Being a Tiger fan sometimes means hitting the road to watch the team in action. If you’re headed to South Carolina this weekend to watch Mizzou take on the Gamecocks, get excited! The Columbia, SC Convention and Visitors Bureau is excited to welcome you to their Columbia, and they even were kind enough to write a guest blog post to help make your experience a great one!
Welcome to the SEC, Missouri Tigers! Get ready for fierce competition, passionatefans and most of all, a good time! This week, Mizzou fans will make the trip from Columbia, Missouri to Columbia, South Carolina and we couldn’t be more excited. But before hitting the road, fans need to know a few things that will make their trip exciting, tasty, eventful and most importantly, memorable.
University of South Carolina fans take tailgating very seriously. Hours before kickoff, fans pour into the State Fairgrounds, old farmer’s market, parking lots and every little crevice available to tailgate around the stadium. Plan to get there early to join in on the fun. Among the usual football tailgate foods, one thing we always recommend our out-of-towners to try is South Carolina’s official state snack, boiled peanuts! This salty treat is a game day staple in the South. In regards to home team tailgates, don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of white table cloths and flower arrangements or women dressed in sundresses and cowboy boots and men in their slacks and bow ties. University of South Carolina fans treat game days as a dress-to-impress occasion.
Drop by the premiere tailgating spot, the University of South Carolina “Cockabooses.”These stationary trains on the rear side of the stadium definitely take tailgating up a few notches. Decked out with flat screen televisions, chandeliers and on site catering make attending a Gamecock football game quite an experience. While these Cockabooses are privately owned, they’re definitely something to see when playing the Gamecocks!
Before or after the big game, there are a number of things Mizzou fans can enjoy while visiting the Columbia region. The weather this week is ideal for a canoe, kayak or standup paddle board trip down the Congaree River, one of three rivers that run through the city. There are a number of guided tours visitors can join to see nature up close and personal. Take a walk on the wild side and visit the number one gated attraction in South Carolina, Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. After checking out the penguins, toucans, giraffes, koalas, elephants, lions and more, try your hand at Sky High Safari; a four story, self guided ropes course. Want more adventure? Take a trip out to Congaree National Park. While there, visitors can explore 2.4 miles of boardwalk throughout the park and nearly 26,000 acres of wilderness. In addition to being the only national park in South Carolina, it is also the closest to a metropolitan city.
In your down time, take in a movie at The Nickelodeon, South Carolina’s only non–profit art house film theatre. Recently relocated into its new, multi-screen venue on Main Street in downtown Columbia, the theatre plays independent and documentary films nightly. For the young Mizzou fans, EdVenture Children’s Museum, located in the Congaree Vista, is a perfect afternoon trip. Where else can you climb inside a 40-foot child and explore the inner workings of the human body? This nationally ranked children’s museum offers fun and educational experiences kids won’t soon forget.
Good food isn’t in short supply in the Columbia region. If there’s one thing we do well in the South, it’s eating. Try some of the best burgers in town at Pawley’s Front Porch in Five Points or Rockaway’s Athletic Club in Rosewood. Both serve up tasty bites like raw cut fries, sweet potato fries, pimento cheese burgers, fried pickles and more. Barbeque is a southern delicacy that all visitors must try. May it be mustard-based, drenched in Carolina gold, or poured over with vinegar, pulled pork BBQ is taken seriously in the South. Visitors should try some of the Columbia region’s favorites like Doc’s Barbeque and Southern Buffet, Hudson’s Smokehouse andPalmetto Pig – to name a few. To end the meal, visit Nonnah’s in the Vista. With a mini novel serving as the menu, guests will have a hard time deciding between lemon cheesecake, triple mousse cake, Californian almond cake and chocolate raspberry fantasy. Need even more sweets?! Venture in Mast General Store on Main Street or The Peanut Man on Lincoln Street to satisfy those old-fashioned candy cravings.
Clearly there is an abundance to see, do, eat and experience while visiting The New Southern Hot Spot. We look forward to hosting the Mizzou Tigers in our neck of the woods this weekend and hope this trip isn’t your last!