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Romance is in the Air in the Soda City

Kerry Egan Kerry Egan
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.
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Columbia SC romance
Finlay Park is the perfect place for Romance in Columbia.

Looking for a spot for a romantic getaway? Everyone's idea of romance is different. For some, it's being out in nature, for others, it's learning something new together. And for still others, it's indulging in luxurious experiences. Whatever your notion of romance with your sweetheart, Columbia has you covered.

Places to Stay

Start with a romantic place to stay. Downtown Columbia has lots of beautiful, comfortable hotels to choose from. But if you want something special, try something entirely different. Out in the country, down a twisty, shady road, a few miles and centuries from downtown, you can step into the past. Wavering Place Plantation has been owned by the Adams family since the 18th century. The family has turned the kitchen building, built in 1790, into a peaceful, cozy one-bedroom cottage. The Kitchen House B&B sits just across from the massive "big house", among other historic buildings that the Adams family is in the process of restoring and under ancient trees. There's no other place to stay in Columbia quite like it.

If your idea of a romantic getaway puts you right in the middle of the excitement, then try a stay at the Sheraton Columbia Downtown. Located in the historic Palmetto Building (1913) right on Main Street, the hotel features cozy rooms and lovely suites. The best part for romance? The hotel's Rooftop Lounge, a welcoming bar with gorgeous sunset views of the city spread out beneath you.

Something to Whet Your Appetite

Don't let Columbia's abundance of raucous bars and pubs fool you - this is a college town with some seriously romantic restaurants. Gervais and Vine offers dozens of tapas and bottles of wines to share and linger over in their cozy dining room or lovely patio. Elegant restaurants like Blue Marlin, Motor Supply and Mr. Friendly's are also great options for cozy, dimly lit spots with amazing food and romantic environments.

Things to Kindle That Romantic Feeling

What could be more romantic than floating under the stars, the moonlight reflecting off the dark waters of the Saluda River? Palmetto Outdoors offers moonlight kayaking trips during the spring, summer and fall.

The Saluda isn't the only place to see the sunset over the water with your sweetie. Lake Murray, just outside of downtown Columbia, has lots of options for either a day or evening on the water. Take a cruise with Lake Murray Cruises on its OSPREY Tour Boat, a pontoon boat accomomdating up to 40 guests. If a motorboat is more your speed, there are many options for renting. See a list here.

Is there anything more romantic than dancing close to your love? Studies show that learning how to do something new together brings you closer. Combine the two by learning to shag (South Carolina's undeniably fun state dance) or salsa dance. Woody's offer classes and then free dancing Thursday nights from 7-10. .

Want to create something together? Check out Studio Cellar, where you and your sweetheart can create great art while sipping on some great wine.

Tsubaki offers an authentic Asian-style karaoke, complete with private rooms. Reserve one of the private spaces and sing love songs to each other all night long. Or, proclaim your love in song in front of the welcoming crowd on the main floor.

Maybe it's the way they remind us of those skittish first dates in high school, but there's something romantic and intimate about seeing a movie together. See an art flick or a brooding indie film at the Nickelodeon on Main Street. Possibly even work up the courage to drape your arm over the back of her chair in the dark theater.

If it's a luxurious, sensual experience you're looking for, look no further than OCCO Luxury Spa. The spa offers couples massages that will have you relaxed and looking forward to your next adventure.

Finish off a night of romance with something sweet. Try dessert cafes Kaminsky's for the final bit of sugar before you turn in after your romantic getaway.

Kerry Egan
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.