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Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Zoo
“The zoo AND the botanical gardens are simply gorgeous! Our zoo is in the top five zoos in the US. ”
  • 51 locals recommend
Museum
“This Museum has one of the country's largest telescopes. A 4D theatre and a planetarium.”
  • 24 locals recommend
Art Museum
“Amazing modern and historic / ancient pieces. We have had AMAZING artists’ work here and our Arts and Draughts event along with First Thursdays continue to be a huge draw!”
  • 23 locals recommend
Capitol Building
“Take a tour of the Grounds, then walk down Main Street for food, cocktails and shopping”
  • 21 locals recommend
Food
“Super fun event on Main Street every Saturday morning. Vendors and food. It's free.”
  • 43 locals recommend
Shopping Mall
“A little of everything including international cuisine and a lovely large Merry-go-round!”
  • 12 locals recommend
Museum
“There are 350 exciting and fun hands-on exhibits in the museum designed for kids 12 years old or younger to learn through play.”
  • 14 locals recommend
Bar
“Bourbon is a whiskey bar and Cajun-Creole restaurant located just steps from the South Carolina State Capitol building at 1214 Main Street in the historic Brennen Building (1869)”
  • 17 locals recommend
American Restaurant
$$$
“New menu everyday! Local, fresh food everyday! Need I say more? Killer cocktails!”
  • 21 locals recommend
Shopping Mall
“Great place to go while in town. Has everything from nightlife, to shopping, to restaurants, to movie theaters. Has the best theater in Columbia. ”
  • 8 locals recommend
Cafe
$
“This local gem has fun touches, like a machine that squeezes oranges for fresh OJ, and a coffee bar with a random collection of coffee cups to choose from - it's a great brunch spot. But the entire menu is delicious. On my last visit, I ordered a beautiful bowl of shrimp & grits.”
  • 22 locals recommend
University
“Founded in 1801, USC's flagship campus sprawls over 300 acres in downtown Columbia not far from the South Carolina State House. The campus features the famously historic Horseshoe, where visitors can go for a leisurely stroll under a variety of established old-growth trees.”
  • 16 locals recommend
Neighborhood
“This is mostly the scene for college students to hang out in - with lots of bars and restaurants.”
  • 24 locals recommend
Movie Theater
“Art house theater on Main Street. Have a beer or glass of wine and catch the latest flicks!”
  • 15 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
$$
“We like this place if we are going out for a oyster shot to start the night with. They also have live music plaing upstairs usually! ”
  • 18 locals recommend
Park
“There is a scenic lake, picnic pavilion, shaded trails, and playgrounds in the shade. ”
  • 9 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Bar
“Bourbon is a whiskey bar and Cajun-Creole restaurant located just steps from the South Carolina State Capitol building at 1214 Main Street in the historic Brennen Building (1869)”
  • 17 locals recommend
American Restaurant
“New menu everyday! Local, fresh food everyday! Need I say more? Killer cocktails!”
  • 21 locals recommend
Cafe
“This local gem has fun touches, like a machine that squeezes oranges for fresh OJ, and a coffee bar with a random collection of coffee cups to choose from - it's a great brunch spot. But the entire menu is delicious. On my last visit, I ordered a beautiful bowl of shrimp & grits.”
  • 22 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
“We like this place if we are going out for a oyster shot to start the night with. They also have live music plaing upstairs usually! ”
  • 18 locals recommend
Gastropub
“Great local neighborhood pub that was once a garage/shop that now serves great cocktails and has a fun vibe and back patio.”
  • 14 locals recommend
Southern / Soul Food Restaurant
“Mr. Friendly’s calls itself “a new Southern café,” so naturally it serves New Southern Cuisine. What that really means is you of course find chicken and grits and fried green tomatoes on the menu, but the chef also offers his delightful daily special; you will adore his take on Southern Cuisine with dishes like Sesame Seared Yellowfin Tuna with salsa made of granny smith apples and ginger, glazed with yuzu-sweet chile, and served with wasabi-spiced mashed potatoes and sautéed veggies.”
  • 14 locals recommend
Restaurant
“A modern take on beer & food, Publico Kitchen + Tap is a comfortable, minimalist designed restaurant and bar. With the popularity of local, fresh food & beverage along with the interest in bolder tastes & fusion flavors, they focus on creating a menu that has bold flavors, profiles, and fusion ingredients. The primary focus on the menu is their unique selection of "tacos" that are created with fresh, local meat, vegetables & sauces. All meats are farm-raised, hormone free, humanely killed proteins. The produce is sourced seasonally from local farmers & purveyors. The focal point of the beverage side is the back-bar that is also a draft beer cooler. 54 taps run the length of the back bar & feature unique & local & craft beers, ciders, house-made cocktails, wine & mead on tap!! Many of the craft beers will also be seasonally infused into some of the food offerings. Their atmosphere has a very rustic & industrial feel. Two large garage doors open up to Greene Street in the famous Five Points Village!”
  • 12 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Ever want to eat a cinnamon bun bigger than your head? Well, here's your chance-- great variety of cinnamon buns options, like the Black Pepper Bacon Maple Glaze, Wildberry Graham Cracker Crumble, or Bourbon Caramel. They also have breakfast sandwiches, grit bowls, Panini and specialty sandwiches, soups, salads-- just an all around great breakfast or lunch spot. Be sure to stop in at least once during your stay in Columbia!”
  • 8 locals recommend

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