See a concert at the Colonial Center. an ice show at the Carolina Coliseum. a Broadway show at the Koger Center. a national dance touring company at The Township. a regatta at Lake Murray. a replica of a three ton white shark at the State Museum. historic homes from the 16th century. festivals, concerts and an amazing view at Finlay Park. Catch a theatrical production at one of Columbia's many theatres. Walk through the tallest trees on the East Coast in the Congaree National Park. Tailgate at Williams-Brice Stadium as the University of South Carolina battles in Southeastern Conference football. Enjoy food from around the world at one of many festivals. Listen to one of music's hottest performers at the South Carolina State Fair. Play challenging golf course. Visit Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden, consistently rated one of the nation's "10 Great Zoos." In short, Columbia really does have it all!
You can easily spend a full day at Riverbanks Zoo. When you purchase your ticket, check to see the times for your favorite animal feedings (penguins, seals, birds, sharks) and then schedule your visit around that.
Until the Charleston Aquarium was constructed, Riverbanks was the largest Aquarium on the Eastern seaboard between Sea World in Orlando and Sea World in Williamsburg.
Depending on your preference, the botanical garden (across the river on a footbridge from the zoo) is lovely and includes a trail that goes through remnants of a pre-Civil war encampment. It was from this location that Sherman bombarded the City.
The State Museum is housed in a former textile mill building that at one time housed the first electrically powered mill in the USA. The building is constructed by master craftsmen using construction techniques that are no longer available in the USA. Taking up four floors, the first floor is Art, second floor is Natural History as well as various traveling exhibits, 3rd floor is Science and Technology, and 4th floor is Cultural History. The Cotton Mill gift shop has gifts and souvenirs made by local artisans and with themes unique to the state.
This museum has a sizeable collection of antiquities, as well as one Monet, in addition to some other nice work, and it often has great traveling exhibits.
This is the flagship university for the state. It is one of the oldest public institutions in the USA. Within easy walking distance of the State Capitol building, the historic portion of the campus is centered around the “Horseshoe,” which includes the buildings which house the McKissick Museum and the South Caroliniana library (below). The Law School is home to a Children’s Law Center. The Koger Center for the Performing Arts, Town Theater, Workshop Theater, Township Auditorium, and Colonial Center are all within a ten minute walk of the University.
Some web sites for various departments at the university:
- General site for visitors, with athletics and arts calendars, http://www.sc.edu/visitors/
- McKissick Museum http://www.cas.sc.edu/Mcks/exhibitions/
- South Caroliniana Library http://www.sc.edu/library/socar/
- Athletics http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/#00 (last athletic events for spring appear to be April 17th)
- Campus Tour, MP3 files: http://www.sc.edu/mp3tour/tour.html
- University of South Carolina Children’s Law Center: http://childlaw.sc.edu/
This is an award winning park located at 930 Laurel Street, which is near Assembly Street about nine blocks north and two blocks west from the state capitol building. Unfortunately, either due to budget constraints or simply because of winter, the beautiful fountains are not currently operational.
One of the few old growth forests remaining on the East Coast (spared because the swampy wetlands are too low for logging). This park, which boasts some of the largest trees on the Eastern seaboard, has a boardwalk of about half mile which runs from a parking area to the river, as well as miles of other hiking trails, camping, and river access.
A lovely park with hiking trails on the shore of the Saluda River, interpretive center, as well as a children's zero-depth water playground in the summer. A bit north and west of the city.
At one time, the Lake Murray Dam was the largest earthen dam in the world. Lake Murray is about fifty miles long with both open water and coves, and it is a popular destination for fishermen.
The following web site has links to find fishing guides: http://lakemurraycountry.com/thingstodo_boatingfishing.html
Tour of State Capitol Building
Tour of the State Capitol
The four city block area that makes up the State Capitol Complex is a very nice garden in and of itself. There are state-run souvenir shops in the basement of the Blatt Building and on the first floor of the Rembert Dennis Building.
How to Find Local Event Schedules and Tickets