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Difference between revisions of "Columbia (South Carolina)"

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[[Image:SkylinefromHilton.jpg|375px|right]]'''Columbia''' is both the capital city and largest city in [[South Carolina]]. It is in the approximate geographic center of the state, and is one of the first planned cities of the United States. It is also home to the main campus of the University of South Carolina, and to the Army's Fort Jackson. Located in close proximity to two seemingly forever-growing metros, [[Atlanta]], [[Georgia_(state)|Georgia]] and [[Charlotte]], [[North Carolina]], Columbia still has a while to go before quite reaching max metro status, but the city's recent rapid growth indicates South Carolina's capital city is beginning to blossom as other Southern cities have in the past decade. As of 2006, estimates for the population of the city proper is 122,819, with an urban core population of about 420,000, and a metro area population of about 725,000.  
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[[Image:SkylinefromHilton.jpg|375px|right]]'''Columbia''' is both the capital city and largest city in [[South Carolina]]. It is in the approximate geographic center of the state, and is one of the first planned cities of the United States. It is also home to the main campus of the University of South Carolina, and to the Army's Fort Jackson. Located in close proximity to two seemingly forever-growing metros, [[Atlanta]], [[Georgia_(state)|Georgia]] and [[Charlotte]], [[North Carolina]], Columbia's recent rapid growth indicates South Carolina's capital city is beginning to blossom as other Southern cities have in the past decade. As of 2006, estimates for the population of the city proper is 122,819, with an urban core population of about 420,000, and a metro area population of about 750,000.  
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
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===By plane===
 
===By plane===
  
Columbia is served by the '''Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE)'''.
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Columbia is served by the '''Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE)''', located 7.5 miles southwest of downtown.
  
There are non-stop flights to Columbia Metropolitan Airport from the following cities (some cities may be seasonal or only offer service certain days of the week): [[Atlanta]], [[Charlotte]], [[Chicago]], [[Cincinnati]], [[Dallas Fort Worth]], [[Detroit]], [[Fort Lauderdale]], [[Houston]], [[Memphis]], [[New York City|New York]], [[Philadelphia]] and [[Washington]].
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There are non-stop flights to Columbia Metropolitan Airport from the following cities (some cities may be seasonal or only offer service certain days of the week): [[Atlanta]], [[Charlotte]], [[Chicago]], [[Cincinnati]], [[Dallas Fort Worth]], [[Detroit]], [[Fort Lauderdale]], [[Houston]], [[Memphis]], [[New York City|New York]], [[Philadelphia]] and [[Washington, D.C.|Washington]].
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To get from the airport to downtown using public transport, Comet Bus Route #28 [http://catchthecomet.org/] operates weekday-only service from the Midland Tech Airport campus, a few blocks from the airport. The bus leaves 3 times per day: at 7:39AM, 1:04PM, and 4:59PM. The journey downtown costs $1.50 and takes 30 minutes.
  
 
===By train===
 
===By train===
  
An '''Amtrak''' station is located at 850 Pulaski Street in the Vista. Columbia sits on the main north-south line on the East Coast.  Trains depart daily for Miami and New York; however, most of the trains pass though Columbia at night, and are frequently delayed.
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An '''Amtrak''' station is located at 850 Pulaski Street in the Vista. Columbia sits on the main north-south line on the East Coast.  Trains depart daily for Miami and New York; however, most of the trains pass though Columbia at night and are frequently delayed.
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
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*'''Edventure Children's Museum'''. Located right near the State Museum, it opened in 2004. Lots of fun for those with small children.
 
*'''Edventure Children's Museum'''. Located right near the State Museum, it opened in 2004. Lots of fun for those with small children.
  
* <see name="Columbia Museum of Art" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+1-(803)-799.2810" phoneextra="" tollfree="" fax="" email="" url="http://www.columbiamuseum.org/" price="" hours="" hoursextra="" lat="" long="" tags=""> The Columbia Museum of Art is South Carolina's premier international art museum with 25 galleries of extraordinary collections of European, American and Asian fine and decorative art that span centuries. The Museum's collection includes masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance through the 18th century from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, a strong collection of European and American furniture and decorative arts, as well as modern and contemporary art, art glass, and 20th-century design. Of particular interest are Sandro Botticelli's Nativity, Canaletto’s View of the Molo, Claude Monet's The Seine at Giverny, and art glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany. In recent years, the Museum’s collection of Asian art and Antiquities has grown through generous gifts to the collection, including an impressive collection of Korean and Chinese ceramics and Roman portrait heads. The museum also offers changing exhibitions from renowned museums and educational programs that include group and public tours, lectures, films, and concert series. The Museum Shop is open during museum hours.
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* <see name="Columbia Museum of Art" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+1-(803)-799.2810" phoneextra="" tollfree="" fax="" email="" url="http://www.columbiamuseum.org/" price="" hours="" hoursextra="" lat="" long="" tags=""> The Columbia Museum of Art is South Carolina's premier international art museum with 25 galleries of extraordinary collections of European, American and Asian fine and decorative art that span centuries. The Museum's collection includes masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance through the 18th century from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, a strong collection of European and American furniture and decorative arts, as well as modern and contemporary art, art glass, and 20th-century design. Of particular interest are Sandro Botticelli's Nativity, Canaletto’s View of the Molo, Claude Monet's The Seine at Giverny, and art glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany. In recent years, the Museum’s collection of Asian art and Antiquities has grown through generous gifts to the collection, including an impressive collection of Korean and Chinese ceramics and Roman portrait heads. The museum also offers changing exhibitions from renowned museums and educational programs that include group and public tours, lectures, films, and concert series. The Museum Shop is open during museum hours. </see>
 
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</see>
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==Do==
 
==Do==
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*'''Kayaking'''. Columbia has some of the best kayaking available in an urban area in the US. Put in the Saluda River at north end of the Riverbanks Zoo parking lot, get out in the Congaree just past the Gervais Street bridge, on either side.'''
 
*'''Kayaking'''. Columbia has some of the best kayaking available in an urban area in the US. Put in the Saluda River at north end of the Riverbanks Zoo parking lot, get out in the Congaree just past the Gervais Street bridge, on either side.'''
 
