Outdoor Activities

If shopping malls and crowded city streets aren't really your cup of tea, then our 10Best list of outdoor activities should be more in line with your interests. If some fresh air and sunshine is what you need, Adventure Carolina is popular with 10Best users who have spent time in Columbia.

Granby Park


Granby Park is part of the southern section of the Three Rivers Greenway project, which will eventually link several communities across a 12-mile stretch between the Broad, Saluda and Congaree Rivers. In addition to unpaved paths that are...  Read More



For area runners, cyclists and walkers, Riverfront Park is a top choice. The long strip of sidewalk flanks the Congaree, offering visitors cool shade beneath a canopy of trees. Stop at one of the benches scattered along the river to take in the...  Read More

The Vista
Memorial Park


A peaceful destination in the Vista, Memorial Park is perhaps best known as the site of monuments commemorating local military men and women who served in the Vietnam and Korean Wars and WWII. It's an ideal spot for relaxing with a picnic,...  Read More

Dreher Island State Recreation Area


A tranquil retreat just 30 miles from downtown Columbia, Dreher is comprised of three linked islands plus some shoreline, so watery activities are a big draw. The state recreation area is especially popular for boating and fishing, with a...  Read More

Sesquicentennial State Park


A suburban oasis, Sesquicentennial Park is 1419 acres of peace and relaxation. You can fish, canoe or kayak on the 30-acre lake, hike and mountain bike on miles of trails, participate in nature interpretation programs, enjoy a picnic, or swing,...  Read More

Saluda Shoals Park


A great place to spend a blistering summer's day, Saluda Shoals Park is situated on the banks of the Saluda River and has a variety of diversions for kids and other intrepid explorers. Within the 270-acre park's forested confines are paved and...  Read More

Spirit of Lake Murray


Sitting unobtrusively in Lake Murray is tiny Bomb Island (also known as Lunch Island and Doolittle Island), a summer roosting ground for hundreds of thousands of purple martins. For a couple of months, the vibrantly colored birds arrive nightly...  Read More

The Vista
Finlay Park


Originally opened in 1859 as Sidney Park, this historic site experienced a rebirth in the early 1990s when it was given a complete overhaul and re-dubbed Finlay Park. The Vista district's green space features playgrounds, a lake, waterfalls, a...  Read More

Congaree National Park


Not only is this 22,000-acre swampy forest designated a National Park, it's also an International Biosphere Reserve, a National Natural Landmark, a protected Wilderness Area, and a "Continentally Important Bird Area." The tallest trees in the...  Read More

Adventure Carolina


Adventure Carolina offers a variety of guided kayaking and canoeing trips on Columbia's rivers. The popular "After Work" trip on the Congaree lasts about 3 hours and is ideal for first-timers and families (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays during...  Read More