9+ Things to Do in Columbia's Unique Spots

Dive into Columbia's culinary secrets and savor flavors unknown; will the last spot reveal the most tantalizing dish? Find out...
Date Published
March 8, 2024

Table of Contents

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Ditch the mainstream itinerary, and let's dive deep into what makes Columbia an irreplaceable stop on your travel bucket list. From kayaking down the clandestine streams to soaking up history on your feet, Columbia invites you on a whirlwind of adventures that promise a blend of thrills and serenity. Want in on the best-kept secrets? Keep reading to discover the Columbia that whispers tales of history, art, and nature to those keen enough to listen.

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Savor Columbia’s Secret Supper Spots

Picture this: You're wandering through Columbia, your stomach rumbling for something deliciously different. What you need is a table at one of Columbia's secret supper spots. These hidden gems are where the culinary scene truly shines, and folks, you're in for a mouthwatering experience that's anything but ordinary!

Columbia's chefs are no strangers to throwing down some serious flavor, and you best believe they're cooking up some dishes that'll have you coming back for more. We're talking about plates so good, you might just consider licking them clean (but let's keep it classy).

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  • Foodie Heaven Alert: In this treasure trove of eateries, you can expect intimate settings where the chef might just stop by to greet you. How's that for a personal touch?
  • Got a Thing for Unique? Alongside your meal, you're likely to be surrounded by an ambiance that screams "Columbia-chic," with decor that's as eclectic as the food.
  • Time Commitment: Let the evening sail smoothly into night - these spots are worth savoring, no need to rush. Reserve two hours to fully enjoy your meal and soak in the atmosphere.
  • Who's Joining? Whether you're flying solo, on a romantic date, or out with a group of friends, these eateries cater to all.

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Let's not forget, nestled around the corners of these supper spots, you'll find unique boutiques in Columbia that might just demand a peek. Consider it the perfect after-dinner stroll to walk off that divine dessert you couldn't resist.

If you're ready to treat your taste buds to Columbia's culinary scene, it's time to slip into something casual yet snappy and embark on a dining adventure that will leave your foodie heart full and your Instagram buzzing with drool-worthy snaps. And folks, this is Columbia, where every bite tells a story, and every meal is a chance to make memories. So, what are you waiting for? Let's eat!

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Discover West Columbia’s Quaint Corners

Picture this: You're strolling down the cozy, tree-lined avenues of West Columbia, a dreamy blend of Southern charm and local flair. It's not just a spot on the map; it's a canvas of historic buildings accented with artful touches, an area bursting with homegrown pride and creative spirit. And did someone say shopping? Oh, you bet! Main Street isn't just a road; it's a journey through unique boutiques, where each store is a discovery all on its own.

You're among friends here, whether you're a seasoned shopper on a mission or a leisurely browser soaking in the local vibe. So what makes West Columbia's hidden corners shine? Let's dive into the reasons why:

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  • Eclectic West Columbia attractions appeal to the whimsical, the adventurous, and the curious alike. It's where you find that one-of-a-kind piece of art or that must-have vintage jacket.
  • Heading over to Main Street shopping, prepare to be charmed out of your socks! The mom-and-pop stores, with their warm welcomes and treasures waiting to be unearthed, are perfect for an afternoon of exploration.

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As you wander, you might wonder, how long should I revel in this bliss? The answer: As long as it takes for your heart to sing with the discoveries of the day! You'll see folks of all kinds here, from busy families corralling their little ones to groups of friends out for a fun day to singles just looking for a peaceful break from the hustle and bustle.

Oh, and the time of day? Anytime's game in West Columbia. Morning rays splashing over quaint coffee shops, afternoon sun warming the streets, or even the gentle evening glow giving those historic buildings an extra whisper of magic—every moment is prime time for memory-making.

So there you have it. West Columbia’s quaint corners? They are local paradises stringing together the past and the present, a collage of community and individuality. Whether you're in for the exploration, the shopping, or just the sweet Southern calm, these corners are calling your name. Why wait? Embrace the unexpected and let West Columbia turn your daydreams into delightful day-doings!

