This post was written in partnership with Garden & Gun. All opinions and views are my own.
One of the great things about living in Atlanta is that there are so many great cities to explore within driving distance. Columbia South Carolina is one that is within 4 hours and has so much to offer for a weekend getaway. I explored this charming southern town and want to share all the best things to see and do.
Where To Stay In Columbia, South Carolina
Graduate Hotel, Columbia
This was my first time staying at a Graduate Hotel and I will tell you, it will not be the last. It was such an adorable property that was full of color and prints. Graduate Hotels are typically in college towns and have a strong nod to the school. But done in such a tasteful and playful way. For example, the rooms had roosters everywhere (Gamecocks!) and the custom lamps said OOT. Which took me a few IG Stories to find out what it meant. It’s actually a Gamecocks superfan chant “Oot Oot”.
The hotel also has a stunning lobby bar called Poindexter which is open all day and night. However, I highly recommend checking it out for cocktails. I loved the “One Time At Band Camp” which had whiskey, maple syrup and orange bitters. This lobby bar is open from 7am to 10 pm serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Where To Eat In Columbia South Carolina
There were so many great restaurants to experience in Columbia, from classic southern fare to rooftop spots like Hendrix. One of my favorites was Spotted Salamander. A popular casual and charming lunch spot. From pimento cheese to delicious sandwiches and one of the BEST pieces of cake I’ve ever had, champagne cake! Below are some of the best spots to check out in Columbia.
Where To Eat & Drink
- Blum Coffee – Try one of their seasonal infused lattes with homegrown herbs and botanicals. I had the maple habanero latte, it was SO good.
- Drip Coffee
- SmallSugar – breakfast, coffee and pastries. Order the breadboard with all the spreads and seasonal preserves.
- Tazza – So. Many. Cocktails. I also loved their tacos and wood fire pizzas.
- Terra – Known for their steak frites, Chef Mike Davis always has an outstanding menu featuring local ingredients.
- Spotted Salamander – Perfect casual lunch spot. Don’t forget the BLT pasta salad. And be sure to finish with a slice of cake!
- Hendrix – Great rooftop overlooking Main Street. Perfect for cocktails and light bites. The squash tempura was my favorite along with house pickled veggies on their meat and cheese board.
- Lula Drake Wine Bar – An all female staff from front of house to kitchen, they crank out delicious and unique grilled cheeses weekly on Wednesdays. Cozy up to thelong bar for a glass of wine and homemade pasta.
- Black Rooster – Hop across the river to West Columbia for a “Frenchish” menu with rooftop views. And don’t forget a frozen peach Moswcow mule.
- Poindexter – Perfect for a night cap.
Things To Do In Columbia South Carolina
Spend a day exploring some local shops on Devine Street like Non(e)such. A cute shop that’s a curated colleciton of gifts from baby, wedding and everything in between. A few brands I saw there that I just LOVE are Ink + Alloy (a local Atlanta company) Herbivore soaking salts and oils and also Blabla Dolls, perfect for an expecting mom. Also, there was a shop dog named Bessie who was adorable of course!
We also stopped by Scout & Molly who has a great collection of clothing, shoes and accessories. A few favorite brands they carry are Show Me Your Mumu and Mignonne Gavigan. Lastly, The Little Green Door which is full of colorful pieces and antiques.
Theatre & Arts
Head to the Nickelodeon Theatre, which is a small non-profit cinema on Main Street. A few blocks down is also the Columbia Museum of Art. A great way to spend a few hours. Main Street is a great area to also explore more restaurants and shops!
South Carolina State House
The state house was an absolutely beautiful place to visit. The grounds are perfect for a little stroll. With it being right in downtown, you can also easily hop over to Bourbon for, well, a bourbon and some bites!
Photos by Hannah Lozano