Dive Into Lake Murray Country Fun With The Family This Spring
Goodbye cabin fever, hello Spring! With warmer weather on the horizon, it’s time to dethaw, get outside and stretch your legs. We can practically feel the fresh air filling our lungs and can’t wait to take in the sights of nature coming to life in full bloom. But where to go?
Set sights on a PLAYcation to remember with a trip to Capital City/Lake Murray Country, South Carolina. This beautiful region is conveniently located off Interstates I-77, I-26 and I-20 in the central part of the Palmetto state. From boat rentals and paddleboard excursions, to zip lining at a nationally recognized zoo to big city entertainment and dining in the heart of downtown Columbia, embark on a memory-making voyage that kids of all ages and grown-ups, too, will want to re-visit again and again. First stop, the great outdoors!
1. Get Revived on the Water
Head down to Better Boating, California Republic Standup Paddleboard or Lake Murray Yacht Tours for boat/lake equipment rentals and tours. Find the best fishing holes through fishing guide partners like Rocky Bottom, Catch 22 Guide Service and Taylor Outdoors. Whether your crew feels the need for speed or desires to float the days away and soak up sun on a big pontoon, guests will soon discover why Boating Magazine named Lake Murray one of the “Top 10 Boating Destinations and Places to Live” in the country. Spend the day exploring the 50,000 acres of sparkling waters that make up “The Jewel of South Carolina.”
2. Experience Three Rivers Awaken Nature
The Capital City is the largest city in South Carolina and is one of the only major metropolitan areas in the country to have three rivers flowing through the city. Take the adventure to water and rent canoes or tubes from Palmetto Outdoor or head for dry land rent bikes at Columbia’s Riverfront Park and zoom through its 167 acres of spectacular riverfront scenery. Imagine smelling the daises and river water as you bike through the budding brush.
3. Explore Nature’s Playground
In nearby Irmo, stop by Saluda Shoals Park. This premier outdoor space features paved and unpaved trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Explore the waters of the gorgeous Saluda by canoe or kayak or have the kids hit up the playground. Can you picture the look on your children’s face as a butterfly lands on the horse they’re riding?
4. Tee Up At Your Choice of 19 Challenging Golf Courses
The natural beauty of this region lends itself to a variety of stunning and challenging courses which are open year-round! If you happen to be coveted badge holders of the Masters Tournament, Capital City/Lake Murray Country is only 70 miles from The Augusta National and is the perfect place to stay and play.
5. Feast Your Eyes, and Your Stomach, in Columbia
For lunch, head into Columbia and picnic on the grounds of the stunning South Carolina State House. White columns, marble and a grand staircase make for an ideal backdrop for a day on the town. Another option? Experience the city one bite at a time with Columbia Food Tours or Two Gals and A Fork Food Tours. Learn about the city, its history and culture, all while visiting five to seven locally owned restaurants, each serving fresh cuisine.
6. A Fresh Look – See the World Through Children’s Eyes
Continue the adventure at EdVenture. This award-winning children’s museum immerses the kids in fun educational exhibits. The Wags and Whiskers area allows your child to become a veterinarian by caring for a cuddly plush animal. Maker Works is a tinkerer’s paradise–chock full of materials and fueled by brainpower. World of Work makes work fun. The kids will love getting behind the wheel of a fire truck, stocking the shelves at the grocery store or chugging along on a tractor. You’ll get to enjoy watching their imagination come to life.
7. Discover a Time Unlike Our Own
Explore the South Carolina State Museum. Visit the natural history exhibit with its shark and dinosaur displays. Peruse fine art, learn the principles of space flight or get up close to a Civil War submarine. While you’re there, step inside the 4-D interactive theatre. Watch a 3-D film with fourth dimensional effects–vibrating seats, bursts of air and blasts of water. If you go in the evening, the planetarium is a must. This 145-seat dome theater provides a completely immersive environment that surrounds viewers with multi-media images and sound. Enjoy entertaining programs that showcase earth and astronomy, as well as history and art.
8. They’ll Be Out To Play And Have Some Fun; No More Hibernating To Be Done!
For more fun around Columbia, head to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Take a trip around the world without ever leaving the grounds. Explore Australia’s kangaroos, the Arctic’s penguins and Africa’s elephants and gorillas. You can also take the global tour by sky, zip lining above the 170 acres of beautiful land. What better way than to spend a beautiful day outside.
9. Light Up Your Night with This Remarkable Sight
Explore South Carolina’s only national park, Congaree National Park. This area is known for its unique plants and grand trees. Row through the stunning wooded waters on marked canoe paths. The waterway passes through a forest, which contains some of the tallest trees in eastern North America. Opportunities are plentiful for viewing wildlife, such as the river otter, deer, turtles, wading birds and even an occasional alligator. Dry off by exploring the 18 miles of canopy-covered hiking trails. At night, slow down and watch the fireflies light up the night sky. Unlike the sporadic blinking you may be used to seeing in your backyard, here thousands of lightning bugs simultaneously light up the park making for a remarkable sight. This wonder is so special; there are only three other known places in the United States that experience this type of magical light show. This awe-inspiring spectacle typically takes place in May and June.
Between fun in the sun and water, world-class family attractions and award-winning eats, this trip is the perfect recipe for a PLAYcation that will quickly become a family tradition. Book your stay in Capital City/Lake Murray Country to let Spring be a reminder of how wonderful change can be and experience the great outdoors with your loved ones.