Columbia is awesome and all, but sometimes a little day trip out of the metro area is just the cure for the day to day blues of living life in the capital city. We’ve put together a list of adventures to embark on to get a taste of something different for the day, whether you’re into thrills or chills.
One of the things people like to say about Columbia is that it’s two hours from the mountains and two hours from the beach. Well, that’s definitely true, and one of the best beaches to hit up is Sullivan’s Island Beach. This is the chill, family beach that won’t be catering to mostly college students like Folly Beach, or families like Isle of Palms. This beach has a mix of people looking to have a good time and keep to themselves. Parking is free and there are plenty of bars and restaurants along the main drag behind the beach itself. The Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse marks the southern end of the beach, and you can watch massive cruise ships and shipping barges come in and go out to sea while bobbing in the waves.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Straddling the two Carolinas, Carowinds is a full day of ups, downs, twists, turns, and splashes. The 400-acre amusement park is home to a huge waterpark with a wave pool, 13 roller coasters, an enormous sky swing that provides views of downtown Charlotte, and a total of 56 rides. Both kids and adults can enjoy a day of fun on rides like the Fury 325, which is the largest giga coaster in the world with speeds of up to 95 mph of twisting curves and stomach-clenching drops. Park admission is $56 for adults and $45 for children.
Caesars Head State Park
Opposite the beach is a two-hour trip from Columbia to the mountains, and one of the most gorgeous views is at Caesars Head State Park in Cleveland, SC. The rock formation that gives the park its name is 3,208 feet above sea level and the highest point in Greenville County. A 360-degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains lays ahead, giving hikers panoramic views of the natural beauty. More than 60 miles of hiking trails of various intensities are marked within the park for people of all levels of experience. Beautiful waterfalls are another hallmark that bring people from all over the country to enjoy the sounds of water rushing down the mountainside. Admission to the trails is $2 per adult and $1.25 for South Carolina senior residents.
UFO Welcome Center
This isn’t a place you’d want to visit on its own, but it’s definitely one to see if you’re in the area or on your way to say, Charleston, or going down I-26 and looking to see some weird stuff. The UFO Welcome Center, in Bowman, was built by Jody Pendarvis in his backyard. The rickety-looking UFO is 42 feet wide and made out of wood, fiberglass, and metal in a classic UFO shape. Admission to the center, where you can walk around the inside of the UFO structure, is $1.
When taking a trip to the country, you need to bundle together at least two things to do in one trip. Going to dinner and a movie in the Ridge Spring-Monetta area satisfies the requirement, and takes it up a level since the dinner is a special award-winning restaurant, and the movie is a drive-in! Juniper, in Ridge Spring, is known throughout the state for their use of local ingredients in a chef-driven kitchen where Brandon Viele artfully constructs dishes that are beautiful in their simplicity. After dinner, it’s less than a 10-mile drive (which is good by rural standards) to the Big Mo, one of the last remaining drive-in movie theatres in South Carolina. Two screens show double-features, so once you pick which field you want to park in, get comfortable – whether it’s leaned back in seats, on lawn chairs, or in the bed of a pickup truck.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.