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Uncover History at Local Columbia Homes

Step back in time as you explore the treasures of Columbia's historic home tours. Why just read about history when you can walk through its very halls? From the intricate woodwork to the secret nooks, each home tells a gripping tale of the past.

What makes these historic home tours in Columbia an enriching experience? They are more than just walks around old buildings; they're vivid storytelling sessions! Here's the scoop: you'll get up close and personal with Columbia's past, where every room whisper with tales of yesteryear—think of secret meetings, grand balls, and tales of love and bravery that shaped the city.

Columbia’s historic residences come in all sorts of architectural styles, offering a feast for your eyes and a gateway to understanding the local heritage. Tours typically take about an hour or two — just enough time to immerse yourself without rushing. Imagine touching the same banisters as the city’s early inhabitants and picnicking on the same grounds where they might have!

These home tours are perfect for history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, and families – really, anyone who appreciates a good story woven into their sightseeing. Bring your comfy shoes for the walking tours and a curious mind—you'll need both!

While strolling through the neighborhoods, pay attention to the little details: the elegant Victorian trim or the hand-forged iron on the gates. Just around the corner from these historic gems, you’ll often find cozy cafes and impressive galleries to round out your adventure. Whether you're flying solo or bringing the whole squad, this historical escapade suits everyone from junior detectives to grandpa, the seasoned time traveler.

Peek into the private lives of Columbia's forebears at their lovingly-preserved abodes, making your visit an exceptional journey through time. So, what’re you waiting for? Put on your explorer hat and get ready to uncover the stories etched into Columbia's walls!

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Kayak Hidden Streams in Columbia

Imagine your paddles slicing through the water, each stroke guiding you through Columbia's serene, hidden streams. Yeah, you’re not just on any ol’ river; you're cruising the secret waterways that meander through this vibrant city. Talk about a truly off-the-grid adventure—Columbia's kayaking spots are where it’s at!

The meandering waterways are perfect for a peaceful day-trip or a heart-pumping workout, with spots that cater to every kayaking enthusiast, from beginners to pros. Take a deep breath as the foliage rustles, the birds chirp, and the gentle current leads you on an outdoor adventure you won’t soon forget.

You’ll want to carve out a solid half-day for this outdoor extravaganza. Because let's be real—a quick dip isn’t enough when there's so much to explore. Plus, the hidden streams are like a backstage pass to Columbia's natural beauty, just waiting to show you sights most folks don’t usually see.

What type of crowd will love this the most? If you're craving some solitude away from the hustle or looking to bond with your squad over a shared adventure, this kayaking journey won’t disappoint. Solo soul-searchers, fun-loving families, and tight-knit friend groups alike will dig the tranquility and excitement of exploring Columbia's aquatic secrets.

And here’s a hot tip: Pack a snack or a picnic to enjoy on the banks. After a couple of hours paddling, a riverside break with some local grub can recharge those batteries before heading back out.

So, are you ready to paddle the day away? Whether you're chasing that adrenaline rush or pining for peaceful nature vibes, Columbia's kayaking spots are your ticket to an epic outdoor adventure. Grab your paddle and let Columbia's hidden streams sweep you off your feet!

Ready to dive in? Check out some of the preferred kayaking launching spots and let the adventure begin!

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Experience Columbia’s Indie Theater Scene

Step right up, folks! Let's shine a spotlight on Columbia's indie theater scene. Picture this: a cozy space where creativity blooms and each performance is a fresh experience that will stick with you way past curtain call. Why just hear about theater performances in Columbia when you can live them, am I right?

First things first, in Columbia's indie theaters, no show is ever run-of-the-mill. They're intimate, they've got character, and you'll find yourself inches away from the action. The beauty of these spaces is the you-feel-like-you-know-the-actors kind of vibe. How can you not love the raw passion of a cast pouring their hearts out on stage?

