Free Things To Do

More than just a place for eating and shopping, Columbia is home to plenty of ways to while away an afternoon without spending a dime. With plentiful acres of parks and urban green space, a picnic lunch along the canal at Riverfront Park, followed by a leisurely three mile stroll to the end will reward you with a magnificent view of the river water from the waterworks infrastructure cascading down into the canal below. For those looking for more of a restful time to go along with a nice view, the swings at the top of Finlay Park show off the skyline and the beautiful houses that are nestled along the edge of the park.

For one of the best views in the area, a walk or bike ride along the Lake Murray dam can’t be beat, especially at sunrise or sunset, where the vibrant colors of the sun dipping into the horizon are doubled off of the reflection from the water. Free parking on the Lexington side makes this an option that’s hard to pass up.

Looking to have free fun indoors rather than outside? The State House offers free guided and self-guided tours Monday through Friday for a bit of history, political insight, and a roof overhead. Also indoors and nearby is the award-winning Richland Library, with four floors of interactive displays, meeting rooms, computers and equipment and of course, books!