Scavenger Hunts

Test your knowledge and discover all that awaits you in the real Southern hot spot! Assemble a team or go it solo with this series of scavenger hunts designed to show you what Columbia SC has to offer. From popular attractions to hidden gems and everything in between, you’re sure to find something you haven’t before.

The Real Southern Scavenger Hunt, Vol. 1

The Original! You'll need a car, but that just means you'll be covering more ground. Get out there and fall in love with Columbia SC.  

Stop #1
The first stop
Along your way
Is a place that fosters 
Learning and play. 

It is here that kids 
Laugh and go wild
And parents can release 
Their inner child.

Now go forth
And be gone. 
The next clue awaits you
And the hunt is on!

Stop #2
This former mill
Holds much to explore.
Art, history, or science
Can be found on every floor.

Here, you can hang with Finn 
Or go back to freely roam.
See a movie in the theater
Or gaze at planets in the dome.

Stop #3
Don’t give up now,
You’ve made it this far.
You might even say
You’ve earned a bronze star.

Let the gleam of copper
Draw you in
To the place where a law
Is sure to begin. 

Stop #4
If these walls could talk, 
They’d have centuries to say. 
From the classic greats
To fresh talent of today. 

Around every corner, 
Beauty lies in store.
Masterful paintings, sculptures,
Photographs, and more.

Stop #5
Bearing the same name
As the district in which it’s found, 
This grand old house
Is like none other around.

You can start a tour, 
Peruse the shop,
And imagine Columbia’s past 
At this historical stop. 

Stop #6
Congrats, you’re so Crafty
It’s the end of the line. 

Go to the store
That sells beer and wine. 

Some say it’s great, 
But I think it’s Devine.


The Real Southern Scavenger Hunt, Vol. 2

For a longer, more challenging and completely walkable option, here you are! See what you stumble upon between two of downtown's neighborhood districts. 

Note: Unless you plan to do this scavenger hunt on a Saturday, skip Stop #4. 

Stop #1
Let the games begin,
The hunt is underway!
Beneath a bright Blue Sky
On a beautiful day.

At first glance, 
Your eyes may deceive you.
Until you get closer
And can take in the whole view.

This is one detour
That won’t get you from A to B.
Trying to drive through
Would be a catastrophe.

Just stop and appreciate
The setting sun.
This iconic landmark 
Is stop number one.

Stop #2
The only place of its kind
In the entire state.
Come here after dinner
And you have the perfect date.

Edgy and cool,
With some old Hollywood flair.
You’ll feel right at home 
In a cushy, red chair.

Despite its name,
There’s more than cartoons for you to see.
Their artistic selections
Are rather marquee.

Don’t expect to find
The big blockbuster hits.
Instead, limited releases
And of course, Indie Grits.

Stop #3
Here, you won’t find 
Tetris or Pacman,
But architecture and design 
That is molto Italian.

Back in its heyday,
The place to be was Down Under.
It has long since become
An historic wonder.

However, the future is bright 
For this space once more.
I’d keep your eyes closely on it; 
There’s much in store.

Stop #4
You’re halfway through,
And that’s reason to cheer.
In fact, at this next location,
That’s something you’ll often hear.

All roads here lead to victory,
Like Dawn Staley Way.
This stop even caught the eye
Of the NCAA.

Stop #5
A shortcut must sound
Pretty good right about now.
Go ahead and take it,
If you can figure out how.

It’s a bit of a secret,
So down low, it’s underground.
But once you know it’s there,
It’s so much easier to get around.

Once gloomy and dark,
A deterring sight.
But a group came together
To make it welcoming and bright.

Out of tragedy, came unity
And the idea was sparked.
Connectivity and art
By the name Watermarked.

Stop #6
Spanning four acres
With a creek running through, 
This green space is dedicated
To the red, white and blue. 

A place to pay respect
To those who have served.
The names of these brave men and women
Are forever preserved. 

Stop #7
Getting tired? 
Come rest your head. 
Why not get 
A king or queen-sized bed.

Still don’t know? 
Come on, this is easy as can be. 
Let us spell it out for you - 
It’s as simple as WXYZ.

Stop #8
Congratulations, you made it! 
Just one more stop to go. 
Your quest is almost over, 
Is there anything you don’t know?

You don't have to go far,
For this spot is quite near.
They have a dynamite menu
And brew their own beer. 

It’s time to wrap it up, 
So what do you say? 
Come celebrate your victory with us
At this final stop along Gervais.


