Columbia, South Carolina

Old Apr 26th, 2021, 06:28 PM
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Columbia, South Carolina

Hi--I'm looking for some "must do" recommendations for Columbia, SC. We will be driving from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. We have about 4 days to spend. We enjoy nature, museums, restaurants, etc. Also, if we wanted to take a day trip to see the mountains, where would the closest place be?
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 02:06 AM
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You could drive to Asheville for a day trip.

Columbia is a nice town but I don't usually think of it as a destination. There is the Riverbanks Zoo. It has an art museum that has had good traveling exhibits in the past but don't know about what is there now. I have heard good things about restaurants particularly in the West Columbia area. Do NOT eat at Pawley's Porch (in case it comes up).
Is there a particular reason for Columbia?
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 04:30 PM
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Thanks for the info..we were really just looking for a location we could drive to from South Florida that we haven't been to already. We really like Greenville, SC and have passed Columbia on the way, but never stopped there. We saw the Congaree National Park and the Saluda River for kayaking. West Columbia had some interesting looking restaurants and there was an art museum that looked interesting. We really want to see mountains, but don't feel like driving very far. We aren't ready to fly yet. We plan on stopping at Amelia Island on the way up and Jacksonville on the way home.
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 06:45 PM
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Have you been to Savanah? Charleston? No mountains in either though. Asheville is lovely, but a lot longer drive for you.
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Old Apr 27th, 2021, 08:02 PM
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I agree. I'd drive up to Asheville rather than look for things to do for four days in Columbia.

When I traveled to Columbia for work, I would stay in Lexington, SC which is a nicer area with newer hotels. There was a really good Greek restaurant in Lexington but it doesn't look like it's there anymore. If you like southern cooking, try Lizard's Thicket.

Lake Murray is nearby and you could rent a boat for the day or half day -
https://www.lakemurrayboating.com/Rental_Boats/

I would probably spend 2 nights in Columbia and then head on up to Asheville or another mountain location for the next 2 nights.
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Old Apr 28th, 2021, 02:39 AM
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A story about Columbia--and the Hampton Inn near the state capitol. Our family has the largest family owned mill there--Adluh Mills--located near the capitol. They sold Hampton Inn enough land in front of their complex to build the hotel a number of years ago. In the excavating they found a LOT of Civil War cannonballs that had fallen short in the shelling of the Capitol.
You might go to Adluh's little sales area and buy some of the best grits you'll ever have--sold to many chefs around the country.
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Old Apr 28th, 2021, 06:50 AM
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I would agree, as a long term Charleston SC native, there isn't much to see or do in Columbia. As mentioned earlier, Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens are fantastic. Lake Murray is nice as long as you're boating. Another activity that's popular is kayaking the Saluda river from just south of the damn to city. There are also some great restaurants in the downtown area on Gervais st and traditionally the 5 points area had a lot of shopping, bars and restaurants, but it looked like a lot was shut down there when I drove through last week.
I would recommend Charleston and Savanah as mentioned above. Savanah is right off of I95, while Charleston is about a 45 minute drive from I95.
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Old Apr 28th, 2021, 07:01 AM
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Yes to all three of those locations. I might have to re-think our trip..
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Old Apr 28th, 2021, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by staci1 View Post
Yes to all three of those locations. I might have to re-think our trip..
You're welcome to check out my travel guide to Charleston on my blog. Hopefully it may be useful to you. And I'm happy to answer any questions you ight have.
https://www.thetravelinglocals.com/p...south-carolina
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Old Apr 28th, 2021, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by staci1 View Post
Yes to all three of those locations. I might have to re-think our trip..
Oh, my. I had assumed you had done Charleston or Savannah since you said other places we haven't seen. Charleston by a landslide. SO much more to do on all counts
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Old Apr 28th, 2021, 01:59 PM
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Here is a Garden and Gun article about Charleston.

Freedom Food


Things I cant wait to do once my husband and I are fully vaccinated come Saturday: hug my parents; have my best friend over to binge the second season of Selena, the Netflix bio-series about the beloved Tejano singer, after it lands May 4; and hit as many newly opened Charleston restaurants as I can. For our first non-takeout meal in more than a year, were going to down oysters and crab toast at Post House for our anniversary, with plans to snag butterbean agnolotti at Vivian Howards Lenoir and Viet-Cajun fried chicken to-go from the new Pink Bellies outpost next. Making your own trip here soon? You can find top-notch recommendations in our refreshed Charleston: At a Glance and Eat Like a Local in Charleston guides.
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Old Apr 28th, 2021, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
...at Vivian Howards Lenoir
I did not know.
I think I need to slide over to Charleston this summer...
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Old Apr 29th, 2021, 02:54 AM
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OH yeah. She also has a bakery. Have you seen her new TV show--Somewhere South. It is REALLY REALLY good.