*'''St Patrick Day Festival''' An Irish celebration that is in Five Points. Features an elaborate parade. There's a wide variety of family entertainment like petting zoos and rides for kids. There's three stages of music by local and national musicians, and great food from local restaurants and caterers.
 
*'''St Patrick Day Festival''' An Irish celebration that is in Five Points. Features an elaborate parade. There's a wide variety of family entertainment like petting zoos and rides for kids. There's three stages of music by local and national musicians, and great food from local restaurants and caterers.
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*<do name="Melton Memorial Observatory" alt="" address="1429 Greene Street, Columbia, SC 29208" directions="Greene St at Bull St on the University of South Carolina campus, across from Russell House" phone="(803) 777-4180" url="http://www.physics.sc.edu/~melton/" hours="Monday, 9:30-11:30PM" price="Free" lat="" long="">The Melton Observatory is open to the public every Monday night when the sky is clear. Drop by to see planets, stars, nebulae, or whatever else is visible in the night sky.</do>
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*<do name="Ganden Kadampa Buddhist Center" alt="" address="1202 Main St. #200" directions="" phone="8032560150" url="http://meditationinsouthcarolina.org/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Ganden Buddhist Center is a great place to learn about meditation and Buddhism.  The Center is right across from the state capitol building and offers classes nearly every day of the week.</do>
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==Learn==
 
==Learn==
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*<buy name="Five Points" alt="" address="2002 Blossom Street, Columbia, SC 29205" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.fivepointscolumbia.com/directory/index.php?m=bl&c=2" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">District of Columbia that features a wide selection of primairly locally-owned shops and boutiques, including a unique bookstore and music store.  A must-visit for shoppers in Columbia.</buy>
 
*<buy name="Five Points" alt="" address="2002 Blossom Street, Columbia, SC 29205" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.fivepointscolumbia.com/directory/index.php?m=bl&c=2" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">District of Columbia that features a wide selection of primairly locally-owned shops and boutiques, including a unique bookstore and music store.  A must-visit for shoppers in Columbia.</buy>
 
*<buy name="Dutch Square Mall" alt="" address="421 Bush River Rd, Columbia, SC 29210" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.midtownatforestacres.com/default.asp" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Older, smaller mall that is good for bargain hunters at stores such as Burlington Coat Factory.</buy>
 
*<buy name="Dutch Square Mall" alt="" address="421 Bush River Rd, Columbia, SC 29210" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.midtownatforestacres.com/default.asp" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Older, smaller mall that is good for bargain hunters at stores such as Burlington Coat Factory.</buy>
*<buy name="Midtown at Forest Acres" alt="" address="3400 Forest Dr, Columbia, SC 29204" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.midtownatforestacres.com/default.asp" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Upscale shopping center including stores such as Belk, Barnes & Noble, and a Regal Cinemas. </buy>
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*<buy name="Richland Mall" alt="formerly Midtown at Forest Acres" address="3400 Forest Dr" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.richlandmall-sc.com/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Upscale shopping center including stores such as Belk, Barnes & Noble, and a Regal Cinemas.</buy>
*<buy name="Columbiana Centre" alt="" address="100 Columbiana Circle, 29212" directions="Off Harbison Blvd" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Columbia's biggest mall, anchor stores are Belk, Dillard's and JC Penny</buy>
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*<buy name="Columbiana Centre" alt="" address="100 Columbiana Circle, 29212" directions="Off Harbison Blvd" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Columbia's largest shopping mall, anchor stores include Sears, Belk, Dillard's and J.C. Penney</buy>
 
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*<buy name="Columbia Place Mall" alt="" address="7201 Two Notch Road, 29223" directions="Off Parklane Road" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Mid-market mall on Columbia's north-central side, including Sears, Burlington Coat Factory and the only Macy's department store in the region</buy>
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
  
Some of the most popular ones include, the '''Blue Marlin''', which features seafood prepared in the South Carolina Lowcountry tradition; '''Bull Market Restaurant''', which serves Southern cuisine with a Greek Mediterranean flair; '''Dianne's on Devine''', an upscale fine dining restaurant offering Italian dishes; the '''Hampton Street Vineyard''', best known for its extensive selection in fine wines; and '''SakiTumi Grill & Sushi''', which specializes in Pacific Rim cuisine. In all, Columbia offers over 450 dining options. '''Terra''' in the West Bank/State St. area in West Columbia is a new upscale eatery that has caught the attention of locals.
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Some of the most popular restaurants include, the '''Blue Marlin''', which features seafood prepared in the South Carolina Lowcountry tradition; '''Bull Market Restaurant''', which serves Southern cuisine with a Greek Mediterranean flair; '''Motor Supply''' which has a handwritten menu that changes daily based on the fresh local ingrediants; the '''Hampton Street Vineyard''', best known for its extensive selection in fine wines; and '''SakiTumi Grill & Sushi''', which specializes in Pacific Rim cuisine. In all, Columbia offers over 450 dining options. '''Terra''' in the West Bank/State St. area in West Columbia is a new upscale eatery that has caught the attention of locals.
  
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*<eat name="Rockaway's" alt="" address="2719 Rosewood Drive" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="11:30-12AM" price="under $10" lat="" long="">Columbia Institution, best burgers in town and pimiento cheese fries... It's an unassuming brick building with metal shutters on Rosewood across from the Rite Aid. The service sucks and the wait staff is lacking but that is part of the experience.</eat>
  
*<eat name="Rockaway's" alt="" address="2719 Rosewood Drive" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="11:30-12AM" price="under $10" lat="" long="">Columbia Institution, best burgers in town and pimiento cheese fries... It's an unassuming brick building with metal shutters on Rosewood across from the Rite Aid. The service sucks and the wait staff is lacking but that is part of the experience.</eat>
 
  
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*<eat name="Villa Tronco Italian" alt="" address="1517 Blanding Street" directions="Main St. @ Blanding St." phone="803-256-7677" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Columbia's first and oldest Italian restaurant housed in Columbia's first fire station.  Matriarch Sadie Tronco Cannagio introduced pizza and Italian food to the city in the 1930's.  this fourth generation, family restaurant is a culinary treat!</eat>
 