And get this, after the bow and curtain close, the night isn't over. Walk just a few steps, and bam! You're in the middle of Columbia's bustling live music venues. From soulful jazz to heart-thumping rock, there's a tune for every ear right around the corner.

But hey, who likes standing? Not me! In these indie theaters, every seat's got enough room to stretch out. And let's talk about that variety, shall we? One night it's a laugh-till-you-cry comedy, and the next, a drama that might just squeeze a tear from the toughest of nuts.

Planning your visit? Think about two hours for the show with a cushion for that pre-show excitement and post-show buzz. Perfect for you solo adventurers, crushing couples, or a family fun night. It's crossover appeal galore!

So, grab your tickets and mark your calendar. Trust me, these experiences are the kinds that have you walking away feeling like a Columbian local, humming show tunes, and reconnecting with the magic of live performances. Ready to dive into the indie action? Click here and take your first step towards a night you won't forget.

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Stroll the Congaree National Park Boardwalk

Imagine strolling a boardwalk where the air is fresher, and every breath you take fills you with the earthy scent of a primeval forest. Welcome to the Congaree National Park Boardwalk, a gem tucked away just a stone's throw from Columbia. It's serene, it's lush, and it's got the kind of scenery that'll make you want to write a sonnet (or at least a very heartfelt Instagram caption).

Here's the inside scoop: the park features a raised 2.4-mile boardwalk loop that lets you wander among the giant trees without getting your feet muddy—and who doesn't love clean shoes? Get your camera ready because these towering hardwoods and majestic pines are the tall drinks of water that Mother Nature clearly favors.

Congaree National Park doesn't just boast size, but age too. You're walking in the midst of champions (you know, the trees, not an actual sports team). These old-growth trees have seen more than we can fathom, making them perfect silent hiking companions. And speaking of hiking, if you're on the hunt for hiking trails near Columbia, the park offers a network of them, ranging from leisurely walks to more challenging treks.

What makes this spot uniquely addictive? It's a mashup of peace for solo explorers and excitement for families, all at once. Got a few adventurous munchkins in tow? Perfect. Maybe a dog with more energy than the Energizer Bunny? Even better. Bring them along because this boardwalk is a hit for all ages and paws.

Plan on spending a good half day here, because, with sights this enchanting and air this fresh, you won't be in any rush to leave. Oh, and little birdie told me that the place is even more magical in the hush of dawn or the golden glow of dusk—a real life "golden hour". So, lace-up, step out, and enjoy an unforgettable stroll at Congaree National Park Boardwalk. Trust me, your soul (and your Insta followers) will thank you.

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Embark on Columbia Underground Tours

Ready to chill with some ghosts or dive deep into history? Columbia's got you covered with its underground tours that are just brimming with tales that'll make your spine tingle. Picture this: hidden beneath the familiar streets and historic buildings, there's a whole other world, steeped in stories just waiting to whisper their secrets. But don't worry, it's not all about the spooks – there's a ton of history down there too!

Most of Columbia's historic sites double as a backdrop for these enthralling ghost tours. Whether you're a believer in the paranormal or a history buff hungry for knowledge, you're in for a treat. Settle in for a journey through time and maybe even bump into a ghost or two – if you dare. While creeping through these hidden passages, you'll be treading the same path as some of Columbia's oldest residents... and I'm not talking about the ones with a pulse!

Now, whether you're rolling solo, dragging your pals, or part of a thrill-seeking family, Columbia's underground tours are an absolute must. It's a brilliant way to see a different side of the city, and let's be real, who doesn't love a good scare? These experiences are perfect for anyone seeking excitement, and hey, it's a fantastic way to learn something new!

How long should you plan to be down under with the shades of the past? Block out a solid couple of hours – trust me, it's worth every minute. And nearby, you've got all the comforts of modern-day Columbia. Once you resurface, you can shake off the heebie-jeebies at a cozy café or grab a meal at a local eatery.

