The University of South Carolina is at the heart of our city and visitors from all over come to see the school and cheer on the Gamecocks. If that sounds like your perfect trip, you’ll find our city won’t disappoint.
We suggest starting your visit with a walk around the beautiful campus 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 the campus bookstore and buy your game day shirts, hats, and jackets.
Once you’re properly attired, it’s time to go to a game. It doesn’t matter if its football, basketball, baseball, or any other sport, there’s nothing that can beat the energy of Gamecock fans during a game and you definitely don’t want to miss it. In the past five years USC has regional championships in men’s and women’s basketball, women’s golf, women’s soccer, and women’s track and field. Not to the school’s 2015 national championship for women’s equestrian and most recent 2017 national championship wins for women’s basketball. The school traditionally puts on a parade to celebrate national championships, so be sure to time your visit right!
We’re in the South and 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 down by 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.
And if it’s been awhile since you’ve been to game, you’re going to want to explore Columbia’s growing brewery scene, including River Rat Brewery and Conquest Brewery located right near the stadium.
If you aren’t able to get tickets to a game, no worries. You can always head down to the Vista and you’ll be sure to find every restaurant and bar with their TVs tuned into the game. Try out some of the area’s newest restaurants like the Twisted Spur and the Casual Pint on Gervais. When everyone around you is cheering on the Gamecocks, it can be a great alternative to actually being at the game.
When you’re in the Vista, don’t forget to get your picture taken with the giant gamecock art installation on Gervais Street.
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 Historically Black Colleges and Universities across South Carolina. The event raises money for scholarships and celebrates academics, athletics, sportsmanship, and school pride.
With one state university and two Historically Black Colleges, you’re probably thinking your trip will already be packed with college athletics. But be sure you save room on your schedule for one more game because we’re also home to Columbia College, a four year women’s college with some killer athletic teams who regularly rank highly in their conference championships.
So grab those athletic schedules and start planning your next trip!