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Time for Brunch? Columbia, SC’s Premier Brunch Destinations

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Are you looking for a great brunch spot in Columbia, SC? Whether you’re a local or just visiting, Columbia has a variety of options to satisfy your brunch cravings. From classic breakfast fare to unique twists on traditional dishes, this guide is organized by location, making it easy for you to find the perfect brunch spot in your area.

Explore the brunch offerings in Downtown Columbia, Five Points, and West Columbia, and discover new favorites along the way.

Enjoy a delicious brunch in Columbia, SC

Brunch in Downtown Columbia & The Vista

Market on Main

A sophisticated brunch destination featuring truffle frites, alongside an array of salads, gourmet burgers, and breakfast-style sandwiches

Market on Main
1320 Main Street #150
Columbia, SC, 29201

My family loves going to Market on Main for brunch! It’s so fun to sit outside and listen to music while we dine. Some of my favorite dishes are their Truffle Frites, Griddled Banana Bread, Brunch Bowl and the Wagyu Burger! And I never leave without having one of their famous Bloody Mary’s! 

Kelly J.

The Toasty Hot Spot

A family-owned brunch spot offering a variety of sandwiches and breakfast-style items.

The Toasty Hot Spot
1305 Lady Street
Columbia, SC, 29201


A delightful brunch restaurant, offering a diverse menu including granola and yogurt bowls, tartines, bowls, and sandwiches.

709 Gervais Street 
Columbia, SC, 29201

Crepes & Croissants

A French-style brunch restaurant with a selection of sweet and savory crepes, along with croissant sandwiches, pastries, and coffee.

Crepes & Croissants
1465 Sumter Street
Columbia, SC, 29201

Motor Supply Company Bistro

Motor Supply Company Bistro offers a sustainable farm-to-table dining experience with house-butchered meats, locally sourced produce, and South Carolina seafood. Reservations are recommended.

Motor Supply Company Bistro
920 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC, 29201

Sandwich Depot

Sandwich Depot lives up to their name, serving a variety of sandwiches with their breakfast and lunch, which are served all-day

Sandwich Depot
1211 Taylor Street
Columbia, SC, 29201

Spotted Salamander Cafe and Catering

This restaurant offers Southern dishes featuring a rotating menu of seasonal and unique produce and meats, along with daily freshly baked treats.

Spotted Salamander Cafe and Catering
1531 Richland Street
Columbia, SC, 29201


This Italian-style deli would fit right in up in NYC. They offer signature sandwiches, and a special brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. It includes all the traditional brunch favorites like pancakes and French Toast, plus eggs and dishes with a unique flare like the Monte Cristo French Toast Sandwich.

342 Pickens Street
Columbia, SC 29205

 I like Di Prato’s because of all the classic southern staples they have on the menu. My favorite thing to order is the pimento cheese!

Patrick S.

Brunch in Five Points & Shandon

The Gourmet Shop

A classic Columbia brunch spot with outdoor seating and a variety of sandwiches, bakery items, lunch, and breakfast options.

The Gourmet Shop
724 Saluda Avenue
Columbia SC, 29205

The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli

A charming spot with a wide variety of breakfast and lunch menu items, including an assortment of unique cinnamon roll flavors.

The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli
2617 Devine Street
Columbia, SC, 29223

Rosewood Market

A food market with a deli featuring a diverse menu featuring daily specials, and a variety of brunch items, catering to all appetites and dietary preferences, 

Rosewood Market Deli
2803 Rosewood Drive
Columbia, SC, 29205


A dog-friendly restaurant in Five Points offering fresh and local food made from scratch.

2013 Greene Street
Columbia, SC, 29205

Henry’s Restaurant

Homey restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating with brunch options. They also have a location in West Columbia!

Henry’s Restaurant
111 Sparkleberry Crossing, Suite 1
Columbia, SC, 29229

Brunch in Irmo & West Columbia

Cafe Strudel

A popular spot for brunch with a creative menu featuring dishes like shrimp & grits and crab cakes.

Cafe Strudel
300 State Street
West Columbia, SC, 29169

I love going to Cafe Strudel for brunch! I almost always order the “Hangover Hashbrowns”. And you can’t beat the self-service coffee bar or freshly squeezed orange juice! Along with the delicious menu, I also love the location. After brunch my family and I like to head over to the WeCo Riverwalk or to some of the antique shops and boutiques just around the corner.

