Historical Boutique Hotel in the Heart of the Five Points District
High atop The Inn at Claussen's, a boutique hotel in Columbia, South Carolina’s Five Points shopping district, there’s a weathered sign that promotes "Claussen's Bakery." The sign dates back to 1928, a leftover from the building's former life as a bakery. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and remodeled as a hotel in the 1980s, the brick building still serves freshly baked bread at breakfast, an homage to its history. The bread is just one part of the inn’s Southern charm, prompting Frommer’s to call it “the premier inn of Columbia.”
Located at one of the entrances of Columbia’s Five Points district, The Inn at Claussen's is an imposing brick figure trimmed with palmettos. Inside, the boutique hotel retains vestiges of its original hardwood floors and vintage mouldings. All of its 28 guest rooms come with elegant furnishings and understated decor. Some rooms even come with four-poster beds. Each evening, the innkeepers host a wine-and-cheese reception in the expansive lobby.
Columbia, South Carolina: Capital City with Small-Town Charm
Located just 3 miles from South Carolina’s exact geographic center, Columbia was founded as a compromise capital in 1786 to satisfy its Lowcountry and upstate factions. Although much of the city was destroyed in 1865 during General Sherman's March to the Sea, Columbia was rebuilt and thrives today as a historic state capital. Its wide streets are fringed with abundant greenery, thanks to its location near the confluence of three rivers and the massive Lake Murray.
In downtown Columbia, the fashionable Congaree Vista district features nearby warehouses and railroad stations repurposed as restaurants, galleries, and boutiques in a thriving arts community that’s centered on the old Adluh Flour Mill.
Take a day trip northwest of the city to explore Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, home to more than 2,000 animals from across the world, including lions, siamang apes, and ring-tailed lemurs. There, zebras and giraffes roam 2 acres of simulated African savannah, and reptiles and sharks live in the 20,000-square-foot Aquarium Reptile Complex. At the kangaroo walkabout, you can observe marsupials and discover the many uses for their pouches besides shoplifting.
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