Columbia, South Carolina is one of the best cities in the south. Since I moved here for college, it’s been one adventure after the next. But it’s not all about USC. There are tons of activities and restaurants that have nothing to do with the Gamecocks. So, to new college students moving to Columbia, here’s a list of awesome things you can do here over your next four years.
1. Soda City Of course. It’s the giant fresh market that shuts down Main Street every Saturday morning. There you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, handcrafted jewelry and pottery, street musicians, local photography and lots and lots of dogs.
- Insomnia Cookies
Because what’s better than the best cookie store in the world staying open until three in the morning?
- The River Walk This beautifully perfect stroll down the Broad River is also within walking distance of Downtown Columbia.
- Cantina 76
Because Mexican food gives life and brings joy. But honestly, go to the one on Devine Street. While the Cantina 76 on Main is trendier, the one on Devine is way better.
- Yappy HourTuesday and Thursday at Jake’s Bar and Grill it’s Yappy Hour, where people bring their dogs. So even if you’re sad like me with no dog, you could go pet other people’s dogs. This is also on Devine. Basically, go to Devine Street, and stay there.
- Kayaking at Sesquicentennial State Park
$5 to get in. $5 to rent a kayak.
- Order really bad Chinese food from Wing Basket
Primarily because they deliver.
- Order really good Chinese food from Hibachi Express
But go get it this time because it’s near Target.
- Go shopping at the Goodwill Clearance Center
On Meeting Street. They charge by the pound. Seriously.
- Go see a movie at the Nickelodeon
Because everyone needs a good Indie film or social justice documentary in their life.
- SC Pride
Wear all the rainbow.
- The Greek Festival
It will be hot, but the food will be worth it.
- Take a tour of the State House, Art Museum and State Museum
These are all wonder trademarks of the state’s capital. It would be tragic for you to live here and not see them.
- Take a big group of friends to the Riverbanks Zoo
Be sure to take selfies with the giraffes. They are all beyond photogenic and not one is camera shy.
- Eat at Pawley’s Front Porch
It was on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, so it’s obviously a local favorite, and it would be wrong for you not to eat there if Guy Fieri did.
- The Crawfish Festival
Buy some handmade soap you’ll never use.
- Have a meeting a Capital City Club so you feel important
The place where sophisticated networking between the uppity in Columbia takes place. There’s also a hell of a view.
- The State Fair
But do not get a bucket of fries and expect to be able to eat all of them.
- Ice skate downtown
Take your selfies before you get on the ice.
- Columbia Fireflies baseball game
Even if you’re like me and don’t know all the rules. #letsglow
- Go to The Thirsty Parrot in Five Points
As a rite of passage. Once is enough. Also take a buddy.