===Budget===
 
===Budget===
Passable regional chain restaurants have locations in and near town, including '''Five Guys Burgers and Fries''', '''Mellow Mushroom Pizza''', '''Moe's Southwest Grill‎''', '''Groucho’s Deli''', '''Atlanta Bread Co‎''', '''Firehouse Subs''' and '''Sonic Drive-In‎''' (many 24h).
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Passable regional chain restaurants have locations in and near town, including '''Five Guys Burgers and Fries''', '''Mellow Mushroom Pizza''', '''Moe's Southwest Grill‎''', '''Atlanta Bread Co‎''', '''Firehouse Subs''' and '''Sonic Drive-In‎''' (many 24h).
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Other cheap eats include:
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* <eat name="Blue Cactus" alt="" address="2002 Greene St. #H" directions="Five Points, next to Pavlov's Bar and Salty Nut restaurant" phone="803 929-0782" url="http://www.bluecactuscafe.com" hours="Tu-Th 11am-3pm, 5pm-9pm, Sat 12pm-9pm" price="under $10"> A sassy, quirky slow-food cafe serving up Korean and Tex-Mex food, with an impressive hot sauce collection. Family run with lots of character.</eat>
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* <eat name="Beezer's" alt="" address="919 Sumter St. #B" directions="USC campus, across from the Horseshoe" phone="803 771-7771" price="under $10">Undergrad guilty pleasure, features cheap salads and variety of simple but decent subs. Open late, usually until 3 a.m., also delivers.</eat>
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* <eat name="Groucho's Deli" alt="" address="611 Harden St." directions="Five Points, across from Sharky's Bar and Red Hot Tomatoes" price=" around $10">Original store of the mainly S.C.-based chain, serves liberally decorated deli sandwiches with tart dipping sauces.</eat>
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Other cheap eats include:
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* <eat name="Blue Cactus" alt="" address="2002 Greene St. #H" directions="Five Points, next to Pavlov's Bar and Salty Nut restaurant" phone="803 929-0782" url="http://www.bluecactuscafe.com" hours="Tu-Th 11am-3pm, 5pm-9pm, Sat 12pm-9pm" price="under $10"> A sassy, quirky slow-food cafe serving up Korean and Tex-Mex food, with an impressive hot sauce collection. Family run with lots of character.</eat>
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* <eat name="Beezer's" alt="" address="919 Sumter St. #B" directions="USC campus, across from the Horseshoe" phone="803 771-7771" price="under $10">Undergrad guilty pleasure, features cheap salads and variety of simple but decent subs. Open late, usually until 3 a.m., also delivers.</eat>
  
 
===Mid-range===
 
===Mid-range===
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* <eat name="Thai Lotus" alt="" address="612 St. Andrews Rd" directions="Off I-26" phone="803 561-0006" email="" fax="" url="" hours="Su-Th 10:30AM-10PM; F-Sa 10:30AM-11PM" price="">Slow service made up for by decent Thai fare, ornate carved wood decor. Also has Japanese/Sushi items on menu.</eat>
 
* <eat name="Thai Lotus" alt="" address="612 St. Andrews Rd" directions="Off I-26" phone="803 561-0006" email="" fax="" url="" hours="Su-Th 10:30AM-10PM; F-Sa 10:30AM-11PM" price="">Slow service made up for by decent Thai fare, ornate carved wood decor. Also has Japanese/Sushi items on menu.</eat>
  
* <eat name="Yesterday's" alt="" address="2030 Devine St" directions="" phone="(803)799-0196" url="http://www.yesterdayssc.com/" hours="Su.-Th. 11:30AM-12:00AM; F.-Sat. 11:30AM-1:30AM" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Good moderately priced restaurant. Mostly American and Southern food. One of the more fun places to go in Five Points, with a large beer selection and plentiful food for a reasonable price.</eat>
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* <eat name="Yesterday's" alt="" address="2030 Devine St" directions="" phone="(803)799-0196" url="http://www.yesterdayssc.com/" hours="Su.-Th. 11:30AM-12AM; F.-Sat. 11:30AM-1:30AM" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Good moderately priced restaurant. Mostly American and Southern food. One of the more fun places to go in Five Points, with a large beer selection and plentiful food for a reasonable price.</eat>
 
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* <eat name="Yo Burrito" alt="" address="2631 Devine Street" directions="" phone="(803)254-2035" url="" hours="" price="">Friendly service and many types of burritos,  including options for vegetarians. Fairly popular place just beyond Five Points.</eat>
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===Splurge===
 
===Splurge===
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*<eat name="Garibaldi's" alt="" address="2013 Greene St" directions="in Five Points" phone="(803)771-8888" url="" hours="Sun.-Thurs. 5PM-10PM; Fri.-Sat. 5PM-11PM" price="">Has seafood, steak, as well as Italian food. Also, excellent desserts and good service. Reservations are suggested.</eat>
 
*<eat name="Garibaldi's" alt="" address="2013 Greene St" directions="in Five Points" phone="(803)771-8888" url="" hours="Sun.-Thurs. 5PM-10PM; Fri.-Sat. 5PM-11PM" price="">Has seafood, steak, as well as Italian food. Also, excellent desserts and good service. Reservations are suggested.</eat>
  
*<eat name="Hampton Street Vineyard" alt="" address="1201 Hampton St" directions="" phone="(803)252-0850" url="http://www.hamptonstreetvineyard.com" hours="M.-Fri. 11:30AM-2:00PM, 6:00-10:00PM; Sa. 6:00-10:00PM" price="">Outstanding food selection. Also has an excellent wine service and good service in general. Reservations are recommended for the restaurant is fairly small inside and is pretty popular.</eat>
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*<eat name="Hampton Street Vineyard" alt="" address="1201 Hampton St" directions="" phone="(803)252-0850" url="http://www.hamptonstreetvineyard.com" hours="M.-Fri. 11:30AM-2PM, 6:00-10PM; Sa. 6:00-10PM" price="">Outstanding food selection. Also has an excellent wine service and good service in general. Reservations are recommended for the restaurant is fairly small inside and is pretty popular.</eat>
  
