Sun’s out — and so is school — which means it’s time to start planning your next summer road trip. If you’re looking for a nearby destination under 2 hours away, consider making the 1.5-hour drive to Columbia: The underrated Capital City of SC where outdoor adventures, family activities, a bubbling brewery scene + more awaits visitors looking to shake up their summer plans.
Here are four classic Columbia summer activities to build your visit around:
Relax and drift down the river
Spend the afternoon on the water, soaking up the sun and floating down one of Columbia’s three rivers. Looking for something more adventurous? Swap out the tube for a rentable kayak or a canoe and paddle the day away at Lake Murray.
Explore Congaree National Park
Head to Congaree National Park to spend some quality time outdoors. Take a stroll down the 2.5-mile Boardwalk loop — or keep the nature vibes going by walking the entire 25 miles of marked trails. The national park is known for having some of the tallest trees in the region, so make sure to take some time to admire their natural beauty.
Hop on the local beer scene
There’s nothing like a cold beer on a hot summer day. Columbia is home to a variety of local breweries, biergartens + beer-centric activities. You can start by taking a tour to learn about seasonal offerings at Steel Hands Brewing or enjoying the rooftop views at Hunter-Gatherer Brewery at the Hangar.
Take in the (city) sights
If seeing the town while sipping iced coffee is your thing, Columbia is home to several great shopping districts + attractions. Got kids? Good-for-all-ages destinations include Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, Columbia Museum of Art, and South Carolina State Museum.
Need some more ideas for spending time north of Charleston this summer? Columbia has even more activities to see + do.
Poll: How do you like to spend your vacation? Let us know.*