On the fourth Saturday of every warm month, at Hampton and Main Street in front of the art museum the Magnolia Market takes place. A block or so of Hampton is roped off to traffic so local shops can sell their wares under a tent. On that abnormally warm day in late March, Baskin Robbins put up a tent and did a good bit of business.
Great place to people watch, especially from the booths by the bar. If you can't get a table, don't be afraid to sit at the bar--you'll quickly make friends! It's not an inexpensive restaurant, but the food is terrific. anything, from the pasta to the pizza to the flounder to the strip to the veal. and the fried artichoke hearts. Mmmmmmm. Great wines too.
confederate relic room
the south carolina confederate relic room and military museum is an interesting place to visit when in columbia. the relic room houses an interesting collection of confederate flags, uniforms, and weapons from the civil war. the museum also hosts traveling exhibitions from museums from around the world.
Columbia: A Real Deep South City
I lived here for two and a half years (1992-1995). Columbia is at the juncture of I-40 and I-26. So it's a perfect base for exploring all of the Carolinas and Georgia. A university town and state capital, it has a good deal of history, culture, and nightlife.
"My old home"
From September 1992 to May 1995, I lived in an apartment on the edge of Columbia's wealthy Forest Acres neighborhood. It was an old converted garage. Nearby is Shandon, another nice area. It was a long commute from my work, but worth it.
This is another very attractive part of Columbia, in the vicinity of Dreher High School.