What to do in Columbia during USC’s Family Weekend

Get ready to immerse yourself in USC’s vibrant campus life during Family Weekend, and explore the best of Columbia, SC with our pro tips and local insights.


McKissick Museum is located on the Horseshoe in the center of the USC campus. | Photo by COLAtoday

Table of Contents

USC’s Family Weekend is happening this weekend, Friday, Sept. 22 through Saturday, Sept. 23. It’s an opportunity for the families of USC students to experience the true essence of the Carolina community while exploring USC’s campus.

This year’s Family Weekend offers a lineup of signature events filled with entertainment, the chance to meet USC’s president, and a traditional tailgate party ahead of the football game against Mississippi State.

But don’t just limit your visit to campus activities; we’ve got a few local recommendations to help you make the most of your time in Columbia.

Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

Soda City in fall | Photo by COLAtoday team


A trip to Cola wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the iconic State House. Consider stopping by after attending our local Saturday market, Soda City. For a deeper understanding of Columbia, consider taking a local tour.

Take a picture at the Five Points Postcard mural, perfect for a group photo. Columbia boasts an impressive collection of public art, with around 200 pieces scattered throughout the city. Be sure to check out One Columbia’s public art directory or our mural guide, featuring 36 captivating art displays.


Pair your evening with an alfresco drink on Smoked’s front or back patio | Photo via SmokedSC Facebook Page

Food + Beverages

As the sun sets, elevate your experience at one of the city’s rooftop bars, such as Hendrix, Black Rooster, or Savage Craft Ale Works. Pro tip: If you’re not attending the game but still want a game-time atmosphere, River Rat Brewery has a rooftop bar with a view of Williams-Brice Stadium.

For the caffeine aficionados who need a morning boost, read through our coffee guide and before you head home, don’t skip on a local Sunday brunch.

We’ve got you covered with plenty of recommendations to help you navigate Columbia’s diverse culinary scene:

Follow this guide and we think you’ll love Columbia as much as we do.