Staying in a hotel is nice, but to really get a feel for a place, there is nothing quite like staying at a bed and breakfast. And in friendly Columbia, already famous as "The Capital of Southern Hospitality," walking into a B&B is like being welcomed home. There is no way to get to know Columbia better than by staying on one of these gracious and gorgeous inns.
Located right in the heart of Columbia's historic downtown district, the 1425 Inn is just a few minutes walk from the University of South Carolina's campus and Main Street's museums, restaurants and shops. But you don't even need to venture out the door to see some of the best and newest work of Columbia's artists. The in is decorated with more than 100 original pieces of artwork, all from the Trenholm Artists Guild, and all for sale. The Artizan Gallery right in the Inn makes this a not just a gorgeous, elegant place to sleep or a spot to indulge in a decadent, delicious full breakfast, but a place to appreciate some of the loveliest art coming from Cola's vibrant arts community.
During the Civil War, Mary Boykin Chesnut wrote what many historians and critics believe to be one of the most important and beautiful documents of the Civil War: her diary. With its piercing insights and eloquent language, the diary was cited extensively in Ken Burns' monumental PBS documentary, "The Civil War," and is still read by students and beloved by history buffs. An abridged version was first published in 1905 as "A Diary from Dixie." A more complete edition, edited by C. Vann Woodward and published in 1982, won the Pulitzer Prize for History. (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/874238.Mary_Chesnut_s_Civil_War#other_reviews) Chesnut was a brilliant, highly educated, astute and politically well-connected woman, and she brings all these gifts to bear in her writing. She wrote the diary between 1861 and 1865, while a resident in Columbia. Her former home is now a Bed and Breakfast, Chesnut Cottage. In one of the few remaining antebellum homes in Columbia that was not burned down when Sherman's army arrived in 1865, Chesnut Cottage welcomes visitors with not just its incredibly rich history, but also with five gracious bedrooms furnished with antiques and a full breakfast that can accommodate your special dietary requirements.
The Kitchen House B&B at Wavering Place
Located a few miles outside of Columbia in rural Eastover, Wavering Place was once a cotton plantation. It feels like you've stepped back to another time, or somehow landed on a movie set when you drive up the long driveway shaded by ancient magnolias and oaks and see the massive main house come into view. The old kitchen house, not too far from the main house, has been converted into a luxurious bed and breakfast. The little free-standing cottage comes complete with its own spacious living room and cozy bedroom, and is just about the most private, intimate bed and breakfast you could imagine. A continental breakfast with local pastries and fruit is served each morning, and the lovely grounds and hiking trails beckon.