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First Time Visitor to Columbia - Any Suggestions?

cockhornleghorn

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2001
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We are staying downtown at the Hilton. I think that's near a lot of the suggestions you guys are recommending. Really appreciate the insight. Thanks!

Yes, the Hilton is in the Vista. You'll be within walking distance of dozens of bars and restaurants in the Vista and in the Main Street district a few blocks away.

The Hilton is also across the street from Tin Roof; I looked at their calendar and they have live music all weekend. I wouldn't go there for dinner, just drinks and music. The Senate is a little larger venue for music and is next door to Tin Roof. They have events on Friday and Saturday that weekend. Hootie and the Blowfish and Barenaked Ladies will be in concert at Colonial Life Arena on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday that week, which is our large concert venue (18,000) and only 2 blocks from the Hilton.
 
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76MACC

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Apr 6, 2019
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The wife and I are making our first ever visit to Columbia this year. Any suggestions for things to see / do; must-see's, etc? We enjoy taking in as much of the local football tradition as possible. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Are you related to Dabo? He has a home on a nice lake.
 

GandBinNC

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Jul 12, 2011
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Raleigh, NC (from Columbia, SC)
2nd behind Nashville is a big stretch. As a Clemson fan, I hate to admit it, but Athens is a very cool town. Terrible fans but great town when there is not a football game.

Could be. I haven't been to Athens in a long, long time. Guessing here, but I'd assume Athens has a greater "cool" factor than Columbia. I'll concede that. But I'd also bet that Columbia has more going for it in terms of great places to eat, history, architecture, "big city" amenities, etc. Just my opinion. Not arguing.

Seems like apples and oranges. Athens is a great college town. Columbia is a great mid-sized Southern city, which also happens to be a great college town.
 
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JohnnySolo

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May 6, 2011
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Agree Athens is cool and fun, but doesn’t have an array of adult things as Columbia does. Athens=Five Points without the shootings.
 
Sep 13, 2006
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Thanks for replies. We are looking forward to the visit. I hear the Cockabooses are worth seeing. I also hear your 2001 pre-game intro is pretty cool.

My tickets arrive tomorrow, so I don't know what section we're in yet. Where are the visitor sections in Williams-Brice?

To be honest, if they manage to lose this weekend, I am certain you will be able to sit just about anywhere in the stadium come the 14th.
 

cutiger55

Member
Sep 28, 2015
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Could be. I haven't been to Athens in a long, long time. Guessing here, but I'd assume Athens has a greater "cool" factor than Columbia. I'll concede that. But I'd also bet that Columbia has more going for it in terms of great places to eat, history, architecture, "big city" amenities, etc. Just my opinion. Not arguing.

Seems like apples and oranges. Athens is a great college town. Columbia is a great mid-sized Southern city, which also happens to be a great college town.

Not arguing either. Just a discussion. Having been to both recently and frequently, Athens wins easily in food and music. Columbia wins easily in history and architecture. Also, although Athens wins with food, the single best high end restaurant in either is Halls.
 
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Jun 10, 2018
11
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LA (Lower Alabama)
Had happy hour drinks at Tin Roof this afternoon.....great place for music and drinks. Right next to our Hotel, which made it even better. Had dinner at Bourbon. I'm half-Cajun, so I know what good Creole-Cajun food tastes like......Bourbon was really good. Met several new friends as we walked around town. Really friendly fan-base. Walked thru The Horseshoe after dark. Would like to see it in day time, but it's clearly a beautiful campus setting.

You guys have a great environment for visiting guests. Look forward to no injuries and a competitive game tomorrow.
 

hobcawcreekcock

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Dec 10, 2000
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Had happy hour drinks at Tin Roof this afternoon.....great place for music and drinks. Right next to our Hotel, which made it even better. Had dinner at Bourbon. I'm half-Cajun, so I know what good Creole-Cajun food tastes like......Bourbon was really good. Met several new friends as we walked around town. Really friendly fan-base. Walked thru The Horseshoe after dark. Would like to see it in day time, but it's clearly a beautiful campus setting.

You guys have a great environment for visiting guests. Look forward to no injuries and a competitive game tomorrow.

