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PLAYCATION: Stay and Play in Lake Murray Country

Whether you're a local or a visitor, this is the place to stay and play.

Article by By: Capital City/Lake Murray Country Staff

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Lake Murray Lifestyle

Summer is just around the corner and now is the time to plan your trip.  It can be overwhelming to find the perfect destination with everything you want while also being cost effective, but travel doesn’t have to be exotic… it can be close to home!  We have the perfect, budget-friendly staycation route – travel within the area while creating memories and discovering new attractions. 

Family Fun

Get wild at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden with over 2,000 animals and a gorgeous botanical garden, or discover excitement and education at EdVenture Children’s Museum and the South Carolina State Museum. There is even more to do as you tour historic sites in downtown Columbia, like the South Carolina State House and grounds.  

Outdoor Adventures

Hike, bike, kayak, tube, paddleboard or canoe on one of our three rivers– Palmetto Outdoor will show you the way with a variety of rentals and tours! This region is home to the Congaree National Park where you can fill your day with hiking along the boardwalk, paddling in the floodplains or walking the wilderness trails. Later in the day, catch a concert at Icehouse Amphitheater in Lexington or an outdoor movie at Doko Meadows Park in Blythewood!

Young Adult Excursions

Explore the region by taking in nature on one of the three rivers (Broad, Saluda, Congaree), enjoy local beer at any of the amazing breweries, and root for the home team at a Columbia Fireflies Baseball game. Immerse yourself in the thrilling nightlife as you explore music, arts, and restaurants in The Vista. There is a wide array of coffee shops and brunch options to get you going in the morning. If your stay goes into the weekend, don’t miss Soda City on Main Street every Saturday morning where you can find an array of vendors and of course, food!

Lake Enthusiasts

Fish with the finest guides around or on your own, with a boat rental. If you leave your tackle box at home, Dreher Island State Park offers a loaner program that will help you hook a big one, or picnic at the Lake Murray Park Site and enjoy a golden sunset from the Lake Murray Dam Walkway.

Backroads & BBQ 

Taste the best BBQ with every sauce imaginable at Shealy’s BBQ and enjoy the backroads along the way with many historic sites throughout the four counties. Spend the afternoon teeing off at Golden Hills, Timberlake or Cobblestone golf courses. Antique your way through Ridge Spring and Newberry. Don’t miss the Little Mountain Unlimited Antique Mall and Cafe, where you can browse their extensive inventory of antiques, as well as grab some lunch. Take in a show at the Newberry Opera House, or experience dinner at Juniper in Ridge Spring with South Carolina Ambassador Chef, Brandon Velie.

Looking for a full list of activities, attractions, and events in our region? Visit to discover all our region has to offer, and check out our ready-to-do itineraries. For any questions or suggestions, contact our Concierge 803-781-5940 x 200 or email

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