Is the weather warming up? Don’t sweat it - we’ve got the lowdown on how to stay cool in our signature Southern heat.

Lake Murray

Boasting 600 miles of shoreline, the “Jewel of South Carolina” is Columbia’s major destination for water recreation. Rent a boat, go fishing, take a dip and even do some paddleboard yoga! This vast waterway is also home to the first officially designated Purple Martin sanctuary, as they migrate by the millions each summer and come to roost on Doolittle Island.

Sunset on the Lake

 

Saluda, Broad and Congaree Rivers

Kayak, canoe or tube down the cool waters of our rivers with the Columbia skyline as your backdrop. You’ll pass beneath shady trees and historic bridges as you go with the natural flow of the water. You may even spot a bald eagle along the way!

Congaree River Photography

 

Palmetto Falls Water Park at Fort Jackson

For a day of family fun you won’t forget, pile the kids in the car and purchase a few day passes for the Palmetto Falls Water Park at Fort Jackson.  Swim in the 10,000 sq. ft. family pool, wade in the 2,500 sq. ft. kiddy pool and plop down into the 600 sq. ft. splashdown pool. Zip down the two water slides or just kick back and relax in the lazy river. Round out the day with refreshments from the snack bar.

 

Splash Pads

For a more low key way to beat the heat, sprinkle off at one of Columbia SC’s kid-friendly splash pads.

  • Saluda Shoals Park: Always a hit, the splash pad at Saluda Shoals Park opens for the season in late April and stays open through the end of September. The interactive, zero-depth water playground will keep both kids and parents cool and entertained.
  • Sesquicentennial State Park: A new addition to the park last year, the Sesqui splash pad has 26 sprayers, including one that shoots up to 10 ft. high.
  • Waterfall Junction at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden: This 3-acre interactive children’s garden at Riverbanks Zoo opened last summer and includes a splash pad complete with 25 ft. waterfall. 

 

Riverbanks Zoo