Columbia, South Carolina
Known for being "famously hot," the capital city of Columbia, South Carolina is rich with history and culture.
Visitors can embrace the heat by taking advantage of one of the three rivers that run through the city - Saluda River, Congaree River and Broad River. To cool off, try kayaking, or simply relax and float downstream.
Also known for its "sleeper foodie scene," Columbia is home to many local restaurants and craft breweries, including River Rat Brewery, Conquest Brewing Company and more. Make an afternoon of it and take a leisurely stroll down the riverwalk, or head to one of the local breweries and sit outside while sipping on a refreshing, cold beer.
Saturday morning walks down Main Street provide both visitors and locals the opportunity to enjoy the farmers market as they head toward the State House. Be sure to grab a cup of coffee from Drip or Indah Coffee Company before embarking on your day. Other local favorites include Motor Supply Company Bistro, Mr. Friendlys, Cantina 76, Oak Table and Terra.
Motor Supply Company Bistro has been serving fresh, local and diverse dishes in the heart of the historic Congaree Vista since 1989. Their menu changes daily, offering diners something new and delicious with each visit. They offer an eclectic blend of contemporary American, French, Italian and Asian cuisine, with everything either provided from local farms or made in-house.
In addition to the West Columbia Riverwalk, visit shopping and dining destinations, such as The Vista and Five Points. Five Points has live music known as Five after Five. Both areas are popular places to visit for their stores and restaurants. For a feel of the city and to shop local stores, head to Devine Street, where you'll find unique restaurants and shops distinct to Columbia.
For art and history enthusiasts, Columbia is home to numerous museums. The South Carolina State Museum is the state’s largest museum and is located along the banks of the Congaree River. Founded in 1988, the State Museum is the primary storyteller of the history of South Carolina. Through diverse collections and interactive exhibitions, the State Museum strives to honor the groundbreaking nature of its setting, providing an in-depth picture of the state’s past, present and future.
The Nickelodeon, also coined 'The Nick," on Main Street, is a great place for theater. Founded in 1979, The Nick serves as the gathering place for lovers of film and theater in the Columbia area. In the past ten years, they have launched media education programs and curated film series. Additionally, the Nick now serves as a major cultural anchor on Columbia’s blossoming Main Street, drawing over 55,000 attendees into the heart of the city annually.
Some of Columbia's history is displayed beautifully in their mid-century and modern architecture. Buildings to visit that are rich in history include the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, the South Carolina Governor's Mansion, Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston House and the buildings along Main Street.
A highlight of Columbia wouldn't be complete without a visit to the University of South Carolina's campus and the historic Horseshoe, the well manicured central point on campus.
- Columbia, SC, USA