So, if you're itching for a plunge into the supernatural mixed with a dash of history, dip into Columbia's underground tours. Grab your flashlight and maybe a brave friend, because you're not going to want to miss out on a journey through the eerie corners of Columbia. Just remember to have your wits about you – you never know who (or what) you might meet in the twisty tunnels of time.

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Join a Local Columbia Art Workshop

Bust out your inner Picasso and dive right into the vibrant local art scene by joining a Columbia art workshop! Perfect for date nights, solo exploration, or family fun, these workshops are teeming with creative vibes and are a fantastic way to mingle with locals.

Columbia's art galleries often host skill workshops that offer a more hands-on experience. Whether you're a seasoned artist or someone who can barely draw a stick figure, these workshops are tailored to help you unleash your creativity in an encouraging and enjoyable setting. You don't need to bring anything except your enthusiasm - they've got all the supplies covered.

Here's the kicker: this isn't just about dabbling in paints and brushes; your art could be anything from pottery to digital design. And no workshop is the same. One week you might find yourself perfecting your watercolor technique, and the next, you could be learning the art of glassblowing. It's an ever-changing roster that keeps curiosity piqued.

Expect to spend a few spirited hours soaking up knowledge from local artists who are passionate about their craft. They love to share stories and techniques, making it not just a learning experience but a profound cultural exchange. And hey, walk away from these workshops with more than just a memorable experience – take home a unique piece of art that's entirely your own creation.

And let's not forget the location. These workshops nestle amid Columbia's thriving art galleries, so you're always just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the next burst of inspiration. Make a day of it by exploring nearby galleries before or after your session.

Workshops are ideal for groups of friends looking for a quirky day out, individuals seeking inspiration, or families wanting to bond over something new. There’s a special kind of magic when you create something with your hands, especially in a city as steeped in culture as Columbia.

Ready to add some flair to your trip? Check out the schedule for the latest art workshops and reserve your spot. You won't regret it!

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Enjoy Boutique Shopping on Devine Street

Picture this: You're strolling down Devine Street, a treasure trove where boutique stores beckon with their unique charm, set against a backdrop of lush, Southern vibrancy. It's not just shopping; it's an experience where every store tells a story, and your inner shopaholic will do a happy dance!

Shopping clusters in Columbia? Oh yeah, they've gotten cozier, with 2-3 hotspots instead of the previous 5-6. That means more quality, less quantity – and trust me, it's all about the quality here. Devine Street is one of those selective spots boasting stylish boutiques jam-packed with all sorts of hidden gems. You'll probably spend a good chunk of your time lost in a kaleidoscope of trendy fashion, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and handcrafted goodies.

Whether you're a solo style hunter, a family on the prowl for unique finds, or just enjoying the thrill of the hunt with friends, this street has your back. The vibe? It's like a warm Southern hug wrapped in retail therapy. And let's be honest, who doesn't love a good hug...especially when it comes with a side of fabulous finds?

What's nearby? Just about everything! Devine Street is a hop, skip, and a jump from mouthwatering eateries and cozy cafes that will fuel your shopping escapades. And how long should you plan to stay? Well, let's put it this way: you might drop in as early birds but trust me, you'll want to embrace your inner night owl to soak up all those Devine delights.

And the crowd? It's as eclectic as the boutiques themselves. For anyone with a flair for the unique, a nose for boutique fragrances, or an eye for artistry, it's like walking into your personal wonderland. Adrenaline junkies might prefer kayaking, but if your rush comes from scoring that perfect, envy-inducing piece, congrats, you've found your nirvana right here on Devine Street.

So come on down, take a leisurely stroll, and let those hidden shopping urges run wild. Trust me, Devine Street will not disappoint.

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Explore Columbia's Vista at Dawn

Picture this: The first blush of daylight peeking over the skyline, painting the historic Vista neighborhood with hues of pink and gold. It's that magical time in Columbia when the city stirs to life, and you've got a front-row seat to the dawn's early light. Here, in the heart of the city, romantic outings transition from dreamy ideas to enchanting reality. Just imagine strolling hand in hand, awash in the warm glow of the new day.

