A day in Columbia: shopping, food and fun

At the West Columbia Riverwalk.

Every now and again, you just need to get out of town and go on an adventure. That day came for me and the husband Saturday when we took a trip to Columbia, S.C.
I have been through Columbia a number of times on the way to the Upstate, but never stopped to enjoy all that it has to offer. The expansive city is surrounded by a jungle of interstates that may turn people off from getting to know the capital of South Carolina. But for those who take the extra time to get off the interstate and explore the Downtown area and neighborhoods, they will pleasantly surprised.

Farmers Market

The first stop on our trip was the South Carolina State Farmers Market. March isn’t exactly a peak produce month, but that day featured a BBQ competition so
we thought it would still be fun. We arrived around noon and found out that more people than expected had shown up and they were sold out of tickets….so….we got FREE BBQ!!! All we had to do was wait in line for delicious samples of some of the best BBQ in the state. It was amazing. There was also live music, fresh lemonade and kettle corn. I would definitely be interested in going back when the produce season is well underway.
After our free surprise lunch, we made a stop at some of our favorite stores including Green’s, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. We don’t have those stores in Myrtle Beach, so it is always a treat to stop by.

Lots of beer is available to enjoy

After shopping, we stopped in Downtown Columbia for a beer at Flying Saucer Draught Emporium. This place has an entire wall of beers on tap for you to enjoy. The husband and I decided not to settle on just one and instead ordered “flights” of beer. Flights are small pours of five different kinds of beer. It is the best way to try a bunch without buying full pints of each. I asked the bartender to pick five of her favorites and my husband ordered the Carolina Flight that featured only North and South Carolina beers. Our favorite was the Holy City beer.

Carolina beer flight

After our wonderful beers, we took a short walk along the West Columbia Riverwalk. Had my husband not taken me here, I would have never known it existed. It is the perfect oasis in the busy Downtown area. There were many people soaking in the sun and watching the river flow. I loved it.
We walked for about 30 minutes and then headed over to dinner at Terra in West Columbia.
This quaint eatery has wonderful service and absolutely delicious food and drink. To start our meal, we decided to
share the butcher’s block and the cheese plate. The cheese plate came with three types of cheese including a creamy blue and gouda-style cheese. The butcher’s block came with an assortment of house-made charcuterie including a chorizo sausage, chicken liver pate, whole grain mustard, pickled vegetables, house made bread and slices of cured ham. Having both was the best choice because we could share and pair the meats with the cheeses.

Meat and cheese!
For dinner, the husband ordered the venison that came with cornbread dressing, spinach and port wine soaked cherries. He said it tasted like Thanksgiving dinner. I ordered the cannelloni. It was filled with local beef and mushrooms in a Marsala sauce. Every bite was amazing.
After dinner, we made our way home along U.S. 378. It is a two and a half hour drive, but after a wonderful day of walking, shopping, food and fun, the drive wasn’t so bad.
I would highly recommend a day trip to Columbia. Our next trip will definitely include the farmer’s market again, the Riverbanks Zoo and some more great food.
Stay tuned!

One thought on “A day in Columbia: shopping, food and fun

  1. Pingback: Road trips | A local's look

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