Wired Goat Cafe - Courtesy of the Wired Goat Cafe

Wired Goat Cafe – Courtesy of the Wired Goat Cafe

Your life is always full of the norm and the expected as you journey through your day. Standing in line at the the grocery store or the DMV is not what fulfills most of us for an extended time. What if you could discover a little excitement in your daily routine? No matter where you are on the globe, you can discover little escapes in your daily life.  Below find a few under the radar escapes from the daily life of those in Columbia, SC.  These places are either a little off the beaten path, not quite so noticeable, lead to surprising results or possibly all three! Take a look! 

Under the Radar – Dining

The Wired Goat – Your day can’t be grander than with the perfect cup of coffee, and that is what The Wired Goat serves up in their own unique way. Their new additional location in “The Vista” area of downtown Columbia is just down an alley near 709 Gervais Street. Fresh and health conscious is on the menu here along with my regulars of a red eye, a lavender scone and a mountain goat cheese salad! Good things lie ahead for those that visit the goat. Plan to relax and stay awhile in authentic coffee store style. 

Terra – As a recent transplant from the booming restaurant scene of Atlanta, it has been a bit hard to replace some of my regular cuisine. A night of economical fine dining was found recently at a very low key building just across the Gervais bridge. Yes Terra is an upscale restaurant, but there is a little “off the menu” special on Wednesday nights. Go in on Wednesdays for “Pizza & Pinot” which includes an upscale flat bread pizza along with a chef-picked bottle of Pinot for $25! 

Blue Marlin  – Another fine dining “off the menu” meal can be found at the Blue Marlin in what once was a depot for the Seaboard Airline Railroad. It serves up true fine South Carolina low country coastal food. On a crisp fall or winter day, my favorite meal includes the award winning “Petite Shrimp & Grits” along with complimentary collards and bread. 


The Blue Marlin Shrimp & Grits – Courtesy of Columbia, SC CVB

Under the Radar – Art

One Eared Cow Glass – The One Eared Cow Glass is an hand-blown glass gallery art studio that will definitely make you leave with an appreciation for both glass art and the artists themselves. It was started by two former University of South Carolina students. One of the first items of art that graced my shelves in my new home was a large blue hand-blown vase from this remarkable studio. Visit this hand-blown glass & art gallery also in the historic vista area of Columbia.


One Eared Cow Glass – Courtesy of Columbia, SC CVB

Under the Radar – Relaxation

Southeastern Esthetics Institute – Great things are found down alleys in Columbia and this is one of them. Just past the Starbucks on Gervais you will find a premier esthetics training institute. The decor here is anything but institutional. Call Southeastern Esthetics Institute to make an appointment for a luxurious spa treatment that may even cost you less than your dinner tip. How does $20 sound for a facial? 

Healing Waters Spa – Located inside the Palmetto Parkridge Hospital, you will find one of the most upscale and luxurious spas in the state. I have been to spas in over a dozen countries and this one gets it right! Not only can you relax in their Zen inspiring lounge when you get your treatment, you can also ask about possible future medical spa treatments while you are there.  Visit Healing Waters Spa soon before this secret Xanadu of mine gets found out! 


Healing Waters Spa – Courtesy of Healing Waters


Under the Radar – Day Trip

Newberry – Newberry “the city of friendly folks” was settled by German, English and Scotch-Irish, so when the new county’s seat could not be decided upon, they chose a central location for the new courthouse, thus “New”berry was born. Recently I discovered this quaint town during their Octoberfest. It was a great time to venture in and out of all the local businesses. Treasures were found in little kitchen shoppes and The Gallery exposed a surprising afternoon tea tucked in the back. Don’t miss a tour of the Opera House where you just might get a glimpse of Penelope the ghost! Then run over to Half Full, a coffee and wine bar for one of their tasting events. Discover Newberry in the palm of your hand with their new app.  Find the Visit Newberry App in the iTunes App Store.  


What will you discover under the radar today?

Ava Roxanne Stritt is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad offering tips and inspiration to fellow travel enthusiasts. To join the Travelocity Gnomads community visit www.travelocitygnomads.com


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