
Hot Tips: Several budget and luxury lodgings provide free WiFi.
Several districts, like Five Points and the Vista, contain a number of dining options. Many restaurants like the Blue Marlin and Maurice's specialize in local cuisine featuring seafood and barbecue, and the Bull Market restaurant serves Southern food and Greek fusion. Several other restaurants serve international fare like Indian, Italian and Korean food.
Caution: Try to stay near where you plan to dine on home football game days (Saturdays and the occasional Thursday during the season). Traffic can get gnarly.
Be Sure to Sample: Barbecue.
Expect plenty of options for nightlife in this college town. The city contains a number of theaters, including the Workshop Theater of South Carolina and the Columbia Marionette Theatre. A number of bars, taverns, and sports bars are located throughout the city. Five Points caters to a younger crowd, while the Vista caters to a more mature clientele.
Caution: Five Points tends to draw a late night crowd primarily consisting of college students and gets quite busy on Thursdays.
The Five Points Area of Columbia contains a number of local boutiques and unique shops carrying everything from clothes to books and music. Several malls, such as the Dutch Square Mall, Richland Mall, the Columbiana Centre and the Columbia Place Mall house stores like Sears, Burlington Coat Factory and Macy's. The State Farmers' Market, one of the best in the nation, is also located in the city and houses over 500 stalls.
Caution: The Farmers' Market is not open on Sunday.
Take It or Leave It: The Village at Sandhill offers plenty of high-end and unique shops in a gorgeous outdoor setting. You could easily spend the day there.