Real Local: Mike Mayo

You’re more likely to spot him out on the water than on land, but no matter where you meet, it’s easy to see that Mike Mayo has a lot of love for his hometown.

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Hey there! I'm Mike Mayo, river guide and owner of Palmetto Outdoors. People come from all over the world to experience the rivers and trails we have right here in Columbia, and I'm happy to share my years of experience with them. Whether it's the best way to navigate through Millrace Rapids or where to cure your river hunger, I've got you covered. 

PERK UP: Start the day at Piecewise Coffee in Cayce. Their back patio is a great place to meet friends and slowly start the day, or you can grab and go if you’ve got a packed schedule ahead of you.


Insider Tip: Piecewise is just steps from the Cayce Riverwalk. There's no better way to start the day than with a warm brew in hand as you stroll along the Congaree River. 


OPT OUTSIDE: Congaree National Park, the only national park in South Carolina, offers a unique experience with a focus on land and habitat conservation. From staying up late to see synchronous fireflies in the spring to paddling through fall foliage around Cedar Creek, it’s no secret why this spot deserves protection.


Insider Tip: Stop in at the visitors center to chat with park rangers and learn more about what you can see around the park each season. 


Roll WITH IT: When it comes to sushi, Camon offers both an authentic cuisine and setting. The small restaurant packs in the flavor behind their paper door. Order a few rolls to share with friends.

Public ART: One of the best things about Columbia SC is that we don’t keep all our artwork and creativity indoors. The city isn’t just walkable, it’s also a really pretty place to walk. If you’re strolling around West Columbia for dinner at D’s Wings or a show at New Brookland Tavern, be sure to walk through the Interactive Art Park.


Rock ON: There's something special about standing just feet away from an awesome band. As Columbia's oldest and longest running music venue, New Brookland Tavern is one of those classic Columbia spots that you just have to see with your own eyes to understand.