For a city with a population of only about 130,000 people, Columbia has a surprising number of attractions and things to do. The city’s official website says there are over 50 museums, galleries, and other cultural centers in the area. Most of these are concentrated near the Congaree River or on Main Street near the state capitol building. Here are some places you should visit while living in Columbia SC to get your steps in and keep up your health and wellness.
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
The Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is the oldest zoo in South Carolina and a state park, so it’s an especially good choice if you want to spend a day outdoors. It has over 1,000 animals on display as well as an indoor butterfly pavilion. The zoo is located on the banks of the Congaree River and features habitats for many endangered species like chimpanzees, giraffes and Asian elephants. The zoo also features many beautiful gardens that visitors can walk through including a Japanese garden with cherry trees that bloom in springtime.
South Carolina State House
Established in 1786, the South Carolina State House is a National Historic Landmark and the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use. It was also the site of the first shots fired in the Civil War. Throughout its existence, it has been renovated several times to keep up with modern demands, including an expansion from 1872-1874 that added wings on either side of its original Federal-style building. Today you’ll find exhibits about South Carolina history inside this historic building and across its grounds.
Columbia Museum of Art
Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, the Columbia Museum of Art is home to over 8,000 works of art. The museum features contemporary and historical exhibits, as well as a permanent collection. The museum is open daily from 10am-5pm, with free admission for everyone!
Columbia Marionette Theatre
Through the use of puppets and marionettes, Columbia Marionette Theatre brings to life classic fairy tales with a twist. The theatre’s production of “Little Red Riding Hood” was adapted by Robert Cooney and features an all-female cast (including one actor who plays multiple roles). The show is not just for kids; it’s also great for adults. Each performance includes a question-and-answer session with cast members following the show.
Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park is a pristine wilderness area located in the Congaree River floodplain and designated by Congress as America’s first national preserve. It covers approximately 1,500 square miles of South Carolina’s Lowcountry and is the largest old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the United States.
Featuring more than 100 miles of trails and traveling through four distinct ecosystems — swamps, floodplains, hardwood forests, and open pineland — Congaree is one of the most ecologically diverse parks in the country. At least 25 endangered or threatened species call it home; highlights include black bears, alligators, wood storks, and red-cockaded woodpeckers (the park has one of only two known active colonies in North America). The park also boasts a number of recreation opportunities including hiking trails ranging from easy to strenuous; canoeing on one of its many waterways; backpacking; bird watching; fishing for largemouth bass or bream; kayaking; picnicking along its many boardwalks that provide impressive views into this unique ecosystem!
Visit Columbia, South Carolina Today
Columbia, SC is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a fun and exciting weekend. There are many things to do in the area, from museums to parks and more. You can even visit one of the oldest colleges in the country! Whatever your interests may be, there will always be senior living attractions around every corner when visiting this beautiful city.