Stay in the middle of the birding activity! Our safe and friendly towns provide hotels and cafes perfect for a long weekend or week-long adventure. We've put together a vacation package for you below with things to do, where to stay and eat! We have 90 miles of River in this region. The birds love it, and so will you!
This unique area of South Carolina hosts a variety of bird species you can access along 25+ miles of easy-to-walk or bike trails with multiple entrance points, free parking, shelters (groups can rent for free) and restrooms. These historic lands have seen 12,000 years of history across an ancient floodplain. The Congaree River makes up a 50-mile Trail that connects the Three Rivers Greenway and rural communities to Congaree National Park, the largest wilderness in South Carolina. Plan your outdoor getaway and capture birds and wildlife at each of the parks.
We've included suggestions below that bird enthusiasts and nature photographers might enjoy:
West Columbia Riverwalk - 109 Alexander Road, West Columbia, SC - Convenient public parking and restrooms on site. This pathway provide great river views and is a popular place for professional photographers. Birds enjoy the water access, and you can, too! Dip your toes in the water from steps that lead down to the river!
Great food in West Columbia, SC:
Eat across the street with a bird's eye view of the river at Black Rooster Rooftop Restaurant and Bar (click for site). Other nearby eats include Cafe Strudel West Columbia or The Hideout for breakfast and lunch. You might also try Palate. There's a legendary burger and ice cream place called Zesto West Columbia just down the street. For a full restaurant listing, click here.
Stay near the West Columbia Riverwalk:
Hampton Inn Columbia I-26 Airport - 1094 Chris Dr.; TownPlace Suites by Marriott/West Columbia 2915 Sunset Blvd., West Columbia, SC; Residence Inn by Marriott Columbia West / Lexington 122 Mathias Rd.; Wingate by Wyndham Columbia/Lexington; Doubtree by Hilton Bush River Rd.; . For a full listing of local hotels, click here.
Birds: Photo credit: Annemarie Kappler Keene
12,000 Year History Park at 1120 Fort Congaree Trail, Cayce, SC - The park is open for walking during daylight hours. Restrooms are located across the street at the Tennis Center during operating hours of the Center.
Cayce Riverwalk - Access at 201 Naples Ave, Cayce, SC - 12 miles of pathways with views of the Congaree River. Dense forests provide a popular place for birds, including owls, eagles, and hawks. Free parking and restrooms on site. The city’s large pavilion is perfect for hosting a bird watching group. Coffee can be purchased nearby at Piecewise Coffee on State Street. To access, just follow Naples Avenue east down toward the Congaree River to the “parking” signs. ADA accessible. The City of Cayce offers golf cart tours of the Riverwalk for seniors and people with limited mobility. Call (803) 602-2571 for more information. Click here for a map of the Cayce Riverwalk
Timmerman Trail located at 12th St. Ext. at Otarre Pkwy, Cayce, SC - 3.5 miles of paved hiking trail that runs through the woods.
Congaree Creek Heritage Preserve - 634 Old State Rd., Cayce, SC - The 627-acre preserve, owned and managed by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, borders the Congaree River and Cayce, SC A parking area is available on the right of Old State Road just before the pavement ends. The old trenches are now ponds where you can view duckweed, water fowl, and water lilies.
You'll want to see the bird artwork at State of the Art Gallery in Cayce, SC (click here) You can park at 2007 State St, Cayce, SC 29033 and access the Riverwalk Park right across the street to see birds, all in one place! There's even a flower/bird mural on the side of the convenience store building in this same parking lot.
Cafes and restaurants to try in Cayce, SC:
Henry's, Duke's Pad Thai, Lizard's Thicket, Vella's Restaurant & Bar; for a full listing, click here
If you still need to find more birds, we're just a few miles from the Congaree National Park as well.
Bus Group Capacity: 8-56 people
Bus Parking: Yes