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Best things to do in Columbia

Discover the city according to locals. Find the best things to do, places to eat, and get priceless advice from the people who live here.

Zoo
“This is one of the best Zoo's in the country. Also, includes a water park.”
46local recommendations
Museum
“This Museum has one of the country's largest telescopes. A 4D theatre and a planetarium.”
24local recommendations
Art Museum
“A wonderful museum that has just had a major reworking. The Galleries are arranged by themes with some really amazing works from the collection and great Temporary exhibits as well. A beautiful courtyard. ”
22local recommendations
Capitol Building
“Take a tour of the Grounds, then walk down Main Street for food, cocktails and shopping”
21local recommendations
Food
“Hopping Sat morning market on Main Street. Food, crafts, music, people watching!”
38local recommendations
Shopping Mall
“A little of everything including international cuisine and a lovely large Merry-go-round!”
11local recommendations
Museum
“Edventure is the South's largest children's museum which offers a number of exhibits however your children will be thrill with Eddie the museum's signature interactive exhibit. They will be able to climb through the 40-foot-tall child to learn a few anatomy lessons. Taste Buds a cooking lab combining kid friendly culinary skills with nutrition education among many other exhibits will capture their attention.”
11local recommendations
Neighborhood
“College bar scene, gets crowded at night but a nice spot to go before midnight. ”
23local recommendations
Movie Theater
“Art house theater on Main Street. Have a beer or glass of wine and catch the latest flicks!”
16local recommendations
College Football Field
“If you're in town during football season and there is a home game and you enjoy watching football or just want to experience Columbia's MOST iconic event, check out Williams Brice Stadium home of the USC GAMECOCKS! GO COCKS! You are certain to find someone selling tickets if you want to watch the game and there are a ton of places that you are able to tailgate at for a small parking fee (most places are 10-15 to park all day) if you just want to experience an authentic Columbia pastime. You're also guaranteed to meet someone new while you're there and maybe even make a friend! Everyone is always really friendly (as long as you're rooting for the Gamecocks!)”
13local recommendations
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. ”
8local recommendations
American Restaurant
$$$
“Awesome for brunch! Motor Supply Co. Bistro has been serving fresh, local and diverse dishes in the heart of the historic Congaree Vista since 1989. The menu changes daily for lunch and dinner, offering diners something new and delicious every time they come through the door. We offer an eclectic blend of contemporary American, French, Italian and Asian cuisine, with everything either provided from local farms or house-made, such as stocks and sauces, desserts, charcuterie and house-butchered and smoked meats.”
19local recommendations
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.”
21local recommendations
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.”
15local recommendations
Park
“Forested park with a lake offering campsites, kayak & canoe rentals, a bicycle loop & nature trails. Located in the Sandhills region of South Carolina. Historic Sesquicentennial State Park, affectionately known to locals as "Sesqui," is a spacious, green getaway in the heart of the Sandhills region.”
8local recommendations
Park
“Close to the SC State Museum and Edventure for children, visit this park to see a turn of the century hydro-electric turbine, get to the river bank and bike, run or walk a distance marked trail.”
17local recommendations