Support Us Button Widget
Sponsored Content

Try This: Spend a Saturday like a Columbia, SC Ambassador

Read on for weekend inspo, courtesy of Experience Columbia SC 2023 Ambassador Mattison Heatherly.

Sponsored by
Mattison holding a martini at rooftop bar

We asked Mattison for her insider tips on making the most out of a Saturday in Cola.

Photo provided by Mattison Heatherly

Table of Contents

How does an Experience Columbia SC Ambassador spend a Saturday? We asked Mattison Heatherly, and she delivered. Let’s pass the mic over to her:

Hi, COLAtoday readers! Mattison Heatherly here. After moving from TX to NC and landing in Columbia in 2018, I am so proud to call Columbia my home. As the founder of City Social, a marketing and PR company specializing in hospitality brands, I am passionate about supporting local restaurants throughout our region and through my travels.

I fell in love with our city through wonderful food and drinks and have loved to see it blossom even more over the years. With all the delicious eats we enjoy, I find balance in staying active and getting outdoors with our dog Hank, who loves to visit the Riverwalk and dog parks around town. Here’s a peek into how I would spend a perfect Saturday in #RealColumbiaSC.

How an Ambassador spends a Saturday

My ideal Saturday has something active, adventurous, and always delicious. Here are some of my favorite places to enjoy on a sunny Saturday in Columbia, SC.

Mattison holding cocktail at outdoor table

Brunch at Hampton Street Vineyard is always a good idea.

Photo provided by Mattison Heatherly

I love to save the weekend for a boutique fitness class in town. There’s nothing like sweating out the week and grounding yourself at a hot yoga class at Studio Fire or stepping to the beat at Barre3. The WRKT pilates leaves me feeling the burn for the rest of the morning (until brunch, of course).

Pro tip: Most boutique fitness classes offer seasonal class pack sales, which makes them more affordable and lets you try different workouts without a membership.

Next, I’d head to Soda City Market downtown from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. While there are fresh produce stands, this is not your traditional farmers’ market. Food stands, local craftsmen, and vendors fill Main Street from the 1200 to 1700 block. It’s hard to make a decision about what to eat and drink with all the savory smells and sights, but you should definitely plan on having breakfast here. You’ll find foods like avocado toast, burritos, paella, doughnuts, acai bowls, arepas, and my favorite cinnamon rolls at “From Scratch.”

If you didn’t make it to Soda City, brunch is always a good idea. Some of my favorites are the burritos at Tazza Kitchen, croque madame at Hampton Street Vineyard, or eggs in purgatory at Il Giorgione.

If you’re craving a quick and casual bite for lunch, you can’t go wrong with Duke’s Pad Thai, Small Sugar, or Drake’s Duck In.

Spend the afternoon outdoors by floating the river with Palmetto Outdoors, or hitting the trails or the links at one of our many beautiful golf courses around town.

The local brewery scene is booming too, from Columbia Craft, River Rat, and Hunter Gatherer to Steel Hands and Savage Craft — each has its own great offerings and cool atmosphere.

For a great patio and craft cocktails, you’ll find us clinking glasses at Smoked, Black Rooster, or Hendrix. Another great way to sip your way through town is via the Pedal Parlor.

Regardless of what activities you did during the day, you’ve probably worked up an appetite. Thankfully, Columbia is full of fabulous food options for every craving.

I love a progressive date night down Main Street with a wine tasting at Hampton Street Vineyard followed by charcuterie and the famous gnudi at Lula Drake and a movie at The Nick. Then stop by Sweet Cream Co. or the new Robinson Room for something sweet.

Other dinner destinations we love are Coa Agaveria for incredible Mexican food and tequila cocktails, Terra for an ever-changing farm to table menu, City Grit for wine and tapas, Divino Rosso for wonderful Italian, Village Idiot Pizza for the best pizza and a casual meal with friends, or Bodhi Thai for a one of a kind Thai experience.

Hendrix- smiling.jpg

With Mattison’s recs, we’re excited to plan the ultimate Cola Saturday.

Photo provided by Mattison Heatherly

I hope you found inspiration for your next weekend (or meal) in Columbia, SC. For more insider tips, follow me at @mattisonheatherly on Instagram and stay up to date with local happenings at @columbiasc and @colatoday. Cheers!

More from COLAtoday