Columbia's downtown is well worth a visit, but I couldn't help but think that it has even more potential. While walking along Main Street, it's hard not to imagine what it could be like with a little infusion of money. There are many beautiful, old buildings that are in states of disuse or that are only half filled with what appear to be struggling businesses.
However, if I were to venture a guess, I'd say that within the next few years, more and more of these structures will be revitalized.
Camden is a small town about 30 miles northeast of Columbia, which my friend and I decided to visit as a side day trip while in South Carolina, mainly for its history.
When we first drove into town we arrived along a highway with fast food places and discount stores, so at first we thought maybe we'd made a mistake, but it turned out to be a very delightful and interesting day.
I'm not sure how many towns in the south have the distinction of being burned in two different wars -- the Revoluntionary War and the Civil War. A famous Revolutionary War battle was fought and lostat Camden -- Gen. Cornwall had occupied a historic house there -- so Revolutionary history was played up, a surprise to me in a Southern town.
We visited "Historic Camden," which included the recreation of a Revolutionary War era house, the Quaker Cemetery, several antique stores and enjoyed lunch in the modern-day downtown.
Since my knowledge of Camden was absolutely zero when I arrived, I learned a lot about this small town, and left knowing there was a lot more know.
In the present day, it is known for steeple-chase races, which would be fascinating to return for someday, I think.
The Palmetto Monument on State House grounds, erected in 1858. Honouring the Palmetto regiment for their service in the Mexican war. First, in front of the State House destroyed by the Federales in 1865. Some of the lower and larger branches were destroyed by fire.
Columbia Museum of Art
The Columbia Museum of Art dates to 1950, but has only been in its new home since 1998. The permanent collection includes American and European artists from the Early Renaissance to the Modernists.
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays -10:00am - 5:00pm
Fridays - 10:00am - 9:00pm (10:00am - 5:00pm in December)
Sunday from 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
$5/adults; $2/students; $4/seniors.
Free Saturdays and Fridays from 5 pm to 9 pm.