 
* <eat name="Mr. Friendly’s" alt="" address="2001-A Greene St" directions="" phone="803 254-7828" email="" fax="" url="" hours="M-Th 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30-10PM; Fri 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30-10:30PM; Sa 5:30-10:30PM" price="">People dress up to visit the celebrated (and busy) Mr. Friendly’s, known for its meaty Southern cuisine.</eat>
 
* <eat name="Mr. Friendly’s" alt="" address="2001-A Greene St" directions="" phone="803 254-7828" email="" fax="" url="" hours="M-Th 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30-10PM; Fri 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30-10:30PM; Sa 5:30-10:30PM" price="">People dress up to visit the celebrated (and busy) Mr. Friendly’s, known for its meaty Southern cuisine.</eat>
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==Drink==
 
==Drink==
*'''Five Points'''. Located around the intersection of Harden Street, Greene Street and Saluda Avenue, this neighborhood has numerous bars and eateries catering to the University of South Carolina students. It gets especially boisterous on Thursday nights.
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*'''Five Points'''. Located around the intersection of Harden Street, Greene Street and Saluda Avenue, this neighborhood has numerous bars and eateries catering to the University of South Carolina students. It gets especially boisterous on Thursday nights. There are a few bars in this area that you'll find a more mature crowd and not so much the college scene.  Places such as '''Speakeasy''', '''BarNone''', and '''Group Therapy''' generally cater to the recently graduated drinkers.
*'''The Vista'''. For the more mature crowd, dozens of bars and restaurants centered on the corner of Lincoln and Gervais.
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==Sleep==
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*'''The Vista'''. For the more mature crowd, dozens of bars and restaurants centered on the corner of Lincoln and Gervais. '''Carolina Ale House Rooftop Bar''' and '''Wild Wing Cafe''' make for a great place to go and watch sporting events as well as some great live music. '''Blue Tapas Bar and Cocktail Lounge''' is a good place for a special occasion outing with great service and really good drink specials during the week. For a more relaxed evening one must check out '''The Blue Martini''' for their exceptional drinks (Martini's of course), couch seating, and for local jazz bands playing nightly.
*<sleep name="Ramada Columbia" alt="" address="7510 Two Notch Road" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.ramadacolumbia.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Quality lodging accommodations near Fort Jackson and local tourist attractions.</sleep>
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*<sleep name="Residence Inn by Marriott Columbia" alt="" address="150 Stoneridge Drive" directions="" phone="803-779-7000" url="http://www.marriott.com/CAEDT" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">The Residence Inn Columbia hotel is situated just outside Columbia's downtown business district in a quiet residential neighborhood.</sleep>
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==Sleep==
 
*<sleep name="Comfort Inn &amp; Suites" alt="Comfort Inn &amp; Suites Ft. Jackson Main Gate" address="7337 Garner's Ferry Road" directions="Exit 9 off of I-77" phone="+1-(803)-695-5555" url="http://www.comfortinn.com/hotel-columbia-south_carolina-SC046" checkin="2PM" checkout="11AM" price="" lat="" long="">Comfortable hotel with a exercise room, pool, and free wi-fi connection.</sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Comfort Inn &amp; Suites" alt="Comfort Inn &amp; Suites Ft. Jackson Main Gate" address="7337 Garner's Ferry Road" directions="Exit 9 off of I-77" phone="+1-(803)-695-5555" url="http://www.comfortinn.com/hotel-columbia-south_carolina-SC046" checkin="2PM" checkout="11AM" price="" lat="" long="">Comfortable hotel with a exercise room, pool, and free wi-fi connection.</sleep>
  
 
*<sleep name="Embassy Suites Columbia - Greystone" alt="" address="200 Stoneridge Drive" directions="" phone="803-252-8700" url="http://www.embassysuitescolumbia.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Just off of Interstate 126.</sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Embassy Suites Columbia - Greystone" alt="" address="200 Stoneridge Drive" directions="" phone="803-252-8700" url="http://www.embassysuitescolumbia.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Just off of Interstate 126.</sleep>
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*<sleep name="Hilton Columbia Center" address="924 Senate Street" phone="(803) 744-7800" url="http://www.hiltoncolumbia.com"> This hotel is located in The Vista and is within walking distance of bars, restaurants, the State Museum, the Convention Center, and the central business district. It is a 4 diamond-rated AAA hotel and the on-site restaurant is Ruth's Chris.</sleep>
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*<sleep name="Holiday Inn Express Harbison" alt="" address="211 Lanneau Court" directions="Junction I-26 and Harbison Blvd (Exit 103)" phone="+1-803-732-2229" url="http://www.columbiahie.com" checkin="3PM" checkout="12PM" price="" lat="" long="">Amenities include free breakfast, free internet, a business center and a fitness center.</sleep>
  
 
*<sleep name="Inn at USC" alt="" address="1619 Pendleton Street" directions="" phone="1-866-455-4753" url="http://www.innatusc.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">  </sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Inn at USC" alt="" address="1619 Pendleton Street" directions="" phone="1-866-455-4753" url="http://www.innatusc.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">  </sleep>
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*<sleep name="Ramada Columbia" alt="" address="7510 Two Notch Road" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.ramadacolumbia.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Quality lodging accommodations near Fort Jackson and local tourist attractions.</sleep>
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*<sleep name="Residence Inn by Marriott Columbia" alt="" address="150 Stoneridge Drive" directions="" phone="803-779-7000" url="http://www.marriott.com/CAEDT" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">The Residence Inn Columbia hotel is situated just outside Columbia's downtown business district in a quiet residential neighborhood.</sleep>
  