The Real Southern Scavenger Hunt, Vol. 3

In partnership with Historic Columbia

Stop #1
Take me out
And we’ll have a ball.
Root, root, root
For us to win them all.
There’s nothing Minor about it,
Voted best in its first year.
The community has really taken
To wearing all of the gear.
This is just the beginning,
Many stops still in tow.
So what are you waiting for?
Come on, let’s glow!
Stop #2
Keep going,
You’re nowhere close to being Dunn.
You can sit and stay
Or grab something to go if you’re on the run.
Started at the market
And now we’re here.
This buzzworthy spot
Serves both coffee and beer
Its name means beauty,
And this we can’t deny.
It’s something very special
Be it hot, cold or Thai.
Stop #3
Named after a type
Of freshwater fish,
This is where you come
For an old-fashioned Southern dish.
Chicken bog, deviled eggs
And smoked ribs, oh my!
You’d also be remiss in not
Giving the barbecue plate a try.
Once a place where you could go
To fix your car,
Now you can gather over a meal
Or order up something from the bar.
Stop #4
Once beige,
Now ocher in hue.
Both the inside and out
Boast an experience that’s all new.
Retelling the story
Of all who’ve lived here before,
Updated exhibits and gardens
Offer much to explore.
Claimed a sanctuary
During the Civil War,
This long-standing spot has reopened,
So come take a tour!
Historic Columbia Hint: Sometimes history doesn’t make any mathematical sense, as this historic site hosted a Tricentennial celebration well before the property was 200 years old.
Stop #5
One main house,
Plus the frames of five more.
Ghost structures of residences,
A lunch counter and also a store.
Owned by the same family
Who lived their lives free.
This is also the home
Of the annual Jubilee.
Stop #6
Cozy and sleek,
The atmosphere will leave you in awe.
Not to mention the curated menu
Will make you drop your jaw.
Sips from all over
In every shade under the sun.
Plus, handmade pasta and small plates
That are second to none.
Its namesake looks on
From a portrait in black and white.
Sidle up to the pearly bar
For the perfect date night.
Historic Columbia Hint: Hats off to the spirited young lady who inspired this unique addition to Columbia.
Stop #7
Let’s get the ball rolling
On a fun night out.
There’s something for everyone,
So you can spare any doubt.
Two floors and a patio
Featuring games galore.
See if you have what it takes
To get a perfect score.
Come on in,
But stay in your lane.
Eat, drink and play
At this hangout on Main.
Historic Columbia Hint: If you strike out, you won’t go home a loser.
Stop #8
It’s bold, it’s chic,
It’s the first downtown boutique.
Fun patterns and trendy décor,
Lots of local art and so much more.
With comfort and style leading the way,
It’s just the place to plan your stay.
Right at home is how you’ll feel,
And it’s here you’ll find that unicorns are real.
Stop #9
You can bank
On this stop along your way.
Columbia’s first skyscraper
Stands tall to this day.
If you’ve never been,
That’s all your fault.
But we’ll keep your secret safe
And lock it up in The Vault.
Journey up
To floor eighteen,
For some of the most amazing views
Columbia has ever seen.
Historic Columbia Hint: Since 1913, this building has ensured the state’s tree would always stand on Main Street.
Stop #10
Reminiscent of NoLa
When it comes to the flavor,
The signature cocktails
Are something to savor.
Swing by for dinner, brunch
Or just a happy hour.
And order something that’s
Stormy, a Smash, or Sour.
Every winter,
If it’s a vacation you seek,
Here, you’ll find an oasis
In the form of Tiki Week.
At the bar you’ll perch
Or into a booth you’ll sink.
Beneath damask on the walls
And the sign declaring DRINK.
Stop #11
This iconic landmark
Looms large in the sky.
Since 1900,
It’s really drawn the eye.
In the Vista district
Is where it sits.
Churning out Southern favorites
Like flour for biscuits or stone-ground grits.
Stop #12
When it comes to views,
This is one of the best.
Allowing you to travel
To and from the West.
Sandwiched between two others,
Yet its own elegant design it has to boast.
Golden Palmettos and crescents
Adorn each lamppost.
Look out below,
Water flows free.
For the Saluda and the Broad
Have formed the Congaree.
Stop #13
Offices, event space
And cool, funky art.
This multi-use facility
Sure sets itself apart.
Dating back
To when mills ruled the scene,
Now a popular spot for weddings, festivals
And everything in between.
Stop #14
Between both its past and its present,
The one constant is a flight.
Though much has been preserved
At this refurbished historic site.
Primitive in name,
Yet an industry on the rise.
You can hang out on the roof
Beneath open skies.
This is the last stop
Along the course.
So kick back with a brew
Straight from the source.
Historic Columbia Hint: You won’t have to wing it when planning a visit with friends.