There was a Beer Fest in Columbia, SC over the weekend so we did a 2 day trip in Columbia, SC. In the past, I've only done single day trips so this was our first time staying overnight and we got to do some more exploring this time around. I am so impressed at how much Columbia is remodeling in downtown and all the businesses seem to be booming, even in the middle of January. Maybe it's because of the beer fest that attracted a lot of tourists/visitors this past weekend but still, I see a prospering city regardless. 
(Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center Entrance)
We stayed at the Hampton Inn Downtown Columbia - Historic Center (See more details about this hotel). It was right next to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, which was where the Beer Fest was. The hotel was doing some renovation when we checked in so there were some loud noises around our hotel room during the day. We weren't planning on taking a nap or anything so it didn't really bother us. There is private parking in the back of the building. It's $12 per night for self-parking. Overall, our stay was really pleasant and their complimentary breakfast was great. I would probably come back here to stay again in the future because it is within walking distances to so many delicious restaurants and cute shops. 
(Our actual hotel room when we arrived)

Across the street from the Hampton Inn hotel that we were staying at is a line of shops like Tutti Frutti Yogurt, The Peanut Man and a restaurant called the Blue Marlin. Those were the 3 places we decided to visit in that shopping area and man, I was blown away by every place. 

The Tutti Frutti Yogurt had over 12 flavors and the place is so clean and modern. I liked so many of their flavors and the ambiance was very nice. Address of Tutti Frutti is: 1205 Lincoln Street, Columbia, SC 29201.
(Inside of Tutti Frutti)
(Comfortable seating area)

The Peanut Man is pretty much a really nice candy store with lines of candy, peanuts, popcorn and pretzels! They tasted all like they were made from scratch from the place. They even had ready-to-eat smores! I was so impressed! Address of The Peanut Man is: 1215 Lincoln St., Columbia, SC 29201.
(My ready-to-eat smore from Mr. Peanut)

Blue Marlin sounds expensive and delicious and it was delicious but it was not expensive! I was so shocked. We came here last minute and the place was already busy around noon on Sunday. I ordered the crab cake entree. My husband ordered the salmon and grits entree and we shared the pecan calamari appetizer. Everything was so tasty and fresh! I am definitely coming back here again. My plate was only 12.95. How is that even possible? The place looks very high end and the service was excellent! I recommend anybody to come here! The address of Blue Marlin is: 1200 Lincoln St., Columbia, SC 29201.
 (Entrance of Blue Marlin) 
(Our Pecan Calamari appetizer)
(Crab cake entree)
(Salmon with grits entree)

Just down the street from the Hampton Inn, where we were staying at, is a Jillian's. Being from the West Coast, there weren't many there so this is the first time I've been to one. It's like a smaller scale of Dave & Buster's. There is an arcade, pool tables and private rooms for parties. The dining area is huge and the bar area can accommodate at least a hundred people. I tried their mushroom burger and it was one of the best burgers I've had in a long while! Address of Jillian's is: 800 Gervais St., Columbia, SC 29201. 
 (Front signage) 
(Bar area of Jillian's)

We also had to stop in at KiKi's Chicken and Waffles because my husband and I are so hooked on their fried chicken wings and sweet potato waffles. I have never tasted chicken this good! This is not located in downtown but it is so worth the drive! Address is: 110 Columbia Northeast Drive, Columbia, SC 29223.
(This was my split order. It usually comes with 4 wings and a full waffle but I split mine with my husband because we weren't that hungry.)

Even though I was only in Columbia for 2 days, I really had a great time. Everywhere I've gone to dine has great quality ingredients and excellent service. I look forward to my next trip here. 

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