The Vista, renowned for its art galleries, shops, and vibrant dining scene, takes on a serene beauty in the morning hours. It's the perfect backdrop for couples looking to savor that precious 'us' time or any early bird hoping to experience the city's charm minus the crowds. Meander through the peaceful streets, and let the rich history and stunning architecture set the tone for a day of discovery in Columbia.

Don't miss out on the local coffee shops kicking into gear – they're brewing up some of the best coffee in town. Sip on a fresh cup as the neighborhood awakens, and perhaps pair it with a pastry from one of the quaint bakeries you’ll undoubtedly stumble upon. This is your time to indulge, relax, and take in the tranquil sights of the Vista before the hustle and bustle take hold.

Whether you're flying solo, coupled up, or with your favorite crew, the Vista neighborhood is a canvas waiting for you to paint your memories at dawn. You’ll want to carve out a good hour or two here, so you can soak it all in without rushing. Trust me, as the sky shifts from soft morning light to brilliant daytime blue, you'll feel ready to conquer the rest of your Columbia adventures.

And if you're a fan of retail therapy, be sure to pop into the trendy boutiques that begin to open their doors. They're not just shops; they're treasure troves of unique finds and local crafts. When you're in The Vista, taking a piece of Columbia home with you isn't just a possibility — it's a given.

So rise and shine, because the Vista at dawn is waiting to share its secrets with you. And hey, if you can’t make it at dawn, no worries—the Vista’s charm lasts all day long. But there's something truly special about being one of the first to greet the day in this eclectic corner of Columbia.

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Relax at Columbia’s Lesser-known Green Spaces

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Picture this: You're lounging on a soft blanket, the breeze is perfect, and you've got a picnic spread that rivals a Renaissance painting. That's the vibe at Columbia’s quieter green havens, where picnics aren't just meals; they're an art form. Fancy a little outdoor tranquility? These spots have got you covered.

Columbia’s picnic spots are the city's best-kept secret – think fewer crowds, untouched nature, and a serious chill-out zone. Here’s a hot tip: pack your favorite snacks and head to one of the smaller parks – you might have the whole place to yourself! No stampede for the perfect patch of grass here.

What makes these parks so special? Well, they're like the introverts of the Columbia green scene — totally happy to be out of the spotlight. So, if meditation or a quiet read is your jam, you’ve found your new hangout. And let's keep it between us, but even the city’s flora and fauna seem to prefer the peacefulness here.

If you're worried about missing out on the bustle of city life, don't be! These serene gardens are just a hop, skip, and jump from the lively buzz of DC – close enough to dip back into the action when you're feeling rejuvenated. Plus, these spots are ideal for any crowd – singles, families, and even your little four-legged buddies.

Here’s the kicker, you won’t need more than an hour or two to feel refreshed, and then you’re back to exploring. And if you're into that post-picnic stroll, the nearby neighborhoods are bursting with charm, ready to welcome you with their quaint shops and cafes.

Whether you're an adventure seeker needing a breather or a devoted picnicker, Columbia’s lesser-known green spaces are where you can hit pause on life's fast-forward button. Take it from the locals – a quick detour to these hideaways is well worth your while.

So, grab your picnic basket and blanket. It's time to claim your patch of paradise amidst the city's rhythm. And remember, shh – it's our little secret.

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Visit the Koger Center for Unadvertised Events

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You're in for a treat when you discover the Koger Center for Arts. It's where the magic of Columbia's local events unfolds in unexpected ways. Imagine finding a hidden gem of a performance that wasn't blasted all over town. You just wink at the locals, because you know a secret they don't.

The Koger Center isn't your typical venue; it radiates elegance and an electric atmosphere for those unadvertised, pop-up events that make every visit unique. You could bump into anything from an experimental theater piece to an intimate concert or lecture that fuels your brain and feeds your soul.

Be prepared to be wowed by:

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  • Unexpected cultural experiences that'll leave you feeling like a true insider.
  • Talented artists displaying their passion right in the heart of Columbia.

