Office of Economic Development logoWe’re a big sports town, with a heart for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks teams. We must say, the women’s Gamecocks basketball team brought home the NCAA title in 2017, and we couldn’t be more proud.

We have plenty of great teams to root on, including the Columbia Fireflies, a minor-league baseball team affiliated with the New York Mets, plus semi-pro and recreational sports. We love taking advantage of the warm weather here in Columbia to get outside and enjoy the many parks, trails and activities around town. Here’s a small sampling of some of our recreation options here in town (note that our Parks & Recreation Department and CVB have a host of additional recreation options to check out as well!)

Recreation Options

  • picture of Finlay ParkRecreation abounds at Finlay Park, the biggest and most popular park in Columbia. It boasts a scenic waterfall, playground and picnic areas and a café, and hosts many events, concerts and festivals throughout the year.
  • Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is located on the west side of Columbia and is home to more than 2,000 animals as well as a lush botanical garden. Located right on the Saluda River, and can be reached quickly, just a few minutes from downtown Columbia.
  • picture of Congaree National Park signThere is much to do at the beautiful Congaree National Park, including camping, hiking, fishing, nature study and more. The park is home to the oldest and tallest trees east of the Mississippi River.
  • Sesquicentennial State Park offers plenty of outdoor fun on nearly 1,500 acres and a 30-acre lake for fishing and paddling. Complete with a nature center, play area, dog park and a retreat center with overnight accommodations, “Sesqui” is packed with fun for the whole family.
  • The Three River Greenway is a 12-mile linear park with riverfront pathways at the confluence of the Congaree, Broad and Saluda rivers. It includes the West Columbia and Cayce riverwalks, with scenic views, mountain biking, white water rafting, biking, skating, fishing – and even outdoor amphitheaters along the way.
  • picture of boy in youth programRichland County Recreation Commission houses abundant options for recreation programs and facilities. From youth and adult athletics and aquatics to activities and more, this commission is dedicated to creating recreational opportunities in our area.
The “work hard, play hard” mentality fits our city well, as we have many sports and recreation options to keep us busy outside of the office.

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