By Kelly Nash
Columbia
South Carolina
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Columbia, SC is a city deep in history, culture, and vibrancy. Escapewizard.com invites you to take part by visiting and experiencing all that Columbia has to offer.

Columbia is the capital of South Carolina with roughly 120, 000 in population and has a big city feel without being completely overwhelming to travelers. The area has one main airport, Columbia Metropolitan (CAE) that visitors can fly into when frequenting the city. Book your flight today with Escapewizard.com to enjoy South Carolina’s state capital: To do so, please follow the link to make flight arrangements (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php). While booking your flight with Escapewizard.com, please refer to our top selections of hotels in the Downtown or Midlands area for assistance with finding accommodations. Then click on the following link, (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl), to book your hotel with EscapeWizard.com.

For the historical enthusiasts, Columbia bodes a rich array of sites. South Carolina’s State House is located on Gervais Street, and it houses the General Assembly as well as the offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina. The building was constructed in 1851 and took six cannon blasts during the Civil War. These are indicated on the building with six bronze stars. Escapewizard.com also suggests the historical tours of some of the oldest homes in the state, courtesy of the Columbia Historic Foundation. These four homes are some of the most intriguing and intricate works in the state; President Woodrow Wilson’s family home is amongst these. Robert Mills, one of South Carolina’s most famous architects, built his mansion and garden here in 1823, which visitors can tour. He is famous for designing several works in Washington D.C. such as the Washington Monument.

Columbia offers everything from historical tours to an excellent nightlife so there is always something to do here.  For entertainment, Escapewizard.com suggests the historical Vista area. The city of Columbia, in cooperation with local businesses and retailers, has preserved the look of these older buildings to maintain a sense of culture.  Gervais Street hosts a variety of unique shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Towards the end of the street are the South Carolina State Museum and the EdVenture Children’s Museum, both of which have rotating exhibits and exciting events to see year round.

Columbia has a mix of excellent shopping. Escapewizard.com suggests both the Five Points area and the Village at Sandhills for your shopping needs. Five Points is home to many local retailers with a variety of tastes and trades. The Village at Sandhills hosts bigger retailers with 300 acres of shopping area, a movie theatre, and an indoor sports complex. 

Escapewizard.com encourages visitors to catch a sporting event while here in Columbia. Sports are a huge draw to the city. In 2010, the University of South Carolina won the National Title in baseball. The Gamecocks stadium was opened in February of 2009 and seats over 8,000 plus another 1,000 standing room only. It is the largest baseball stadium in the state.  Williams Brice Stadium is the home of the USC Gamecocks football team. The stadium holds over 80,000 and is located just south of downtown. The stadium was constructed in 1934 and is named to honor the Williams and Brice families. Mrs. Martha Williams-Brice left her estate to help fund stadium renovations.

Columbia’s nightlife is definitely something to take advantage of while here in city: Columbia’s Vista area, Village at Sandhills, and Five Points host over 50 bars of varying types. Escapewizard.com would like to point out that there are festivals going on in Columbia year round. Everything from the Greek Festival to the State Fair, there is something for everyone all year around. For a full list of bars and restaurants as well as other local activities, please click on the link (http://nightlifecolumbia.com).

Most things are available by car, so Escapewizard.com suggests a car rental as the easiest method of travel. Escapewizard.com can say that Columbia will provide an interesting and fulfilling visit for your next vacation.
Hotels in Columbia
By Jamie Nicholson
Hilton Garden Inn Columbia/Northeast
8910 Farrow Road, Columbia, SC
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The Hilton Garden Inn Columbia/Northeast is located in a convenient spot right off Interstate-77, just a mile from the Northeast Business District and a 15-minute drive from downtown Columbia. Self-parking is available for no extra charge in an on-site parking lot. Check-in begins at 3 p.m.

Guest rooms are available, each of which includes a self-adjusting bed, a bathroom with a tub and showerhead, a 42-inch LCD television, a microwave, a coffeemaker and a refrigerator and freezer. Suites are also available and include more space and a sitting area with a sofa bed. Wi-Fi internet and secure wired Ethernet are available free of charge, as are 42 HD channels. 

Among the amenities at this Hilton Garden Inn is a fully-equipped fitness center and pool area. The fitness room includes machines for weightlifting and cardio training. For those who prefer to exercise in the comfort of their room, the receptionist supplies a complimentary Stay Fit Kit upon request. The fitness center is attached to the pool area, with a window view of a heated indoor pool and whirlpool for relaxation and recreation.

Check-out at the Hilton Garden Inn Columbia is scheduled every morning until 12 p.m. Whether you are visiting the University of South Carolina or planning to wander downtown for business or pleasure, this conveniently located hotel offers a great stay from check-in to check-out.

