Historic Columbia Overview Experience

Historic Columbia Overview Experience

Day 1 - Sample Itinerary


Time: Morning; 10 a.m. – noon
Tours: Robert Mills House Tour and Hampton-Preston Mansion Tour
Description: No trip to Columbia is complete without a tour of an antebellum home. You can start your day with tours of the Robert Mills House and Hampton-Preston Mansion. The historic estates, complete with beautiful gardens, let you experience the best of indoor and outdoor Southern living. These homes feature beautiful examples of period furniture, as well as objects that 19th and 20th century Americans used in their daily lives. 

Lunch: Groups can complete their tours of these residences with a box lunch in one of the historic, manicured estate gardens. We are happy to provide you a list of restaurants who provide box lunches.


Time: 1:30 – 3 p.m.
Tour: Civil War Bus Tour
Description: After lunch, a historic Civil War bus tour lets visitors see Columbia’s role during the war. Visitors can retrace the struggles of Confederate commanders and follow the steps of Sherman's army, driving past historic sites that survived the devastation resulting from the arrival of the Union army and the remains of some that didn’t.


Exploring: After taking in the history of the city, groups often like to experience the thriving culture of Columbia's Main Street District, which offers boutiques, art galleries and restaurants.

Dinner: When you're ready for dinner, your many options include traditional Southern cooking, new inspirations from the area's young chefs, or a fusion of both, served in historic buildings repurposed to blend the old and the new. Visitors can choose from an eclectic variety of restaurants, cafes and bistros. Hotels options abound, letting you spend the evening in comfort and charm.

Day 2 – Sample Itinerary


Time: Morning; 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Tours: Woodrow Wilson Family Home Tour and Mann-Simons Site Tour 

Description: Groups can experience the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, the childhood home to the 28th president of the United States who led the country through World War I. This the only museum in the U.S. dedicated to telling the tale of the post-war Reconstruction period and an interesting way to start a day of touring. 

Following a visit to the Wilson home, groups can tour the Mann-Simons Site and relive the remarkable tale of two freed slaves who built a family business empire that lasted more than 100 years. Thousands of artifacts discovered on the site help preserve the story of Columbia's African American community from slavery and Reconstruction to the Civil Rights era through urban renewal.

Lunch: For lunch, explore Columbia's Five Points, the oldest entertainment district in the city. Groups can choose from a wide variety of cuisines served at interesting eateries.


Time: 2 – 3 p.m.

Tour: Homeplaces African American Heritage Tour OR Historic Heart of Columbia Tour

Description: Groups can continue their tour of Columbia in the afternoon by taking a guided bus tour. You can either choose the Historic Heart of Columbia tour and see the significant downtown sites in the central core of Columbia, including the State House, the Governor’s Mansion and the University of South Carolina. Or, choose to take the Homeplaces African American Heritage Tour and visit historic African American-owned houses, businesses, cemeteries and important sites. 


After a day of exploring the city, visitors often love to check out the local arts scene and night life in the popular Vista entertainment district.


When touring any of the homes managed by Historic Columbia, visitors can take home a memento from the well-stocked Gift Shop. Plus, all group visitors receive 10 percent off in the shop. 


Price: $1,500 (Price includes four house museum tours and two bus tours at a $400 savings.) Package also includes: 

  • Trained and knowledgeable tour guides
  • Welcome bag
  • 10% off in the Gift Shop (some exclusions apply)

Note: Above package price is for the entire group and is based on group of 50 people. Please note that pricing will be updated based on the number of people in each group.


To learn more or book your tour, contact our Tour and Program Coordinator at 803.252.1770 ext. 23 or reservations@historiccolumbia.org.