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How to weekend road trip to Columbia, SC like a pro

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Tubing down the Saluda river (pro tip: bring your beers for a riverside “cheers”) | Photo courtesy of Forrest Clonts

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Consider yourself a craft beer lover? An outdoor adventurer? Or maybe you’re just finally trying to get that family road trip on the books that you’ve been talking about for months.

Enter: Columbia, SC — a quick ~3-hour drive away.

We rounded up a few sample itineraries (courtesy of Experience Columbia SC), to help you plan your perfect weekend trip this spring (which locals say is the best season to visit).

Outdoor adventurers

Need a break from the hustle + bustle?

At Palmetto Outdoors, you can rent tubes for a laidback float down the Saluda River, or take a guided or self-guided kayak tour. Read: For adventurers who like a game plan but want the thrill of whitewater rapids.

Rather stick to dry land? Pop over to the Cayce Riverwalk Park + walk, jog, or bike down the 12-mile path that overlooks the Congaree River, or explore Congaree National Park, the largest intact expanse of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the Southeast.*

Family-friendly

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Add this interactive art park in West Columbia to your family-friendly itinerary | Photo courtesy of Marquita Wright

Traveling with kiddos can be daunting even for the most well-prepared parent. Luckily, COLA comes jam-packed with family-friendly activities like these at EdVenture Children’s Museum:

  • The busy bee farm
  • The neighborhood market
  • The FLIGHT exhibit, where little ones can sit in the cockpit and experience the sensation of flying over Columbia 🛫
  • Pro tip: The kids can climb Eddie (a 40-foot tall, 10-year-old-boy) to explore the human brain, heart + stomach

Bonus: EdVenture shares a parking lot with the South Carolina State Museum. With a digital planetarium, 4D interactive theater, and Boeing observatory deck, the whole fam will dig this spot.

Girls’ getaway

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Cheers to dinner + drinks at Goat’s in Five Points | Photo courtesy of Sean Rayford

Kick off your girls’ weekend with a late lunch at The Gourmet Shop before popping across the street for boutique shopping on Saluda Avenue. A few musts include:

  • Wildflower
  • Vestique
  • Revente

Then head to Hunter-Gatherer Brewery at Curtiss-Wright Hangar (open at 4 p.m. on Fridays) for some craft beer or wine + afternoon snacks.

Freshen up at your homebase, Hotel Trundle (this boutique gem has an eclectic décor style that will have you swooning) before walking to the Vista district for drinks + dinner.

History buffs, craft beer connoisseurs, art lovers + more can find your ideal itineraries here.

Happy weekend-ing, Raleigh.*

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