Columbia, South Carolina has got it going on! Students at the University of South Carolina fill sporting events with their Gamecock enthusiasm, convention-goers keep the Convention Center humming and government movers and shakers tend to political business at the state capitol building in Columbia. There is so much to see and do in this vibrant downtown and Hilton Columbia Center sits in the center of it all.
As a tourist visiting Columbia for the first time I was pleased to stay in a Hilton hotel with an ideal South Carolina location in the Vista area. I had driven from a historic bed and breakfast in Aiken, SC that morning and was welcomed with valet parking and snacks upon arrival. The check-in process was friendly, quick and easy, and as a Hilton Honors member I received complimentary snacks, bottled water and WiFi on a daily basis. Who doesn’t like feeling special on vacation?
I had booked a double queen hotel room, thinking that a local girlfriend might join me for a night during my stay. Whether your time in Columbia is for a girlfriend getaway, attending a conference or business trip, or visiting kid’s in college, Hilton Columbia Center serves as a convenient location and offers the usual amenities that savvy travelers have come to expect. The hotel offers an outdoor, saltwater swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, open 24/7, and Ruth Chris Steak House Restaurant (not owned by the hotel chain.)
While Ruth Chris is not affiliated with the hotel, the restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and room service from its first floor location off the lobby. There is also a full-service bar within the restaurant. I wisely spent my time downtown on this visit, an easy and safe walk from the hotel. With numerous restaurants, shops and museums all within walking distance of the hotel, you’ll have plenty of things to see and do in Columbia.
Walking outside the hotel, you can’t help but notice the neon Adluh Flour lights and painted mural on the side of the huge brick building next to the Columbia Convention Center. If you like creamy grits or light, fluffy Southern biscuits, slip inside the unassuming front office shop and pick up some pre-packaged goodness from Adluh Flour Company. If you can’t be bothered with baking, pop into the nearby Cafe Strudel for breakfast – they serve grits made with Adluh ingredients and their biscuits are fab! I bought several packages of biscuit mix to take with me back to California. I’m going to miss this Southern hospitality!
Room rates start at $189. Hilton Hotels offers military rates, senior discounts, AAA pricing and hotel packages. The hotel does not accept pets. Make your reservation directly on the hotel website or through Priceline.
Hilton hotel review and all photography by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Columbia, South Carolina tourism while writing additional articles about the area.