Memorial Day marked the unofficial beginning of summer. What better way to welcome in the sunshine than at these “sunny” spots around Columbia.
Let the sun shine in with a visit to the Ra Obelisk. This Columbia oddity was created in 1993 by artist and muralist Richard Lane, who thought the abandoned railroad trestle looked like an Egyptian obelisk and decided to paint on its sandstone surface a depiction of Ra, the Egyptian sun god. In 2018 the mural was repainted by artists Jeff Donovan and Georgia Lake, their work restored Ra and the various hieroglyphs that, when translated, reference famous Beatles’ songs such as “Here Comes the Sun” and “All You need is Love.”
Where to find it: 900 Heyward St.
Following your tour around the pocket park, take your sun salutations to the mat at Hot Yoga Masala on Bluff Road. While hot yoga may sound intimidating, the studio offers a class for every experience level. For those that don’t believe me, take Yoga 101, a $5 class specifically designed to alleviate beginner anxiety with an overview of vinyasa fundamentals. At Columbia’s first hot yoga studio, the room is heated to 90 degrees or above and all students interested in taking a class must bring their own mat, water bottle, and towel. Despite the different class structures, all yogis are given a lavender-soak cloth to cool down at the end of their practice.
Where to find it: 711 Bluff Road. 803-748 9642. www.hotyogamasala.com. Check out their website for a class schedule.
Soak up the rest of the sun’s rays at J’s Corner Restaurant and Bar, a pump gas station refurbished into a neighborhood bar. After burning off several calories in the yoga studio, treat yourself to a cold beer at one of the few outdoor seating areas in Columbia. Sip on a refreshing draft out-of-doors in their cobblestoned courtyard or sit at the bar and order a Red Zone Bloody Mary with a bacon dusted rim.
Where to find it: 1015 Rosewood Drive. 803-862-0702. www.thejscorner.com. Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday.
Turn up the heat another degree at Peebles Wing Shack with their signature sweet and spicy buffalo sauce paired with breaded chicken wings. In addition to their wings, Peebles’ noteworthy sides include house-made raw fries, fried okra, and redskin potato salad. The parking lot may not be very large, but this laidback restaurant is worth the hassle — a strangely unassuming building with heartwarming quality food at reasonable prices and unbeatable drink specials.
Where to find it: 1332 Rosewood Drive. 803-569-6631. Open 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.