Six Safe Activities to Enjoy this New Year

Bored at home? Looking for a day trip getaway or an overnighter? Things aren’t back to normal yet but that doesn’t mean you need to be cooped up. We’ve compiled a list of six safe activities to enjoy this winter in the Capital City/Lake Murray Country region.

Golfing

Have you tried golfing? If not, take a swing at one of our public golf courses. Golfing in the great outdoors provides great social distancing and a nice change of scenery. There are more than twenty public golf courses located in the Lake Murray Country region.

Walks in Parks

Work on that New Year’s resolution to get more steps in and take a scenic hike in one of our many parks in the region. Explore Congaree National Park, the 12,000 Year History Park, Harbison State Forest, Sesquicentennial State Park, Dreher Island State Park and the Riverfront Park and Historic Columbia Canal. Visit our website for more details on these parks.

The Zoo

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is a top attraction in the region and a safe place to explore any time of year. With lots of social distancing, visitors can see the grizzly bears, lions, tigers, kangaroos, koala bears, monkeys, snakes and more. Visit riverbanks.org to book your visit.

Escapology

Escape your house and go on an adventure at Escapology of Columbia. If you’ve never tried an escape room, now is your chance. Escapology is the world’s fastest growing escape room franchise. During the 60-minute experience, players are immersed into a real life adventure where they must find hidden clues, crack codes, solve challenging puzzles and escape. The facility, located at 717 Lady Street in Columbia, is clean and ready for you to have fun.

Axe Throwing

Looking for an unusual night out? Craft Axe Throwing has two locations in the region, one in downtown Columbia and in Lexington. Craft Axe throwing is an entertainment game that anyone can play. Players score points by throwing axes at a giant dartboard target. The closer you get to the bull’s-eye the more points you can earn. This is a fun indoor activity that can make a fun night out and relieve some stress. The Columbia location is located at 700 Gervais Street and the Lexington location is located at 101 E. Main Street.

Outdoor Shopping

Lastly, you can enjoy outdoor shopping every Saturday at Soda City and in West Columbia at the Artisans Market. Both are outdoor farmers market type venues that offer shopping in wide-open spaces. Trendy food trucks and vendors offer locally made items. Soda City is held on Saturdays at 9am at 1300 to 1600 Main Street in Columbia. The Artisans Market in West Columbia is also held at 9am on Saturdays at 425 Meeting Street in West Columbia.

By: Jayne Baker

Fall fun in Lake Murray Country

It’s fall y’all!  The colors, the crisp air and the pumpkins. Fall is fabulous! We’ve compiled a top 5 list of fall things to do with the family that are festive and fun.

An outing to the Clinton Sease Farm, in Lexington, SC, is fun for everyone! There’s an 8-acre corn maze located on the farm full of turns, clues, secret decoder‘s and more. While you’re there pick out a pumpkin at their patch and hop on the hayride. New this year is a beverage and dessert trailer serving beer, wine, homemade ice cream donuts and other goodies. At night, Clinton Cease Farms transforms into Deceased Farms, a haunted attraction that is sure to get your spine tingling.This attraction is not recommended for children under 12.  But, the teenagers love it!  Visit deceasedfarm.com for details.

 

The South Carolina State Museum offers a truly unique planetarium experience. They are showing “Skies Over Oz” now through October 31st. The special October feature includes the tales of the epic adventure in Oz told as a constellation myth using patterns of stars in the sky. Advance ticket purchases are encouraged.

Starting on October 23rd through the 30th, Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is hosting their annual Boo at the Zoo event.  Kids dress in their cutest costumes and roam through the zoo. There’s trick-or-treating, spinning on the haunted carousel, riding the Spooky Spots and Stripes railroad, roasting marshmallows and more.

