The world is bigger than we could possibly imagine, and it’s scary to think we will never even scratch the surface in this lifetime. Even if we do travel to the same places, we see the world through different eyes, creating a unique experience. I am inspired by each of your stories, just waiting to be told.It’s all about quality – not quantity – when you have short trips. That’s what I had in mind when my husband, a flight attendant, invited me to join him on a two-night layover in Columbia, South Carolina. The city, which bills itself as “The Real Southern Hot Spot,” was absolutely charming.Here are my recommendations of three things to do for one perfect day:
1. Start your morning at Soda City
Columbia’s Main Street market was full of artisanal vendors, performing artists and tasty treats that delighted my palette. It’s open every Saturday of the year from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and I would advise that you go hungry. With so many street food options, you’re sure to find something to nosh. My good friends know I love corn, so of course I had to sample some!
2. Spend your afternoon at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
As a former zoo employee myself, I’m picky about which zoos I recommend – and this one is top-notch. Not only is it accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (which means you can rest assured that it provides high quality care for the animals), it’s just a fun time! There are more than 2,000 animals, and you can meet the wildlife up close. I particularly enjoyed watching the gorillas, as primates are fun to observe. The mayor of Columbia tweeted that it’s the #1 attraction for all of South Carolina, and I could see why. The Zoo even allows you to zipline through the trees! The botanical gardens are absolutely stunning, and the children’s area, called “Waterfall Junction” was adorable. I could see parents taking their children to the botanical gardens and spending a few hours in just that part alone. It even had an Asian garden section, and the variety of flora was spectacularly presented.
3. Finish with dinner at Blue Marlin restaurant
If you enjoy low country cuisine, make sure to dine at this charming spot. From craft cocktails to unlimited collard greens, it offers an outstanding menu. My husband and I started with fried green tomatoes, which had an amazing sauce drizzle. For our main dishes, we both chose shrimp and grits, and we ended up scraping our bowls. The server let us know that dish is a customer favorite. If you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway that is relaxing and fun, choose Columbia, South Carolina.
Angela Cruz is a beauty YouTuber who’s been featured on the Today Show and in The New York Times. Being married to a flight attendant has given Angela passion for traveling – you can follow her adventures on her blog, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.
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Have you visited Columbia before? Comment below with what part intrigued you the most!