Kayla S.
Brunch at Cafe Strudel

The Hideout in WeCo

A local café offering counter service, indoor, and outdoor seating serving cafe-style breakfast and lunch options

The Hideout in WeCo
118 State Street
West Columbia, SC, 29169

The Original Brunches

A restaurant featuring traditional brunch-style foods, such as omelets, biscuits, and sandwiches.

The Original Brunches
2245 Leaphart Road
West Columbia, SC, 29169

Compton’s Kitchen

A restaurant in West Columbia with special kid-friendly options, and all-day breakfast offerings.

Compton’s Kitchen
1118 B Avenue
West Columbia, SC, 29169

The Bistreaux by Fleur de Licious

A Cajun & Creole-style restaurant offering classic New Orleans-style breakfast and lunch options, with special events throughout the year.

Fleur de Licious
2700 Broad River Road
Columbia, SC, 29210

Chayz Lounge

An upscale “Jazz Bistro” with classic brunch selections, salads, and signature menu options.

Chayz Lounge
607 Meeting Street
West Columbia, SC, 29169

When it comes to satisfying your brunch cravings in Columbia, you’ll have an abundance of choices to indulge in. But don’t just take our word for it! Check out each restaurant’s website for menus and hours, and then embark on your own culinary exploration.

Tell us! Have you tried any of these fantastic brunch spots? We’d love to hear about your experiences! Share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments below.

Columbia, SC Restaurants: where to eat out

The best restaurants in Columbia are right here.

The Premier Guide to Restaurants in Columbia, SC

Aiken State Park: An Outdoor Paradise for Camping, Hiking, and Water Activities

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Are you seeking an idyllic destination to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of South Carolina? Look no further than Aiken State Park! Nestled along the South Fork of the Edisto River, this picturesque park offers a serene getaway for anyone seeking an outdoor retreat.

This park, with historical roots tied to the Civilian Conservation Corps, is a haven for camping, hiking, fishing, and water activities. With both rustic and modern campsites, Aiken State Park is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable adventure.

Things to Do at Aiken State Park

Camping at Aiken State Park

Aiken State Park boasts 25 campsites, providing visitors with a comfortable and scenic place to spend the night. Whether you prefer tent camping or RV camping, the park has sites that will accommodate your stay & preference. Aiken State Park offers electrical hookups at campsites for added convenience. 

Immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance of the park, surrounded by towering hardwood forests and spring-fed lakes. Set up your campsite, sit around a crackling fire, and relish the sounds of nature as you unwind under the starry night sky.

Picnic space at Aiken State Park

Hiking Trails

For those who crave adventure and exploration, Aiken State Park offers a network of hiking trails that consist of the nature jungle trail and spurs, which wind through the natural landscape. These trails take you on a journey through dense forests, providing glimpses of the abundant wildlife that calls the park home.

There are places to rest on the trails and the park is full of picnic tables. Whether you are an avid hiker or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll, the trails at Aiken State Park cater to all skill levels and interests.

Kids at Aiken State Park

Bring the Kids: Aiken State Park

When we visited, one of the trails was slightly flooded, which can happen in this ecosystem. However, our 10-month-old absolutely loved exploring the water as we walked the trail. So, while encountering unforeseen circumstances is unavoidable while engaging with the natural world, being prepared and receptive to new experiences can pave the way for exciting opportunities.

Aiken State Park picnic green space with playground

In addition to hiking, kids will also enjoy a playground, a children’s pond, fishing, and more. In fact, Aiken State Park participates in the Fishing Tackle Loaner Program, which means you can borrow everything you need for a day of fishing right at the park.

Water Activities

The park is also a paradise for water enthusiasts, with its four lakes available for fishing and an access point to the Edisto River. Canoeing and kayaking are popular activities, allowing visitors to paddle along the 1.7-mile South Fork Edisto River Trail for canoes and kayaks. Canoes are available to rent and are conveniently located at the access point. The serene waters offer a tranquil setting for exploring and connecting with nature.

A Journey into History

Aiken State Park has a rich history that dates back to the Great Depression era. The park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal program aimed at providing employment during the economic downturn.

The CCC played a vital role in creating recreational areas across the country, including Aiken State Park. Today, visitors can witness the enduring legacy of the CCC through the park’s well-preserved infrastructure and natural beauty.

Of particular historical significance is the African American Detachment, a group of African American CCC workers who built and developed this park. Their contributions are commemorated, and their stories are an integral part of the park’s heritage.

Hiking trail at Aiken State Park

Visit Aiken State Park

Aiken State Park stands as a remarkable destination that seamlessly blends nature, history, and recreational activities. With its captivating landscapes, lakes, and trails, the park offers a retreat for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure and tranquility.

