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Discover Columbia’s hidden gems: Insider’s guide to the heart of South Carolina

Escape the hustle and bustle of Atlanta for a charming weekend retreat in the heart of South Carolina, in the state’s capital, Columbia. A mere 3-hour drive away, this quaint city offers plenty of parking, walkable streets and an easily digestible layout. Nestled along the banks of three picturesque rivers, Columbia is a vibrant Southern city with a rich tapestry of history, diverse neighborhoods, and a burgeoning arts and culinary scene.

Must-visit neighborhoods

Discover the unique neighborhoods and entertainment districts of Columbia, each offering its own charm. Main Street, the thriving center of downtown, has undergone a recent revitalization, welcoming new businesses and cultural hotspots such as the renowned Columbia Museum of Art. An unmissable highlight is the weekly Soda City Market, a producer-only market transforming the street into a lively market square. Held every Saturday morning throughout the year, the market features an impressive average of 150 vendors showcasing their handcrafted products.

Step into the nostalgia of Columbia’s “original village neighborhood” at Five Points. This charming district, with over a century of history, invites exploration through its boutiques, vinyl shops and craft beer havens. Here, the streets are alive with a quirky, timeless charm that resonates with both the young and the young at heart.

For a change of pace, head to West Columbia, offering a mix of riverwalk strolls, art parks and exciting dining scenes. Walk along the West Columbia Riverwalk, offering picturesque views of the Congaree River and providing a tranquil escape just a hop over the Gervais Street Bridge from downtown.

Outdoor adventure at Congaree National Park

Nestled in the heart of Columbia’s Main Street Historic District, Hotel Trundle offers a quintessential retreat. This boutique gem, a result of the passion for preservation and architecture by Rita Patel and Marcus Munse, seamlessly combines three historic buildings into a unique 41-room experience. Exposed brick, stamped tin ceiling tiles and custom wood trim showcase the beauty of a bygone era. The hotel provides an escape from modern hubbub while offering contemporary comforts. With locally sourced designs and furnishings, Hotel Trundle is a personal greeting from the city itself.

Columbia beckons as an ideal weekend getaway from Atlanta. Immerse yourself in the vibrant neighborhoods and discover all that there is to offer around the city. Whether you’re savoring local delicacies or strolling around, Columbia’s warmth and diversity make it a destination worth exploring. Plan your escape to the heart of South Carolina and uncover the hidden gems of this Southern jewel.

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