UPDATES: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
We are so thankful for the technology of virtual meetings and that will continue to play an important role in the landscape of meetings moving forward, but nothing compares with the real connections and engagement of gathering face to face. With experience hosting events in this new normal since June 2020, you can rest assured that our staff has had safety as a top priority since reopening our doors. Read more to learn how we can help you plan your meeting safely and help your attendees feel at ease.
The Convention Center is right in the middle of Columbia’s bustling downtown. With over 2,000 hotel rooms within one mile and plenty of restaurants within four blocks, getting your fill of our city is easy. After your meeting wraps, dig into some traditional Southern barbecue, or cozy up to the bar with a cocktail – no matter your style, we’ve got you covered. Check out the hotels and restaurants nearby below.
The Hilton Columbia Center is conveniently located across the street from the Convention Center. The hotel features meeting rooms, room service, an outdoor saltwater pool, and a Ruth's Chris Steak House Restaurant.
The Hyatt Place Hotel is located in the heart of the Vista just minutes from the Columbia Convention Center. The hotel offers free breakfast, a 24/7 market, flexible meeting space, and a coffee to cocktails bar for guests.
Located in the Vista, the stylish Aloft Columbia Downtown is conveniently near the shops, dining, and nightlife in the area. The Aloft is a pet-friendly hotel that has a funky bar and lounge, a fitness center and meeting spaces.
6. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Columbia Downtown/The Vista
Located on the West end of the Vista, SpringHill Suites is a brief walk to the shops and restaurants in the area. The hotel offers a meeting space, fitness center, indoor pool, full service bar, and free onsite parking.
The Courtyard Marriott is located on the USC campus, near the Colonial Life Arena and down the road from Williams Brice Stadium. Within walking distance to the Convention Center, the UofSC campus and the Colonial Life Arena, the Courtyard by Marriott at USC offers onsite Bistro dining, laundry facilities, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center.
The Sheraton is nestled along Main Street in the heart of downtown within walking distance to a number of shops, museums, and restaurants, and a five minute drive to the Convention Center. The Sheraton features a Starbucks coffee shop in its basement and a rooftop bar that overlooks the city.
Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, this 300 room hotel is near local shops, a variety of restaurants, and the State House. The hotel features a spacious lobby and on-site restaurant as well as versatile meeting spaces.
Nestled in the heart of the Main Street District you'll find boutique hotel, Hotel Trundle. It's an urban retreat that mixes a historic foundation with bright colors & creative designs that reflect Columbia's vibrant culture. Around every corner, and in every detail, you'll find local art, furnishings and sentiment. Take in a complimentary local beer at check in, sit back and relax, and let your meeting feel more like a vacation.
Graduate Columbia is located just steps from the historic Horseshoe on campus. Located in a restored, turn-of-the-century home, this hotel features eclectic décor centered around Columbia's local flare, 3,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, and a lobby-level café and bar.
Inspired by local and regional Southern food traditions, 1801 Grille honors the university's rich history and hospitality. Sitting down the street from the CMCC and across the street from Colonial Life Arena, this restaurant is meant for game days, convention attendees, and concert goers. Grab a drink and the Crawfish Deviled Eggs and you'll fit right in.
Indulge in Korean favorites at this trendy spot in The Vista. 929 Kitchen & Bar is known for their upscale environment, perfect for a lunch break or business dinners. If you go, start with the Kimchi Bulgogi Nacho, followed by Bimbimbap and you won't be disappointed.
Considered by many to be one of the best seafood restaurants in the southeast, Blue Marlin will not disappoint for your business lunch or after-hours event. We suggest trying their infamous shrimp & grits.
Head to Bourbon for happy hour, where you're as likely to find a group of young professionals as a group of legislators. Just steps away from the South Carolina State House, this whiskey-centric hang out specializes in craft cocktails and creole cuisine. Photo by Carl Heyward.
While we love to support local restaurants, we know staples like Chipotle are important. Lucky for you, there's a location right around the corner from the CMCC. Stop by to get your favorite, burrito, bowl, or salad - just don't forget the guacamole.
Known to locals simply as COA, this spot gained a quick reputation for its specialty margaritas and elevated Mexican food. Menu items range from your classic tacos to ahi tuna, braised pork and citrus marinated shrimp. Photo by Forrest Clonts.
