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By: Author Busy Tourist. Spanning acres, it is home to over 2, different animals of all kinds and is especially popular among families.
The Riverbanks Zoo area is divided up into multiple different sections, including the Petting Zoo, Reptile House, and Bird Complex, so you can fully immerse yourself in the world of each type of animal along the way. On the other hand, the Riverbank Botanical Garden takes up 70 acres of space and showcases 4, different kinds of plants from not just Columbia, but all of North America.
Lush gardens, rare collections of plants, thick woodland, and even ruins are waiting to be discovered. The Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens were first built in the year for Ainsley Hall, a rich merchant of Columbia, and has since passed many hands. It is the Hamptons who changed its style, shifting to Greek Revival architecture from the original Federal style.
It was used as a Union Army Headquarters, then the Preston family owned it next and eventually sold it when the Civil War was over. Over the years, the Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens has been the home of a whopping four colleges. It was eventually partitioned up in following renovation for commercial use, as a part of the Midlands Tricentennial Exposition Center, housing events and activities. Now, the Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens is one of the most fun tourist attractions in the city.
Its garden is packed with both local and international plants and the grounds stretch across four acres, giving you plenty of space to explore. The South Carolina State House is one of the most famous places to visit in Columbia and around its vicinity. Deed by John Niernsee, the towers of the State House reach feet into the air and boast a regally painted dome of copper. This is a mark of where cannonballs of the union hit the structure in the Civil War prior to its completion. The entertainment begins right at the door with a huge statue of museum mascot Eddie, a towering plastic structure measuring 40 feet in height and Kids get to climb onto and into the statue and interact with his carefully made organs to learn more about bodily structure.
Children aged 12 and younger are the target audience, though family can of course come with them. Among the exhibits is a pet care lab called Wags and Whiskers to learn about caring for pets and animals with the aid of plush toys. Next up is World of Work, which tells children about the adult world of jobs and careers, Planet Putt and Play that teaches geometry and math with miniature golf, and Dalmation Station that has a real fire engine to interact with! More than 5, years of art history are here on display with over 25 world-class galleries and an incredible set of permanent collections.
Among the most delightful things to see at the Columbia Museum of Art is the Press Collection, continuing Renaissance and Baroque pieces that are here thanks to donations by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. The American art collection is great too, with marble work by Hiram powers, ceramics by Victor Toothaker, portraits by Charles Willson Peale, decorative furniture by Duncan Phyfe, and even sculptures made by Frederic S.
Planning to explore other areas of South Carolina? Walkways are paved for easy walking, wheelchair pushing, jogging, or biking, with all 2. The South Carolina State Museum is one of the best things to do in Columbia, SC due to its ability to educate visitors on the history of the state. It opened in in a building that was once a 19th-century mill, with four floors dedicated to displays of all kinds. Stories are told about the history of the state, sometimes through lenses of culture, technology, people, and art. The Robert Mills House and Gardens are truly amazing spots for sightseeing, especially if you see lots of fun in architecture and arts.
Mills very rarely deed private homes, so catching a glimpse of this rarity should be on your list of what to do! At first, after it fell out of private resident provision, the house was a bible college and seminary. But inthe home was restored completely and then opened up as a house museum for tourists and interested locals. It was narrowly saved from being torn down, so the fact that it remains today is truly a blessing!
As a house museum, the Robert Mills House and Gardens showcase decorative arts from the 19th century. French Empire, English Regency, and American Federal works, particularly of furniture, are displayed throughout the building. Most of the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum focuses on the Civil War, with a range of memorabilia, guns, uniforms, artifacts, and medical gear that speak volumes about the so-called War between the States.
For history buffs, visiting here is one of the most interesting and educational activities in Columbia. The publicly open rooms serve as a glimpse into the lives of and even current governors, containing all sorts of artifacts of ificance. Original paintings with considerable value, gorgeous pieces of china, historically rich documents, and even antique furniture all paint a picture of the history of South Carolina. The building is also often used to entertain dignitaries and high-ranking visitors from across the globe.
The Melton Memorial Observatory is one of the coolest Columbia attractions for those with a love for astronomy and the great world beyond our world. Located in the University of South Carolina and is a simple yet sophisticated spot for stargazers who want access to good equipment to seek out the celestial bodies. The forest park covers 2, acres of land, bordering the Broad River and packed with over thirty miles of hiking trails and ro for bikers.
Spanning acres, Saluda Shoals Park hosts many different rich experiences, from the cultural to the educational and, of course, to the recreational. Canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, horse riding, biking, having a picnic, and simply hiking are all common options. Watching a Fireflies baseball game is probably one of the most fun things to do in Columbia, SC, especially if you have kids!
Every year, it showcases an entire season of wonderful, talent-filled performances that is one of the greatest things to see in the city.
Planning a road trip around South Carolina? Why not head to Charleston? Known for its beautiful streets, houses, and horse-drawn carriages, here are some of the best things to do in Charleston, SC! The Waverly Historic District is the first suburb to ever be built in Columbia.
