“Saturdays are for the boys,” but sometimes one day of the week isn’t enough, and you need a full weekend instead. Whether your group is a sporty and outdoorsy bunch or if you’re looking for luxurious relaxation (or maybe you’re a mix of both), Columbia SC has something for everyone. It will be a getaway the boys won’t soon forget.
For the Outdoorsman
Nature-lovers, and those just looking for an excuse to go off the grid for a while, will be delightfully surprised by how urban meets granola in the capital city. Spend one day at Congaree National Park, where you can either stroll the 2.4-mile Boardwalk loop or decide to take on the 25 miles worth of marked trails, then spend the next floating down the Saluda River with rented tubes from Palmetto Outdoors. Pro Tip: Rent an extra tube for a cooler so you can sip and snack while you float.
We know you’ll want to get as much fresh air as possible this weekend, and lucky for you, Columbia knows how to dine al fresco. For dinner with a view, stop by Liberty on the Lake in Irmo, where they serve up classic dishes with modern twists and you can watch boats float by from the shore of Lake Murray.
For the Craft Beer Lover
With 11 breweries and of plenty brewpubs, we’re always down to crack a cold one in the heart of SC. Start with Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company and then head to River Rat Brewery for their famous wings (both are located right near the action at Williams-Brice Stadium) before checking out the brew masters in The Vista. On Gervais Street, you’ll find Twisted Spur Brewing, whose bar food is just as good as what they’ve got on tap, and nearby Columbia Craft Brewing Co. will be waiting for you with a flight of unique flavorings.
Spend your next day across the river, enjoying a spacious outdoor patio and some live music at Steel Hands Brewing in Cayce, and pop over to Columbia’s newest edition, Savage Craft Ale Works, in West Columbia for a rooftop bar with an unbeatable view of the downtown skyline.
Excited yet? See a full weekend itinerary made for the self-proclaimed beer connoisseur.
For the Guy who Likes to Catch His Dinner
With plenty of water and places to cast a line, Columbia is a fisherman’s paradise. Start catching at the Lake Murray Dam or the shoreline of Dreher Island State Park, or test your luck in deeper waters and rent an open fishing boat from Better Boat Rental or AquaFun.
If fly fishing is more your style, the Saluda River is your perfect destination. Stocked with bass and smallmouth trout, you can access the river at Saluda Shoals Park. For the full experience, consider hiring Frank’s Fly Arts as your guide, and he’ll show you all the best spots.
For the Sports Fan
When you’re in the capital city, you can rest assured that there’s a game of some sort going on somewhere. Fall means football, and here you can tailgate with the locals at a University of South Carolina game or cheer on the Tigers of Benedict College. But just because this is the South doesn’t mean Columbia is only a football town. In the winter, you can expect to hear crowds roaring from Colonial Life Arena, where the UofSC men’s and women’s basketball teams play, and springtime calls for ball games with the Columbia Fireflies in the BullStreet District. If you can’t be there in-person, no worries, there are plenty of sports bars with huge TVs and bar stools with your names on them.
Looking for more than just cheering from the sidelines? There are plenty of spots around town where you can challenge your friends to a bit of friendly competition. Try bowling at The Grand, pinball at Bang Back in Five Points, or give axe throwing your best shot at Craft Axe.
For the Workaholic Who Needs Some Relaxation
If Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” is your theme song, then what you might need from your weekend escape is taking it easy and treating yourself to the finer things in life. Kick off your day at Regal Lounge Men’s Barber & Spa for a fresh cut, hot stone massage, and pedicure (don’t knock it until you try it, fellas). Once you’re relaxed and feeling your best, it’s time to dress your best. Head to Brittons on Devine Street or Granger Owings downtown for that fresh new fit.
Dedicate the rest of your weekend to soaking up some sun out on one of Columbia’s many one-of-kind golf courses or trade-in the traditional golf experience for a virtual one. At Main Course, you and your friends can tee off inside with their virtual golf simulation. Between the delicious craft cocktails and the golf pros who work there, you’ll feel just like you’re at the country club.
Wrap up your chill day before calling it a night at Bourbon. Just steps away from the State House, Bourbon has the largest whiskey selection in town with a mouth-watering food menu to match. Cheers to that!
For the Science & History Buff
The Jeopardy fans and Trivia Night kings will have no shortage of things to see and learn from while in the heart of SC. Our city boasts the South Carolina State Museum (the largest and most comprehensive museum in the state), the award-winning Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, and Historic Columbia, which tells our story starting from the Civil War to the fight for equality through the Civil Rights Movement.
Even our culinary scene has a deep-rooted history. At Hunter-Gatherer in the historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar, you can sip brews and snack on small bites in the same place Amelia Earhart and the Wright brothers once paid a trip to.