We get it, you’re really not the outgoing type. Really, you’ve been practicing social distancing long before it was mandated. You like to have fun, but crowds or people aren’t a necessity. Alone time is your jam. Columbia SC literally has something for every type of person to enjoy – from the outgoing to the reserved. Introverts, this blog is for you.
For the Art Lover
No need to feel out of place milling around big art galleries by yourself. There are countless ways to get your art fix in intimate settings for every comfort level. If Art Gallery in the Vista showcases contemporary art by artists from South Carolina. The 701 Center for Contemporary Art hosts exhibits throughout the year. Catch Ceramicist Valerie Zimany’s And I was Covered in Blossoms through Oct. 25. Ever want to step inside an artist’s painting? That unique experience exists at Immersion SC where artist-designed rooms are perfect for solo perusing and a selfie or two. There are outdoor options, too. Grab a cup of joe from one of our local coffee shops (Indah Coffee, Curiosity Coffee Bar, Drip Coffee, Blum Coffee to name a few) and take a walking tour of Columbia’s public art! One Columbia has you covered with locations and descriptions. Or head across the bridge to West Columbia and check out the Interactive Art Park where visitors can interact with sculptures and artwork displayed. If you take that route, stopping into Piecewise Coffee Co. first is highly recommended.
There’s no better to participate in art inside your own bubble than taking a paint class. Here are a few recommendations: Painting With A Twist, Wine and Design, Studio Cellar, Lexington’s Paint & Pour.
For the History Buff
Historic House tours may be on hold for now, but the grounds are fair game! Historic Columbia has announced that outdoor multi-site tours of the Robert Mills House and Gardens and Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens are open. Visitors can connect to the history of 19th century Columbia by learning about architecture, the planter class, enslaved individuals, and the evolution of these historic sites. Historic garden tours have also begun providing insight into the gardens at these sites. The grounds of the South Carolina State House is also full of history gems and there are walking tours like Columbia 63 which explores the city’s civil rights history; Cayce’s 12,000 Year Park which delves into the many inhabitants of the area over the last 120 centuries including mammoths, Native American tribes and Civil War soldiers; or take the Sally Salamander Walking Tour and find hidden history treasures throughout the city. Don’t forget to stop by the Historic Horseshoe at the University of South Carolina to see the site of the original campus that has seen more than two centuries of history unfold.
Covid-19 has resulted in our favorite restaurant cuisine being available curbside pickup or grab-and-go. Make time to pick up a bite and have a picnic along the way. Need suggestions? Of course: Spotted Salamander, Diprato’s Delicatessen, Tasty as Fit, No Name Deli, Duke's Pad Thai, A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen.
For the Outdoor Adventurer
Fresh air, nature, and waterways are certainly food for the introvert’s soul. Don’t worry, Columbia SC has got you covered. This gritty city has outdoor offerings all around it. From the state’s only national park – Congaree National Park– to kayaking along the Saluda River at Saluda Shoals Park, tubing through downtown on the Congaree River (Palmetto Outdoors has equipment and tours), hiking in Harbison State Forest, or just strolling the pathways along Three Rivers Greenway, there is outdoor fun available to fit every need. Columbia also has several state parks and gardens offering everything from sandy beaches to river access, hiking and biking trails and botanical gardens.
Want to do some reading on your outdoor adventure. Stop by locally owned Ed’s Editions or Odd Bird Books.
For the Solo Getaway
Honestly, sometimes you just want to be all by yourself. So, why not make a night of it and stay in one of Columbia SC’s hotels that scream relaxation. Hotel Trundle is a boutique hotel fit for the introvert with stylish rooms, space for lounging and reading and just steps from Main Street. For a cozy university vibe, visit The Graduate Columbia (it’s so cute), or check out the new retro inspired boutique Holiday Inn Columbia Downtown.
Want to get out of the room for a while? How about a cooking class! Check out Let’s Cook Culinary Studio (Hotel Trundle offers a package) to learn from professional chefs.