With the University of South Carolina, Benedict College and Allen University at the heart of our city, visitors from all over come to see these historic campuses and experience a Southern collegiate town. If that sounds like your perfect trip, you’ll find our city won’t disappoint.
We suggest starting your visit with a walk around on of our beautiful campuses to soak up some of the college excitement—and preemptively walk off some of the delicious tailgate food you plan on eating! From there, you’ll want to head over to one of the campus bookstores to buy your game day shirts, hats, and jackets.
After checking into your hotel (may we suggest the Courtyard Downtown at USC or Graduate Columbia?), head to one of our many iconic sports bars like Publick House, Home Team BBQ or Rockaways. If you like wings, beer and pimento cheese, any of these spots will fit the bill to get you fueled up for the day ahead.
Get ready for a day full of fun in our predictably sunny weather. Grab a local coffee from Drip on Main or Drip in Five Points. The Honey Habanero Latte is sure to give you the kick you need.
Once you’re properly attired, it’s time game-time. It doesn’t matter if it's football, basketball, baseball, or any other sport, there’s nothing that can beat the energy of our college fans during a game and you definitely don’t want to miss it.
Being in the South, college football is still king. If you come in the fall, be sure you head down to a tailgate spot to take in the festivities. Gamecock fans have Southern hospitality and you’re probably going to become friends with the tailgaters on either side of you, so be sure to bring lots of food to share! Need help figuring out what to bring? Stop by Soda City Market before the game and grab some pre-made snacks to share.
When you’re headed to see the action in person at Williams Brice Stadium, be sure to check out the legendary Cockabooses. Made from hold train cars, each of these landmark tailgating spots are privately owned and decked out to tailgate in style.
If you aren't able to get tickets to the game, you can cheer on the Gamecocks from an outdoor patio at a local spot with a made-for-football big screen. Be near the sights and sounds of Willy B at J's Corner, here you'll find Carolina themed drinks, corn hole, and plenty of screens to catch the game. You can always head down to the Vista where you’ll be sure to find every restaurant and bar with their TVs tuned into the game. Try out some local favorites like Twisted Spur or Tin Roof for a rollicking good time. And if it’s been a while since you’ve been to game, you’re going to want to explore Columbia’s growing brewery scene, including River Rat Brewery and Swamp Cabbage located right near the stadium.
It might seem like Gamecock athletics rule the roost in Columbia, but it’s a different story when we host the Palmetto Capital City Classic. It’s more than a football game, it’s an entire weekend of fun and friendly rivalry between HBCUs across South Carolina, including our very own Benedict College and Allen University. The event raises money for scholarships and celebrates academics, athletics, sportsmanship, and school pride.
Before heading home you would be remiss in not grabbing some grub on your way out. Pick up something to go from smallSUGAR or sit awhile and take in some Southern fare from DiPrato's. For more options, our brunch roundup will not disappoint.