The South Carolina State Fair has something for everyone, attracting nearly half a million visitors to the Columbia fairgrounds each year. Whether you're after that tasty, once-a-year fried treat, nostalgic thrill rides or the best people-watching event of the year, be sure to make a couple of stops before and after the fair to make the most out of your trip to South Carolina's capital city.
When you get into town, take a stroll down Columbia's newly revitalized Main Street. Step into Mast General Store, one of the last remaining examples of an authentic old country general store, where you'll find everything from outdoor supplies and clothing to unique gift items and a huge selection of candy to choose from, including classic confectioneries from decades gone by.
To get to the fair, drive down one of Columbia's main corridors, Assembly Street. This will bring you through the University of South Carolina's campus and lead you straight to Williams-Brice Stadium (home of the South Carolina Gamecocks) and the fairgrounds. It won't be long before you smell the funnel cakes and fried Oreos!
If you still have room after the gyros, boiled peanuts and fresh-squeezed lemonade, go for a plate of bona fide South Carolina barbecue at Palmetto Pig, a local favorite on Devine Street. Or, if you're a true mustard sauce enthusiast, you may want to try one of South Carolina's most iconic barbecue joints, Maurice's, where Columbians and South Carolinians have been celebrating the Palmetto State's famous pulled pork for more than 75 years.