As National Travel and Tourism Week continues today, we encourage you to celebrate the tourism industry, its dedicated workers and the impact travel has on our community. The travel effect proves the travel industry has a measurable and purposeful impact on our lives, businesses and the nation's economy as a whole. For the Columbia region, the tourism industry brings in 4 million visitors for a $1 billion impact on the local economy. 

As a part of National Travel & Tourism Week, we'd like you to be a "tourist in your own town" and explore all of Columbia, SC's hot spots this next week! We'll be highlighting things to do and places to go, so stay tuned to our blogFacebook or Twitter pages for more details.

Today, head outside and experience all that makes Columbia, SC The New Adventure Hot Spot!


In a Southern city at the convergence of three rivers with public green spaces, great weather, and fresh air, enjoying the outdoors is a way of life in Columbia, SC. Here are some ways to enjoy the great outdoors throughout the Columbia region:


Congaree National Park
Immerse yourself among some of the tallest trees in eastern North America and sneak a peek at the exciting wildlife that can be found around every turn at Congaree National Park. Hike through elevated boardwalks or kayak through marked trails. Call ahead to reserve a free-guided swamp tour in South Carolina's only national park.



City and State Parks

Pack the picnic basket or tackle box and take advantage of the numerous parks in the Columbia region. Explore Harbison State Forest on its 18 miles of bike trails or rent a lakeside cabin at Dreher Island State Park. Kayak the river or cool off in the Saluda Splash Water Playground at Saluda Shoals Park. For more parks to visit, head to our website at

The Broad, the Saluda and the Congaree Rivers
Grab your friends and take to the currents of one of the Columbia region's three rivers for a day of sun, kayaking, tubing and swimming. West Columbia RiverwalkCayce Riverwalk Park and Riverfront Park offer miles of riverfront trails and great scenic views of the Columbia skyline.

Zoom the River at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden
Get your adrenaline fix by zooming 1,000 ft. across the Saluda River at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden's latest attraction, Zip the Zoo.



Lake Murray
Go for a dip and soak up the sun at Lake Murray. Take a scenic 1.7 mile stroll across the dam on the Dreher Shoals Dam Walk. Enjoy the sandy beach on the south end of the dam and boat ramp and fishing pier on the north end. Rent a boat or jet ski, hire a fishing guide or learn to sail.


Find a complete list of outdoor activities in The New Adventure Hot Spot on Columbia, SC's website. Then be sure to check back in tomorrow for ideas on things to do in The New Culinary Hot Spot!


Share your hometown tourist moments by posting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #nttw14, #famouslyhot and #traveleffect. We might just show off your pictures on our social media!