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traveling tigers

Thanks to our friends in Lexington for providing this blog to help our Traveling Tigers – be sure to add a few of these activities to your weekend itinerary!

You’ll be traveling East on I-64, but you’re definitely headed in a Southern direction to get to Lexington. Our hospitality and cuisine is distinctly Southern, and our history is truly American with the influences of Daniel Boone, Abraham Lincoln and the Great Compromiser Henry Clay.

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Horses at Donamire Farm – Jeff Rogers

Missouri has Clydesdales and the King of Beers, but Lexington also has something to offer when it comes to horses and cold beverages. Come early and stay late because SEC football isn’t the only event on the books during the last weekend of September.

From historic horse farm and distillery tours to culinary programming and libations, Lexington serves up hospitality at its finest. You’ll understand why people say “Southern Starts Here.”

Historic Horse Farm Tours: Lexington is known as Horse Capital of the World. And although you may not be able to decide whether the rolling landscapes or majestic horses are more beautiful, there’s no question that scheduling a horse farm tour should be on your list of places to visit. There are about 150 horse farms in Lexington alone, many with grand estates dating back to the 1800s.

Keeneland Race Course, with its tranquil setting and lovely stone fences and buildings, is one of the most genteel and beautiful racetracks in the world. The next Live Thoroughbred racing meet won’t start until October and will culminate with the Breeders’ Cup featuring Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah, but visitors are welcome year-round to this National Historic Landmark. You can hang out with jockeys and owners as they eat breakfast in the track kitchen, which is open to the public. Or get an up-close view of horses as they go through their early-morning workouts.

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Kids love horses – Lee Thomas

And the Kentucky Horse Park is home to more than 50 different horse breeds at work and play. The horse is showcased through daily equine presentations, horse-drawn tours, riding, museums and special events.

Bourbon Distillery and Brew Tours: Heritage and history is bottled in the region’s bourbon distilleries. From the large household name bourbons to the hidden gems of small batch distilleries, you’ll have an opportunity to see how they have blended time-honored methods, added a dash of science and restored spirits to an art form. And you just might have time for a sample – or two.

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Craft Beer Flight – Lee Thomas

Or, be one of the first to travel the newly created Brewgrass Trail, where craft brewers are infusing a local variation on the world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage.

Beyond Grits: Lexington’s artisan chefs are constantly exploring and redefining Southern cuisine by adding a local flair — a dash of irreverence, paired with a passion for the land and the hand-crafted, time-tested traditions of past generations. But they also embrace innovation and twists that enliven in all things culinary in Lexington. Sure, they do all the Southern staples, and do them well. But in Lexington, Southern goes way beyond grits! More than 100 independent restaurants will help you sample the local flavor.

Check out more things to do at www.visitlex.com. Or ask a local. There are no shortages of opinions on where to get the tastiest breakfast, best burger or finest filet.


Welcome to all my fellow alums. I hope you love my adopted home of Lexington as much as I do.
Carla Blanton
BJ ‘91

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As you prepare to travel from one Columbia to another for the upcoming face-off against the Gamecocks, we encourage you to spend some time exploring all the wonderful offerings of “The New Southern Hot Spot” outside of Williams-Brice Stadium! With so much to do and see in  opens in a new windowColumbia, SC, the Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau is providing you with a rundown of some of the area’s “hot spots!”

Fans with famously hot painted on there chest and stomachs.

The New Game Day Hot Spot

Game day in Columbia is like nothing else. The energy surrounding the stadium is a (sand) storm of activity and excitement as fans hop from tailgate to tailgate, playing games of cornhole and counting down the hours until kickoff. Carolina Fair Park in the South Carolina State Fairgrounds, Gamecock Park and Seawell’s are all popular tailgating locations around the stadium and no matter which team wins the game, the celebration will last well into the night at bars in the Congaree Vista, Five Points and on Main Street.

BBQ Palmetto Pig 12.20.13 

The New Culinary Hot Spot

Be sure to bring your appetite and sample the local flavor! From barbecue and burgers to fine dining and food trucks, we have it all!  opens in a new windowThe Southern Belly BBQ and  opens in a new windowPalmetto Pig will have you going hog wild while  opens in a new windowRockaway Athletic Club and opens in a new windowPawleys Front Porch serve expertly crafted burgers with unique Southern flair. For the more refined palate,  opens in a new windowThe Oak Table opens in a new windowTerra and  opens in a new windowMotor Supply Co. Bistro offer fresh, locally-sourced dishes. If you can track down these meals on wheels,  opens in a new window2 Fat 2 Fly will have you stuffed and  opens in a new windowThe Wurst Wagen will get you in the Oktoberfest spirit with authentic German recipes. Bon Appétit!

 Beer Tasting 06.05.13

The Brew Southern Hot Spot

The craft beer scene in Columbia exploded this past year. The region went from no breweries to three successful operations and a fourth in development.  opens in a new windowConquest Brewing Company opens in a new windowRiver Rat Brewery and  opens in a new windowSwamp Cabbage Brewing Co. are all located in close proximity to Williams-Brice Stadium and all but the latter are available as tailgating locations! Quench your thirst with an ice-cold pint and get ready for game time!

 Kayaking on the Congaree River

The New Adventure Hot Spot

Situated at the convergence of three rivers and boasting a temperate climate, Columbia offers year-round outdoor adventure. Stick around and spend the day after the game kayaking or tubing on the Broad, Saluda or Congaree rivers, hiking in  opens in a new windowCongaree National Park or sailing the beautiful waters of  opens in a new windowLake Murray. You’ll have a fresh burst of adrenaline for your journey back home!

 State House

The New Historic Hot Spot

Take in Columbia’s fascinating history with a free tour of the  opens in a new windowSouth Carolina State House or by meandering through renovated  opens in a new windowHistoric Columbia properties such as the  opens in a new windowWoodrow Wilson Family Home and the  opens in a new windowRobert Mills House & Gardens. The  opens in a new windowSouth Carolina State Museum is a must-see, having just completed their $23 million “Windows to New Worlds” expansion that includes a 55-foot digital planetarium dome and theater, an online observatory, a 4-D multisensory theatre and an outdoor telescope-viewing terrace. The museum is the first facility in the nation to house all of these properties under one roof! 

The New Artistic Hot Spot

Absorb the beauty of the Columbia area through its expansive and diverse art scene!  opens in a new windowColumbia Museum of Art houses masterpieces by Monet and Botticelli, as well as a constant rotation of traveling exhibits throughout the year. Public displays of art can be found along Main Street and throughout the city, adding a unique aesthetic to the region. Columbia is also home to the only nonprofit, art house theatre in the state,  opens in a new windowThe Nickelodeon, which hosts the Indie Grits Film Festival each year.  opens in a new windowTin Roof, Music Farm,  opens in a new windowTownship Auditorium and  opens in a new windowColonial Life Arena attract musical talent from all genres, while  opens in a new windowTrustus Theatre pushes the envelope with their daring and edgy plays.

MACST Skyline

For more information or assistance in planning your trip, please visit  opens in a new windowcolumbiacvb.com or call  opens in a new window803-545-0002. Come back soon!

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Thanks to Dayna Cantelmi with the Columbia, SC Convention and Visitors Bureau for providing us with all these great tips!

All photos courtesy of the Columbia, SC CVB

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