As you explore the hardwood forests, fish in the lakes, or paddle along the scenic river, you’ll find yourself immersed in the beauty of South Carolina’s natural wonders.

Admission: $3 adults; $1.50 SC seniors; $1 children age 6-15; age 5 & younger free

Aiken State Park
1145 State Park Road, Windsor
Open daily 9 am to sunset.

Have you and your family visited Aiken State Park? What are some of your favorite things to do there?

South Carolina State Parks

Love it? There’s more where that came from.

Here’s our guide to all 47 South Carolina State Parks!

Day Trip Guide: 10+ Things to Do in Aiken, SC, Plus Dining!

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Are you looking for a day trip destination in South Carolina that offers a mix of outdoor adventure, delicious food, and charming attractions? You’ll find all of this with the abundant things to do in Aiken, SC!

This historic city is a great place to spend a day exploring. Aiken is known for its stunning horse farms, but it also boasts a thriving downtown area filled with local shops, museums, and restaurants. Whether you’re in the mood for a scenic hike, visiting a gopher tortoise, enjoying a delicious meal at a great restaurant, or a bit of all of the above, Aiken has something for everyone.

Read on for our guide to food, parks, and cultural attractions in Aiken, SC.

Where to Eat: Great Restaurants in Aiken, SC


This cozy bistro offers a menu of classic Southern American dishes. Make sure to save room for dessert, as they have a delicious dessert menu.

Malia’s Restaurant:
120 Laurens Street South West
Aiken, SC, 29801

The Willcox

For a fine dining experience, make a reservation at The Willcox. This elegant restaurant is located in a historic hotel and offers a menu of refined Southern cuisine.

The Willcox:
100 Colleton Avenue South West
Aiken, SC, 29801

New Moon Cafe

New Moon Cafe is a cozy eatery located in downtown Aiken. The menu features classic cafe-style food made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Guests can enjoy their meals inside the dining room or outside on the patio.

New Moon Cafe:
116 Laurens Street North West
Aiken, SC, 29801


MacK’s in Aiken, SC is a beloved local institution known for its delicious and satisfying sandwiches. The casual and friendly atmosphere of the restaurant makes it the perfect spot for a quick lunch or a leisurely meal with friends and family.

159 Laurens Street North West
Aiken, SC, 29801

Natural Attractions: Things to Do in Aiken, SC

Hitchcock Woods

One of the most popular hiking spots in Aiken is Hitchcock Woods. This 2,100-acre forest is home to more than 70 miles of trails. These trails are well-maintained, and visitors can enjoy a variety of hiking options, including easy strolls and more challenging hikes.

Along the way, you will see beautiful trees, flowers, and wildlife, and you can take in the tranquility of the forest. Although leashed dogs are generally welcome, visitors should be aware that during the Aiken Hounds Hunt Season (October 15th through March 15th), visitors are not permitted to bring dogs on Tuesdays from 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm and Saturdays from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm.

Hitchcock Woods
Admission: Free


  • 1700 Dibble Road, Aiken, SC, 29801
  • 1770 Dibble Road, Aiken, SC, 29801
  • 263 Rubin’s Cottage Lane, Aiken, SC, 29801
  • 444 South Boundary Avenue South West, Aiken, SC, 29801
  • 670 Coker Spring Road South West, Aiken, SC, 29801
  • 540 Berrie Road South West, Aiken, SC, 29801
  • 1120 Clark Road South West, Aiken, SC, 29801


Aiken State Park

Aiken State Park

This beautiful park is located about 20 minutes from downtown Aiken and offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, canoeing, and fishing. The park offers canoe rentals, access to the Edisto River, and has several campsites perfect for RV or rustic camping. Leashed pets are welcome in the park.

Aiken State Park


  • $3 adults 
  • $1.50 SC seniors
  • $1 for children aged 6-15
  • Free for ages 5 & younger

1145 State Park Road
Windsor, SC, 29856

Hopelands Gardens

Another great spot for a leisurely hike is Hopelands Gardens. This beautiful park features more than 14 acres of gardens, fountains, and walking paths. The paths are well-maintained and easy to navigate, making it a perfect spot for families with young children or for those who just want to take a relaxing stroll.

Along the way, you will see beautiful flowers, trees, and even a pond. The park is also the venue for special events, such as concerts, story times, and yoga classes!