 
*<sleep name="Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel" alt="" address="1400 Main Street" directions="" phone="+1-(803)-988-1400" url="http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1783" checkin="3PM" checkout="Noon" price="" lat="" long="">Located in an architecturally pleasing building, but that's about the only good view of the hotel - the area surrounding the hotel essentially offers views of parking garages.  Located in the central downtown area of Columbia.  </sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel" alt="" address="1400 Main Street" directions="" phone="+1-(803)-988-1400" url="http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1783" checkin="3PM" checkout="Noon" price="" lat="" long="">Located in an architecturally pleasing building, but that's about the only good view of the hotel - the area surrounding the hotel essentially offers views of parking garages.  Located in the central downtown area of Columbia.  </sleep>
  
 
*<sleep name="Staybridge Suites Columbia" alt="" address="1911 Huger St" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.staycolumbiasc.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Extended-stay suites. Free breakfast, 24-hour fitness center, indoor pool.</sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Staybridge Suites Columbia" alt="" address="1911 Huger St" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.staycolumbiasc.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Extended-stay suites. Free breakfast, 24-hour fitness center, indoor pool.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Wingate by Wyndham " alt="" address="217 Lanneau Court  Junction I-26 and Harbison Blvd. (Exit 103) " directions="" phone=" 800-826-5570 - info@columbiawi.com" url="http://www.columbiawi.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long=""></sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Homewood Suites by Hilton of Columbia" alt="" address="230 Greystone Blvd Columbia SC" directions="Off of Zoo exit." phone="8032394663" url="http://homewoodsuites1.hilton.com/en_US/hw/hotel/CAEHWHW-Homewood-Suites-by-Hilton-Columbia-South-Carolina/index.do" checkin="4:00 PM" checkout="12:00 PM" price="" lat="" long="">Free breakfast.  M-Th Free dinner.  Indoor heated pool and spa.  Full sized refrigerators, cook tops, and microwaves.  Free wired high speed internet.</sleep>
 
  
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*<sleep name="Wingate by Wyndham " alt="" address="217 Lanneau Court  Junction I-26 and Harbison Blvd. (Exit 103)" directions="" phone=" 800-826-5570 - info@columbiawi.com" url="http://www.columbiawi.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long=""></sleep>
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*<sleep name="Marriott Columbia" alt="" address="1200 Hampton Street " directions="" phone="803-771-7000" url="http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/caemh-columbia-marriott/" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">The Columbia Marriott, a downtown Columbia SC hotel, is conveniently located, just two blocks from the SC state capitol building and in a vibrant, bustling quarter of downtown.</sleep>
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
* <see name="Congaree National Park" alt="" address="100 National Park Road" phone="+1-(803)-776-4396" phoneextra="" tollfree="" fax="+1-(803)-783-4241" email="" url="http://www.nps.gov/cosw/" price="Entrance and tours are free" hours="The Harry Hampton Visitor Center is open from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM.  During daylight savings time (DST), the Harry Hampton Visitor Center will be open until 7:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays" hoursextra="Closed Christmas Day" lat="" long="" tags="">Located about twenty miles south of the city, [[Congaree National Park]], the nation's newest, doesn't even have admission gates yet, leaving you the pleasure of federally-protected landscape without the price. One of the last old-growth forests in the southeast, the swamp actually isn't a swamp at all, but a floodplain of the nearby Congaree River. Wild pigs, deer, turkey, alligators, and other wildlife abound; the largest cypresses in the world are located here. The cypress knees and tupelo trees create something that looks like a set of Lord of the Rings. The boardwalk is several miles long and handicapped accessible; the park contains great hiking trails and even the opportunity for canoeing (rent in Columbia). The visitor's center has useful information and a helpful staff, but if you're planning on returning to your car after five, be sure to leave it in the overnight parking lot near the entrance of the park. </see>  
+
* <see name="Congaree National Park" alt="" address="100 National Park Road" phone="+1-(803)-776-4396" phoneextra="" tollfree="" fax="+1-(803)-783-4241" email="" url="http://www.nps.gov/cosw/" price="Entrance and tours are free" hours="The Harry Hampton Visitor Center is open from 8:30AM until 5:00PM.  During daylight savings time (DST), the Harry Hampton Visitor Center will be open until 7:00PM on Fridays and Saturdays" hoursextra="Closed Christmas Day" lat="" long="" tags="">Located about twenty miles south of the city, [[Congaree National Park]], the nation's newest, doesn't even have admission gates yet, leaving you the pleasure of federally-protected landscape without the price. One of the last old-growth forests in the southeast, the swamp actually isn't a swamp at all, but a floodplain of the nearby Congaree River. Wild pigs, deer, turkey, alligators, and other wildlife abound; the largest cypresses in the world are located here. The cypress knees and tupelo trees create something that looks like a set of Lord of the Rings. The boardwalk is several miles long and handicapped accessible; the park contains great hiking trails and even the opportunity for canoeing (rent in Columbia). The visitor's center has useful information and a helpful staff, but if you're planning on returning to your car after five, be sure to leave it in the overnight parking lot near the entrance of the park. </see>
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[[Wikipedia:Columbia, South Carolina]]

Latest revision as of 03:26, 12 January 2014

SkylinefromHilton.jpg
Columbia is both the capital city and largest city in South Carolina. It is in the approximate geographic center of the state, and is one of the first planned cities of the United States. It is also home to the main campus of the University of South Carolina, and to the Army's Fort Jackson. Located in close proximity to two seemingly forever-growing metros, Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina, Columbia's recent rapid growth indicates South Carolina's capital city is beginning to blossom as other Southern cities have in the past decade. As of 2006, estimates for the population of the city proper is 122,819, with an urban core population of about 420,000, and a metro area population of about 750,000.

Contents

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Columbia is easily reached by Interstate 20, Interstate 26 and Interstate 77, or by U.S. Highway 1.

By plane[edit]

Columbia is served by the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE), located 7.5 miles southwest of downtown.

There are non-stop flights to Columbia Metropolitan Airport from the following cities (some cities may be seasonal or only offer service certain days of the week): Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Memphis, New York, Philadelphia and Washington.

To get from the airport to downtown using public transport, Comet Bus Route #28 [1] operates weekday-only service from the Midland Tech Airport campus, a few blocks from the airport. The bus leaves 3 times per day: at 7:39AM, 1:04PM, and 4:59PM. The journey downtown costs $1.50 and takes 30 minutes.

