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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

Need a reason for a vacay? Look to the first total solar eclipse in the US since 1979. With 2 minutes and 36 seconds of totality, one of the longest amounts in the nation, Columbia SC will be the prime location to see the upcoming eclipse on August 21, 2017. Plus, due to our sunny summers, there's a good chance for clear skies in August. Not yet convinced? Keep reading.

Total Eclipse Weekend Sky Image

Total Eclipse Weekend

We would be remiss if we didn't mention the 50+ events that will be happening throughout the Columbia region on the weekend of the eclipse. Think things like a philharmonic show dedicated to music from Star Wars, a low country boil and paella party, historical walking tours around the city, various music and food truck festivals, eclipse-centered tailgates, and a minor league baseball game series-just to name a few. Stay tuned to the Total Eclipse Weekend site for a look into all of the weekend happenings. Plus, stay up-to-date with news and stories about why this is such a big deal by following @TotalEclipseCAE on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.


South Carolina State Museum: Eclipse Headquarters

The South Carolina State Museum is at the center of the 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. For more information on the museum's offerings, visit the museum's eclipse page.   


Solar Eclipse Glasses 

The Columbia SC Visitors Center is temporarily out of solar eclipse glasses. Check back later for a re-stock date! We recommend attending one of the 50+ events of the Total Eclipse Weekend to get your official solar viewing glasses. They are also available for sale at the South Carolina State Museum in the gift shop. All bulk orders for eclipse glasses have closed. 


What's Hot Now
What's Hot Now
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