Top 10 Things to do in Columbia, United States

August 3, 2017 Terina Blouin

Columbia is South Carolina's capital and home to the University of South Carolina. Along Columbia's wide avenues are historic sites ranging from an antebellum mansion to the former home of a slave who bought her freedom, plus museums, galleries, music venues, theaters and shops. Columbia's three rivers, lake, canal, national park and several city parks offer opportunities for recreation and relaxation. Among the kid-pleasing destinations are a zoo and the largest children's museum in the south.
Restaurants in Columbia

1. Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden

500 Wildlife Pkwy, Columbia, SC 29210-8014 +1 803-779-8717
Excellent
70%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is home to nearly 2,000 animals that represent more than 350 species from around the world. A visit to the Zoo will play host to an array of wild adventures from a diving expedition on a Pacific coral reef to a safari through the plains of Africa to an interactive Outback encounter with a flock of sociable lorikeets. The Botanical Garden boasts 70-acres of unparalleled beauty and is considered one of the America's best public gardens. Dramatic and themed gardens showcase more than 4,300 species of native and exotic plants, providing a living classroom for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. The Garden also is the gateway to natural river views and spectacular valley overlooks. In addition, guests can view structural remains dating back to the early 1800s with South Carolina's textile industry and the Civil War.

Reviewed By Linda5355 - Charlotte, North Carolina

This is a fabulous zoo. Wonderful exhibits and they seem to really care for the animals. Their zoo map was confusing so it was a bit tough to find our way but we got to most things we wanted to see. We spent 5 hours there but could have used an extra day. There’s SO much to do! Get there early because parking is free but fills up quickly.

2. University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC +1 803-777-7000
Excellent
78%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 376 reviews

University of South Carolina

University of South Carolina.

Reviewed By FrancesDecatur - Savannah, Georgia

The campus at USC is beautiful. In the middle of the city and you feel like you are in a park. The stadium is pretty amazing also. Nice to just walk around .

3. South Carolina State House

1100 Gervais St, 1100 Gervais St, 29201-6215, Columbia, South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29201-6215 +1 803-734-2430
Excellent
65%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 515 reviews

South Carolina State House

A beautiful building with wonderful architectural detail.

Reviewed By Jérémie P - Panama City, Panama

This house is situated in a very clean park. The house is big and impressive. I liked to see it, but it is not the most amazing attraction ever. I was there at sunset, very nice light, excellent to take pictures

4. Saluda Shoals Park

5605 Bush River Rd, Columbia, SC 29212-2611 +1 803-731-5208
Excellent
65%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 195 reviews

Saluda Shoals Park

Reviewed By RA_Travel_5 - Germany

This is a nice park near the Lake Murray Dam. You can spend a day with family or friends outdoors on walking trails, riding bikes, inline skating or on the water with a kayak or canoe. There ware various picnic areas and children playgrounds. Plenty of opportunities to spend a wonderful day. Having lots of trees provides shade during hot days..

5. Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park

312 Laurel St, Columbia, SC 29201-2234 +1 803-733-8613
Excellent
61%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 319 reviews

Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park

Reviewed By Michael W - Concord

We had a beautiful walk along the river and canal. The path is paved, flat, and wide. There were quite a few other folks out walking. I imagine it is even more beautiful in the spring when the leaves are out. We will certainly make another trip during that time.

6. South Carolina State Museum

301 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201-3041 +1 803-898-4921
Excellent
60%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 538 reviews

South Carolina State Museum

The South Carolina State Museum is a state-of-the-art facility featuring four floors of permanent and changing exhibits, a digital dome planetarium, 4D interactive theater and an observatory. The State Museum, the largest and most comprehensive museum in the state, is located along the banks of the Congaree River in downtown Columbia, South Carolina.

Reviewed By WestvaleWally - Syracuse, New York

As a visiting "Yankee," I was interested in viewing how the museum treated South Carolina's past as a slave state and a member of the Confederacy, how it dealt with its Civil War heroes, and how it treated the contemporary use of the Confederate battle flag. I was pleased to see all these issues treated in a straight-forward, historically accurate and objective fashion devoid of emotion and rhetoric. It's clear the museum is in the hands of professionals.

7. Columbia Museum of Art

Corner of Main and Hampton Sts, Columbia, SC +1 803-799-2810
Excellent
50%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 209 reviews

Columbia Museum of Art

Reviewed By JVC4NYC

We visited during Eclipse Weekend 2017 and were, at first, disappointed to learn that most of the galleries were closed for renovation. Despite that we spend an enjoyable two hours strolling through the creatively and cleverly organized exhibits: "That 70s Show" and "Retooled". As NYC residents and avid museum-goers, I would judge that the Columbia Museum of Art holds its own as a first rate gallery experience. The qualit of what we saw made us interested in returning to see what the entire museum has to offer. I am betting it will be impressive.

8. EdVenture Children's Museum

211 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201-3067 +1 803-779-3100
Excellent
55%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
6%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 355 reviews

EdVenture Children's Museum

EdVenture Children's Museum in Columbia, SC is ready to take you on an interactive journey that will open doors to new ways of exploring your world. From romping through the amazing anatomy of EDDIE(R), the world's largest child, to firefighting on a full-size fire truck or discovering the mysteries of DNA, EdVenture is the perfect destination for curious minds and the ultimate launch pad for sparking imaginations! Behind EdVenture's doors, are nine world-class exhibit galleries, a library, learning laboratories, resource centers and other visitor amenities. Two additional outdoor gallery spaces are located just outside the museum's front doors. Within the total 92,000 square feet that is EdVenture Children's Museum, there are more than 350 individual hands-on experiences!

Reviewed By Elba M - Columbia, South Carolina

The places is awesome for the kids, they have few different rooms with lots of activities a big free play area and you need to expect maybe to be there more than 3 hours... well... that's was my case with 2 kids. They have sensory friendly time and you can find more information on Facebook about this sensory friendly time. Parking is free and you have on the front of the adventure museum the State Museum so basically if you have time you can visit both same day. They have Military Discount also.

9. South Carolina Military Museum

1 National Guard Rd, Columbia, SC 29201-4752 +1 803-299-4440
Excellent
79%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 60 reviews

South Carolina Military Museum

Reviewed By okeedoke - washington state

This museum is actually top-grade! We were very impressed during our entire visit and were enthralled by the quality and number of items in the varied collections. I was especially amazed at the weapon/gun collections...some I'd never... ever... seen before! This is truly Smithsonian quality and we will gladly return when we have another chance to visit Columbia! Thank you, National Guard!

10. South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum

301 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201-3041 +1 803-737-8095
Excellent
67%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 90 reviews

South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum

Reviewed By Edward S - Lexington, South Carolina

I went to the special day long event of the sword at the Confederate Relic Room. A demo run by Dr. Jane Littman on modern fencing complete with members of her club with electric fencing scoring apparatus for the Columbia fencers Club was excellent. It was followed by a lecture on Swords and cavalry and another lecture on swords used through the ages. A great venue and a fun learning and observing day was enjoyed by all.

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