You’ve heard of Valentine’s Day, but have you heard of Galentine’s Day? That’s right, it’s a day for the gals! Whether you're the outdoorsy adventurer yearning for a day in nature or itching to dress up and hit the town, we've got ideas on how to make it a special time with your gal pals. 


For the Outdoorsy Girls

It’s no secret that spending time outside is good for the body and brain, but don’t underestimate its ability to deepen friendships – making South Carolina’s only national park a must-stop on your Galentine’s Day. Congaree National Park is home to the largest remaining expanse of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the southeastern United States. With its vast biodiversity, it’ll have your hike transforming into an exploration of floral and fauna at every turn.  

For those seeking a dash of adventure, Palmetto Outdoors provides year-round canoe and kayak tours on the scenic Congaree Creek within Congaree National Park, creating unforgettable moments for you and your gals. 

It wouldn’t be right to have Galentine’s Day without food in the plans. If you’re looking to remain outdoors, check out Home Team BBQ or Publico Kitchen & Tap located in Five Points. Pro tip: these patios are dog friendly too. In the Northeast, check out The Reizod Vegan Experience for a vegan twist on favorites, including Philly "Cheesesteak" burgers.  

For a list of outdoor dining options, click here.  

You can’t go wrong with a little shopping, which means it should come as no surprise that Columbia is home to several outdoor and recreational stores. Scattered across the city are REI, Sportsman's Warehouse, and Half-Moon Outfitters, offering an array of recreational equipment and necessities to cater to your every outdoor adventure. 


For the Active Ladies

Who says Galentine’s can’t include movement and exercise? Columbia has several options, so grab your gal pals and sweat it out together. Head over to South East Park for a round of tennis or pickleball where the outdoor courts are free and well kept. 

If yoga is more your style, you’re in luck. Columbia has numerous yoga studios like Aloft, Tribe Yoga and Wellness, or Fit Columbia, featuring baby goat yoga. For those wanting a little camaraderie, hit up Barre3 for a full-body barre experience with your best gals.  

Now that you have worked up an appetite, fuel your body at Tasty As Fit for plant-based soups, sandwiches, and sweet treats.  

You would be remiss to not spend your afternoon at the Pupentine’s Open House at Final Victory Animal Rescue on February 11th. Drop in and mingle with their adorable pups. Let them feel the love with play time and lots of belly scratches. Still craving puppy love? Head over to Publico Kitchen and Tap on February 18th for a Puppy Kissing Booth. These adorable pups will only elevate the feeling of love in the air.  


For the Foodie Gals

Breakfast / Brunch

Start your Galentine’s Day with breakfast at one of Columbia’s favored spots: The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli. With their giant size, oh-so-gooey cinnamon rolls, you’ll be dying to pair it with a hot coffee.  

After you’ve indulged in a delicious breakfast, take a stroll through the nearby shops. Devine Street is sprinkled with boutiques and locally owned small businesses. At Just the Thing you may find your new favorite outfit, or adorable kid’s clothing and accessories at Duck Duck Goose.  

Speaking of shopping, The Gourmet Shop’s market is the perfect stop for foodies. In the market, you’ll find specialty foods with the finest selection of oils, vinegars, spices, and more. If you’re starting your day a little later, you might as well kill two birds with one stone and have a meal and shop at The Gourmet Shop too. Everyone loves a good brunch, and this is the place to be. We’re talking mimosa kits to share and a Brie and Bacon Croissant that will have you coming back for more. 


You will also find top notch sandwiches on The Gourmet Shop lunch menu. Fan favorites include the Goat Cheese and Pesto Panini, Tomato Soup, or Chicken Salad – each will have you dying for another one.  

Did you know Columbia is home to one of the first recorded pimento cheese recipes? That said, we’ve got lots of options to get your fix. Our Pimento Cheese Passport gives a list of several restaurants around town and a beloved dish, but let’s talk about a few highlights.  

For a classic rendition, DiPrato's offers pimento cheese paired with homemade seasoned pita chips. Looking for a little more meat? At the Spotted Salamander, you can count on a juicy brisket sandwich with pimento cheese melted and oozing down the sides.  

While your food is settling, consider taking a leisurely walk along the riverfront trail system of Three Rivers Greenway. Spanning 15.5 miles, this trail system is both ADA accessible and illuminated during the evening. Whether you're in the mood for some activity, seeking adventure, or simply looking for a peaceful spot between activities, the Three Rivers Greenway is an ideal spot for you. 


By now, hopefully you’ve worked up and appetite. Make your way to The Vista district for drinks at COA Agaveria y Cocina. Incorporating the use of fresh ingredients, they enhance flavors with hand-squeezed fruit juices and fresh garnishes, enticing you to capture an Instagram-worthy to remember your Galentine’s Day before even taking your first sip. 

For a unique spin on the evening, dip and dunk in fondue at the Melting Pot. Think Bacon Mac & Cheese Fondue, Lavender and Blueberry White Chocolate Fondue, all paired with artisanal cured meats and your choice of sweet additions. To say the least, you’ll remember this meal with your besties forever. 

Evening Sips

Columbia is home to multiple breweries where menus are continually changing. Celebrate Valentine's Day with fresh winter flavors at Columbia Craft Brewery. Indulge in Intents, a double dry-hopped West Coast-style DIPA, or savor the Patisserie dessert-inspired sour ale. Looking for a glass of wine? Finish your night with a bubbly toast + Nutella-espresso crepe to share at Main Street's European-style wine bar and a 2024 finalist for a James Beard Award, Lula Drake Wine Parlour.  

Find a list of our breweries here


For the Artsy Girlies

Columbia, SC boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene that might come as a surprise. With a range of public art installations, local galleries, and nationally acclaimed exhibits, the capital city offers something for everyone. 

Start your Galentine’s Day with a public art tour. Use  this guide to map out your route, which will take you to see some of Columbia’s most notable sculptures and murals. Get out of your car and snap some pictures for the ‘gram or feel free to just drive by and admire.  

Craving a hot drink along the way? Grab a cup o’ joe from one of our local coffee shops. Our pick is Azalea Coffee Bar, not just for its delicious lattes but also for the floral wall mural that perfectly complements the day's vibe. 

Continue your day with a trip to the Columbia Museum of Art—a museum with one of the Southeast's most extensive international collections. Explore the permanent exhibits and unique traveling displays, 701 Center for Contemporary Art, a 2,500 sq. ft. art gallery that showcases regional, national, and international exhibitions, all open to the public. It sparks a unique connection between visual and performing arts, as well as literary and media arts. 

Instead of admiring art, go ahead and make your own! In Columbia, we have multiple business that host paint and sip classes. Grab your besties and whittle a few hours at Painting With A Twist on Harbison Blvd., Good Vibes Paint and Sip on Main Street, Studio Cellar on Lady Street, and Palmetto Paint and Pour in Lexington. 

You can’t go wrong with pottery. At Mad Platter, you and your girlies can grab a Coloring Book Colatown Mug or brunch glasses for a little DIY Galentine’s activity.  

Now that the evening has rolled around, make your way to Art Bar in The Vista for a laid-back dinner and cocktail. This lively establishment features local art and quirky robots adorning the walls, and you might even catch a performance by a local or regional artist.