The SC State Fair is a little different this year but still super fun! The drive-through attraction will be held October 20-21st, 10am to 8pm and it’s FREE! Yes, we said FREE! Enter the drive-through fair at 1200 Rosewood Drive near the Rocket.  You’ll get to see agriculture, arts and crafts, livestock, and purchase your favorite fair food.  There’s also a scavenger hunt encouraging passengers to find certain items as they drive through the fairgrounds. The kids are going to love this event and they won’t go far.

For the older kids and adults, a Newberry historian is taking visitors and locals on a spooky Ghost Walk.  The walks are scheduled for October 17thand 24th.  This event is held outside and will begin at the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce.  More information can be found at cityofnewberry.com.

By: Jayne Baker

Oak Grove Fish House – One of the Best in SC

Restaurant: Oak Grove Fish House
Chef: Chef Maegan Horton and Kitchen Manager Tyrell Jones
Phone: (803) 821-9006
Address: 309 Oak Dr, Lexington, SC 29073
Website: https://oakgrovefishhouse.com/
Style: Casual dining, that inspires fond memories and keeps you coming back for more
Established: 2019

Nestled back among the mature trees that line Oak Drive, is one of the best fish houses in all of SC! The front yard offers a friendly, familiar welcome, with café lights twinkling among the trees, picnic tables spotted throughout the yard, rockers awaiting guests at the entry and the aroma of fried golden goodness wafting through the air. Welcome to Oak Grove Fish House, where the fresh fish draws folks from all over, including the shoreline!

A new concept from the family owned Blue Marlin, Oak Grove Fish House offers the balanced flavors and crispy goodness of a traditional fish fry with the nostalgic air of a familiar place from days gone by. A visit with Chefs Maegan Horton and Tyrell Jones, proved informative and tempting! It all starts with a complimentary plateful of their version of a southern staple- homemade corn hushpuppies- served piping hot with savory honey butter from the family’s own recipe books. One bite and your stomach start to growl for everything on the menu!

So, what’s on the menu? They’re serving heaps of shrimp, oysters, scallops, flounder and catfish in taste tempting dishes like the Po’ Boy- with tangy Cajun remoulade, lettuce, and tomato served on a fresh Leidenheimer roll straight from New Orleans and available with delicately fried fish, oysters, shrimp or chicken livers; or the abundant Oak Grove Seafood Platter with your choice of three, shrimp, scallops, flounder, oysters or catfish; or their version of a New Orleans style Catfish Stew!

There’s even a few oversized dishes for landlubbers that have made their way onto the fan-favorite list- like the Southern Crispy Chicken Breast served with their famous sawmill gravy; the hand breaded Fried Pork Chops with a special blend of Oak Grove seasonings served over mashed potatoes and southern-style green beans; or for the discerning palate, the savory flavor of the Fried Chicken Livers served with sautéed onions and signature coleslaw.

For those die-hard Blue Marlin fans, you’ll be happy to know they have included some favorite dishes such as the popular Shrimp and Grits, Crab Cakes and Salmon Charleston. And like Blue Marlin, there are daily specials such as Wednesdays’ steamed Crab Legs or Thursdays Peel & eat Shrimp with Crab Chowder! Come early these specials tend to sell out! All meals are complimented by your choice of hose-brewed Sweet Tea, beer, wine or soft drinks.

One thing is certain, you won’t go away hungry and if you are too full you can always take one of their delicious house made dessert to go.

Plan your visit to Oak Grove Fish House for lunch or dinner, Wednesday thru Saturday from 11 am to 9pm and Sundays from 11 am to 3pm.

Chef Tyrell Jones

CHEF QUESTION:
When did you start cooking?

“Like any growing boy from Philly, I was hungry all the time and at 16 years old I started cooking. I got trained with the military as an Army soldier and when my tour was through, I enrolled in Widener University’s Hospitality Management course and here I am.” – Chef Tyrell Jones

By: Julie Colson

Top 3 Camping Spots in Lake Murray Country

The hot days of summer will soon be over. Looking forward to a fall getaway? When I think of fall, I think of cooler temperatures, changing leaves, and sitting fire side. Whether you travel with family, friends or as a couple, camping is a perfect way to get away from at all. Leave your electronics at home and explore the great outdoors! We’ve compiled a list of the top 3 camping spots in Lake Murray Country.

