Trip Ideas

Whether you have a long weekend, just one day, or a whole week, Columbia has everything you need for the getaway you’ve been craving. You’ll find ample doses of big city excitement, small town charm, and natural beauty, all within walking distance. And we can’t wait to share it with you.

In the fall, this is Gamecock Country, at least on home game weekends, when the streets and restaurants are full of fans. Not your scene? Come on an away game weekend: parking will be plentiful and restaurant owners will greet you like an old friend.

The city is also home to more festivals than we can count, and there are at least a few for every season. Locals and savvy visitors alike love the Korean, Italian, and Greek Festivals, summer’s Tasty Tomato Festival, the Indie Grits film festival, Historic Columbia’s Jubilee Festival of Heritage, the Freeway Music Festival, both the blues festival and a bluegrass festival, the Jam Room Music Festival, the Rosewood Crawfish Festival…and more! (Really, there’s more.) How about the Love, Peace, and Hip-Hop Festival? Or Columbia Green’s Festival of Gardens?

Locals love the easy way of life here, and visitors looking for a relaxing weekend can enjoy that, too. Spend your weekend strolling around our walkable districts enjoying the sights and history, and make time to take in a flick at the Nickelodeon, South Carolina’s only nonprofit art house theater. And if walking in the city is more hustle and bustle than you need, head to the river and enjoy the breeze and natural beauty.

Foodies will find a variety, and should definitely seek out some Columbia legends, like DiPrato’s pimiento cheese, Rockaway’s pimiento cheeseburger, Mr. Friendly’s filet mignon with pimiento cheese…notice a theme? We love our pimiento cheese, and we’re proud of it, but we also enjoy all the fresh produce this region has to offer. Soda City, Columbia’s local farmers market, is a food explorer’s dream (but don’t miss the other local goods, like hand-carved boards made from local trees, eclectic pottery, and handmade clothing). Every Saturday, rain or shine, vendors come from all over the state to set up shop on Main Street. Soda Citizens stroll the street, which is closed to traffic that day, sampling produce, listening to buskers, and making pit stops for everything from fresh juices and locally roasted coffee to empanadas and barbeque plates. Also? You can definitely buy some pimiento cheese for later.

Come for a show, stay for the restaurants. Come for a festival, and stick around to visit Riverbanks Zoo or the State Museum—or both. Come for work and stick around for the beautiful weather and gracious hospitality. We’re glad you made it!