By train[edit]

An Amtrak station is located at 850 Pulaski Street in the Vista. Columbia sits on the main north-south line on the East Coast. Trains depart daily for Miami and New York; however, most of the trains pass though Columbia at night and are frequently delayed.

Get around[edit]

Most people use a car to get around Columbia, but more pedestrian-friendly areas of the city include downtown, The Vista, the University Hill/USC area, and Five Points. There is bus service around town provided by provided by CMRTA [2]. It is generally geared towards locals rather than tourists. Taxi service is also available 24/7 if one calls in advance, and can usually be hailed on the street in Five Points and The Vista at night.

See[edit][add listing]

Siebels House and Garden One of the best gardens in the city. Is free to walk through and surrounds the oldest house in Columbia.

  • Fort Jackson, (Located off of I-77), [3]. Fort Jackson is one of the major draws of visitors to Columbia. Essentially, there are three types of visitors to Fort Jackson: 1. the miserable private going through Basic Combat Training; 2. friends and family of graduating basic trainees; 3. A.I.T. students. For those visiting for BCT graduation, graduation will be held at Hilton Field or, in the case of inclement weather, the Solomon Center. A word of advice is that you should not surprise the soldier you're visiting, because he/she will need to report whether he/she is going home with a family member or by government expense. Failure to alert your soldier will cause him/her to be required to leave on government transportation. Furthermore, leave contact info with your soldier, so his/her drill sergeants can alert you to any changes in plans.  edit
  • Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens, 1615 Blanding Street, (803)252-1770. Tues-Sat. 10-3; Sun 1-4. One of the few houses left from antebellum Columbia, it was built in 1818 and has many authentic furnishings. for house: $5; $4 (age 65+; college students and military) $3 ages 6-17.  edit
African American history monument on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse
  • The South Carolina Statehouse. With a copper dome and bronze stars marking places where Sherman's cannonballs struck, the Statehouse is well worth the trip for fans of history and architecture alike. Though the Confederate flag no longer flies on the top of the dome, it stands atop a memorial directly in front of the building at the intersection of Gervais and Main. The grounds include several monuments and a small Italianate rose garden.
  • Riverbanks Zoo, 500 Wildlife Parkway (Located about a mile outside of downtown, and easily accessible by Interstate 126), [4]. Riverbanks Zoo has grown tremendously in the past decade. Recent additions include a gorilla habitat and koala bears donated from their native Queensland. Considered to be in the top ten US zoos, it has the added benefit of being small enough for those with difficulty walking to manage. Children will enjoy the petting zoo, pony rides, and demonstrations.  edit
South Carolina State Museum
  • South Carolina State Museum, 301 Gervais Street (Located near the corner of Huger and Gervais (US 1) streets in a renovated textile mill), +1-(803)-898-4921 (), [5]. Open Tu. - Sa. 10AM - 5PM and Su. 1PM - 5PM. Open Mondays Memorial Day through Labor Day (Closed on New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day). This museum is often visited by South Carolina school groups, and tourists on rainy days. Children may enjoy the hands-on exhibits, but parents will note that this place is long on reproductions and short on explanations. Come prepared for lessons on history, geography, industry, and economics. The gift shop has many South Carolina themed items.  edit
  • Edventure Children's Museum. Located right near the State Museum, it opened in 2004. Lots of fun for those with small children.
  • Columbia Museum of Art, +1-(803)-799.2810, [6]. The Columbia Museum of Art is South Carolina's premier international art museum with 25 galleries of extraordinary collections of European, American and Asian fine and decorative art that span centuries. The Museum's collection includes masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance through the 18th century from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, a strong collection of European and American furniture and decorative arts, as well as modern and contemporary art, art glass, and 20th-century design. Of particular interest are Sandro Botticelli's Nativity, Canaletto’s View of the Molo, Claude Monet's The Seine at Giverny, and art glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany. In recent years, the Museum’s collection of Asian art and Antiquities has grown through generous gifts to the collection, including an impressive collection of Korean and Chinese ceramics and Roman portrait heads. The museum also offers changing exhibitions from renowned museums and educational programs that include group and public tours, lectures, films, and concert series. The Museum Shop is open during museum hours.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Nickelodeon, 937 Main Street (just below the state house), (803)254-3433. For independent film in Columbia, this is your place. Also has several film festivals throughout the year and is a comfortable movie theater.  edit
  • Kayaking. Columbia has some of the best kayaking available in an urban area in the US. Put in the Saluda River at north end of the Riverbanks Zoo parking lot, get out in the Congaree just past the Gervais Street bridge, on either side.
  • St Patrick Day Festival An Irish celebration that is in Five Points. Features an elaborate parade. There's a wide variety of family entertainment like petting zoos and rides for kids. There's three stages of music by local and national musicians, and great food from local restaurants and caterers.
  • Melton Memorial Observatory, 1429 Greene Street, Columbia, SC 29208 (Greene St at Bull St on the University of South Carolina campus, across from Russell House), (803) 777-4180, [7]. Monday, 9:30-11:30PM. The Melton Observatory is open to the public every Monday night when the sky is clear. Drop by to see planets, stars, nebulae, or whatever else is visible in the night sky. Free.  edit
  • Ganden Kadampa Buddhist Center, 1202 Main St. #200, 8032560150, [8]. Ganden Buddhist Center is a great place to learn about meditation and Buddhism. The Center is right across from the state capitol building and offers classes nearly every day of the week.  edit


Learn[edit]

