Weekend Escape from Atlanta: Columbia, SC


Columbia, SC might not be as well known as other touristy town when it comes to weekend getaway from Atlanta. BUT I believe that it has much to offer with a great value that we shouldn’t overlook this college town. The town is filled with energy from college nearby (University of South Carolina, anyone?) and with great museums that provide a great fun for family with kids, it is definitely a great destination for a weekend getaway for family in Atlanta.

City: Columbia, SC

Distance: 212 miles

Est. Driving Time: 3 hours 49 mins


Things to Do in Columbia, SC:

Columbia has a lot of fun things to do with kids that a weekend might not be enough for you to truly enjoy what the city has to offer. Spring and Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities from hiking/biking along the Three Rivers Greenway to canoeing at Congaree National Park. All year round, kids will enjoy a visit to the South Largest Children’s Museum – EdVenture Children’s Museum and the South Carolina State Museum.

Here are things you can do with kids in Columbia.

  • Visit the World Largest Kid – Eddie at the EdVenture Children’s Museum. This museum has a great exhibit with hand-on, interactive to encourage kids to explore and learn. The outdoor is a great fun for a beautiful spring day.
  • Walk across the parking lot from the EdVenture to the South Carolina State Museum. Kids will love to explore the all-in-one museum where there is something for everyone from Science, History, Natural History and Art.
  • Get ready to explore the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. This 2-in-1 attraction is a great place for family with kids of all ages. The zoo is just the right size that you can explore without using all your energy. Save your energy for a walk in the Botanical Garden and your kids will love to walk on the Tree Top Bridge.
  • Enjoy an active day at Congaree National Park. Just right outside the city, the tallest national park is sit awaiting you to explore. For the non-outdoor person, the walkway is an easy way to enjoy nature without having to get outside your comfort zone.


Places to Stay in Columbia, SC:

There are many options available for the hotel stay in and around Columbia. We have stayed at the Embassy Suite Columbia – Greystone which is right across from the Riverbanks Zoo. The hotel is a great option for family with many amenities perfect for kids like free cook-to-order breakfast, indoor pool and suite room.

Check out Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau for more information in planning a visit to Columbia.


Where to Eat in Columbia, SC:

Surprisingly, there are great varieties of food in Columbia from Tapas, American, Barbeque to Korean. I have yet to explore all options available in Columbia but some of the highly recommended places are the Motor Supply Company or Gervais & Vine. Unfortunately, those are less kid-friendly so we opted for a low-key eclectic mixed of Korean & Tex-Mex cafe called ‘Blue Cactus Cafe’.

For breakfast, the Original Pancake House is a local favorite and I can understand why. With the option like bacon waffle, it’s sure to be a hit for any kids in the family especially my kids!

So don’t wait. Pack up your bag and head out for a quick getaway that won’t break your bank. It’s still not too late to getaway for the Spring Break!


Check out other ‘Weekend Escape‘ for:




Columbia Family Vacation