EscapeWizard.com can help you search for low pricing at this hotel and others by clicking this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Columbia
By Andrew Boswell
Hilton Columbia Center
924 Senate Street, Columbia, SC
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Hilton Columbia Center is a beautiful hotel, located in the busy Congaree Vista District of Columbia.  Its central location puts it a mere 15 minutes from Columbia Metropolitan Airport and only a few minutes from the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.  The lobby is crafted with marble flooring, and is air conditioned to keep you cool, during your 3 p.m. check in.  Valet and self-parking options are available, for a modest fee.  Luggage storage is also available and there is a concierge desk to help take your vacation to the next level.

Guest rooms are luxurious and functional at the Hilton Columbia Center.  They include many features and luxuries, which can range from the wooden work desk, to the LCD flat screen television.  Wireless and Wired Internet comes free of charge, in all rooms.  Other amenities include the in room coffee maker, ironing board, hair dryer, marble countertops, and 250 thread count sheets.  In room dining is available 7 days a week and Hilton Columbia Center even allows pets, so, your 4 legged friends won’t have to stay home.  Suite and Presidential Suite options are available as well.  

Hilton Columbia Center offers many amenities.  From the Southern Cooking at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse Restaurant, to the finely mixed drinks at Ruths' Chris Bar.  There's also a 24 hour fitness center, as well as a 24hr business center for those mixing work and play.  Guests can also swim, year round, at the heated outdoor saltwater pool.  Guests can also take advantage of the local environment, by venturing out into the surrounding Congaree Vista District.  The district is the arts and entertainment center, of Columbia, and offers many restaurants, art galleries and bars.  

While visiting Columbia you owe it to yourself to check out this Class A 4 Diamond hotel.  For this level of quality, the rooms are very affordable.  Making this hotel a great choice for guests that are visiting for work or play.  Check out is at 12 p.m.  Don't delay, head to this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl) and find a great deal for your trip through EscapeWizard.com.
Hotels in Columbia
By Todd Sehon
Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel
1400 Main Street, Columbia, SC
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Located just 12 miles from Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE), the Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel is the best place to stay while you are in town. Inside The Palmetto Building which was built in 1913 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it has recently undergone a complete renovation, bringing it up to date with some very nice amenities.

Once you enter the front door and step onto the original marble floors you are instantly greeted by their friendly staff, with a 3 p.m. check-in time and their Express check-in they will get you settled into one of 118 rooms or 14 suites that they have available. All of their rooms are 100% smoke-free and come with a host of amenities such as flat panel TV’s (including the bathroom), free Wi-Fi for all guests, ultra comfy beds, desk and chairs. When you are ready to unwind from the day, each bathroom comes with a shower (dual massaging showerheads) or Jacuzzi tub and a bathrobe and slippers for after. A coffee maker with Starbucks coffee will get you going in the morning and then it’s off to the new fitness center to energize you for the day. A 24 hour business center will allow you to take care of any last minute work issues.

When you are ready to head out for the day just step outside the front doors into the heart of the Columbia Historic District. 8 Museums are within walking distance, a National and State park are nearby as well as the Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Gardens. For the true outdoor enthusiast there is The Palmetto Trail which is a gorgeous 425-mi bike and pedestrian trail that goes across the state.

When it is time to unwind from the day watch the sunset while having dinner at The Rooftop Lounge and then finish the night with drinks in The Vault, a martini bar that is built inside the banks original Vault.

On the day of your departure the 12 p.m. check out time lets you sleep in, and the Express check out gets you on your way fast. So we at EscapeWizard.com invite you to book your next adventure in Columbia, SC with us. Just click the link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl) and you will be on your way in no time.
Hotels in Columbia
By Summer Brons
Staybridge Suites
1913 Huger Street, Columbia, SC
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With a fantastic location in downtown Columbia, the Staybridge Suites offers an upscale extended-stay experience for the traveler spending a little extra time in town. Less than 20 minutes from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, the hotel offers convenience and amenities second to none.
   
Just off of Interstate 126, Staybridge Suites is within a mere one mile of many popular attractions and venues; including the Colonial Center, Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Carolina Coliseum, state museum, state house, and University of South Carolina. The historic Vista district offers nearby arts and dining options, while Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Gardens invites a unique afternoon experience less than two miles from the hotel.
   
Six miles away sits Fort Jackson, and many sports fields and complexes are within a 10-mile radius, making the Staybridge an excellent option for visitors who may be traveling for military or sporting purposes. Many corporate business offices are also nearby, as well as several colleges and universities. Easy access to major interstates I-26, I-20, and I-77 provide an brisk commute to other parts of Columbia and surrounding areas.
   
