It’s official: I am old. I’ve joined a book club. And while this term might send shivers down any literary nerd’s spine (guilty as charged…), the main goal of this book club is to hang out, enjoy a nice meal and a glass of wine (or three – who’s counting?!?), and maybe get around to talking about the book we were supposed to have read. My kind of group. Continue reading
I love the summer. It’s just a different pace. Sure, it’s hot as all get out here in Cola Town (#famouslyhot), but a quick dip in the lake and a cold drink in hand quickly make it more tolerable. At one time, Lake Murray was the largest manmade lake in the U.S. I’m not sure which body of water has deposed it of its national title, but I’m pretty sure it still holds the state’s. And its beauty is what some people refer to as “The Jewel of South Carolina.” Continue reading
One of the best (and fairly recent) additions to the Columbia scene is Soda City market. This is an all-local outdoor market on Main Street that pops up every Saturday morning, rain or shine. (In the event of rain, they typically move all of the vendors into the Taylor Street garage, so join their mailing list to make sure you’re headed to the right spot.) You guys. I wish I’d thought of this thing because it is AWESOME! Continue reading
Rosewood neighborhood has several such establishments, but our favorite is Kraken Gastropub. My husband Brian and I can often be found on a rainy weekend night, seated at the bar, chatting with the staff about what’s on draft…and sometimes the crazy patrons seated behind us…
Tazza Kitchen is a great little European-style restaurant in Trenholm Plaza. They have everything from tapas to pizza and larger plates, as well as great cocktails and a fairly sophisticated wine list.
With a nice little happy hour menu, plenty of parking, plus indoor and outdoor seating, my coworkers and I decided it was an ideal place for a ladies’ happy hour. Even on a Friday afternoon, we had no trouble getting a table right away (or parking spaces – hurray!!!!!). Continue reading
I’ve heard a lot about Bourbon, the new whiskey and creole-themed restaurant on Main Street opened by Kristian Niemi (who also happened to start such local favorites as Rosso Trattoria Italia, Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe, Solstice Kitchen, and Gervais & Vine). Little-known fact about Bourbon: It actually had an online presence for over year before it ever physically opened. It had its own Facebook page and did a few catering events so that people actually thought the restaurant was open long before it was. This created quite the “buzz,” if you will, making it one of the most anticipated restaurants in Columbia.
You really can’t beat the springtime weather around here. Though it only lasts a few short weeks, Columbia boasts near-perfect temperatures of mid-60s to 70s in the spring and fall. Once we get through the inevitable pollen storm each year (and each year say to each other, “I think this is the worst year yet…” or “I can’t remember it ever being this bad!”), the yellow dust always washes away at some point in April or May, leaving behind a beautiful green landscape with pops of color everywhere you turn.
Columbia is a relatively small city in sunny South Carolina that has really started to grow up over the last few years. We started with a river, some trains and Adluh Flour, and have slowly begun to evolve as a cultural and recreational destination. No, we’re not Charleston with all of its historic beauty, sea breeze and Southern Charm. Nor are we Greenville, with its Coffee Underground and gorgeous Main Street. But Columbia, #FamouslyHot as it is, has a lot to offer.
And it is hot… With temperatures in the upper 90s and a humidity of about 1,000 from May to October, the sweltering summers often make us Columbians thankful for the icy cold Saluda River, (the lukewarm) Lake Murray, gives-you-a-toothache-sweet iced tea and good ol’ fashioned A/C. But if you can take the heat (or just pop indoors for a bit), you’ll find a city full of life, culture, cuisine, arts and adventure.
I’ve lived in Columbia most of my life. I’ve travelled to other cities, states and countries, but Columbia, South Carolina, will always have a special place in my heart. While I used to dream of getting out of here, now I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather live. And to quote my friend Rachel, “Columbia: It grows on you.”