Day Trip Fun! Explore Columbia, SC

day trip columbia sc

Day Trip Fun! Explore Columbia SC

The CSRA is located near great cities that make great day trips during the summer! One of our favorite places to visit is Columbia, SC. Just located an hour away, the state’s capital has so many things to do. You can take a trip to the zoo, explore museums and enjoy great waterfront areas. We put together a great list of things to do while day-tripping in Columbia, and please feel free to share your favorite places below in the comments!

211 Gervais Street.
Columbia, SC 29201

EdVenture is one of the best children’s museums in South Carolina. You kids will have a blast while learning. All their exhibits are hands-on and allow them to role-play and explore the world around them. They will learn about veterinarian care, engineering,

Members: Free
Children and Adults: $13.00
Children Under 2: Free
If you receive WIC, SNAP or Medicaid Benefits the admission is $3 per person.

Saluda Shoals Park
West Entrance: 5605 Bush River Rd., Columbia, SC
East Entrance: 6071 St. Andrews Rd., Columbia, SC

Saluda Shoals Park is a riverfront park that is located on the banks of the Saluda River. This 400-acre park has tons of amenities that make for a day of family fun!

This park features:
Education Center
Paved and Unpaved Trails for Hiking, Biking,  and Horse Back Riding.
River Observation Deck
Boat Ramp/Canoe/Kayak Launch
Picnic Shelters
Saluda Splash Pad
Barking Lot Dog Park

Car or mini-van: $5
12+ passenger van: $7
Bus: $11
Saluda Splash Wristbands: $4 each

South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais St.
Columbia, SC 29214

South Carolina State Museum is located right in the heart of Downtown Columbia. SSCM has four floors of exhibits that include fossils, art collections, history and an interactive science gallery. They also have a planetarium that has daily showings, in addition to their 4-D Theatre! If your kids are obsessed with planets, they have an observatory where they can view the sun or you can go for their night viewing on Tuesday Nights!

General Admission:
Adult (13-61): $13
Seniors (62 +): $11
Children (3-12): $10
Infants 2 and under: FREE
Please see the website for combo packages.

$2.00 for individuals and families receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, WIC, and Medicaid benefits.

The Columbia Marionette Theatre
401 Laurel Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Love Puppets? This is a fun gem in the heart of Columbia. The Columbia Marionette Theatre has a variety of shows throughout the year and admission is fairly priced at $7 for kids 2 and up.

General Admission:
$7 for ages 2 and up.

The South Carolina Railroad Museum
110 Industrial Park Road.
Winnsboro, SC 29180

The South Carolina Railroad Museum is a fun and educational experience. The museum has train cars for the kids to explore and you also get a one-hour train ride. This would be a great trip for all ages and they also have special rides during the season.


General Admission:
$17 for Open Car.
Please see website for special event and locomotive pricing.

Riverbanks Zoo
500 Wildlife Parkway.
Columbia, SC 29210

Riverbanks Zoo is an area favorite. They have so much to offer and it really is one of the best day trips. In addition to the animals, the zoo has a splash area called Waterfall Junction. So perfect for summer. They also have other rides and attractions as well. 


General Admission:
Adults — $24.99 plus tax
Children ages 2–12 — $21.99 plus tax
Children younger than 2 — FREE
Military (please present military ID at gate) — $22.99 plus tax
Senior Citizens (ages 62 and up; please present photo ID at gate) — $22.99 plus tax

Please see the website for attraction and group rates.

Other Places of Interest

South Carolina State House
Downtown Columbia

Lake Murray
North and South Recreation Areas

Columbia Museum of Art
Downtown Columbia

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