  • University of South Carolina (USC), (), [9]. The campus is just south of the Statehouse. The oldest part of campus, known as "The Horseshoe", survived the burning of Columbia and has lovely buildings dating from 1805.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Five Points, 2002 Blossom Street, Columbia, SC 29205, [10]. District of Columbia that features a wide selection of primairly locally-owned shops and boutiques, including a unique bookstore and music store. A must-visit for shoppers in Columbia.  edit
  • Dutch Square Mall, 421 Bush River Rd, Columbia, SC 29210, [11]. Older, smaller mall that is good for bargain hunters at stores such as Burlington Coat Factory.  edit
  • Richland Mall (formerly Midtown at Forest Acres), 3400 Forest Dr, [12]. Upscale shopping center including stores such as Belk, Barnes & Noble, and a Regal Cinemas.  edit
  • Columbiana Centre, 100 Columbiana Circle, 29212 (Off Harbison Blvd). Columbia's largest shopping mall, anchor stores include Sears, Belk, Dillard's and J.C. Penney  edit
  • Columbia Place Mall, 7201 Two Notch Road, 29223 (Off Parklane Road). Mid-market mall on Columbia's north-central side, including Sears, Burlington Coat Factory and the only Macy's department store in the region  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Some of the most popular restaurants include, the Blue Marlin, which features seafood prepared in the South Carolina Lowcountry tradition; Bull Market Restaurant, which serves Southern cuisine with a Greek Mediterranean flair; Motor Supply which has a handwritten menu that changes daily based on the fresh local ingrediants; the Hampton Street Vineyard, best known for its extensive selection in fine wines; and SakiTumi Grill & Sushi, which specializes in Pacific Rim cuisine. In all, Columbia offers over 450 dining options. Terra in the West Bank/State St. area in West Columbia is a new upscale eatery that has caught the attention of locals.

  • Rockaway's, 2719 Rosewood Drive. 11:30-12AM. Columbia Institution, best burgers in town and pimiento cheese fries... It's an unassuming brick building with metal shutters on Rosewood across from the Rite Aid. The service sucks and the wait staff is lacking but that is part of the experience. under $10.  edit


  • Villa Tronco Italian, 1517 Blanding Street (Main St. @ Blanding St.), 803-256-7677. Columbia's first and oldest Italian restaurant housed in Columbia's first fire station. Matriarch Sadie Tronco Cannagio introduced pizza and Italian food to the city in the 1930's. this fourth generation, family restaurant is a culinary treat!  edit

Budget[edit]

Passable regional chain restaurants have locations in and near town, including Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Mellow Mushroom Pizza, Moe's Southwest Grill‎, Atlanta Bread Co‎, Firehouse Subs and Sonic Drive-In‎ (many 24h).

Other cheap eats include:

  • Blue Cactus, 2002 Greene St. #H (Five Points, next to Pavlov's Bar and Salty Nut restaurant), 803 929-0782, [13]. Tu-Th 11am-3pm, 5pm-9pm, Sat 12pm-9pm. A sassy, quirky slow-food cafe serving up Korean and Tex-Mex food, with an impressive hot sauce collection. Family run with lots of character. under $10.  edit
  • Beezer's, 919 Sumter St. #B (USC campus, across from the Horseshoe), 803 771-7771. Undergrad guilty pleasure, features cheap salads and variety of simple but decent subs. Open late, usually until 3 a.m., also delivers. under $10.  edit
  • Groucho's Deli, 611 Harden St. (Five Points, across from Sharky's Bar and Red Hot Tomatoes). Original store of the mainly S.C.-based chain, serves liberally decorated deli sandwiches with tart dipping sauces. around $10.  edit

Other cheap eats include:

  • Blue Cactus, 2002 Greene St. #H (Five Points, next to Pavlov's Bar and Salty Nut restaurant), 803 929-0782, [14]. Tu-Th 11am-3pm, 5pm-9pm, Sat 12pm-9pm. A sassy, quirky slow-food cafe serving up Korean and Tex-Mex food, with an impressive hot sauce collection. Family run with lots of character. under $10.  edit
  • Beezer's, 919 Sumter St. #B (USC campus, across from the Horseshoe), 803 771-7771. Undergrad guilty pleasure, features cheap salads and variety of simple but decent subs. Open late, usually until 3 a.m., also delivers. under $10.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Delhi Palace, 1029 Briargate Cir (On Broad River Rd just off I-20), 803 750-0866, [15]. Su-Th 11:30AM-10PM; F-Sa 11:30AM-10:30PM. Those in the know visit for the inexpensive but tasty Indian buffet.  edit
  • Nonnah's, 930 Gervais St, 803 779-9599. M-Th 11AM-2PM, 5-11PM; F-Sa 6PM-12:30AM. Quirky drinking establishment is famous for its desserts.  edit
  • Pasta Fresca, 3405 Forest Dr. M-Th 11AM-9PM; F-Sa 11AM-10PM; Su 5-9PM. Large portions of superior Italian fare at reasonable prices make this one popular with people who dine out for food rather than linen tablecloths.  edit
  • Thai Lotus, 612 St. Andrews Rd (Off I-26), 803 561-0006. Su-Th 10:30AM-10PM; F-Sa 10:30AM-11PM. Slow service made up for by decent Thai fare, ornate carved wood decor. Also has Japanese/Sushi items on menu.  edit
  • Yesterday's, 2030 Devine St, (803)799-0196, [16]. Su.-Th. 11:30AM-12AM; F.-Sat. 11:30AM-1:30AM. Good moderately priced restaurant. Mostly American and Southern food. One of the more fun places to go in Five Points, with a large beer selection and plentiful food for a reasonable price.  edit

Splurge[edit]

Columbia has a diverse, extensive array of restaurants to choose from, most notably those in the historic Congaree Vista district, Five Points, and along Devine Street.

