Gather round, y'all
Finlay Park is a great place to find locals in Columbia, particularly on a beautiful weekend day. The day Nat and I were there was Kid's Day, so the place was packed with families enjoying the great weather and the events of the weekend.
However, Finlay Park is always a popular venue for people to hang out and relax, so don't worry if there's no big event planned for the days you're going to be in town.
While they do offer heart smart and dietary concious menu selections, I would suggest anything fried and/or smothered in gravy. Mmmmm. A great place to check out the local crowd--Old Columbia, young Columbia, and USC. GREAT for a hangover. And they deliver! What more can you ask for? Favorites include the Planter's Special, Arkansas Traveler, Chicken Finger Dinner, El Nachoman, Meat Loaf, ... I really could list the whole menu, plus regular specials.
African American History Monument
This monument, located on the State House grounds, was dedicated on March 29, 2001 and was sculpted by a Colorado man named Ed Dewitt. It traces African American history from the Middle Passage, to the fight for freedom in the Civil War, the struggle for civil rights and emergence into mainstream America. Among the 12 scenes are images that depict a family on the auction block, slaves working in a rice field, men and women celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation, the Jim Crow era, the Northern migration, and images of African-Americans today pioneering in such fields as engineering, law education, sports, politics and space exploration. At the base of the monument's obelisk are four rubbing stones from regions of Africa where slaves were captured - Senegal, Sierra Leone, the Republic of Congo and Ghana.
Columbia in April
I just returned from Columbia, where I stayed with my traveling friend, Marilyn, in a historical bed and breakfast for a short stay in South Carolina's capital city.
It was a short stay -- we arrived late Wednesday night and left early Sunday morning. We came for a specific purpose, to see my son Matt for Family Day and his graduation from basic training at Fort Jackson.
However, we also managed to cram in a short day and half of sightseeing in historic Columbia and nearby Camden, where to our surprise we learned more about the Revolutionary War than the Civil War.
For more reasons than one, my time in Columbia was truly memorable.