The Mill District of Columbia SC is steeped in history from the city’s industrial era. Though the cotton mills that once supported this neighborhood have long since shut down, the buildings remain and now house local businesses.
Start off by learning more about this area’s unique history with a tour of the Olympia Mill Village Museum. The museum includes three parts – the Olympia Mill School house museum covers what life in the village was like in the 1900s, the Olympia High School Annex houses artifacts and collections and outdoor exhibits highlight historic village architecture and local businesses that existed during that time period.
At the center of the Mill District is 701 Whaley. The building once served as the recreation center for mill workers and their families and touches of its previous occupants can be seen throughout. The structure now serves as a unique event space (you’ve got to check out the pool room) for weddings, catered dinners, meetings, music events and more, and is also the home for the 701 Center for Contemporary Arts and locally owned spa, The Beautique.
Once you’ve enjoyed the art and spa services at 701, head across the street for a bite to eat. The creative pies at Village Idiot Pizza are sure to satisfy and don’t forget to ask for an order of the bone sauce! Classic diner fare is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner at Granby Grill. And authentic, Italian-American specialties can be found at Enzo’s Spuntino with their made-from-scratch bagel sandwiches and paninis.
How about some fresh air? Grab a hot dog and cheer on the University of South Carolina Gamecocks baseball team during a game at Founders Park (and go check out those NCAA College World Series trophies while you’re at it!). Take a jaunt over to Granby Park for riverside strolls that make you feel as though you’re miles from the city center. Or see if you can spot one of Columbia’s iconic pieces of public art, Ra Obelisk by Richard Lane, at Olympia Park.
We like to say Columbia SC is a place where tradition and tomorrow pair perfectly. The Mill District is a prime example of that.