  • Blue Marlin, 1200 Lincoln St (In the Vista), (803)799-3838, [17]. Su. 11:30AM-9PM; M-Th. 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-10PM; Fr. 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5PM-11PM; Sat. 4PM-11PM. One of the better seafood restaurants in Columbia, Blue Marlin specializes in Lowcountry style seafood such as shrimp and grits as well as she-crab soup.  edit
  • California Dreaming, 401 Main St, (803)254-6767, [18]. Su.-Th. 11AM-10PM; Fr-Sa. 11AM-11PM. Good service; excellent salads and steaks, in addition to good desserts and a nice bar.  edit
  • Ristorante Divino, 803 Gervais St (in the Vista), (803)799-4550, [19]. Sun.-Thurs. 5PM-10PM; Fri.-Sat. 5PM-11PM. Fabulous Northern Italian cuisine. Wine cellar on premises. Jackets recommended. Reservations are suggested.  edit
  • Garibaldi's, 2013 Greene St (in Five Points), (803)771-8888. Sun.-Thurs. 5PM-10PM; Fri.-Sat. 5PM-11PM. Has seafood, steak, as well as Italian food. Also, excellent desserts and good service. Reservations are suggested.  edit
  • Hampton Street Vineyard, 1201 Hampton St, (803)252-0850, [20]. M.-Fri. 11:30AM-2PM, 6:00-10PM; Sa. 6:00-10PM. Outstanding food selection. Also has an excellent wine service and good service in general. Reservations are recommended for the restaurant is fairly small inside and is pretty popular.  edit
  • Mr. Friendly’s, 2001-A Greene St, 803 254-7828. M-Th 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30-10PM; Fri 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30-10:30PM; Sa 5:30-10:30PM. People dress up to visit the celebrated (and busy) Mr. Friendly’s, known for its meaty Southern cuisine.  edit
  • Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar, 814-4 Sparkleberry Lane (in the Sandhills/Northeast), (803)788-6966, [21]. Sun.-Thurs. 5PM-10PM; Fri.-Sat. 5PM-11PM. Describes itself as "New American," with an internationalist approach to Southern delicacies, Solstice is a trendy and professional restaurant in the Northeast. Owned by the same owner as the venerable Mr. Friendly's.  edit
  • Terra, 100 State St., West Columbia (in the West Bank), (803)791-3443, [22]. Tues-Sat. 5PM-11PM. Winner 2008 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Makes a strong effort to support local farmers and uses as many locally grown ingredients as possible.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Five Points. Located around the intersection of Harden Street, Greene Street and Saluda Avenue, this neighborhood has numerous bars and eateries catering to the University of South Carolina students. It gets especially boisterous on Thursday nights. There are a few bars in this area that you'll find a more mature crowd and not so much the college scene. Places such as Speakeasy, BarNone, and Group Therapy generally cater to the recently graduated drinkers.
  • The Vista. For the more mature crowd, dozens of bars and restaurants centered on the corner of Lincoln and Gervais. Carolina Ale House Rooftop Bar and Wild Wing Cafe make for a great place to go and watch sporting events as well as some great live music. Blue Tapas Bar and Cocktail Lounge is a good place for a special occasion outing with great service and really good drink specials during the week. For a more relaxed evening one must check out The Blue Martini for their exceptional drinks (Martini's of course), couch seating, and for local jazz bands playing nightly.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Comfort Inn & Suites (Comfort Inn & Suites Ft. Jackson Main Gate), 7337 Garner's Ferry Road (Exit 9 off of I-77), +1-(803)-695-5555, [23]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. Comfortable hotel with a exercise room, pool, and free wi-fi connection.  edit
  • Embassy Suites Columbia - Greystone, 200 Stoneridge Drive, 803-252-8700, [24]. Just off of Interstate 126.  edit
  • Hilton Columbia Center, 924 Senate Street, (803) 744-7800, [25]. This hotel is located in The Vista and is within walking distance of bars, restaurants, the State Museum, the Convention Center, and the central business district. It is a 4 diamond-rated AAA hotel and the on-site restaurant is Ruth's Chris.  edit
  • Holiday Inn Express Harbison, 211 Lanneau Court (Junction I-26 and Harbison Blvd (Exit 103)), +1-803-732-2229, [26]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. Amenities include free breakfast, free internet, a business center and a fitness center.  edit
  • Inn at USC, 1619 Pendleton Street, 1-866-455-4753, [27].  edit
  • Ramada Columbia, 7510 Two Notch Road, [28]. Quality lodging accommodations near Fort Jackson and local tourist attractions.  edit
  • Residence Inn by Marriott Columbia, 150 Stoneridge Drive, 803-779-7000, [29]. The Residence Inn Columbia hotel is situated just outside Columbia's downtown business district in a quiet residential neighborhood.  edit
  • Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel, 1400 Main Street, +1-(803)-988-1400, [30]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: Noon. Located in an architecturally pleasing building, but that's about the only good view of the hotel - the area surrounding the hotel essentially offers views of parking garages. Located in the central downtown area of Columbia.  edit
  • Staybridge Suites Columbia, 1911 Huger St, [31]. Extended-stay suites. Free breakfast, 24-hour fitness center, indoor pool.  edit
  • Wingate by Wyndham, 217 Lanneau Court Junction I-26 and Harbison Blvd. (Exit 103), 800-826-5570 - info@columbiawi.com, [32].  edit
  • Marriott Columbia, 1200 Hampton Street, 803-771-7000, [33]. The Columbia Marriott, a downtown Columbia SC hotel, is conveniently located, just two blocks from the SC state capitol building and in a vibrant, bustling quarter of downtown.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Congaree National Park, 100 National Park Road, +1-(803)-776-4396 (fax: +1-(803)-783-4241), [34]. The Harry Hampton Visitor Center is open from 8:30AM until 5:00PM. During daylight savings time (DST), the Harry Hampton Visitor Center will be open until 7:00PM on Fridays and Saturdays (Closed Christmas Day). Located about twenty miles south of the city, Congaree National Park, the nation's newest, doesn't even have admission gates yet, leaving you the pleasure of federally-protected landscape without the price. One of the last old-growth forests in the southeast, the swamp actually isn't a swamp at all, but a floodplain of the nearby Congaree River. Wild pigs, deer, turkey, alligators, and other wildlife abound; the largest cypresses in the world are located here. The cypress knees and tupelo trees create something that looks like a set of Lord of the Rings. The boardwalk is several miles long and handicapped accessible; the park contains great hiking trails and even the opportunity for canoeing (rent in Columbia). The visitor's center has useful information and a helpful staff, but if you're planning on returning to your car after five, be sure to leave it in the overnight parking lot near the entrance of the park. Entrance and tours are free.  edit


Routes through Columbia
AugustaLexington  W noframe E  FlorenceEND
AshevilleSpartanburg  N noframe S  OrangeburgCharleston
CharlottePineville  N noframe S  END
RaleighRockingham  N noframe S  LexingtonAugusta




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