Tradition and tomorrow pair perfectly on Columbia’s Main Street. As you walk through this capital city district, you’ll notice historic buildings filled with new businesses. From iconic staples like King’s Jewelers to trendy rooftop bars like Hendrix, Main Street is firmly rooted in progressive thought with a nod to Columbia’s past.
Start by looking on in awe at the South Carolina State House. Its stately columns and large copper dome help the building act as a bookend for the district. As you walk down the tree-lined streets, you’ll see Hall’s Chophouse where you can get a steak that cuts like butter and some of the best customer service around. Across the street and underground you’ll find The Whig boasting to be “North America’s Greatest Dive Bar,” where you’re as likely to find a legislature as you are a recent college grad. While on this side of Main, we would be remiss not to mention Bourbon – a Cajun-Creole restaurant with a cozy atmosphere and, of course, a bourbon list longer than any other in South Carolina.
Looking for more local eats and drinks that cater to the kids? The next block will take you to Market on Main or Cantina 76 for kid-friendly atmospheres to fuel up with your tribe. Watch a game or the movie of the day on the big screen of the Market on Main lawn and order up the truffle fries, covered in parmesan cheese – trust us. Or devour tacos filled with the perfect combination of ingredients like the Peruvian Shrimp (a local favorite) filled with wild caught shrimp, sweet sesame chili sauce and coleslaw at Cantina 76.
Continue on your path and you’ll see locals coming in and out of the historic Arcade Mall. Dating back to 1912, this was Columbia’s first indoor shopping center which once included an underground bar scene. While it’s still undergoing renovations, there’s plenty to stop in for, if not to peek at the architecture alone. Grab a coffee from Indah, a macaron from Ally & Eloise, or a book for later from indie bookstore, Odd Bird Books – just to name a few.
On the next block it’ll be hard to miss the Columbia Museum of Art, an award-winning attraction that is not just for show. Here, you’ll catch traveling shows, exclusive exhibitions and internationally renowned collections. Stay tuned to their calendar for events that mix a love of art, live music and craft beer.
Close out this epicenter for entertainment by heading to places like The Grand for boutique bowling and Main Course for virtual games and 75 self-pouring taps. If the dance floor suits your fancy, The Woody is an iconic staple of Columbia that has recently moved from The Vista to a revitalized building on Main Street.
With several entertainment districts in Columbia, there are more things to do than hours to do them. Book an urban escape and find that it might be the welcome change of scenery you seek.
- by TLP's Partners
- by Veronica Meewes
- by Erin Byers Murray
- by Hannah Lee Leidy