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Want to feed a giraffe or get cozy with a flamingo? The 170-acre Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is home to more than 2,000 creatures, with even more fun in a three-story ropes course, four zip-lines, nature trails, pony rides and more.
Art, history, science and discovery collide in Columbia, SC at our many museums. Step back in time at the region’s historic museums, reflect on the finer things in life at an art museum, or find the inner child at the Southeast’s largest children’s museum.
South Carolina’s only national park is the largest old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the Southeast and contains some of the nation’s tallest trees. Experience the park through many opportunities, including an elevated boardwalk, guided canoe trips and even nighttime hikes.
The South Carolina State House overlooks downtown Columbia, SC’s Main Street and is a must-see on any trip. The copper Greek Revival dome and Corinthian columns adorn the structure, while six stars mark where Union cannonballs struck the building during the Civil War.
Located between downtown Columbia and Lake Murray, Saluda Shoals Park offers paved and unpaved hiking trails, kayaking and canoeing on the Saluda River, trout fishing, horseback riding and a splash pad for the little ones.
This 18,000-seat arena is your ticket to popular music and entertainment, hosting names like Taylor Swift, Red Hot Chili Peppers or Billy Joel, performances by Cirque du Soleil, Gamecocks basketball games, the circus and even more.
Learn how to sail, kayak or canoe, scuba dive, water ski or just cruise this watery playground. In late summer, thousands of purple martins converge on Bomb Island, the largest roosting sanctuary in North America.
Whether you’re a Gamecock or an opponent, you’ll enjoy game day in Columbia, SC. Baseball and football fans tailgate in style before heading to the stadium for a frenzied afternoon or evening of jumping to “Sandstorm.”
Locals agree that Columbia's barbecue, smoky pulled pork smothered in our unique mustard-based sauce, is a must-try on any trip to the region. Most “joints” will offer a wide variety of Southern food, including fried chicken, hash and rice, hush puppies and macaroni and cheese.
Boutiques, antique stores, and large malls and shopping villages give visitors the opportunity to snag something Southern as a wearable or local product. Try Devine Street, Five Points, the Congaree Vista, Main Street, Village at Sandhill or other hot spots throughout the region.

Solar Eclipse in Columbia, SC

The United States hasn't seen a total solar eclipse since 1979, and Columbia, SC will be a prime location to see the upcoming eclipse on August 21, 2017. Columbia will experience 2 minutes and 36 seconds of totality, one of the longest amounts in the nation for seeing the sun completely eclipsed. Plus, due to South Carolina's sunny summers, there's a good chance for clear skies in August. Start planning your trip for the great eclipse!

Check out these resources for solar eclipse events, hotel deals, trip ideas and more.  

Total Eclipse Weekend

The Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C., initiative is spearheaded by a coalition of regional entities whose mission is to create an incredible, weekend-long experience for those witnessing the eclipse in our region -- the longest total solar eclipse on the East Coast. Visitors and residents in the greater Columbia, S.C., region will enjoy a long weekend of eclipse-related activities hosted by area attractions, arts and culture organizations, restaurants, hotels, retailers, community groups and more. Stay tuned to the official Total Eclipse Weekend site for a look at all of the weekend happenings associated with the eclipse. Plus stay up-to-date with news and stories about why this is such a big deal by following @TotalEclipseCAE on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

South Carolina State Museum: Eclipse Headquarters

The South Carolina State Museum is going to be central to the city and region's eclipse festivities. Featuring an observatory with a 1926 Alvan Clark refracting telescope, an antique telescope gallery and a state-of-the-art planetarium, the museum offers plenty of astronomical fun to enjoy before the big event. The museum will also be hosting a number of activities and events surrounding the eclipse:

  • Tours of the Robert B. Ariail Collection of Astronomy/Telescope Gallery
  • Special shows in the planetarium
  • Evening observing opportunities 
  • Solar Eclipse Totality Party on Monday, August 21, from 12 to 4 p.m.
For more information, visit the museum's eclipse page. 
Eclipse Deals

Browse through these special Eclipse deals and book your trip now to make sure you don't miss this epic event. 


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Make It a Weekend 

Why not enjoy all that Columbia, SC offers? With world-class attractionsSouthern food and barbecueoutdoor adventure, and more, Columbia, SC is full of things to do for your stay.

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