Choose what you what, when you want it, and how you want it, at these locations throughout Columbia. Make the most of your day with this customizable selection of things to do, entrees to eat, and places to see.
Nothing says diversity like biodiversity. Start your day exploring Congaree National Park, the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the Southeastern U.S. An astounding fact that is only matched by the ways in which you can explore this national park. With more than 25 miles of hiking and 2.4 miles of boardwalk, you can choose to be led through Congaree’s vast network of trails by a ranger (on Saturdays) or you can go your own way on your own self-guided trek. And if walking isn’t your preferred method of travel, you can elect to canoe or kayak down the river as you take in all the natural surroundings this park has to offer.
Where to find it: 100 National Park Road. The park is open year-round. The visitor center is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday.
Having feasted your eyes on nature’s bounty, treat your stomach to the same assortment of offerings at Country Smokehouse. Open for lunch and dinner, this country buffet is serving up pit-cooked barbeque from its on-site smokehouse alongside a plethora of Southern sides. For $10.99 you can have all the coleslaw, potato salad, mac and cheese, and homemade desserts you can eat. In addition to their variety of sides, customers can take their pick of preferred barbecue, whether that is mustard-pepper, ketchup based, or vinegar-pepper. There’s an entrée and side dish here for everyone.
Where to find it: 8505 Garners Ferry Road. Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.
If all that hash and rice has you feeling a little bit heavy, pick yourself a palette cleanser at Cottle Farms. This locally owned berry farm is open to the public every spring, no appointment necessary. Bring a group, your friends, your family, or just stop by yourself. You can even sample the merchandise as you pick your way through the strawberry fields. Pro tip: As we head into April, be sure to call ahead in case of rain.
Where to find it: 2533 Trotter Road. Open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
And if all those rows of produce have you thinking of another fruit that grows on the vine, drive over to Cellar on Greene. Both a wine shop and bar, customers have their choice of over thirty wines to sample. Whether you are buying a bottle for later or taste-testing for the perfect happy hour treat, the staff at Cellar is there to assist you in acquiring your preferred vino. What’s more, every day the bar offers a three-course dinner to accompany a selection of wines. However you choose to end your day — with a glass or a meal — is up to you.
Where to find it: 2001-D Greene St. The wine shop is open 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 2-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The wine bar is open 5-9:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
Alyssa Velazquez, special to GoColumbia