Wander the wide boulevards of this graceful city to discover stately homes, galleries, museums, entertainment venues, recreational parks and a zoo with a botanical garden.

Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, sits at the confluence of three rivers. An orderly city made up of tree-lined streets and broad boulevards, the city’s attractions include antebellum homes, art galleries and museums with exhibits to suit all ages. Relax at riverside parks and explore one of the nation’s most renowned zoos as you make your way around the city. Founded in 1786 and all but flattened during the Civil War, today Columbia combines the elegance of a state capital with the youthfulness of a university town.

Start your visit with a tour of the South Carolina State House, which marks the heart of the city. Outside is the African-American History Monument, a commemoration of African-American contributions to South Carolina. From this point in the center of Columbia, streets lead in all directions to major attractions and historic landmarks. Peek inside the rooms of the Governor’s Mansion, one of the few buildings to survivor Civil War destruction.

Browse a comprehensive display of art, natural history, science and technology exhibits at South Carolina State Museum. See work by American and European artists at the Columbia Museum of Art and take the family to enjoy the hands-on and educational exhibits at the EdVenture Children’s Museum. Learn about South Carolina’s military history at the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum.

Take advantage of the city’s extensive collection of green spaces. Spot colorful wildlife and plant species at Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden. Stroll along the banks of three rivers at the Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park. Find picnic sites, sports fields and walking trails at Earlewood Park. Mingle with students on the lawns of Gibbes Green, at the University of South Carolina.

Columbia is a city that loves its sports. Experience some of this passion while watching basketball at the Colonial Life Arena, baseball at Founders Park or football at Williams-Brice Stadium. For a change of pace, take in some of the city’s cultural offerings at venues such as the Columbia Marionette Theatre or the Workshop Theatre. Spend an evening bar hopping in the neighborhoods of Congaree Vista and Five Points.

Reach the Columbia from other major U.S. cities via the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Amtrak train arrive from all corners of the state. With mild winters, hot summers and downtown attractions confined to a small area, Columbia is an ideal city to traverse on foot.

Top Hotels in Columbia

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hampton Inn & Suites Columbia/Southeast-Ft. Jackson
Hampton Inn & Suites Columbia/Southeast-Ft. Jackson
2.5 out of 5
201 East Exchange Boulevard, Columbia, SC
The price is $101 per night

Situated in the business district, this hotel is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from William Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center and within 6 mi (10 km) of ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (789 reviews)

"The office staff was amazing, Eric was so accommodating and kind ! Thank you Thank you ! We will stay here again !"…"

Reviewed on Jul 11, 2020

Hampton Inn & Suites Columbia/Southeast-Ft. Jackson
Hyatt Place Columbia/Downtown/The Vista
Hyatt Place Columbia/Downtown/The Vista
3 out of 5
819 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC
The price is $105 per night

Located in the heart of Columbia, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Columbia Regional Visitors Center and Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Colonial ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (990 reviews)

"Close to campus and restaurants. Easy parking and access."…"

Reviewed on Jul 8, 2020

Hyatt Place Columbia/Downtown/The Vista
Hyatt Place Columbia/Harbison
Hyatt Place Columbia/Harbison
3 out of 5
1130 Kinley Road, Irmo, SC
The price is $84 per night

Situated in the entertainment district, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Frankie's Fun Park, Harbison Theatre, and Irmo Community Park. Harbison State Forest ...

4.3/5Excellent! (989 reviews)

"Quick and easy check in-The rooms were nice and clean. No issues"…"

Reviewed on Jul 3, 2020

Hyatt Place Columbia/Harbison

Popular places to visit in Columbia

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden
Image for Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

4.5/5(213 reviews)

Why not visit the native and exotic animals at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden and see why this is a popular attraction in Columbia? Amble around the area's college campus or attend a sporting event.

Congaree National Park
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Congaree National Park

4/5(218 reviews)

While protecting southern hardwood forest for the enjoyment of future generations, this park also offers hiking, canoeing and interesting ranger-led activities.

South Carolina State House
Image for South Carolina State House

South Carolina State House

4/5(269 reviews)

Inspect the many monuments and political symbols that decorate the grounds and majestic mansion of the state’s most important structure.

Columbia Museum of Art
Image for Columbia Museum of Art

Columbia Museum of Art

4.5/5(73 reviews)

Bring kids to this fun gallery with a focus on medieval, Renaissance and Baroque art and fascinating traveling exhibits.

Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park
Image for Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park

Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park

4.5/5(64 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors at Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park, a lovely green space in Columbia. Attend a sporting event or simply visit the area's well-known zoo.

South Carolina State Fairgrounds
Image for South Carolina State Fairgrounds

South Carolina State Fairgrounds

4.5/5(63 reviews)

Enjoy an outing to South Carolina State Fairgrounds during your stay in Columbia. Amble around the area's college campus or attend a sporting event.

Top things to do in Columbia

3Quest Challenge Scavenger hunts of South Carolina
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3Quest Challenge Scavenger hunts of South Carolina

$10
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Crazy Dash Walking Adventure of South Carolina
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Crazy Dash Walking Adventure of South Carolina

$10
Per adult
Wacky Walks Adventure walking tours of South Carolina
Image for Wacky Walks Adventure walking tours of South Carolina

Wacky Walks Adventure walking tours of South Carolina

$10
Per adult
Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of South Carolina
Image for Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of South Carolina

Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of South Carolina

$20
Per adult
City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest, South Carolina
Image for City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest, South Carolina

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest, South Carolina

$10
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Columbia Puzzling Adventure
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Columbia Puzzling Adventure

$6
Per adult

Reviews of Columbia

4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
917
5 - Excellent 29.66677450663216%
4 - Good
1390
4 - Good 44.969265609835006%
3 - Okay
663
3 - Okay 21.449369136201877%
2 - Disappointing
66
2 - Disappointing 2.1352313167259784%
1 - Terrible
55
1 - Terrible 1.7793594306049823%

3/5 - Okay

Deb

Jun 3, 2020

Didn't really visit Columbia. We were passing through and spent the night on our way home.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

Business meeting and the park

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 15, 2020

We loved doing the escape room and the Zoo!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

May 12, 2020

I use to live there n I loved it then

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

May 12, 2020

Didn't get to get out under current restrictions.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

May 3, 2020

Love Columbia