Hopelands Gardens

Admission: Free

135 Dupree Plaza
Aiken, SC, 29801

Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve

The Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve is a unique natural area where visitors can observe and learn about the threatened gopher tortoise and its habitat. The preserve features hiking trails that wind through longleaf pine forests, sandhills, and other unique habitats that are home to a variety of plant and animal species. Along the trails, visitors can also see several gopher tortoise burrows and learn about the important role they play in the ecosystem. 

Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve

Admission: Free

State Highway 212
Williston, SC, 29853

Cultural Attractions

Aiken County Historical Museum

The Aiken County Historical Museum is located in a restored 1930s winter colony mansion, and it provides a glimpse into the area’s history. The museum features exhibits on Aiken’s history, including the area’s Native American roots, the winter colony era, and the city’s equestrian heritage. Visitors can also view a collection of historic clothing, antique furniture, and historic artifacts. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm.

Aiken County Historical Museum

Admission: Free

433 Newberry Street SouthWest
Aiken, SC, 29801

Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum

This museum, located inside Hopelands Gardens, celebrates Aiken’s thoroughbred racing history and has exhibits on Aiken’s thoroughbred racing history, including the famous Aiken Trials, which kicks off the Aiken Triple Crown.

Visitors can learn about famous horses and trainers and view racing artifacts. The museum also hosts special events and temporary exhibits, making every visit unique. The museum is open Sunday and Tuesday through Friday from 2 pm until 5 pm. On Saturdays, it is open from 10 am until 5 pm and it is closed on Mondays.

Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum:

Admission: Free

135 Dupree Place
Aiken, SC 29801

Aiken Center for the Arts

The Aiken Center for the Arts is a non-profit arts organization that provides arts education and exhibits throughout the city. The center hosts art exhibits throughout the year, featuring works by local and regional artists. Visitors can also participate in art classes and workshops, including painting, drawing, pottery, and music. The center is open from Monday to Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm.

Aiken Center for the Arts

Admission: Free – Workshop Pricing Varies

122 Laurens Street, South West
Aiken, SC 29801

Aiken, SC, offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or art lover, there’s something here for everyone. I hope this article has given you a taste of what Aiken has to offer, and we’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

Have you visited Aiken, SC before? What was your favorite thing to do? Do you have any tips or recommendations for first-time visitors? 

Get Lost in Space: Visiting the Melton Observatory at USC

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Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what secrets it holds? If you’re a lover of all things space, then the Melton Observatory at the University of South Carolina is definitely worth a visit. This totally free, educational opportunity is located on USC’s Columbia campus, offering visitors a chance to explore the wonders of the universe in a unique and immersive way.

Here’s everything you need to know about visiting this distinctive destination.

Check out the Melton Observatory for free in Columbia, SC

What is the Melton Observatory?

The Melton Observatory is an astronomical observatory located on the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina. The observatory is named for the late Dr. William Davis Melton, who was the president of the University of South Carolina in the 1920’s. The observatory features a dome and a 16-inch Cassegrain telescope, which is used for viewing the stars, planets, and other objects in space.

What can you see at the Melton Observatory?

Visitors can use the telescope to view a wide range of objects, including planets like Jupiter and Saturn, as well as star clusters, and galaxies. The observatory also offers a livestream during the hours of their public viewing for free. The Melton Observatory livestream can be accessed on Monday nights from 9:00 pm until 11:00 pm.

I’ve also taken advantage of viewing their past livestreams, available on their website, and admired some of their previous videos of the moon, stars, and planets around us.

The recorded livestreams are a great options for families with young children who can’t quite stay up late enough for a visit to the observatory!

Visit the Melton Observatory for Free!

The Melton Observatory is located at 1429 Greene Street in Columbia and is open to the public on Monday nights from 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm on clear nights. During these public observing nights, visitors can use the telescope to view the night sky and learn more about the stars and planets. If you’re interested in visiting the observatory, be sure to check the Melton Observatory website for the most up-to-date schedule of events and to ensure the skies are clear for viewing.

Mom Review: Free, Educational and Recommended!

Whether you’re a seasoned astronomer or just looking for a unique and educational experience, the Melton Observatory at the University of South Carolina is definitely worth a visit. With its state-of-the-art telescope and knowledgeable staff, this observatory offers visitors the opportunity to explore the wonders of the universe and galaxies around us.

The observatory does welcome children, but particularly due to the expensive equipment, children must be supervised!

I can confidently recommend a visit to the Melton Observatory – it’s a unique and educational experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the beauty and complexity of our universe. And we love that USC brings this experience FREE to the public.

Our family of adventurous natural world explorers really appreciates all that they have to offer. So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure that combines nature, education, and beauty, add a trip to Melton Observatory at USC to your list and share your experience with us in the comments!