Very nice post, glad you enjoyed your dinner and walk around The Horseshoe. Columbia gets a bad rap? I grew up there, but moved to the Charleston area in 1985 and stayed. The Columbia I grew up in, and the USC I attended have improved tremendously. The Vista area was a dump. Main Street not very safe back then. USC has added a grand 'Greek Village', new Law School, new Business School, Colonial Life Arena, Storm Thurmond Center, and many other improvements. Lots of nice, new stuff, restaurants, bars, etc.

Most of our fans are good folks. The drunks will be out in full force with a 3:30 kick off tomorrow. You'll likely run into a few obnoxious over served idiots around the stadium. Hopefully not too many. Safe travels!
 
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Forever Fowl

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Aug 21, 2007
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Tours of our gorgeous and historic State House are offered at 10:30 and 11:30 Saturday morning. The State News rated it #1 on their bucket list.

You can do Soda City on Main St and the State House before heading to the game.
 
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heydave101

Member
Jan 9, 2009
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Been a while since I’ve been, but I always enjoyed the Vista. Avoid 5 Points if you’re over 23, and remember....nothing good happens after midnight.
 
Jun 10, 2018
11
24
3
LA (Lower Alabama)
I wanted to drop by and share my impression after getting home.

We were in town from Friday afternoon thru Sunday morning, so not near enough time to do all we wanted. Just means we'll have to come back sometime in the future.

Friday impressions are in my previous post.

On Saturday, we parked in the Fairgrounds Blue Lot. Getting to our parking spot was interesting, but in the end, it just makes for a good story. The narrow drive lanes in the Fairgrounds Parking Lot were seriously crowded with tailgating activities. Made for difficult driving. Many Gamecock fans had to literally move their chairs, cornhole games, grills, etc. to allow us to drive thru!. We received some good-natured ribbing as we creeped thru at a snail's pace, but nothing out of line. Once we parked, Gamecock fans right next to us came over and make us feel very welcome. Made some new friends that day.

We walked over to the RV section of the Fairgrounds and tailgated with some Bama friends that brought their RV. Multiple Gamecock RV'ers stopped by, and we made even more new friends. Good folks.....

Strolled by the Cockabooses before game time. I'm envious of anyone that has access to one of those. Without a doubt, the best tailgate setup I've ever seen. My only disappointment was not seeing the inside of one of those. Maybe next time.

We sat in one of the Bama sections (503), but were on a lower row than the Bama allotments, so we're in the midst of Gamecok fans. Very passionate fans, but everybody was friendly and welcoming. I sat next to a 9-year old kid that has to be your team's number one fan. This kid was into the game the entire game.....I don't think he ever stopped yelling or talking the entire game. Some might find that annoying, but this kid knew his football. He knew the players, he knew the game, did some appropriate trash-talking and ribbing, and to be honest, I was pretty dang impressed that a 9-year old could be that into a football game. I had to dodge a couple of towel wavings he had going!! But no big deal. He stayed until the end, and gave me a sad fist-bump and "....Good Game...." afterwards. A pretty impressive kid for sure.

Your pre-game atmosphere was impressive. I wish Bryant-Denny could get that pumped up before a game. I thought Williams-Bryce ranks up there with some of the better stadiums I've been to. Access was easy. Toilets and Concessions were convenient. Fans were pumped and into the game.

As far as the game.....we're thrilled to get an SEC road win, for sure. But SC made us look bad at 3 elements we're normally pretty good at; Defense, Running Game, and Number of Penalties. You guys moved the ball on us more than most, and you held us to under 100 yards rushing, 76 to be exact.....two rare items for us. Your Freshman QB is the real deal. If he has time in the pocket, he's capable of dropping dimes on anybody. He even made a few rushed throws that are pretty dang impressive for anybody; much less a Freshman. Your D-Line and LB'ers shut down our running game. I believe your crowd noise affected us and caused some penalties. We had 11 penalties which is really high for us under Saban. After watching the recording of the game late last night, we got away with a 12th penalty (Holding on the punt return that was originally downed on our 1-yd line, but you had to punt again after a called penalty). I'm sure Gamecock nation is disappointed, but either Bama is much weaker than normal, or SC is much stronger than your average fan thinks. Time will tell I guess.