Since the Staybridge offers extended-stay options in addition to conventional hotel lodging, the amenities and features are nearly endless. There is a 24-hour fitness center, a business center, complimentary breakfast, express check-in and check-out, an indoor swimming pool, wireless Internet access, even an on-site convenience mart and free guest laundry. A video library and complimentary newspapers are also available. Priority Club Rewards members will earn points for their stay in any of the rooms. Pets are welcome here too.
   
Whether enjoying alone or with others, there are several suite options available. Hotel suites feature a 42-inch LCD television with HD programming, premium TV channels, and DVD player; a kitchenette complete with stove, refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher; as well as a hair dryer, iron and ironing board, and complimentary toiletries. Studio suites include a king bed; complete kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, kitchenware and utensils; even a large work desk.
   
One-bedroom suites enjoy similar perks to the studio suites, but have a king or two queen beds in the bedroom, and a separate living area. Two LCD TVs keep everyone happily entertained. Two-bedroom suites are ideal for traveling families or colleagues, taking the posh accommodations of the other suites and expanding it with an additional bedroom, and yes, an additional LCD television.
   
When the Staybridge Suites says "get comfortable," they mean it. Amazing amenities, a staff that aims to please, and an unbeatable location make this hotel a perfect choice for nearly any venture into Columbia, South Carolina. To book your hotel with EscapeWizard.com today just follow this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Columbia
By Summer Brons
Holiday Inn
110 McSwain Drive, West Columbia, SC
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Located less than six miles from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, the Holiday Inn is an ideal stopover for both the business traveler and the recreational Columbia visitor during their time in the city. Just off of Interstate 26, the hotel is only minutes from downtown; which features the University of South Carolina, museums, the state house, and numerous business hotspots. The two popular arts, dining, and nightlife districts; best known as the Vista and Five Points, are excellent spots to meet with clients or let loose with friends. Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens are also a hop, skip, and a jump away from the hotel, offering an exciting venue for those looking for a little something different to do with their afternoon.

On-site amenities include a 24-hour business center, free high-speed wireless Internet access, a fitness center, and even a saltwater pool. All rooms also feature a 32-inch flat-panel television with premium cable and HBO. Those who need to remain productive while on the road will appreciate the work desk with direct dial phone and ability to send and receive faxes. When hunger strikes, grab a bite at the in-house Sporting News Grill, or enjoy room service from 6:30am to 11:00pm. Members of the Priority Club Rewards program will also earn points for their stay, as with all Holiday Inn or other InterContinental Hotels Group locations.

This 100% smoke-free hotel is particularly unique; as it is designed to meet LEED certification criteria, and utilizes eco-friendly materials and water conservation efforts. The facility is the first in South Carolina to achieve EcoRoom Certification standards with it's low VOC paint and carpet. The convenient location to all areas of town via I-26, I-20, or I-77 even serves to save on time and gas too. 

Reasonable rates, modern luxuries, and an easy commute around the Columbia area make this Holiday Inn an excellent choice for travelers of all types. This room can be yours through EscapeWizard.com by following this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Columbia
By Summer Brons
Holiday Inn Express
501 Taylor Street, Columbia, SC
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Conveniently located in downtown Columbia, just off of I-126 and Huger Street, the Holiday Inn Express is perfectly situated for easy access around the city's largest business area and popular attractions. The Columbia Metropolitan Airport is less than 20 minutes away, allowing for a quick commute to or from the hotel for those traveling by air.    

The University of South Carolina, state museum, and historic Vista cultural and dining district are all within one mile of the hotel. The Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Colonial Center, and Koger Center for the Arts are notable event venues; each easily accessible. For those looking to enjoy some outdoor time, Finlay Park and Columbia Riverfront Park are also nearby, as well as Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Gardens, and the South Carolina State Fairgrounds. Just a quick drive up I-26 offers excellent shopping, entertainment, and dining options along the popular Harbison Boulevard. Access to I-20 and I-77 provides a convenient way to reach other areas of Columbia and surrounding towns.     

As with all Holiday Inn hotels, this Express location is not shy when it comes to creature comforts and amenities expected by both business and leisure travelers. Catch some rays at the outdoor pool after a presentation to clients in the available meeting room for 30, or take advantage of the other conveniences included with each stay. A fitness center ensures no missed workouts, the 24-hour business center keeps productivity in motion, and a complimentary hot breakfast will get the day started. Each room is smoke-free and features a microwave and refrigerator, premium cable, and complimentary wireless Internet access. Priority Club Rewards members will also earn points for their stay.    

With a fantastic location in the heart of Columbia, all travelers will appreciate the familiar face of this Holiday Inn Express, with accommodation and comfort at a reasonable rate. EscapeWizard.com can assist with booking your hotel experience by just clicking on this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).