During the summertime, I planned a little staycation with my family in Columbia, SC. My teens would be out of school, my wife and I are on a stress-relieving gateway during the weekend. The weather is fantastic and the days are longer. While being at home for a long time made me cranky with the crazy workload, we wanted to go out and breathe fresh air and soak up in the sun. 

The first thing I did was to book a decent budget-friendly hotel in Columbia, SC. I looked for a lot of budget hotels in Columbia SC, as I was looking for two separate rooms for my family. We have grown up kids and they need their space as well.

As a traveler what I really wanted for the staycation to be is save money by staying somewhere awesome, do fun activities, and eat great food.

Finding the right place to stay, after a lot of scrolling and considering my pocket, I finalized OYO Hotels, nestled right off I26 across from Lexington Hospital, is an elegant and trendy property. It is close to Riverbanks Botanical Garden, Riverbanks & Zoo Garden, Saluda River, and Broad River. The property is built on open space with lush green trees surrounding it, sure a treat to the eyes. Also, my eldest daughter is allergic to pet hair so this hotel ticked off the list for me as no pets are allowed here. The rooms were spacious, clean, and comforting with a TV unit, AC along with free wifi, microwave, and first aid safety. 

Going Wild at the Riverbanks ZOO

Riverbanks zoo is one of the most popular attractions in Columbia and our OYO hotel we chose is close to the zoo. The zoo connects wildlife with visitors from all corners of the world. We had a fun time at the zoo and interacted with the friendly Koala, looked at the pink flamingos, fed the giraffe, and strolled at the park. The zoo has several sections and a splendid waterfall. If you are willing to head here, do not forget to buy the tickets online.

Water Adventures at Lake Murray

Thankfully, the hotel where I’m staying is a 20-minute drive to Lake Murray. With plenty of options for the summer, Lake Murray offers swimming, kayaking, sailing, fishing, scuba diving, and more to its list. There’s also a hiking trail to interest you for your thrill. We took a cruise to enjoy the sunset with spectacular hues in pinks, reds, and purple with an unforgettable scenic view. 

Food & Eateries

Columbia is the hub of exciting restaurants and diners, you will find a lot of options for breweries, bakeries, restaurants, or enjoy the outdoor meal with tree-lined downtown. On the quest of trying something new, we hopped onto a Japanese eatery, Inakaya and the food was scrumptious. Apart from this, you will find Italian and continental cuisines as well with foodies enjoying the local southern food and barbeque.

The streets in Columbia are covered in an abundance of paintings, murals, and sculptures and other landmarks look highly realistic. Also, enjoying a few hours at the museum will only increase your curiosity and leave you inspired.

Often, we do not find the time or a suitable budget to plan an exotic vacation for a few days to disconnect ourselves from the city’s commotion. However, you can always opt for a short staycation at a budget-friendly hotel with nearby adventure spots to fuel your renewed energy after a refreshing weekend!
I hope my experience of staying in Columbia helps you to plan a trip soon for your family and loved ones.

Have a great trip ahead!