The community is incredibly diverse, an enclave packed with people of color who are social activists, crafters, professionals, and artists alike. Allen University and Benedict College, two historically black learning institutes of high acclaim, are here. Sometimes, film festivals are also held here, which are some of the top things to do in Columbia, SC! Columbia Food Tours capitalizes on how quickly the city is becoming a haven for foodies packed with innovative and delightful eateries of all kinds. As a walking tour, it is led by knowledgeable guides who bring you to between five and seven restaurants to try out the most fun and delicious offerings of this South Carolina city.
A splash pad is open seasonally for kids, and you can go hiking, camping, or exploring at your leisure. He was inspired to create it based on a dream, and the result is a whimsical, almost otherworldly sort of masterpiece that looks like a portal to a different world. Located in downtown Columbia in an unassuming parking lot, Tunnelvision is painted across a large wall measuring 50 by 75 feet. With fun, delicious places like Mr.
Go on Mondays to try out Mr. Check out the harvest calendar, which works in tandem, naturally, with the climate of Columbia, to see the specific produce types that will be for sale. The Mast General Store in Columbia is a delightful mix of all sorts of different products. It carries dozens upon dozens of brands and sells everything from candy to outdoor gear and from fashion to souvenirs.
The Mast General Store is also just a good place to go to get away from the heat of Columbia, South Carolina — but expect to get caught up looking around for a while, even when your intention was just a quick break from the sun! Known as one of the most beautiful places to visit in the USsightseeing in Congaree National Park is one of the most fun things to do in Columbia, SC.
A whopping 26, acres of beautiful, lush land waits to be explored, its thick and plentiful nature, due to the Wateree and Congaree rivers that are both packed with nutrients, spill onto the hardwood forest floor. The Boardwalk Trail is the simplest, elevated above the muddy ground and spanning 2. There are even Ranger Led Canoe Tours, which take you through the waters with an experienced guide. You can also opt for your own personal things to enjoy, like canoeing, fishing, watching the fireflies, or camping.
No city approval was sought, only approval from the owners of the buildings involved, but it gained immediate government approval thanks to the renown of the artist. The huge chain provides an added industrial feel that is still whimsical and fascinating to behold. The Good Life Cafe offers delicious smoothies, healthy and fresh juices, incredible cold-pressed cocktails, great sandwiches and burritos, and even some burgers and sal!
All servings are fun and colorful, perfect for a quick bite that tastes great without wreaking havoc on your body in the process! With a pedestrian walkway spanning 1. It boasts a homey and comforting atmosphere and rustic, old-fashioned exterior that mixes the migrant past of Columbia with intimate dining. Soda City Market occurs every Saturday, effectively closing off Maint Street and bringing the locals of South Carolina rushing to pick up fresh produce, look at local art, and even catch a glimpse of cool street performances.
Have more time and want to explore South Carolina? Why not check out Greenville? Packed with beautiful gardens and other fantastic attractions, here are some fun things to do in Greenville, SC! Construction workers went to the site in Olympia, Columbia to tear it down, but when the wrecking ball failed to knock down this pillar, they gave up and left it standing. A few years later, Richard Lane, a muralist of South Carolina, began thinking about how it appeared a little like an obelisk of ancient Egypt.
This sparked his desire to create a mural upon it, and inhe painted an image of the Egyptian sun god Ra, surrounded by hieroglyphs and symbols, upon its surface. There is also a mysterious message on the right that Lane refused to reveal, stating that the concept is an ancient one. He even invited others to try and translate it, eventually leading to The State, a newspaper, offering a reward for someone who could translate it accurately.
The Ra Obelisk is now located in a pocket park, with a bunch of benches that circle it and a simple sidewalk for you to stride to it through. Artists Georgia Lake and Jeff Donovan repainted the work of art with color-matching, symbol-aligning perfection to keep the mural well maintained. Without a doubt, taking a trip to view the Ra Obelisk is one of the most unique things to do in Columbia!
The home is a manse built in the style of an Italianate villa, standing out well from the backdrop of Columbia. Busted Plug Plaza is one of the most fun and unusual tourist attractions in Columbia. This is primarily a safety measure, allowing it to avoid harming anyone in the event of a hurricane or similar issue. The plaza area and its land were recently purchased by new owners, though, but residents are hoping to have the beloved artwork moved to somewhere near instead of having it torn down. Columbia, South Carolina is full of fun points of interest that should be added to your itinerary.
Hopefully, our list of the best that Columbia has to offer helps you to choose tourist locations that appeal most to you! Columbia Museum of Art. Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park. Melton Memorial Observatory. Harbison State Forest. Saluda Shoals Park.
South Carolina Philharmonic. Nickelodeon Theatre. South Carolina State Farmers Market.
Mast General Store. Good Life Cafe. Villa Tronco Italian Restaurant. Soda City. Ra Obelisk.Fun in columbia tonight
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Fun Things to Do in Columbia, SC (Updated)