24 Hours on Main Street
Friday, December 3, 2021 12:00 PM by Kelsey Carmichael
Soda City Market
Around here, a trip to Main Street isn’t complete without a morning spent at Soda City Market. You’ll find all manner of crazy characters at this weekly event held Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. From fresh produce and flowers to artists, pop-up boutiques and food from around the world, you can easily spend your whole morning perusing up and down the street. Grab a coffee from a local stand and indulge in the likes of Rambo’s Fat Cat Biscuits or La Cochinita Mexican BBQ – or take a healthy side with Gin’s Juice or Gorilla Boost to fuel up for the day.
Art or History?
After you’ve had your share of all the tasty treats and picked out a few local gifts for the folks at home, take it inside for a tour of the Columbia Museum of Art. You may be surprised by the variety in their permanent collection and the caliber of traveling exhibitions (think 30 Americans, Van Gogh and His Inspirations and The Imaginative Worlds of M.C. Escher). If art isn’t your thing, the South Carolina State House hugs the top of Main Street and is open for self-guided garden tours or free indoor tours (Bonus – they have a fire gift shop).
Hotel Motel… You know the rest
Whether you’re coming in from out of town or are a local in need of a staycation, try to snag an early check-in at one of Main Street’s boutique-style hotels. At the Holiday Inn Columbia – Downtown you’ll find art-deco 50’s décor and all the amenities of a brand hotel. At Hotel Trundle you’ll find the glamorous lobby mixes in with all things local – from the art to the mattresses to the welcome beverage you’ll receive.
Competition or Photo Frenzy?
After you settle in, it’s time for a little activity. Head to boutique bowling alley, The Grand, or virtual gaming center (golf, dodgeball, hockey… you name it), Main Course, for some friendly competition. If anyone in your crew isn’t up for the games, there’s also an interactive art space, ImmersionSC, located in the same building as Main Course. Weave in and out of each room with a different theme to get all the photo and video content.
This has been a lot of activity packed into one day, but we’re not done yet. Pop back into your hotel (both so conveniently located, it’s no sweat) and freshen up for a night out.
Casual, Splurge or Somewhere in Between?
If a casual night out is just enough, find a table on the lawn at Market on Main and settle in for live music accompanied by truffle fries and laid-back attitude. If you’re celebrating, or just want to treat yourself, Smoked is the newest spot for decadent dishes featuring smoked meats, oysters and even smoked drinks. Looking for something in between? Start with a drink on the rooftop at Hendrix, followed by a menu in the dining room that highlights elevated Southern fare – may we suggest the Carolina Heritage Farms Pork Chop or the Candy Roaster Squash?
Let's rally for one last night cap to take in as much of this district as you can in 24 hours. Listen to the smooth sounds of jazz or R&B at The Joint or step back in time with a glass of wine and dessert at Lula Drake. For those more casual, we dare you to find underground favorite, The Whig for a beer, or to hop on the dance floor at The Woody, an iconic night club that’s recently found a new home on Main.
And if dancing and drinks aren’t your thing, who said ice cream doesn’t count as a night cap? From traditional flavors to things like sweet potato pie, Sweet Cream Co. has got you covered.
Did someone say brunch?
The fun doesn’t have to be had all on Saturday! Before heading out, hit Cantina 76 or Transmission Arcade for a fast-casual brunch, or make an event of it and dig in at Hampton Street Vineyard for Crab Benedict and French Toast that might make you want to stay another night.
We’ve just scratched the surface of everything there is to explore and discover on Main Street. There’s plenty more to see here and in the surrounding areas of our Southern city. Check out our trip itineraries and our blog to start planning your next change of scenery.