The holiday bells have started ringing and there’s no time like the present to go ahead and get stocked up on presents and holiday cheer in Columbia SC. But, if you’re wanting to shop somewhere new so Santa’s elves won’t see the gifts you’re giving, Columbia SC is your perfect day-trip destination for racking up the receipts and merry spirit and spending the day out of the house. 

In the morning:

Because every good day trip takes place on a Saturday (naturally), when you drive in, you’ll want to start with some caffeine and seasonal sips. While we love our corporate chains, Columbia is proudly home to numerous unique coffee shops serving up their spin on the ole cup of joe. Stop into Curiosity Coffee Bar for Annie’s Apple Pie Latte or a classic Cortado. Azalea Coffee Bar located on Devine Street serves up the holiday flavors from gingerbread latte to white chocolate mocha. Once you’re warmed up from a café visit it’s time to hit the streets, Main Street that is. Soda City will fit all your gift giving needs from local goodies like candles, honey, and bath accessories, to jewelry, paintings, and clothing all handmade by vendors in attendance. While you’re on Main Street, pop into the Columbia Museum of Art. Their current collection is a history of head turning fashions and photographs from Alexander McQueen’s legendary career. 

In the afternoon:

After all that exploring and strolling along and getting some gifts, you’ll want to refuel before getting into your next adventure. Grab a quick bite at a well-known Columbia hotspot, Pawley’s Front Porch in Five Points. Order a burger loaded with pimento cheese and some onion rings to share and treat yourself to a local beer or handcrafted cocktail. When you wrap up lunch, there are plenty of spots in this eclectic neighborhood for you to explore and potentially score some gifts for your friends (or yourself). Pop into All Good Books for the latest releases or visit next door at Pannerpete Vintage to search for that perfect pair of Levi’s. Sunrise Artisan shop is the perfect place to find small gifts and stocking stuffers. And when your hands are full, you’ll want to take a break drinking a Game Changer at Home Team BBQ. Be prepared, you’ll spend all afternoon wandering around here. 

In the evening: 

There’s always a show or a concert to catch when you visit Columbia. Use your time in town to catch one of the many Broadway musicals happening at the Koger Center for the Arts. Before you hit your seats, you’ll need something to eat. 929 Kitchen and Bar is close to the action and offers Korean inspired bowls to try a new flavor, and you won’t want to skimp out on the kimchi cheese fries. After the show is over and before you have to head home, there’s always time for dessert. Over at Kaminsky’s they’re serving up fresh cakes and pies perfect to split and different flavored lattes for that extra ounce of energy for the drive home. 

We’ll see you next time!