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So, how do you snatch a seat at one of these exclusive gatherings? It's all about timing. Swing by when you're exploring nearby attractions, or keep an ear to the ground for those in-the-know locals who always seem to hear about things first. That way, you're always ready for something extraordinary.

Hang out for at least an hour or two to soak in that creative energy can be just right. But hey, if the night captivates you, why not make an evening out of it?

The Koger Center is perfect for literally anyone with a heartbeat and a love for the more sophisticated things in life. It's ideal for solo adventurers hungry for a cultural snack, couples looking for a dash of elegance, or families wanting to expose their kiddos to the finer arts.

And remember, these on-the-fly affairs are a local favorite, so if you manage to catch one, you've hit the Columbia jackpot. You'll carry that "I was there" badge proudly, trust me. Keep an eye on noticeboards or have a quick chat with the friendly neighborhood barista; they always have the scoop on what's happening behind the Koger Center's grand façade.

Can't wait to unwrap the surprise of your next unexpected event? Bookmark the Koger Center's official site and get ready to be part of Columbia's vibrant arts scene without the usual crowd.

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FAQ

Q: What are some things to do in Columbia, SC?

A: Check out the Riverbanks Zoo, stroll around the Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park, or visit the South Carolina State Museum.

Q: What can I do in Columbia this weekend?

A: See a show at Township Auditorium, catch a Gamecocks game, or enjoy local food at Soda City Market.

Q: What activities are available today in Columbia?

A: Visit attractions like the EdVenture Children's Museum or take a tour at the Historic Columbia.

Q: What are some things to do in Columbia, SC for adults?

A: Adults can explore the Columbia Museum of Art, sip at local breweries, or unwind in the Congaree Vista.

Q: What are some things to do in Columbia, MD?

A: Enjoy the outdoors at Centennial Park, experience live music at Merriweather Post Pavilion, or shop at The Mall in Columbia.

Q: What can adults do in Columbia?

A: Adults can tour the USC campus, enjoy fine dining downtown, or take a historic home tour.

Q: What is the #1 tourist attraction in Colombia?

A: The historical city of Cartagena, with its charming colonial architecture and Caribbean coast, is often a top attraction.

Q: Is Columbia, SC worth visiting?

A: Absolutely, it's got history, culture, and Southern charm all mixed into one vibrant city.

Q: How do you spend a day in Columbia, SC?

A: Start with breakfast at Soda City Market, visit a museum or two, and finish with dining at Five Points or the Vista.

Q: Why is Columbia called Soda City?

A: It's a local nickname that plays off the city's name—Columbia, SC—that sounds like "Soda City" when said quickly.

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Final Words

You've just got a sneak peek at Columbia's secret gems, from secret supper spots to quaint shops, historic homes, and hidden waterways. We've kayaked, caught some indie theater magic, and walked under Congaree's towering trees. Not to mention a little ghost hunting, art making, and boutique shopping to top it off.

And yes, there were those early morning strolls and picnics in those green spaces you never knew existed. Columbia’s full of surprises, isn't it? Remember all these things to do in Columbia the next time you’re looking for an adventure. Keep exploring, because who knows what you’ll discover next in this vibrant city!So, you think you know Columbia? Sure, you've heard of its sizzling culinary scene and tempting trails—but do you know where the locals really go to have fun? Those hidden gems and exclusive corners brimming with stories and flavors untouched by the usual travel brochures? Well, buckle up, because you're about to embark on a rose-tinted road trip through the very heart of South Carolina's prized jewel—a city where secret supper spots and quaint, cobblestoned corners beg to be discovered. From the clandestine culinary delights to West Columbia's charming Main Street, this is your VIP pass to the activities that make Columbia truly unique.

Meet the Author
Aria Ohlsson
Aria Ohlsson, the Instagram storyteller extraordinaire, takes you on adventures through her enchanting narratives. An avid hiker, she scales peaks and weaves tales of mountaintop triumphs. When she's not conquering trails, you'll find her immersed in classic novels, finding inspiration for her next tale.
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