Stay Another Day: Try These Top Activities in Columbia, S.C.

Go kayaking, enjoy a self-guided tour of outdoor art, find a great place to dine outside and more with extra time in this Southern city.

Aerial shot of Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C. Photo Credit: Jeff Blake

When you have an extra day to spend in South Carolina's capital city, it's still a good idea to head outdoors for the foreseeable future. Happily, Columbia has plenty of fun activities and places to eat under the open sky.

Outdoor Artistic Expression

Photo Credit: Cait Maloney

If contemplating works of art is your zen, Columbia’s nooks and crannies will fulfill your meditative need — and offer up some exercise, too. Using the One Columbia Public Art Directory, visitors can map out a self-guided tour to the murals (such as Cait Maloney’s colorful entry, left), statues, performance spaces, mosaics and more. Stop at a local eatery along the way when you need a nosh break.

Eating Out(side)

Photo Credit: Forrest Clonts

The patio at Market on Main is perfect for hanging out without getting too close. The fun menu of American fare — think steaks and burgers, falafel burgers, fried avocado tacos, and a host of crafted cocktails — will fully satisfy the taste buds.

Happy Families

Photo Credit: Brett Flashnick

When the kids tag along for some excitement after the meeting is over, head to the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, home to 2,000 animals, from the usual (giraffes, lions, tigers, oh my) to the unusual (babirusas, also known as deer-pigs, and red-necked wallabies). Waterfall Junction, the new three-acre children’s garden, lets the little ones dig for dinosaurs, climb giant tree houses, and pop in and out of rabbit holes. Timed tickets are required, so it’s best to reserve your spot online before venturing out.

Rocky Ride


Experienced kayakers will love heading out on the Saluda River with Palmetto Outdoor. The three-mile trip covers rapids as well as some flat-water paddling. All equipment is provided and your dry clothes will be waiting downstream. 

This Little Piggy Went to Market

Photo Credit: Shell Suber

Saturday, the farmers come to town. Spread across several blocks, Soda City Market is filled with 150 vendors who either grow their produce, or make their foods, body products, art and more. Mask-wearing is required and vendors supply bags for your goodies.