Got a three-day weekend coming up? Head to Columbia for some rest and relaxation.
Start with one of the best brunches in town at 116 State. Available only Saturday and Sunday mornings, Chef Ryan offers a selection of fresh baked pastries and brunch favorites like omelettes, shrimp and grits, french toast, and strata. This popular spot fills up fast, so expect a wait on busy weekends.
After you’ve had your fill to eat, spend the day at Riverbanks Zoo. Our zoo is legendary—twice awarded the Governor’s Cup for South Carolina’s Most Outstanding Tourist Attraction—and is home to over 2,000 animals. If you still have energy after you’ve exhausted the possibilities of the zoo, take a tram over to the Riverbanks Botanical Garden. It’s a lovely oasis in the heart of the city, featuring 4,200 species of native and exotic plants from around the world.
Head back downtown for dinner at Motor Supply. They write a new menu every day based on what’s fresh and available at the local markets. The restaurant is a local favorite for fine dining in a friendly, contemporary setting.
Start your day at the South Carolina State Museum, the state’s largest and most comprehensive museum. Located along the banks of the beautiful Congaree River in downtown Columbia, the State Museum hosts fascinating exhibits about South Carolina art, history, and culture. Don’t miss the Planetarium and the 4D theater while you’re there.
Enjoy a simple lunch at The Gourmet Shop in Five Points, a café serving simple, fresh foods, expertly prepared. After lunch, if it’s nice outside, enjoy a stroll along the Three Rivers Greenway. This beautiful series of riverfront pathways, at the confluence of the Broad, Saluda, and Congaree rivers, includes lighted trails and boardwalks, picnic areas, and scenic overlooks.
In the evening, enjoy watching Columbia’s own minor league baseball team, the Fireflies, play at Spirit Communications park. Occasionally they offer a fireworks show to end the game, so make sure to stick around for that.
One of only five National Historic Landmarks within Columbia, the Robert Mills House is a must-see for anyone interested in South Carolina history or antebellum architecture. After strolling through the house and gardens, walk up the street to the Spotted Salamander for lunch. Enjoy classic southern dishes like tomato pie, mac and cheese, and fried okra.
By now, it’s probably time to head back home. Before you go, take a stroll down Main Street and check out the Mast General Store, an old-timey general store that stretches back a whole city block. When you’re done shopping, grab a scoop for the road at Sweet Cream, where they handcraft small-batches of ice cream with unique flavors like pistachio and dark cherry, orange coriander, and blueberry basil. Enjoy the cool treat while you plan your next visit back to The Real Southern Hot Spot.