We don’t like to pick favorites but fall might be the best time of the year. Pumpkin spice, football, #sweaterweather and fall foliage – does it get any better? Although peak foliage has come and gone across most of the country, there's still time to gaze at the beautiful red + golden leaves in Columbia SC (and maybe jump in a pile of them, too.) Here are a few of our top spots to enjoy Mother Nature’s annual grand finale.
Nothing says fall in Columbia SC like a college campus aglow in brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red – err, garnet. Cozy up with a Cool Beans latte before heading to the Horseshoe to capture the perfect autumn selfie. Cute sweater? Check. New booties? Check. Seasonal backdrop? Double check.
There’s a reason Travel Channel named Congaree National Park one of the top ten spots to #OptOutside. Just 30 minutes from downtown, CNP is home to the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the Southeast - which is to say there are a ton of (really big) trees donning golden hues right about now. Follow the locals’ lead and explore by kayak. A canopy of foliage reflecting on the water creates a cocoon of color.
Here’s one for you: the Three Rivers Greenway is made up of multiple walking trails, including the Cayce Riverwalk. Leafy views abound but don’t forget to look down for a smattering of woodland creatures carved into fallen trees by local artist Wade Geddings.
Smack in the middle of everything, Main Street is bursting with vibrant art and businesses. Established deciduous trees – often yarn-bombed in cheerful shades– line this creative corridor, providing a striking juxtaposition of bright and earthy tones.
Equal parts pine and hardwood, Harbison State Forest is a collision of color. Throw in a few meandering streams and river views and you have all the ingredients for a peaceful hike in the woods. Prefer a bit more action? Pack your mountain bike and shift into overdrive on Lost Creek Trail.
Chockablock with charming bungalows and cottages, Shandon is known for its wide streets and mature trees (read: lots of pretty leaves). All the beautiful homes + lawns equal major #EyeCandy. Pretend you’re a local and take a stroll through the neighborhood before hitting up nearby Devine Street for boutique shopping and local eats.
The crunch of leaves underfoot and the honking of geese overhead: these are a few of fall’s signature sounds. Hear both at Sesqui, a 1400+ acre park tucked into Columbia’s Northeast neighborhood. Take a paddle boat ride, feed the ducks and wander the tree-lined trails. Ah, autumn. We love you so.