Since gas prices are influencing vacationers to curtail expenses, it’s more important than ever to explore closer to home. With accolades like “Top Southern Summer Destination,” “10 best spots for a weekend getaway in the South” and “One of America’s Best New Food Destinations,” friends, couples and families won’t need to go far to find a getaway that takes them far from the ordinary in the Capital City/Lake Murray, South Carolina region. It’s located in the central part of the Palmetto State, anchored by Columbia and the counties of Richland, Lexington, Newberry and Saluda, with convenient access from Interstates I-95, I-77, I-20 and I-26.
Outdoor adventures include renting a boat to explore Lake Murray, zip lining at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, biking at Saluda Shoals Park, hiking Congaree National Park, booking a tee time at one of many golf courses, kayaking, canoeing and paddleboard adventures, winery tastings and fishing at Dreher Island and Sesqui State Park. In addition to all the outdoor recreation to be found in the region, following are coming events and attractions that add to the reasons to visit Capital City/Lake Murray Country this spring and beyond.
Named one of the “Most Charming Small Towns in America” by the Travel Channel, Newberry’s streets are lined with picturesque shops and restaurants and nearly every building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Stay at the historic Hampton Inn-Newberry Opera House, convenient to downtown as well as to Lake Murray, Lake Greenwood and Lake Monticello. (1201 Nance Street, Newberry, South Carolina 29108; 803-276-6666)
The grand French Gothic Newberry Opera House, ca. 1882, fully restored and technologically advanced, hosts music from contemporary jazz to country, from plays to comedy, Broadway to opera, more than 150 events each season. Among the upcoming don’t-miss concerts are the Branford Marsalis Duo, Saturday April 30, Confederate Railroad, Friday, May 13, Sheena Easton, Sunday, May 15, and on two dates in July, a challenging STEAM Astronaut Camp for grades 3-9 divided by ages. Kids have fun while the rest of the family heads to other entertaining attractions, or “adult time-out” for shopping, the nearby winery or golf. (1201 McKibben Street, Newberry, South Carolina 29108; 803-276-6264).
In the growing county seat of Lexington, stroll through a charming historic downtown with a cell phone walking tour, shop along Main Street and visit the Saturday Farmers Market. The Icehouse Amphitheater is the region’s newest outdoor venue, providing year-round concerts and events under the stars within walking distance to Main Street’s many delicious restaurants. April 21, Carolina Beach Music Award-winning Too Much Sylvia – free admission, and May 5, The Root Doctors. The Lexington Farmers Market is held at the Market at Icehouse every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. May 14 through September 24, 2022 (except July 2). In addition to great produce and crafts, there’s live music every week, food trucks and more. (107 West Main Street, Lexington, South Carolina 29072; 803-358-7275)
The Capital City of Columbia, with its confluence of rivers, landscaped walking and biking areas and outstanding dining and entertainment is a great getaway for families or couples. Home to the Broadway in Columbia, the University of South Carolina’s Koger Center for the Arts also hosts dance, ballet and symphony performances. Free events including concerts and art exhibits are also offered. The South Carolina Philharmonic performs Scheherazade on April 23; hilarious hit Broadway musical “Waitress” debuts on April 27-28; the electrifying “Violins of Hope” is May 8, and Broadway hit “Jersey Boys” is July 31. (1051 Greene Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201; 803-777-7500)
The home ballpark for the Columbia Fireflies, the Low-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, Segra Park is a state-of-the-art multi-use sports and entertainment venue in the heart of the BullStreet District in downtown Columbia. Segra Park was named “Class A Ballpark of the Decade” by Ballpark Digest because of its layout and amenities including a large club lounge and 365-degree concourse. (1640 Freed Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201; 803-726-4487)
Centrally located in downtown Columbia, this newly renovated theatre hosts a variety of entertainment, comedy, bands and solo artists, including The Temptations–Four Tops on May 12, Bonnie Raitt on June 4 and Patti LaBelle September 2. (1703 Taylor Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201; 803-576-2350)
The no-admission, free parking Soda City Market is Columbia’s weekly Main Street event with a dozen food trucks, regional produce and unique, handcrafted and produced-in-South Carolina items. Open Saturdays 9 a.m. –1 p.m., year-round, Soda City is a microcosm of Columbia, a melting pot of cultures, and one of the many reasons the city is a real southern hotspot for locals and visitors. A vendor list is posted on the Soda City Facebook page weekly. (1300-1500 blocks of Main Street, Columbia South Carolina, 29201)
Celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month, More Than Rhythm: A Black Music Series Featuring Mimi Jones is a lecture and intimate concert highlighting the vibrant roots and genre-merging futures of jazz at the Columbia Museum of Art. Held on Friday, April 29 from 7-9 p.m., tickets are only $10-20. (1515 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201; 803-799-2810)
Scroll the Capital City/Lake Murray Country events page to find the perfect events during your stay or plan your stay around one don’t-miss events. With substantial diversity and community pride, there’s an event every weekend and festivals every month. Every member of the family will find a favorite, from food festivals to arts and entertainment showcases to cultural, historical and contemporary events.
Stop by the Lake Murray Country Visitors Center in the historic Lorick Plantation House (2184 North Lake Drive, Columbia, South Carolina 29212; 803-781-5940) to discover hidden gems and more trip ideas Or, contact [email protected] for personalized service. Visit LakeMurrayCountry.com to learn more about the region and the ways to get outside and book participating hotel specials at www.lakemurraycountry.com/stay-and-play.
For more I-95 information, visit www.i95exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to America’s Interstate Main Street. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Maine to Florida!