South Carolina State Museum 

Along the banks of the Congaree River, in the heart of SC, the South Carolina State Museum houses treasures from near and far, with something new to discover around every corner of the state-of-the-art facility. Boasting the largest and most comprehensive museum in the state, and the largest in the Southeast, the SCSM experience is one that will ignite your curiosity and leave you inspired.

The museum houses four floors of permanent and changing exhibits. The influx of one-of-a-kind, new exhibits coming through the State Museum makes each visit unique and special. Not to mention, the facility houses four museums in one – art, history, natural history, and science and technology – the perfect stop for the knowledge-seeker who can’t decide which subject fascinates them more. There’s no need to choose; it’s all there for you to explore.

For an out-of-this-world experience, take to the stars at the museum’s 55-foot planetarium, one of the largest digital dome planetariums in the Southeast. Become completely immersed as you watch an astronomy or laser light show with multi-media images and sounds.

Continue your exploration through space at the Boeing Observatory, which is home to the historic 1926 Alvan Clark telescope. No spaceship required for this journey. The refracting telescope will have you floating among the stars and planets, with the luxury of gravity and plenty of oxygen.

Why just watch a film, when you can feel like you’re actually in it? Catch an exhilarating show at the museum’s 4D theater and see the film come to life before your eyes. The only permanent theater of its kind in the state combines 3D film with real-life sensations, like blasts of air, vibrating seats, and more, as if you’re in the middle of the action.

We know there’s so much to do at the State Museum, but explorers need to eat too, so take a break to refuel at the Crescent Café. Savor a delicious sandwich, soup, or salad, and be sure to get your hands on some kettle-cooked fudge.

Before calling it quits for the day, don’t miss out on an opportunity to stop into The Cotton Mill Exchange, one of the largest museum stores in the country, with a special emphasis on SC merchandise. This store has everything, y’all. From clothes, jewelry, books, gifts for the home, and toys, you can find something for everyone. The perfect souvenirs to remember the unforgettable day you spent exploring and discovering in Columbia SC.