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Best places to work outside in Columbia

When the sun is shining and the weather is perfect, pack a bag and head out to one of the many spots great for remote work in Columbia. From coffee shops to public parks, we have a plethora of places to refresh your mind and step away from your home desk.

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The outdoor area at River Rat features communal tables and astroturf. | Photo by COLAtoday

Table of Contents

You’ve got a big presentation due… and a big pile of laundry taunting you. We get it — working from home can be a mixed blessing. There are days when a change of scenery is a must if you’re going to get anything done. The good news? Research shows that tackling your tasks al fresco actually helps boost productivity.

Finding places to work outside in the Soda City was at the top of our to-do list, so can we just say? Check.

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Patio of smallSUGAR | Photo by @sarahemucha

Coffee and tea shops

Caffeine reigns supreme if you have a latte work to finish. Put on your favorite playlist and get to it.

The Hideout in WeCo, 118 State St., West Columbia
Operating hours: Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sunday: closed
Wifi: Yes
Covered: Yes
Locals are able to sit under umbrellas on the back patio or out front. Pro tip: This breakfast and brunch spot closes every day at 1:30 p.m., except on Saturdays, when it closes at 3:30 p.m.

Indah Coffee, 2238 Sumter St., Columbia
Operating hours: Monday-Friday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wifi: Yes
Covered: Partially
Pop around the corner after grabbing an iced coffee to sit under several umbrellas.

Knowledge Perk, 1527 Gervais St., Columbia,
Operating hours: Monday-Saturday: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wifi: Yes
Covered: Yes
Patrons will find ample covered seating along the wrap around porch so you can enjoy outdoor seating in rain or shine.

Loveland Coffee, 7475 Carlisle St., Irmo
Operating hours: Monday-Saturday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday: Closed
Wifi: Yes
Covered: Partially
Loveland offers plenty of covered seating on its patio outdoors. If it gets too hot or begins to rain, move to a seat under the awning or sit in a booth inside by a window.

Piecewise Coffee Co., 2001 State St., Cayce
Operating hours: Monday-Friday: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday: Closed
Wifi: Yes
Covered: No
Piecewise has several seating options, including multiple picnic benches outside to work from. Be aware that there aren’t any umbrellas, so we recommend either sitting inside or going on a cool day.

smallSUGAR, 709 Gervais St., Columbia,
Operating hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wifi: Yes
Covered: Yes
smallSUGAR has a fully-covered patio just outside of its doors that make for a perfectly shaded breakfast or brunch. Pro tip: order the smallSUGAR breakfast with a pastry on the side.

Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea
Operating hours: Monday-Friday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday-Sunday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Wifi: Yes
Covered: Partially
If you like natural light, Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea has a wall full of windows, so it can feel like you’re working outside. If you actually want to move outdoors, it offers several small tables with umbrellas.

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Steel Hands Brewing has ample outdoor patio setaing. | Photo by @eatinsc

Restaurants and bars

At these fine establishments, the patio is the way to go — especially when the Cola weather is at its best. Order some food and drinks to fuel your focus.

WeCo Bottle and Beirgarten, 626 Meeting St., West Columbia
Operating hours: Daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Covered: Yes and no
Patrons can choose to sit under the fully covered patio or under umbrellas outside of the patio. Pro tip: dogs cannot sit on the patio and look at its lineup of food truck and events before you go.

Columbia Craft, 520 Greene St., Columbia
Operating hours: Monday-Thursday: 2 to 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday: 12 to 10 p.m.
Covered: Yes
Finish your work day at Columbia Craft and have your friends meet you for Trivia or Music Bingo nights.

Craft and Draft, 2706 Devine St., Columbia
Operating hours: Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday: 11 am.-8 p.m.
Covered: Yes
Enjoy covered seating on Craft and Draft’s patio. Try This: Join the local brewery on Saturday, July 8 from 12 to 7 p.m. for a Deep Space 9th Anniversary Party.

Steel Hands Brewing, 2350 Foreman St., Cayce
Operating hours: Monday: Closed, Tuesday-Wednesday, 3 to 8 p.m., Thursday: 3 to 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday: 12 to 11 p.m., Sunday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Covered: Yes and partially
Choose a beer on tap and find a seat under an awning or under an umbrella at one of its many, many picnic tables. This is a perfect place to end your work day + have a beer at 5 p.m.

Savage Craft Ale Works, 430 Center St., West Columbia
Operating hours: Monday: Closed, Tuesday-Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Covered: Yes, No, Partially
Savage Craft offers a pick-your-own-seating-adventure. Explore the yard for picnic tables, seats by fire pits, or on the rooftop bar upstairs.

River Rat Brewery, 1231 Shop Rd., Columbia
Operating hours: Sunday-Tuesday: Closed, Wednesday: 4 to 9 p.m., Thursday: 4 to 10 p.m., Friday-Sunday: 12 to 10 p.m.
Covered: Yes, No, Partially
Take your pick between a rooftop bar, picnic tables under an awning, or several picnic tables on the turf.

takeout food by river

Bring your lunch, your laptop, and a hotspot to one of Columbia’s riverwalks. | Photo by the COLAtoday team

Parks and public spaces

It’s hard to beat fresh air when you want to think clearly. Set up a picnic blanket or head to your favorite picnic table — just don’t forget to charge your devices and bring your own hotspot.

Richland Library, 1431 Assembly St., Columbia; Various locations
Days/hours of operation: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday-Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday: 2 to 6 p.m.
Restrooms: Yes
Covered: Yes
Each branch of the library offers different outdoor seating, but the Assembly Street location will be getting more after construction is complete next door.

The Riverwalks, Various locations. Find access points.
Days/hours of operation: Open daily until darkRestrooms: Sometimes
Covered: No
Whether you enjoy engaging in physical activities, a quiet place to work, or simply seeking a serene spot to unwind with a good book, the Three Rivers Greenway offers an ideal destination.

Saluda Shoals Park, 5605 Bush River Rd.
Days/hours of operation: March 12-September 15, Monday-Sunday: 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
Restrooms: Yes
Covered: Yes, No, Partially
Located in Irmo, this 400-acre park offers hiking trails, river access, picnic areas, and Leo’s Landing Inclusive Playground.

Femme x Columbia, 1501 Richland St., Columbia
Days/hours of operation: Monday-Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday-Friday: 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday: Closed
Restrooms: Yes or No
Covered: Partially
Purchase a daily pass or a membership to use this entire space that includes porch and patio seating.

SOCO, BullStreet, 1721 Saunders St. + SOCO 80808, 808 Lady St. Ste. D
Days/hours of operation: As a member, you will have 24/7 access to this coworking space.
Restrooms: Yes
Covered: Partially
With locations in the Vista and the BullStreet District, both spots have options to upgrade for a designated desk, outdoor seating, parking, and private meeting space. Membership will provide access to both locations and community resources.

What did we miss? If you know an outdoor spot that’s not on the list, let us know using this survey.

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