Located in a restored 1930s RC Cola bottling plant, the restaurant's name refers to its history as well as the city's nickname. Cola's offers a casual fine dining experience, serving steak, seafood, and creative culinary dishes. When the weather permits, garage doors open up to views of the State House.
Seafood lovers rejoice! Crafty Crab on Gervais Street is your spot to dig into all your shellfish favorites. If not everyone in your party is a seafood fan, don't worry, they'll be more than delighted with other flavorful menu options.
Di Vino Rosso offers traditional Italian dishes with local twists and an extensive wine list. The award winning chefs, owners and staff will be dedicated to providing your party a top notch experience in this historical 1920s building.
With gourmet burgers, fries, onion rings, and even specialty milkshakes (for kids and adults), Grill Marks has something on the menu for everyone. Enjoy your meal on the misted patio and watch as The Vista comes to life.
Take in a view of the CMCC on the Hickory Tavern rooftop. Elevated bar food paired with happy hour special, plus tons of televisions make this the perfect place to sit back and unwind. Photo by Brett Flashnick.
Enjoy the low-key, vibrant atmosphere at Hunter-Gatherer Brewery. You'll find them located in the Rosewood neighborhood in a vintage airplane hangar. Or, head to their original location on the Carolina campus for fresh, upscale bar food.
Located behind the South Carolina State House, this cozy eatery and coffee roaster is often buzzing with university students or government representatives grabbing a fresh sandwich and specialty coffee drink.
Lining Lincoln Street, you'll find what has become a staple for The Vista entertainment district. Serving up American fare with a twist, Liberty also pours its fair share of brews. If you're looking for an adventure, head to its second Columbia location on Lake Murray, boasting a patio view you won't soon forget.
Dynamite sushi and entrees abound at M Vista. One of many Miyo's locations, M Vista offers fresh dishes inspired by a myriad of Asian cuisine. Check out their modern atmosphere for a healthy lunch, or cozy up to the bar for a specialty cocktail and a sushi platter to share.
One of several locations in Columbia, Mellow Mushroom is a pizza staple. If you've been to one before, you know they're known for their quirky interior and seriously good pizza. This is a place where you should eat the whole pie-- we won't tell.
Never eat the same meal twice at Motor Supply Company, which features a new menu every day and every night. The restaurant is known for its fresh and eclectic dishes. Enjoy a farm-to-table experience in a renovated 1800s engine supply building, located in the heart of the Vista. Photo by Forrest Clonts.
Connected to the infamous Adluh Flour building, Old Chicago is a popular spot for draft beer, made-from-scratch pizzas, shareable starters, and a rollicking good time. Here, you can enjoy lunch specials in between meetings, or relax with colleagues after a long day.
With 40+ beers on tap and elevated Southern cuisine, Republic Biergarten & Kitchen is the perfect spot to refuel and kick back with a drink after a busy day. Dine inside for that classic local sports bar atmosphere, or make the most of Columbia's sunny weather by enjoying the spacious outdoor patio.
Make a pit stop for lunch and build your own bowl with the likes of flame grilled steak or Mahi-Mahi. Or, start your night at their rustic-chic bar or outdoor patio, tucked away from the bustle of the city.
Ready for some seafood with a laid-back attitude? Follow the locals to The Oyster Bar and get to shucking. Or, dine on one of their Lowcountry classic plates to get a variety of flavors. Either way, you can't go wrong. Photo by Carl Heyward.
Offering smoked barbecue and a secret family sauce, you can smell the cooking here a mile away. Grab a classic pulled pork plate, or stick to the classic Southern sides like Cole slaw, hash and rice, and Mac-n-cheese.
When it's a basketball or baseball game day, you'll see Thirsty Fellow's insides and its covered patio packed. Its proximity to the CMCC, the arena, and the baseball field (and its reputation for delectable food and cold beer) have made it a mainstay for locals and visitors alike.
Boasting "better than bar food," Tin Roof's menu mixes Southern classics with new recipes. Case in point - Dixie Biscuits complete with three fried biscuit sliders, smoked brisket, bacon, peach jam & cheddar cheese.