3 Days in Columbia, S.C.

This Southern city offers comfort food, a renowned museum and plenty of opportunities to get out in nature. 

Cayce-Riverwalk-Columbia-SC
The Cayce Riverwalk is a 12-mile path on the Congaree River. Photo Credit: Experience Columbia, S.C.

Soak up all the hospitality the South has to offer by visiting the capital of the Palmetto State. Home to a massive museum, famous restaurants and sprawling outdoor spaces, Columbia has plenty of options for filling a three-day itinerary. To find even more things to do in this city, head to experiencecolumbiasc.com.

Day 1: The Soul of the South

Kikis-Chicken-And-Waffles-Columbia-SC
Photo Credit: Experience Columbia, S.C.

12:00 PM

Grab some sweet tea and get a taste of the South at the self-proclaimed best soul food place in town, Kiki's Chicken and Waffles. On the menu are Southern staples like shrimp and grits, and corn muffins. But the most popular dish is four crispy fried chicken wings on a warm Belgian waffle.

4:00 PM

After a long week of meetings, get some fresh air on the Cayce Riverwalk in West Columbia. The 12-mile path overlooks the Congaree River and has views of the city's skyline. Keep an eye out along the way for public art, such as hand-carved wooden animals and sculptures by local artists.

Day 2: Explore the City

The-Gourmet-Shop-Columbia-SC
Photo Credit: Experience Columbia, S.C.

9:00 AM

Start the day off right with a deluxe meal. A mainstay in the Five Points area since 1979, the Gourmet Shop sells cheese, wine, chocolates and more. But there is also a café serving brunch and lunch daily. Try the brie and bacon croissant, or the breakfast bowl with grits, cheddar cheese and scrambled eggs, paired with a mimosa or a Bloody Mary.

1:00 PM

The largest such institution in the Southeast, the South Carolina State Museum has a digital dome planetarium, a 4D theater and an observatory. Visitors can examine Finn, a reproduction of a megalodon shark, or see Clemson 372, one of the first airplanes built by college students. An exhibition of watermedia art also currently is on display.

6:00 PM

Get your emotions out by hurling an axe at a piece of wood at Craft Axe Throwing. The object of the game is to throw the hatchet closer to the target than your competitor. It's like darts, but dangerous.

Day 3: Local Hangs

Lake-Murray-Columbia-SC
Photo Credit: Experience Columbia, S.C.

10:00 AM

Just outside Columbia is Lake Murray, a stunning spot no matter the season. In the "famously hot" months, you can rent a boat, or go fishing, kayaking and paddleboarding. During the winter, biking, hiking and birdwatching are best.

7:00 PM

Pawleys Front Porch pushes the boundaries when it comes to burgers. Instead of the typical lettuce, cheese and tomato toppings, try such options as grape jelly caramelized onions, jalapeño bacon and grilled pineapples. The establishment was featured by the Flavortown king himself, Guy Fieri, on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.