An ultimate overnight trip calls for dinner and a show, and The Vista in Columbia SC has the perfect pairing for a weekend away with the delicious eats of Restaurant Week Columbia and the thought-provoking A Room Called Day at Trustus Theatre. Use our itinerary below for an easy guide on how to fill your time in this thriving urban district for 24 hours (and maybe a couple more).
Kick start your trip with a visit to the South Carolina State Museum where you can explore history, art, science and more. It’s the most comprehensive museum in the state and deserves a visit if you haven’t been in awhile. With the additions of a planetarium, 4D theater and observatory, you’ll be seeing stars one way or another.
After lunch, it’s fun just to walk around The Vista and take in the sights. Art and The Vista have long been intertwined -- this area was a former warehouse district that saw a renaissance begin when artists set up studios during the 1970s and 80s. Now, there’s public art around every corner (and even on the electric boxes!) and it’s chockablock with art galleries to peruse with your honey or friend. For a mix of art and shopping, try One Eared Cow Glass, Lewis + Clark, City Art, Carol Saunders Gallery and if Art Gallery.
All that walking and shopping deserves a break with a pre-dinner treat. Step into Cupcake DownSouth or The Peanut Man for sweets, while The Casual Pint and Twisted Spur Brewing offer up a sudsy respite.
Enjoy dinner at one of The Vista’s participating restaurants in Restaurant Week Columbia. Dig into three courses at many restaurants or enjoy affordable prices on everything from drinks to desserts. Here’s the complete list of Vista spots offering Restaurant Week menus: 1801 Grille, Blue Marlin, Carolina Strip Club Steakhouse, Gervais & Vine Restaurant, Kaminsky’s Dessert Cafe, Liberty Tap Room and Grill, Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, Pearlz Oyster Bar, SakiTumi Grill and Sushi Bar.
Cozy up with a glass of wine at Trustus Theatre, which has been delighting audiences since 1985 with groundbreaking and original plays. You can catch a performance of A Bright Room Called Day, a powerful and witty story set in Berlin amidst the oncoming power of Hitler. As the unthinkable becomes reality, Agnes Eggling and her group of bohemian friends discuss their world. Fast forward to 1980s Long Island, Zillah Katz scours her newspaper daily and her thoughts on politics demand an analysis of the modern day.
Top off your night with a night cap + a round (or four) of pool at Vista Union. We also recommend a basket of tater tots (because, why not?) or a maple bacon ice cream sundae to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Follow the locals to Motor Supply Company Bistro where the bacon-infused Bloody Marys and fish and grits make a proper brunch. You’ll leave full and happy, we promise. And if you’re looking to take a home a little something from your trip, you can pop in to Cromer’s P-Nuts for some boiled or roasted peanuts or popcorn.
While that’s a wrap on your 24 hours here, you’re welcome to stay and while away the hours with more restaurants, events, and other fun in Columbia SC. Come back to our blog for more trip inspiration and can’t-miss things to do in The Real Southern Hot Spot.