If you are anything like us, one of the best parts about travel (besides eating, of course) is becoming an “active participant” in the local shopping scene. Sometimes it’s out of necessity. Perhaps you forgot to pack your favorite flats and your sneakers will simply not cut it for that afternoon meeting. Or maybe you are in town for more leisurely pursuits and have ample hours to scope out boutiques for a little retail therapy. Regardless of whether you are on a merchandising mission or just browsing, it helps to have a little intel to set you on the right path.

You’re looking for:

A hyper-local gift that no one can replicate. A piece of locally made wearable art will be original and memorable. In the Devine Street District stop by Just the Thing for inspiring Hidden Truth Jewelry by local Columbia designer Ashley Weston. Delicate Pixie Belle Jewelry can be found at The Collective on Carlisle Street, also in the Devine Street District. Columbia-based Jenna Burke Designs offers jewelry made with leather, feathers, and other natural materials sold at M. Boutique (Cross Hill Market, just a hop skip from Devine Street).


You’re looking for:

A veritable day-long bonanza of on-trend women’s clothing, accessories and shoes (with a minor break for a glass of wine and giant salad). You must plan on visiting Trenholm Plaza, an open-air shopping center with Ivy & Leo, Fabrik, J. Crew, Anthropologie, Lululemon, and local shops Gwen Rawl’s and Scout & Molly's. Dine at Tazza, then zip to nearby Devine Street for Pink Sorbet for Lilly Pulitzer, My-Kim Collection and LaRoque.


You’re looking for:

A very specific item and personalized service. You neglected to pack that one clutch part of your outfit that you needed for your meeting. Maybe it’s a belt, socks, a tie, handbag or a little black dress. Britton’s of Columbia is located on Devine street and will have you polished up and on your way in no time. On Main Street, visit Granger Owings for notable brands such as Peter Millar, Badgley Mischka, and Black Halo.


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You’re looking for:

Antiques or vintage finds. West Columbia is going to be your haven for patina. Gallery West and Old Mill Antique Mall are located off charming State Street, and 763 Meeting Street Antique Mall and Three Rivers Antiques are on nearby Meeting Street.  Park once and walk to all, unless you plan to leave with that four-poster bed…


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You’re looking for:

Browsing in an urban setting. Stroll Columbia’s Main Street for a mix of retail in historic storefronts with sips and bites in between. MAST General Store features old-fashioned toys (remember Pick Up Sticks, the card game Old Maid?), clothing and gear. Uptown offers monogrammed items and gifts with a Southern slant. Just down the road, find art, décor, and other treasures in The Vista, with stores like Urban Outfitters mixed in with local favorites such as Lewis & Clark and Carol Saunders GalleryFive Points provides a walkable, relaxed vibe with shops like Bohemian, Vestique and Copper Penny. Reenergize with brunch at The Gourmet Shop and don’t miss their kitchen emporium next door.


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You’re looking for:

Something that (literally) says you’ve been there, done that. The gift shop at the South Carolina State Museum has an unrivaled selection of merchandise bearing the beloved palmetto tree and crescent moon (quite possibly the most adorable state logo out there, we think!) and local Columbia signature items as well, such as Adluh Grits. And you don’t need to purchase museum admission to shop, but if you have time to spare it’s totally worth it. And if you are craving something with the fresh Columbia SC monogram, stop by the Columbia SC Visitors Center for t-shirts and Tervis tumblers.

Cotton Milll Exchange


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Check out our website for a comprehensive list of shopping stops in #RealColumbiaSC.