Summertime adventures in Soda City

Once finals week ends and summer begins most people fall into one of two categories: those who leave Columbia in a mass exodus and those who don’t. Students who stay may worry there will be nothing to do this summer. Fear not! There are plenty of fun things to do throughout Soda City in the summertime other than binge-watching Netflix or counting down the days until school starts again. We’ve picked the highlights to get you started on having your best summer yet.

Farm fresh

Tired of eating ramen or trying to survive off PB&J for the summer? UofSC hosts its Healthy Carolina Farmers Market Tuesday mornings on Davis Field.

Likewise, Soda City happens Saturday mornings on Main Street. Get there early and buy some locally farmed produce to spice up your meals or to snack on throughout the day. Showcasing unique vendors with products on display always looks super cute in an Instagram or Snapchat post, too.

Adventure awaits

Columbia is the perfect city for outdoor fun since the Saluda, Broad and Congaree River are nearby. You can go kayaking, canoeing or tubing with your friends with some equipment from campus recreation’s rental shop.

Riverfront or West Columbia Riverwalk Park are also great places to go for a jog or set up an Eno to relax by the river.

Fun Fact: There are rare synchronous fireflies at Congaree National Park that are a must-see in June. Melton Memorial Observatory holds stargazing sessions on Monday nights led by astronomers that are both breathtaking and educational. 

Athletically inclined

Gamecock baseball is now in the postseason, but the Columbia Fireflies season is just starting to light up. The Fireflies play 12 home games a month with a fireworks show on Friday nights.

Check out the Fireflies website for more information on promotions and their schedule. Remember, UofSC has summer intramurals like kickball, flag football, soccer, sand volleyball, basketball and golf. Visit the intramural website for details.

Water works

A day spent at Lake Murray will do just the trick when you need to beat the heat and catch some rays. Going poolside is another option, and Strom’s pools are accessible to all students through a summer gym membership.

Looking to get off campus? Maxcy Gregg Park has an Olympic sized pool that offers free swim days on Friday, and Greenview Pool with new renovations has now become a mini-waterpark with free swim days on Monday.

A true intellectual

We all know it gets steamy in South Carolina over the summer, so for something more air-conditioned why not visit some of Columbia’s museums?

The Columbia Museum of Art on Main Street is displaying a Jane Peterson exhibit open all summer along with its other exquisite artwork. Admission prices are normally reduced for students but are also half-off this summer because of renovations. There is also the South Carolina State Museum on Gervais Street where admission is $1 every first Sunday of the month.

If you’re okay with a bit of a drive, Riverbank Zoo and Gardens is just down the road and houses a variety of animals from otters to elephants. You can even feed the giraffes!

Summer also is a great time to take care of administrative business as campus offices are open, but there are fewer students needing assistance.

Let us know how you are spending your summer by tagging #UofSC on your social media posts or email us at

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