COLUMBIA, SC. (May 2, 2022) -- Make no mistake about it, Columbia , South Carolina, is a basketball town. Home to a national champion women's basketball team, led by a Hall of Fame Coach with a statue of Gamecock legend, hometown hero and WNBA star Aja Wilson perched outside Colonia Life Arena (CLA) , women certainly run the court in this city. The basketball buzz still hasn't died down from when the Gamecock men's basketball team made a Final Four run, and the city hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. No matter what school or team you're cheering for here you'll find that game days become full - fledged weekends for locals and visitors alike. From a variety of food options to plenty of things to see and do around town, sports fans of all ages can look forward to exploring this capital city with a college town vibe beyond the main event.
Before the game, drop in at one of Columbia's breweries near CLA and enjoy a local beer , find a diverse collection of restaurants and bars in the Vista and on Main Street or take a stroll and experience Columbia through museums, historical sites and public art. Don't forget to snap a pic with Aja before you go in!
After the game, fill out the rest of your weekend itinerary with more local eats, outdoor adventure and entertainment. Trying our distinctive barbecue is a must for first timers - pork smoked low and slow topped with our signature mustard - based sauce. And with a dip or dish on the menu at almost every restaurant in town, pimento cheese is kind of a big deal around here. The Saluda and Broad Rivers in Columbia merge right downtown to form the Congaree. Spend an afternoon kayaking or tubing down these waterways or escape the bustling city and get lost in you r thoughts amidst fresh air, cool waters and old growth hardwood forest at Congaree National Park.
Spend your Saturday morning shopping the stalls at Soda City Market, our downtown farmers market that stretches right down Main Street. Art lovers will enjoy the Columbia Museum of Art and public art like sculptures, statues and murals that dapple the region. Traveling with the kiddos? Riverbanks Zoo and Garden and EdVenture will keep them occupied for hours.
Whether you're a fan who never misses a game, a returning alum looking to relive their college days or traveling to support the visiting team, we can't wait to welcome you to Columbia, SC.