IMI Interdisciplinary Mathematics InstituteCollege of Arts and Sciences

Things To Do

Columbia Visitors Center

The Columbia regional visitor center is your one-stop shop for Columbia, SC, information, directions, souvenirs, and more! Located at 1101 Lincoln St (inside the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center), the Visitors Center is open from 8:30 am to 5 pm on M-F. For more information-

Interactive Maps

Check out the Vista and Five Points areas to discover a vibrant cultural scene of restaurants, bars, art galleries and specialty shops.

Local Calendar of Events, Deals for Shopping and Dining, and Other Links...

Dining Close to Campus

Restaurants Groceries may also be purchased at Publix on Huger and Gervais St. in the Vista, or at Food Lion on Harden St. in Five Points.

Activities By Type

History and Museums

  • The State Museum is located at 301 Gervais Street, beside the historic Gervais St. Bridge and just a few blocks west of the State Capitol in downtown Columbia.

  • Current exhibits at the Columbia Museum of Art include: FOUND IN TRANSLATION: THE GEOMETRIC ABSTRACTION OF STEVEN NAIFEH which showcases the artwork of Pulitzer Prize winner and South Carolina resident Steven Naifeh. Fascinated with the history of Western art and with motifs derived from Islamic art, Naifeh combines these influences in his powerful, large-scale and colorful abstract art. PICASSO: MASTER PRINTS which showcases etchings, lithographs and pochoirs (stencils) by Pablo Picasso, the most influential artist of the 20th century.

  • The Historic Columbia Foundation offers opportunities to experience Columbia's vast history through tours led by seasoned guides. Visit one of Columbia's historic house museums or explore the city and its historically significant neighborhoods through guided walks or drives.

  • The South Carolina State House is a quick walk from campus. Look for bronze stars on the building marking hits made by general Sherman's cannonballs during the civil war. The state house is the seat of SC's government, housing both the governor's office and the general assembly. Located at Gervais and Main streets, building hours are M-F 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Free tours available. Phone: 803.734.2430

  • The Spirits and Spectres of Columbia tour is the city's original year-round ghost walk and is Columbia's most popular walking tour. The tour is filled with traditional ghost stories and legends from Columbia's peculiar past. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, this popular tour is sure to entertain. The tour departs from the George Washington monument on the north side of the South Carolina state house. Tours nightly at 8 pm. Reservations required. Phone: 803.600.1328 or 800.820.5160

Nature and Outdoor Activities

  • The Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden is home to more than 2,000 magnificent and fascinating animals and one of the nation's most beautiful and inspiring botanical gardens. The lush 170-acre site features dynamic natural habitat exhibits, scenic river views, spectacular valley overlooks and significant historic landmarks.

  • The Congaree Swamp National Park is the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. The lush trees growing in this floodplain forest are some of the tallest in the eastern U.S., forming one of the highest natural canopies remaining in the world. The Congaree river flows through the park and 15,000 acres within the park are designated as a wilderness area. Congaree National Park houses a museum quality exhibit area within the Harry Hampton Visitor Center, a 2.4 mile boardwalk loop trail, over 20 miles of backwoods hiking trails, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and more. Free guided hiking and canoeing tours available.

  • Recently named as one of the country‚Äôs most promising ways to reconnect Americans to the natural world, the Three Rivers Greenway is a must-see in the Capital city. The Three Rivers Greenway is a 9 1/2 mile, and growing, linear park that is located in the cities of Columbia, West Columbia and Cayce. This beautiful series of riverfront pathways - where the Broad, Saluda, and Congaree Rivers meet - includes lighted trails and boardwalks, outdoor amphitheaters, restrooms and breathtaking views of the Columbia skyline.

Activities By Day

Fridays / Saturdays

  • Visit the Soda City Farmers Market for the season's best produce, meat, dairy, flowers and baked items from farmers, bakers, gardeners and artisans in Columbia, SC! Located on the 1500 block of Main Street, the Farmers market is located conveniently in front of the Columbia Museum of Art. Open on Saturday from 8 am - Noon.

  • Le Cafe Jazz in Finley Park offers bistro style cuisine in "Jazz Town" Columbia, SC! On Friday and Saturday nights dine and savor the rich live jazz music sets offered from 8 pm to midnight. Doors open at 7 pm. Reservations are not required but it is best to reserve a seat at the tables by email: or by phone (803) 400-1879.


  • Jazz at Speakeasy 5PTs: Located at 711 Saluda Ave. in Columbia, NY Jazz trumpeter Mark Rapp with his band the Psycho Jazz Contingency and the Speakeasy 5PTS present "Into the Hump" featuring new jazz music and new drink specials every Tuesday! Speakeasy 5PTS mixologists serve up new special drinks and brews each week with a price incentive. Trumpeter Mark Rapp and his Psycho Jazz Contingency deliver aural adventures from The Cure to Radiohead to Miles Davis and Bill Evans.


  • Visit the Village Idiot Pizza Pub for Trivia Night and WIN House Cash. Free Appetizer with the purchase of any Large Pizza! $5.00 Bucket of Rocks...Rolling Rocks!


  • Visit Riverbanks Zoo & Garden for Rhythm and Blooms. Music and flowers after hours-you won't experience a night like this anywhere else in Columbia! Guests can enjoy live entertainment and local artists in the Botanical Garden. Cash bar and food will be available for purchase at the event. Entrance fee: $5 general public.

Organized Group Activities

(More information regarding times and transportation to follow)

  • Saturday May 25th: Discover Congaree National Park's primeval forested floodplain and experience the extraordinarily diverse wildlife while walking among the towering trees. FREE.

  • Saturday May 25th: Join us for Rhythm on the River at the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater, an open air amphitheater located next to the Gervais Street Bridge and on the banks of the Congaree River with spectacular views of Downtown Columbia. Concert 6-9pm, FREE.

  • Sunday May 26th: Join us for paddling on the Saluda. Dress to be wet as you tube or tandum kayak down the Saluda River. A company bus will pick us up at the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater and shuttle us to the put-in at the Riverbanks Zoo. You will ride the current/float/paddle back to the amphitheater just across the Gervais St. Bridge. Cost is $25 per person for a two person Kayak or $15 for a tube.

  • Thursday May 30th: Join us for Columbia's Blowfish Baseball - Blowfish VS High Point-Thomasville - at 7pm. Tickets are $7 general admission. Group tickets will be discounted if we have enough interest. Ballpark food available for purchase and $2- 16oz Bud Light Drafts (6-8pm).

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