After the game, we did a late dinner at Motor Supply. Great dinner and great atmosphere. I highly recommend it for any of you that haven't been there.

Anyway, thanks again for all the information and for great SEC Hospitality. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Columbia.

Reach out to me if you ever come to Tuscaloosa. I would like to reciprocate in some way.
 

hobcawcreekcock

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Dec 10, 2000
48,018
46,059
113
64
Mt Pleasant SC
I wanted to drop by and share my impression after getting home.

We were in town from Friday afternoon thru Sunday morning, so not near enough time to do all we wanted. Just means we'll have to come back sometime in the future.

Friday impressions are in my previous post.

On Saturday, we parked in the Fairgrounds Blue Lot. Getting to our parking spot was interesting, but in the end, it just makes for a good story. The narrow drive lanes in the Fairgrounds Parking Lot were seriously crowded with tailgating activities. Made for difficult driving. Many Gamecock fans had to literally move their chairs, cornhole games, grills, etc. to allow us to drive thru!. We received some good-natured ribbing as we creeped thru at a snail's pace, but nothing out of line. Once we parked, Gamecock fans right next to us came over and make us feel very welcome. Made some new friends that day.

We walked over to the RV section of the Fairgrounds and tailgated with some Bama friends that brought their RV. Multiple Gamecock RV'ers stopped by, and we made even more new friends. Good folks.....

Strolled by the Cockabooses before game time. I'm envious of anyone that has access to one of those. Without a doubt, the best tailgate setup I've ever seen. My only disappointment was not seeing the inside of one of those. Maybe next time.

We sat in one of the Bama sections (503), but were on a lower row than the Bama allotments, so we're in the midst of Gamecok fans. Very passionate fans, but everybody was friendly and welcoming. I sat next to a 9-year old kid that has to be your team's number one fan. This kid was into the game the entire game.....I don't think he ever stopped yelling or talking the entire game. Some might find that annoying, but this kid knew his football. He knew the players, he knew the game, did some appropriate trash-talking and ribbing, and to be honest, I was pretty dang impressed that a 9-year old could be that into a football game. I had to dodge a couple of towel wavings he had going!! But no big deal. He stayed until the end, and gave me a sad fist-bump and "....Good Game...." afterwards. A pretty impressive kid for sure.

Your pre-game atmosphere was impressive. I wish Bryant-Denny could get that pumped up before a game. I thought Williams-Bryce ranks up there with some of the better stadiums I've been to. Access was easy. Toilets and Concessions were convenient. Fans were pumped and into the game.

As far as the game.....we're thrilled to get an SEC road win, for sure. But SC made us look bad at 3 elements we're normally pretty good at; Defense, Running Game, and Number of Penalties. You guys moved the ball on us more than most, and you held us to under 100 yards rushing, 76 to be exact.....two rare items for us. Your Freshman QB is the real deal. If he has time in the pocket, he's capable of dropping dimes on anybody. He even made a few rushed throws that are pretty dang impressive for anybody; much less a Freshman. Your D-Line and LB'ers shut down our running game. I believe your crowd noise affected us and caused some penalties. We had 11 penalties which is really high for us under Saban. After watching the recording of the game late last night, we got away with a 12th penalty (Holding on the punt return that was originally downed on our 1-yd line, but you had to punt again after a called penalty). I'm sure Gamecock nation is disappointed, but either Bama is much weaker than normal, or SC is much stronger than your average fan thinks. Time will tell I guess.

After the game, we did a late dinner at Motor Supply. Great dinner and great atmosphere. I highly recommend it for any of you that haven't been there.

Anyway, thanks again for all the information and for great SEC Hospitality. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Columbia.

Reach out to me if you ever come to Tuscaloosa. I would like to reciprocate in some way.

THIS is exactly the report I wanted to hear. No reason for our fans to be anything but cordial when treated cordially. I had a couple of 'bad' Bama fans around me, but had we won, I likely don't pay those two any attention! Had four Bama fans sitting right in front of us. Not ONE cross word was exchanged. After the game we shook hands and wished each other well moving forward. USC offense is pretty good with Hilinski. Defense needs to work on tackling! We're not likely to see a WR corp like The Tide has. Clempsun has really good WR, but they are taller and slower. Not slow, just slower! Thanks for the feedback man!