Romantic Date Ideas in Columbia, SC: Date Ideas in 5 Downtown Districts (2023)

Columbia, SC is home to some amazing restaurants, entertainment and attractions. It’s easy to plan the perfect date night because there is so much to see and do!

Columbia has different entertainment districts and each one is unique in its own way. A fun way to craft your date in Columbia is by choosing a district and exploring all it has to offer!

In this article, I’m going to break down the best romantic date ideas in Columbia by district. This way you can explore all the city has to offer and have the perfect date day or night.

1. Date Night in The Vista

The Vista is a historic arts district in the heart of Columbia. It’s central to many downtown restaurants, shops and attractions.

If you’re of drinking age, start your date night at Columbia Craft Brewing for a local beer to kick off the night.

The taproom is cozy and there’s a large patio with picnic tables if the weather is nice. It’s a great spot to chill while waiting on your dinner reservation downtown.

After drinks at Columbia Craft, head to the central part of the Vista for dinner. If it’s a weekend, you’ll want to make a reservation somewhere.

For more of an upscale experience, check out Motor Supply Co. Bistro.

Motor Supply is a staple in the Vista that serves delicious farm-to-table eats. The menu changes often but always features ingredients that are fresh and local. My go-to is the duck duo dish!

For something lighter, check out Coa Agaveria. Coa is an authentic Mexican tapas restaurant.

All the dishes here are small plates that are great for sharing. The atmosphere here is also perfect for date night. There are chandeliers and warm lighting, and cozy booths perfect for couples.

After dinner, stroll through the art galleries in the Vista. There are eight galleries in this district showcasing beautiful pieces by local artists.

You can even let out your inner artist with a paint and sip class at Studio Cellar. Here, you can grab a canvas and some paintbrushes for solo painting, or take a class led by an artist.

If you’d rather have some fun and games on your date night, head to Vista Union for a game of pool. Or, try Craft Axe Throwing for something different!

To end the night, enjoy a stroll around the South Carolina State House.

The State House has paved trails that are great for a nice night stroll. You can even sit at the top of State House steps and overlook the city.

2. Daytime Date on Main Street

Main Street Columbia is a lively district with great dining, art and attractions. It’s the most walkable district in Columbia!

I recommend you save this date for a sunny Saturday.

Every Saturday, there’s a large open-air market called Soda City. Soda City stretches down Main Street and features a ton of local vendors.

Grab your date some flowers and stop at one of the many food vendors. Try a few different vendors and find a spot along Main to sit and enjoy your food together.

After checking out the market, stop by the Columbia Museum of Art to walk through the most recent exhibit.

There are different galleries in the museum and temporary exhibits by featured artists. Find the piece of art that you think matches your date the most!

Seeing a movie together is a classic date idea. After you stroll through the art museum, check out what’s playing at the Nickelodeon.

The Nickelodeon is a small, non-profit theatre with a cozy atmosphere. They rotate select films and usually have afternoon and evening showtimes.

If you’ve worked up an appetite after the movie, walk down to Bourbon for a delicious and romantic meal. Bourbon serves Louisiana-inspired cuisine and craft cocktails.

3. Sunday Brunch Date in Cayce

Cayce is a district over the bridge in West Columbia. It’s a budding district in Columbia and the perfect spot for a Sunday brunch date!

Start off your date with a delicious sweet or savory dish at Cafe Strudel. It made our list of the top breakfast spots in Columbia!

After brunch, walk down the sidewalk from Cafe Strudel to some of the local antique shops.

West Columbia is the best place in Columbia for antiquing. Find some unique items that make you think of your partner and gift each other!

Then, head over to the West Columbia Riverwalk for a stroll along the river. Here, there are trails along the water with beautiful views of the city. There are also benches, picnic tables and open spaces to sit and enjoy each other’s company.

After a long stroll, spend the rest of the afternoon at one of Columbia’s local breweries. Check out this list of breweries in the Cayce district:

Or, if you’d rather have snacks and a cocktail, head to Black Rooster. Black Rooster has a rooftop bar with amazing views of downtown Columbia.

4. Date Night in NOMA

NOMA is the North Main district of Columbia. It’s a short drive or bike ride from Main Street, and it’s an up-and-coming district.

NOMA is a great place for a laid-back date night.

Start your evening at NOMA Warehouse, a community space for artists and makers.

Different artists set up shops here which makes this a great place to find fun and quirky gifts. They also host pop-up events and workshops that are perfect as a date night activity.

After checking out the vendors, walk over to War Mouth for delicious BBQ and Southern dishes. I recommend getting a table outside for dinner on the charming patio under the string lights.

Make sure you get tickets to a Fireflies Baseball game if you’re date night is during baseball season. The Fireflies are a local minor league baseball team.

Grab a seat with your date in the grassy “berm” section and enjoy the game together as the sun sets. Every game ends with a fireworks show. You can’t get more romantic than that!

5. Daytime Date in Five Points

Five Points is a downtown district known as Columbia’s “original village neighborhood.” It’s one of the more walkable districts in Columbia.

Five Points has a great nightlife scene, but for a date, I recommend checking it out during the day.

Start your day in Five Points with a stroll through the local shops. Head into the consignment shop Sid & Nancy and create an outfit for your partner to wear during the date. Have fun with it!

Once you’re all dressed up, grab a bite to eat at Publico. Publico is a Mexican-fusion restaurant with a huge outdoor patio.

While you wait for your food, you can play Jenga, connect four or one of the other games available.

I recommend ordering the taco combo, which comes with two of their unique tacos and a side, or something from the brunch menu. They have great margaritas, too!

If you still have room after lunch, walk to Scoopy Doo Gelato for a delicious and creamy dessert.

If your date is into music, you have to stop by Papa Jazz Record Shoppe to browse through records new and old. Buy your favorite record to put on and dance to together later on!

6. Other Date Ideas Around Columbia

If you don’t have all day or night to explore by district, that’s okay! There are so many other attractions and options for a romantic date in Columbia.

Here are some other fun date ideas to check out:

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