REAL TRAVEL. REAL SAFE.
Your comfort level is important to us. Whether you are just dreaming of a weekend escape right now or hoping to venture out safely in the coming weeks, we have the latest information on Columbia SC re-openings and precautions underway to keep you and your loved ones safe, and ideas on how to maximize your travel plans in this “new normal.” When you’re ready, activities like a nature walk through a State Park, kayaking, patio dining, or an urban outdoor stroll to take in public art might just be the welcome change of scenery you seek.
Frequently Asked Questions About Travel & Safety in Columbia SC:
What does the City of Columbia face covering/mask ordinance mean for me?
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Columbia is requiring face coverings to be worn by all people over the age of 10 in public spaces when six feet of distance cannot be maintained. If you’re eating or drinking or enjoying a socially distant outdoor activity, no face covering is required. Rule of thumb, wear a face covering or mask whenever you're out and about to protect you and those around you. (Most businesses, restaurants, attractions will require one for entry as well.)
What attractions are currently open?
Most of your favorite attractions, including Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, EdVenture, South Carolina State Museum, Congaree National Park, and Historic Columbia, are open to varying degrees and welcoming visitors. They’re working hard to ensure you feel comfortable during your visit with safety measures such as hand sanitizing stations, reduced occupancy, and mask requirements in place.
Find open attractions with specific safety precautions you’re looking for by using the search filter on our Attractions page. For the latest updates on openings, hours, and guidelines, check the attraction’s website or call ahead before you go.
Have restaurants opened their dining rooms again?
Many restaurants are open for in-person service, and they’re ready to pull up a seat for you! They’re operating at reduced occupancy with safety precautions in place, such as temperature screenings, single-use menus, and tables socially distanced, to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Not ready to dine inside? Try dining al fresco and search our outdoor dining page to find your perfect spot. If you don’t feel quite comfortable venturing out, plenty of restaurants are offering take out and no-contact service options for a no-hassle, delicious experience.
How can I support Columbia SC during this time?
The most important thing you can do to support the community during this time is to play your part in safety, while still getting your fill of the capital city fun. Wear a face covering, keep six feet of distance between you and those around you, and stay home if you feel sick. It takes all of us working together to slow the spread.
You can also support Columbia by donating your time to those that need help, donating money to relief funds, and shopping local as much as possible. Mask up and support local at the same time by purchasing your face coverings from business owners right here in the capital city.
The City of Columbia has passed an ordinance that requires face masks, face coverings or face shields in public spaces. The ordinance does not apply when eating and drinking, or for outdoor activities where you're able to maintain six feet of distance. Read the full ordinance here.
Jump to updates on openings and safety precautions here.
Restaurant + Brewery Updates
Our restaurants and breweries are doing everything they can to maintain safety, while still showing off our Southern hospitality (and food!). Some spots are still only offering take out or delivery orders, while others are beginning to open for outdoor dining and limited indoor seating.
Search by "amenity" below to filter our restaurants based on the safety measure they have in place like outdoor dining, social distancing and more.
*Hours, menus and services may change. Please call restaurants ahead of time for details on ordering.
South Carolina State House
The South Carolina State House is the seat of state government in South Carolina, home to the Governor’s office and the House and Senate chambers. Stroll the grounds of the state capitol building while maintaining social distance. Have a picnic or pay a visit to the African American Monument, among other structures found on the grounds. Although guided State House tours are suspended until further notice, you can still participate in a self-guided tour and enjoy The South Carolina State House Gift Shop, open 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on most Saturdays.
Columbia Museum of Art
The Columbia Museum of Art (CMA) is South Carolina’s premier international art museum with traveling shows, exclusive exhibitions and internationally renowned collections. The CMA is open to the public with cleaning and physical distancing practices in place, including limited timed admission tickets, reduced gallery capacities, robust cleaning practices and the required use of face masks or cloth coverings.
EdVenture is an award-winning children's museum dedicated to creating new generations of lifelong learners through museum experiences, programming and camps. EdVenture is open and ready to welcome you and your family with extra safety precautions in place, so you can have peace of mind while you learn and play. Social distancing guidelines will be enforced, and exhibits with be cleaned several times throughout the day, but some exhibits may be closed to ensure your safety. To plan your family day, purchase your tickets in advance online, and bring face coverings for explorers ages 3 and older. Not ready to venture out yet? No worries! Check out their "Today's Play" for fun and educational at-home activities.