Oh and a wonderful new cookbook--This Will Make It Taste Good Really interesting idea for a cookbook--very creative.
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Old Apr 29th, 2021, 09:14 AM
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Thanks again for all of your comments. If we do end up in Columbia, I will definetly check out the mill. Gretchen, I teach World History, so I found the story about the artifacts at the mill/hotel site very interesting. We have gone to Savannah, Charleston, etc. multiple times. I think we could get a few days out of Columbia, especially if we go to some of the parks/forests around there. The Congaree National Park looks like a nice place to spend the day. We love hiking and nature...different from the palm trees and pines we usually see in South Florida.
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Old Apr 29th, 2021, 09:40 AM
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Well, I might just stick in a plug for Charlotte. We have some really good museums, Latta Plantation and the raptor Center, great dining, Ben Long frescoes at BoA building and St. Peter's Catholic church, The Bechtler and Mint museums downtown are exceptional. World famous fried chicken at the Chicken Coop. African American history museum and yes, NASCAR hall of fame. And a trip to Asheville also. Or a trip to Winston salem and Old Salem there. A day trip to Seagrove for touring as many potteries as you can imagine.
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Old Apr 29th, 2021, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
A day trip to Seagrove for touring as many potteries as you can imagine.
This!

I actually did the drive time to see how much further it would be for you. Based on what you added, I think you would love driving around the countryside, visiting the tiny potteries.
https://www.jugtownware.com/

June 5 - 6: Jugtown will participate in the 3rd annual Seagrove Wood Fire Weekend Tour. This fun weekend event features a dozen potteries in the area that focus on wood firing.


https://discoverseagrove.com/



If you wanted to do a loop, you could do Columbia to Seagrove to Kinston (for VH's restaurant) down to Wilmington and then back toward home.

https://www.vivianhoward.com/chef-the-farmer/

Even add in Crook's Corner after Seagrove if you wanted. Spend the nights along the way, of course.
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Old Apr 29th, 2021, 05:05 PM
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Thanks for the great ideas, Starrs and Gretchen! Seagrove sounds awesome and VH's restaurant sounds amazing!
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Old Apr 30th, 2021, 03:31 AM
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Seagrove is a true destination if you have any love of any kind of pottery. The Mint Museum here in Charlotte has a world class collection of ceramics including Wedgwood and NC pottery--from Seagrove (donated by a dear friend who was an expert in Wedgwood--and all pottery). There is a small museum in Seagrove explaining the history of the potters who have congregated there since the 1700s because of -- the clay; the base!! At one time Wedgwood came to get the special clay that makes it's jasperware. Ben Owen IV has a shop there. There are still families there who are from the original potters--Autens, Cole, luck. Jugtown sort of in the center has a lovely shop with a number of potters wares. I like the Luck pottery for traditonal NC style. They also have jug face style which is a classic pottery.
A story about the clay--I was in a pottry and that person had found a dirt dauber's nest--and fired it. It is absolutely gorgeous--a translucent umber color almost like porcelain--sitting on my shelf!! They longer get their clay locally I've been told.

Starrs has given a really interesting loop and the festival. In the fall there is a huge "festival" called the kiln opening when the potteries go all out.
If you decide on Kinston and Vivian's restaurant make sure it is open. She has closed one (the bar) and of course had to curtail the other. I've seen some interview with her and it is a close call for her there.
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Old May 1st, 2021, 02:26 PM
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O.K., great. Thanks for all the info. Your pottery piece sounds beautiful!
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Old May 1st, 2021, 02:33 PM
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I hope she can hold onto the main Kinston restaurant. It is fabulous!

Funny story - a friend asked me to come along to an auction with a lot of pottery and crocks. He wanted a churn or crock to store his fire extinguisher near the fireplace. I thought it was a great idea. We walked in and we were in "real time" pottery. I looked more closely at the face jugs, including Lanier Meaders'. I suggested he leave a bid on anything he was interested in, but he couldn't afford (well, he could but would not be willing to pay) anything in that lot. It was a gorgeous assortment of Americana pottery and art.

Seagrove is a lovely way to drive around the countryside and explore small family potteries.

I would have loved to see that dirt dauber's nest! My neighbor has a kiln. If I find one, I'm going to ask him to fire it!
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