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Explore Columbia’s entertainment districts: Culture, cuisine and adventure await

If you’re in search of a quick escape from Atlanta, set out on a delightful weekend retreat to Columbia, South Carolina. Just a short 3-hour drive away, Columbia has so much to explore as it’s set along the banks of three rivers. This Southern gem boasts an exciting array of neighborhoods and lively entertainment districts, making Main Street, Five Points, and West Columbia standout destinations for a weekend filled with distinctive experiences.

Main Street: The urban core revitalized

Immerse yourself in the local culture at Market on Main, where fine American cuisine takes center stage. This locally owned and operated restaurant offers a world-class dining experience with a focus on gourmet dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Some of their must-try dishes are the Funnel Cake Fries, M.O.M. McMuffin, Griddled Banana Bread and the flavorful KFC salad.

When you’re ready for something sweet, venture into The Vista neighborhood and treat yourself to the delectable offerings at Kaminsky’s Dessert Cafe. Nestled in this vibrant district, Kaminsky’s is a haven for dessert enthusiasts. Whether you prefer specialty coffees or dessert martinis, Kaminsky’s offers a charming setting to relax and satisfy your cravings.

While in The Vista, immerse yourself in the history and cultural heritage of South Carolina at the South Carolina State Museum. Located along the banks of the Congaree River, this state-of-the-art facility is a treasure trove of exhibits that showcase the diverse facets of the state. With four floors dedicated to art, history, natural history, and science and technology, the museum invites visitors to explore the unique stories and achievements that have shaped South Carolina’s identity. From one-of-a-kind exhibits to the 55-foot planetarium offering an out-of-this-world experience, this museum promises an enriching visit for history enthusiasts and curious minds alike.

Five Points: Quirky charm and cultural vibes

Step into Five Points, Columbia’s “original village neighborhood,” where charm and quirkiness await. This eclectic district has been a local hangout for over a century, offering a unique blend of art, music, and more. Explore the numerous murals, sculptures, and custom art installations that adorn the streets, creating a visually stimulating environment.

Sip on meticulously crafted pour-over coffee at Drip, a coffee shop that takes pride in brewing one cup at a time to enhance the flavors of carefully roasted beans. Whether you’re savoring artisanal coffee or exploring their extensive tea selection, the eclectic ambiance adorned with paintings of blues musicians creates a delightful atmosphere. Dive into the world of vinyl at Papa Jazz Record Shoppe, renowned as one of the largest record shops in the Southeast United States and celebrated for its rare and diverse collection. This inviting shop encourages exploration across genres such as jazz, funk, hip-hop, punk, and indie rock, providing a haven for discovering both rare gems and timeless classics.

Explore the culinary offerings at Publico, a wood-paneled space known for its craft beer and inventive “Lat-Asian” cuisine. Try the Tater Trash Hash, Chorizo Tacos, or Plantain Pancakes for a delightful brunch experience. Be sure to bring your furry four-legged friends, as Publico has a special pup menu!

Conclude your adventure with a visit to Art Bar in The Vista. This cozy dive bar always has exciting events, including live music, trivia, karaoke, and open-mic comedy, complemented by a lively dance floor. With an extensive beer selection and tempting bar food options, Art Bar promises a fun night out.

West Columbia: Riverside bliss

Crossing the Gervais Street Bridge into West Columbia reveals a city on the move, featuring a lively State Street scene along the Congaree River. Embrace the riverside bliss with a stroll down the Riverwalk or opt for a more adventurous kayak ride on the Congaree River, provided by Palmetto Outdoor. This outdoor adventure invites you to explore the unique rivers, offering experiences that range from easy floats to thrilling rapids.

Delight your taste buds at Terra, where Chef Mike Davis crafts a menu filled with artful updates of classic Southern dishes using the freshest local ingredients. Experience Columbia SC’s Pimento Cheese Passport adds a unique touch to your culinary journey, inviting you to savor the true taste of the South with Terra’s Pimento Cheeseburger Pizza and 15 other unique pimento cheese dishes around the Columbia region.

Culminate your West Columbia experience with cocktails and panoramic views of the city’s skyline at Black Rooster. This Italian restaurant with a rooftop bar offers a blend of Italian classics and locally sourced ingredients, creating a casual yet sophisticated dining experience.

When you’re ready for a memorable escape from the daily grind, a weekend in Columbia will do just the trick. The city’s entertainment districts and neighborhoods invite you to immerse yourself in a weekend filled with diverse experiences. From cultural exploration to culinary delights and outdoor adventures, this southern destination promises a wonderful getaway.

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