Three Days in Columbia, South Carolina

Great southern food, fascinating history and adventurous activities await.

Columbia SC Aerial

This state capital’s temperate climate makes it a wonderful place to explore year-round. Take some time pre- or post-event to enjoy this southern gem in the heart of South Carolina. We’ve suggested a few favorites; find more at Experience Columbia, S.C.

DAY 1 The Big Picture

10:00 AM

Just across the Congaree River is the city of Cayce and its 12-mile delight, the Cayce Riverwalk Park. Walkers and cyclists travel the paved pathways and wooden boardwalks, stopping at picnic spots and scenic overlooks.  

1:45 PM

Enjoy lunch on the go with Columbia Food Tours. The three-hour excursion stops at some of the best downtown eateries, giving visitors some true local flavor. (Hint: Expect pimento cheese.) 

hendrix rooftop, columbia SC
Hang out under the stars on the rooftop at Hendrix.

5:00 PM

Watch the evening unfold from the rooftop bar at Hendrix, a chef-inspired restaurant in the historic 1649 Main building. Seating is first-come, first-served for craft cocktails and lovely views, but the dining room takes reservations. 

DAY 2 Linger Longer

9:00 AM

Start with sustenance at SmallSugar, where an ever-changing seasonal menu offers delightful pastries, breakfast bowls and “salad for breakfast.” This local gem is much more than a restaurant: SmallSugar delivers 700 meals each week to such worthy recipients as the Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter. 

The Book Dispensary Columbia SC
Find a great read at the Book Depository.

11:30 AM

Bookworms will appreciate the Book Dispensary (above), “a place to buy and trade books,” or Ed’s Editions for rare and collectible tomes at all price points.  

5:00 PM

Join the locals downtown at the Hunter Gatherer Alehouse for craft beer on tap and upscale pub fare. From there, wander over to the nearby Senate at Tin Roof for live music. 

DAY 3: Fun and Frivolity

Mast General Store Columbia SC
Get nostalgic — and buy all sorts of fun items— at the Mast General Store.

10:00 AM

The Mast General Store opened in 1883 as the Taylor, and it hasn’t changed much. You’ll find clothing, outdoor gear, candy, homemade jams, and some kitchy items from yesteryear.

1:00 PM

The Three Rivers Region beckons adventure-seekers. Kayaking, tubing, boat tours and guided walking tours are available from Palmetto Outdoor

8:00 PM

Hankering for a nightcap and/or something sweet? Kaminskey’s Dessert Café is your destination of choice. Sip specialty coffees, milkshakes, floats, spirited drinks or dessert-inspired martinis, along with a side of ice cream or cake.