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? As we head into the autumn months, make plans to gaze at the soon-to-be 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.

University of South Carolina

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.


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Congaree National Park

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.


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Cayce Riverwalk

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.


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Main Street

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.


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Harbison State Forest

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.


Talk about weekend bliss. || (📷: @lo_flowing_positivity)

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Shandon Neighborhood

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.


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Sesquicentennial State Park

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.


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