Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden
One of the nation's top zoos, Riverbanks Zoo is a 170-acre zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden with more than 2,000 animals. The Zoo provides endless entertainment for the entire family, featuring a number of exciting wildlife exhibits throughout the year as well as a zipline, carousel, rock climbing wall, and sky-hi safari ropes challenge. The Zoo also hosts seasonal events for kids and adults, like concert series, movie nights, "Boo at the Zoo," and holiday fun runs. Open daily, with extended hours in the summer.
South Carolina State House
Built in 1855, the South Carolina State House is nestled at the end of Main Street in downtown Columbia. This historic building is home of the Governor's Office as well as the House and Senate Chambers. Enjoy the manicured capitol grounds and find the stars on the building, marking the spots hit by Sherman's cannons during the Civil War. Explore 100-plus years of history at the State House. Guided tours are available Monday through Saturday.
South Carolina State Museum
The South Carolina State Museum is the largest museum in the Southeast. It boasts four floors of art, science, history, and technology exhibits, illustrating South Carolina's past and future. This state of the art museum has a digital dome planetarium, 4D interactive theater, and 2,400 square foot Boeing observatory, as well as a revolving list of exciting events. Open seven days a week.
Congaree National Park
This 26,000 acre National Park offers breathtaking hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, and bird watching experiences. Ranger-guided walks provide visitors with a view of the largest remaining section of old-growth bottomland forest in the United States. Admission is free and the park is open 24-hours a day throughout the year.
Columbia Museum of Art
Exciting national exhibitions are always cycling through the Columbia Museum of Art. The Museum is in the cultural heart of downtown Columbia on Main Street. It is a social hub of activity, hosting block parties, featuring sponsored events, and offering art classes, tours, and lectures to engage both children and adults. Open every day, except Monday.
Saluda Shoals Park
Located along the banks of the Saluda River, Saluda Shoals Park offers a range of recreational activities, including kayaking, canoeing, hiking trails, and picnic centers. The Splash Water Playground is a popular and refreshing water spray ground for children to enjoy during the heat of the summer. Open every day; seasonal hours.
Explore Main Street
Enjoy art, dining, and shopping in Columbia's revitalized Main Street District. The downtown district is home to Soda City, Columbia's Main Street market, which features artistic treasures, fresh South Carolina foods, and vibrant neighborhood community every Saturday. Businesses in downtown Columbia also host First Thursday on Main every month by keeping their doors open late, offering a mix of art, music, and food and drink specials.
University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is located in the heart of Columbia, not far from the South Carolina State House. Enjoy walking around the historic Horseshoe and beautiful tree-lined campus, which dates back to 1805. Or take in a game alongside passionate Gamecock fans - the University is home of the 2017 National Championship Women's Basketball team.
Celebrate America's pastime cheering on the Columbia Fireflies, a minor league baseball team based in Columbia. You'll experience a classic, family-friendly environment at a stunning, newly opened ballpark. In its first season, Ballpark Digest recognized Spirit Communications Park as it's 2016 Ballpark of the year, calling the venue, "not only our Ballpark of the Year, it's also one of the best ballparks opened in the last decade."
Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park
Enjoy a relaxing stroll along the Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park, just blocks from downtown Columbia. You'll find friends and families walking, running, fishing, and biking along the riverfront trails. Slow down to read up on the history of the Columbia Canal or take a break on one of the many benches and picnic tables to enjoy a spectacular view of the scenery.