Tours in Columbia

Select Local Merchants

Villa Brazil bedecks bodies of Northern climes with wearable wares of Brazilian origin. Browse handcrafted jewelry imported from Rio, or adorn style-craving shoulders with a wide array of handbags ($32.50 on average). Surf-seeking stylistas can slip into bikinis ($49 on average) of the Brazilian, American, and Martian variety, and flip-less feet can flop with more than 20 types of Brazilian Havaianas sandals ($16.50–24.50). Villa Brazil also stocks handmade scarves, soccer jerseys, and crafts.

716 Santee Avenue
Columbia,
SC
US

Palmetto Outdoor Center promotes the preservation of natural rivers and forests. Because awareness is the best way to maintain the environment and cultural heritage, Palmetto spreads knowledge of local gems with river trips and walking tours. These organized tours and vessels for rent allow amateur explorers to discover South Carolina's uncluttered riverbanks while learning about how they can be protected. Civil War walking tours illuminate the history of the region, and canoe and kayak rentals plunge into the tree-lined waterways of the Congaree, which flows through protected national parkland with the continent's largest old-growth floodplain forest.

731 Meeting St.
West Columbia,
SC
US

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden garnered a best-day-trip award from Charlotte magazine in 2009 for its copious collection of exotic and endangered animals that captures the majesty and variety of the wild. Explorers of all ages journey through nine locales that artfully re-create natural habitats, encountering ring-tailed lemurs, slender-tailed meerkats, and tale-spinning birds that sing of their raucous college days. When it's time to smell the roses, adventurers may cool their heels in one of five botanical gardens, each representative of a different plant group. Budding zoologists and their families may engage in animal demonstrations and discover the keys to keeping rattlesnakes or learn that giraffes, unlike their animal-cookie cousins, love being fed.

500 Wildlife Parkway
Columbia,
SC
US

Vista Tanning has been helping Columbia residents look fabulous year round with our luxurious, Sun Master tanning beds, and Customize Spray Tanning services. You will find our facilities clean, our staff well trained, and the atmosphere friendly and comfortable.

506 Gervais St
Columbia,
SC
US

Reservations/Appointments: Required

Established: 2008

Staff Size: 2?10 people

Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours

Parking: Parking lot

Handicap Accessible: Yes

Recommended Age Group: All Ages

Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Drift boat fly-fishing trips and lessons

Q&A with Michael Frank, Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor

What is the one feature of your business that you're most proud of?

My ability to teach newcomers the casting skills, fishing tactics, and fish-finding skills they need to be successful during their time on the water.

The words of praise from world-traveled fly fishers and newcomers alike thanking me for providing them with an interesting, unexpectedly exciting real fly-fishing tour in a part of the world where they might least expect it.

What?s your favorite part of your job?

Having the pleasure of meeting dedicated fly fishermen from here in South Carolina and around the world, and being able to share the unique resource of the three rivers of Columbia, South Carolina, with them. [The three rivers] are part of the Santee-Cooper river system, which was the first in the world in which striped bass successfully reproduced in a landlocked setting without access to the ocean.

I really enjoy watching newcomers hook and land their first fish using the training and practice they have had with me. I love being able to be an advocate for our rivers and for their protection and conservation. It is especially rewarding for me when young clients on parent-child trips take an interest in the insects and other organisms present in the rivers that our fish depend on for food and grasp the importance of keeping the rivers clean for their benefit and the continued health of our fish populations and other wildlife.

When it comes to fly-tying lessons, my favorite part is the spark of recognition on a student's face when they realize that they are able to do it, and the pride they take in producing a cool-looking, buggy representation of a living fish food. I like that parents who may have been skeptical about this activity for their children and their ability to maintain focus often realize just how engrossing the whole process of tying a fly can be for a child. A few years ago, I tied flies at a boat show in New York. When I do these events, I will often sit people down and have them tie a simple fly. Two older gentlemen at the booth next to ours commented on how many kids were interested in trying it. They couldn't believe that the Nintendo Generation was so interested in something so hands-on and non-digital.

Have you ever been a patron of your own business? If so, what was the most enjoyable part?

I was lucky enough to have my second guide row the drift boat down the river for me a few times. The most enjoyable part was that I could fish and did not have to row. It was a special feeling being given the royal treatment and having someone else position the boat perfectly, allowing me to cast to the best spots. It gave me a better appreciation of what I provide my clients when we're on the water.

Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?

I am a full-time teacher, and in my tying lessons, I provide individual help to make sure students leave with the basic skills to continue tying flies of their own. A lesson usually includes a digital demonstration of tying the fly we are working on in that class, followed by hands-on, step-by-step [instruction]. Once the first fly is complete, we will tie another together, and as students feel ready, they can move ahead at their own speed, tying more flies of the same style in whatever color they like. Students usually end up tying two to four flies in a typical two-hour class, and I also try to make sure I tie enough so that each student gets one to take home as a model. Students who bring their own thumb drive can also take the digital presentation with them so that they have the step-by-step instructions to work from at home.

2822 Lincoln St
Columbia,
SC
US

As Halloween approaches, dozens of macabre vistas appear across the country, frightening but somehow also beckoning groups of visitors. The masterminds behind these apparitions? America Is Haunted, a company that has fear down to a science. That starts with the element of surprise, as each location holds its own secrets and scares. Six terrifying mazes, eight mini-shows, more than 300 monsters, goblins, and ghouls including larger-than-life rats, spiders, and gargoyles, as well as interactive experiences, gory vignettes, and costumed actors await throughout each attraction. The escorted journey may begin with a disorienting, technicolor maze where each turn brings guests face to face with some new horror. Other locales might include a maximum-security prison where the inmates run wild or a grocery store where the cereal is all the healthy kind.

715 Bluff Road
Columbia,
SC
US