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14 Outdoor Activites In Columbia, South Carolina



School’s out for summer! Now what? I’ve put together a list of local OUTDOOR activities in Columbia, South Carolina, that you’re going to want to do with your family this summer.


Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia South Carolina

1. Riverbanks Zoo, Garden, and Waterfall Junction

I’ve heard it said more than once that Riverbanks Zoo, is a destination adventure. I couldn’t agree more! With zip lines, Sky High Safari, Waterfall Junction, pony rides, train rides, 3D movies and a nearly endless list of animals to see, you can easily make going to the zoo a regular event and not get bored. Do the splash park one day, and visit the animals the next! Your little one is sure to go apes over all there is to see and do here!




Spirit Communications Park, Columbia South Carolina

2. Spirit Communications Park

Take me out to the ballgame, take me out with the crowd!!!! Well, not me, but your family. What’s not to love about going to cheer for the Fireflies!  The tickets are budget-friendly, and not just the “cheap seats”! So grab your favorite baseball fans, and LET’S PLAY BALL!!! 






Sesquicentennial State Park, Columbia South Carolina

3. Sesquicentennial State Park

So many trails to hike here! You can rent kayaks, canoes, peddle boats, even paddle boards! The amount of fun to be had here is incredible!  There’s even a new splash pad!! We’re itching to get over there and try it out this summer too! So bring Fido, pack a picnic, sunscreen, and plenty of water for your day of exploring. 






Saluda Shoals Park, Columbia South Carolina

4. Saluda Shoals Park and Splash Pad

Hike, bike, fish or splash! This park nearly has it all! As always, pack a picnic lunch and your sunscreen! You’re going to have a great time being outside today! If you’re planning on enjoying the splash pad, be sure to bring your chairs!






Making memories is the name of the game!

South Carolina State House, Columbia South Carolina

5. State House Scavenger Hunt
No admission to the State House, just pack a lunch, plenty of water! Be sure to take a few pictures! Before you head out, you’ll want to print out the Scavenger Hunt list! You’ll probably learn a good bit about Sherman’s March on Columbia too!








Congaree National Park, Columbia South Carolina6. Congaree National Park Canoeing

The canoe tours are FREE and on a first come first served basis. They are offered once a month, so check the website and plan ahead.

If you’re unable to get in on a canoe tour if that isn’t your thing, there are plenty of hiking trails in this beautiful National Park. If you’re wanting to witness a beautiful natural phenomenon, you’ll want to plan to see the synchronized fireflies!



Carolina Outdoor Adventures, Columbia South Carolina

7. Carolina Outdoor Adventure

You’ll absolutely want to put this on your list of activities. The sunset paddle to the towers of Lake Murray is certainly the best thing since toilet paper. You will NOT be disappointed. You’ll want to make sure that you have a waterproof case for your smartphone, just in case you get it wet, and you probably will! Here’s a great one you can wear around your neck. 



If you’d rather head indoors, here’s a list of 8 Cool Ways to beat the heat here in South Carolina




Matt Kip Plant Walk, Columbia South Carolina

8. Plant Walking With Matt Kip

If you’ve always wondered what the plants growing around you are, Matt’s the guy to answer those questions. When you book a plant walk with him, he will teach you which plants are edible and even offer up suggestions for use. A one of a kind experience in our area, and you really don’t want to miss out. Absolutely worth every cent. You’ll want to contact him and plan ahead.






Owens Field Skate Park, Columbia South Carolina

9. Owens Field Skate Park

This 15,000 square foot concrete skate park is just what your skater dude (or dudette) needs to hang that sick 50-50 grind or that Ollie! Boasting several bowls ranging in depth from 4 to 12 feet as well as metal rails and stairs, this skatepark has just what you’ve been wanting. Hang 10 dude!!… wait, I think that’s for surfing. 😉





In this digital age, being outside is worth its weight in gold!


Adventure Carolina, Columbia South Carolina
Photo Credit Kris Whitaker

10. Tubing with Adventure Carolina 

You’ll want to call to check rates and schedule.

Helpful Tubing Tips:
*Be sure to bring a FLOATING cooler! You can buy one here or rent one from Adventure Carolina. Make sure you stock it with plenty of water!
* Invest in a good pair of water shoes. NO FLIP FLOPS or slip on shoes!
* Rent a tube with an open bottom. The solid bottom tubes can flip at the rapids.




Fourteen Mile Creek, Columbia South Carolina

11. Hike Fourteen Mile Creek Trail in Lexington

Don’t be thrown off by the parking. (it’s a designated area at the gas station) This quiet creekside trail is just what you’ve been looking for. Be sure to bring water shoes and beach towels. I haven’t met a child yet that can resist getting in the creek! You’ll want to have your bug spray of choice ready as the mosquitoes and noseeums enjoy the trail too!







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Palmetto Falls, Fort Jackson Columbia South Carolina

12. Palmetto Falls Waterpark

Boasting a 10,000 square foot family pool, two water slides, a lazy river and a kiddy pool, this waterpark is sure to cool you down! Located at Fort Jackson Army base, you’ll need to have your license, registration, and proof of insurance at the ready when you reach the main gate. Pack PLENTY of sunscreen as the sun is rather unforgiving.






Lake Murray, Columbia South Carolina

13. Go Fishing at Lake Murray

Some of the greatest memories that you’ll create with your kids involve fishing. In the state of South Carolina, anyone 16 years of age or older is required to have a fishing license issued by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). You can apply for your license here. Because our natural resources are a valuable asset, we must make sure we abide by the laws of our state.  Here is a link to DNR’s website to show you legal size for freshwater fish. 





Letterboxing, Columbia South Carolina

14. Go Letterboxing

Similar to GeoCaching, Letterboxing is a treasure hunt of its own style. Instead of taking and leaving trinkets, you use stamps. You can make your own stamp, or purchase one from your favorite retailer. There are many letterboxes hidden throughout the Midlands of South Carolina. There is an app, “Box Radar”, available for both android and apple, that you’ll want to install. Otherwise, you’ll need to print the clues before you leave home. With the app, you can letterbox no matter what town you may visit! We keep our letterboxing materials in our car so we’re always ready to see what we can find!


So there you have it, the SHORT list of fantastic outdoor adventures just waiting for you this summer!


Local Expeditions
14 Family Friendly outdoor adventures in Columbia, South Carolina

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