SC State Museum
As the state’s largest and most comprehensive museum, the South Carolina State Museum, offers a unique, entertaining and educational experience to visitors throughout its 225,000 square foot facility located in the heart of downtown Columbia’s Congaree Vista.  The State Museum is housed in one of its largest artifacts, an 1894 former textile mill listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places. In addition to beautiful meeting spaces throughout the facility, guests can explore outer space in one of the largest planetariums in the Southeast, watch an interactive 4D movie and look through a vintage telescope in a one-of-a-kind observatory. These exciting opportunities are all in addition to the four floors of South Carolina art, cultural history, natural history and science/technology.
Open: Tues.-Sat. 10am-5pm; Sun. 1-5pm.
301 Gervais Street, Columbia
Telephone: 803-898-4921
Visit: scmuseum.org

 

Congaree National ParkCongaree National Park - DSC_0125_2
The entire family can connect with nature on an eco-stroll through the Congaree National Park. When compared to all of the world’s forests, Congaree is among the tallest.  Congaree
National Park has the largest Loblolly Pine in the United States.  It is as tall as a 16-story building and predates the American Revolutionary War. (100 National Park Road, Hopkins, (803) 776-4396), Open daily, 8:30am-5pm.Visit: www.nps.gov/cong/

 

Newberry Opera House
The Newberry Opera House (c. 1882) underwent major renovations and has been restored to its full splendor offering shows nightly.  The Opera House offers back-stage tours and technical tours of the facility as well as walking historical tours of the quaint, small town. (1201 McKibben St, Newberry, (803) 276-6264), Visit: www.newberryoperahouse.com

 

Columbia Museum of ArtColumbia Museum of Art-Fountain_day
The museum has a wide variety of European and American fine and decorative art, including one of the largest collections of Baroque and Renaissance art in the southeast. Open: Wed., Thurs., Sat. 10am-5pm; Fri. 10am-9pm; Sun. 1-5pm. (1515 Main Street, Columbia, (803) 799-2810), Visit: columbiamuseum.org

 

EdVenture Children’s Museum
EdVenture is a 67,000 square foot hands-on museum for children 12 and younger. The museum features eight galleries, two resource centers, a library, a theater and Eddie – the world’s largest child!  Hours: Tues.-Sat. 9am-5pm; Sun. Noon to 5pm. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day on Mondays and Holidays. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. (211 Gervais Street, Columbia, (803) 779-3100), Visit: edventure.org

 

Historic Columbia
Historic Columbia’s historic house museum tours offer a peek into the past! Tour the Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion, Mann-Simons Site or Woodrow Wilson Family Home to learn more about Columbia’s history. (1601 Richland St, Columbia, (803) 252-7742), Visit: historiccolumbia.org

 

Lake Murray Dinner Cruise/CharterSpirit of LM Tour
Watch the sunset and enjoy dinner aboard the Spirit of Lake Murray Tour Boat.  (803) 730-3044 or Visit: spiritoflakemurray.com

 

Lexington County Museum
Costumed guides lead tours of the complex, which includes three 18th century cabins, two antebellum homes, an 1870 post house and the 1832 John Fox House, complete with nine rooms of authentic furnishings. Open: Tues.-Sat. 10am-4pm; Sun. 1-4. Last tour begins at 3pm. (231 Fox Street at U.S. 378, Lexington, (803) 359-8369), Visit: teachingushistory.org/qt-lex

 

Riverbanks Zoo & GardenRiverbanks Zoo
The infamous Riverbanks Zoo & Garden in our area is an awesome zoo with national recognition.  From elephants and koalas to penguins and sharks, formal gardens to natural woodlands, this is a great place for the kids, the adults and the grandparents.  One of our local magazines, Palmetto Parent, voted Riverbanks the best place to take the kids for the afternoon.  It is a great escape and no matter what time of year there are lots to see and do. Open daily, 9am-5pm. (500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia, (803) 779-8717), Visit: riverbanks.org
Dreher Island State Park
This 348-acre island offers lakeside camping, picnicking, fishing, swimming and a nature trail.  Five lakefront villas can be rented and 112 campsites accommodate large campers and vans.  Amenities include gas docks, shelters, picnic areas, launching ramps and boat slips. (3677 State Park Road, Prosperity, (803) 364-4152), Visit: http://southcarolinaparks.com/dreherisland/introduction.aspx

 

South Carolina State HouseState House
Free tours are available at the South Carolina State House, the seat of South Carolina’s legislative and executive branches of government.  Tours are available: Monday-Friday 9-5pm; Saturday 10-5pm and the 1st Sunday of the month, 1-5pm. (1100 Gervais Street, Columbia, (803) 734-2430), Visit: www.scstatehouse.net/studentpage/tour.htm