The mission of Historic Columbia is to nurture, support and protect the historical and cultural heritage of Columbia and its environs through programs of advocacy, education and preservation. To aid in efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Historic Columbia’s house museums are temporarily closed to the public. The gardens at Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion and Seibels House are now open for public visitation, under a number of restrictions. Hours are limited to 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tues. – Fri. at Seibels House, and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tues. – Sat. and 1 – 4 p.m. on Sun. at Robert Mills. The Hampton-Preston garden can be accessed 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tues. – Sat. with extended hours on Thurs. evenings until 7 p.m., and 1 – 4 p.m. on Sunday. An Outdoor Multi-Site tour is offered 11 a.m. – Noon Thurs. – Sat., as well as a Historic Gardens Tour 10 – 11 a.m. every Friday. Capacity will be maxed out at 35 guests at one time at Seibels, and 150 at both Robert Mills and Hampton-Preston. If visiting in a group, the group must not exceed three people (or 10 people if from the same household) while maintaining a safe distance of six feet from others. Face coverings are strongly encouraged and guests are encouraged to bring their own seating. Restrooms will not be available.
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden has implemented a phased reopening to help ensure the continued safety of Zoo staff, guests and the rest of the animals. The three-tiered approach limits attendance and programming, supports social distancing and increases Riverbanks' already rigorous safety measures. The Zoo will require online ticket reservations for all members and guests as part of phase one. Time slots will be available every half hour beginning at 9:00 a.m. each day with no limit to the length of your visit once you're in the park. Anyone without a face covering or an advance online reservation will not be admitted. Check their website for updated information on additional phases and which buildings will be open to the public.
South Carolina State Museum
The South Carolina State Museum is a state-of-the-art facility featuring four floors of permanent and changing exhibits, digital dome planetarium, 4D interactive theater and an observatory. The museum has now entered phase two of its reopening plan. More museum interactives and gallery spaces are available to guests, including the 4D theater, digital dome planetarium and observatory. The museum is now open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tues. – Sat., and 12 – 5 p.m. on Sundays. Pricing has returned to normal – Adults: $8.95, Senior (Ages 62+): $7.95, Children (Ages 3 – 12): $6.95, Children (Ages 2 and under): Free, with additional charges for access to the planetarium, 4D shows and current visiting exhibits like A Voice of Her Own: South Carolina Women in Politics. All guests over the age of 10 are required to wear face coverings, and visitor capacity levels will continue to be monitored to better facilitate safe social distancing practices. If you're not ready to plan a visit, you can still enjoy SCSM from the comfort of your home through the various virtual programs and resources located on their website.
Congaree National Park
At 26,000 acres, South Carolina’s only National Park is the largest intact tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the U.S. The park contains some of the tallest trees in Eastern North America with one of the highest canopies in the world, broad bio-diversity and old-growth forest. Congaree National Park has begun its phased approach to reopening and both the park’s frontcountry and backcountry areas are now open. This includes the entrance road, parking lots, picnic shelter, Weston Lake Loop Trail, Sims Trail, Bluff Trail, Longleaf Trail, South Cedar Creek Canoe Landing, Bannister Bridge Canoe Landing, the Cedar Creek Canoe Trail, Kingsnake Trail, Bates Ferry Trail, Fork Swamp Trail, Oakridge Trail and River Trail. The park has also reopened all sites at the Bluff Campground and half of the sites at Longleaf Campground. Restrooms and the outdoor visitor information center at Harry Hampton Visitor Center, along with the bookstore inside it, continue to be available.
City of Columbia Parks
The City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department reopened parks and amenities in phases throughout the summer to ensure the safety of residents and visitors. All park amenities are currently open, which is includes, but is not limited to, basketball courts, playgrounds, restrooms, water fountains, circulating spray pads, and shelters. Park visitors are strongly encouraged to follow the Governor's Executive Order regarding gatherings, and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet at all times.
City of West Columbia Parks
City of West Columbia parks and playgrounds are open for outdoor fun. This includes the West Columbia Riverwalk, where you can walk the half-mile path, and enjoy the fresh air and cool waters on the Congaree River. Help make the parks fun and safe for everyone by abiding by social distancing guidelines.
City of Cayce Parks
There are several parks in the City of Cayce with secluded areas and plenty of nature, all of which are open to the public. Their most popular park, the Riverwalk Park, features the Timmerman Trail of the Three Rivers Greenway, which runs along the river with lighted pathways and 24 hour security.