Camping beside Lake Murray at Dreher Island State Park.

Dreher Island State Park, located on Lake Murray, is highly recommended for camping and FUN. Take advantage of the wide variety of activities around the park and sparkling Lake Murray…fishing, swimming, birdwatching and even Geo-caching are the perfect activities to do while you’re there. You can bring your own tent, trailer or RV. There are 95 paved RV spots and 15 tent camping sites and up to six guests are allowed per site. If you are looking for a “Glamping” adventure, this park has 5 lakeside villas and ten camper campers for rent on a year-round basis. For more information on this beautiful spot on the shores of Lake Murray visit https://southcarolinaparks.com/dreher-island.

Camper cabins at Dreher Island State Park.

Sesquicentennial State Park, affectionately known as Sesqui, is another great state park in our region that offers 1500 acres of land with plenty of privacy for camping. With 85 tent and RV spots and up to six guests per site, you can also bring your own tent, trailer, RV or van to the campsite area. Campfires are allowed as well as pets. There is also access to portable water and showers. While camping, let the kids play at one of the park’s two playgrounds, hike or bike the nearby trails or rent a pedal boat or canoe and explore the lake. Check this popular spot out at https://southcarolinaparks.com/sesqui

Canoes are available for rent at Sesqui while you camp.

One of the top camping spots in our region is Congaree National Park. Just imagine camping in the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the U.S. What an awesome canopy you’ll have! Congaree National Park is located in a natural area in central South Carolina about 20 miles south east of Columbia. Some of the wildlife you will see are river otters, deer, foxes, flying squirrels, wild boar, turtles, reptiles, birds and fish. Ranger led walks, owl prowls and canoe tours are available.

Campers are required to have a reservation to camp in either of the two front country campgrounds, Longleaf Campground and Bluff campground. Reservations for the campgrounds must be made through recreation.gov or by calling 877–444–6777. Only tents and hammocks are allowed in the campgrounds.

Record sized tree canopy at Congaree National Park.

Currently all sites at the Bluff Campground and half of the sites at the Longleaf Campground are open. In addition, the following is open…the boardwalk trail, park hiking trails, Cedar Creek canoe trail, the canoe launch, picnic shelters, restrooms and the outdoor visitor information station at the Harry Hampton visitor Center. For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/cong/index.htm.

You really can’t go wrong with any of these parks. The weather will cool down soon…just get packing and get ready for some relaxin’. For more information, visit LakeMurrayCountry.com.

by: Jayne Baker

Blue Marlin is Top Notch!

Restaurant: Blue Marlin
Chef: Chef Maegan Horton
Phone: ((803) 799-3838
Address: 1200 Lincoln St, Columbia, SC 29201
Website: http://bluemarlincolumbia.com
Style: A blend of traditional SC Lowcountry flavors with a touch of Creole and Cajun spice
Established: 1994

In the heart of downtown Columbia, sits the Seaboard Air Line Railroad Passenger Depot, a landmark known for its historic role in transportation. The route ran from the 1900’s until 1967 and branded itself “The Route of Courteous Service.” The branding lends itself to its current use as home to the Blue Marlin Restaurant.

From the traditional flavors of SC Lowcountry cuisine to its stellar reputation for top notch service and ambiance, Blue Marlin is serving up the BEST of the all-time southern classics. From starters like the Southern Caviar (aka Pimento Cheese) and She Crab Soup to the finish with a tempting house made dessert, every bite is a burst of savory goodness that transports you to gastronomic heaven!

Among the favorites for lunch or dinner, is the Shrimp and Grits. This savory dish starts with local Adluh™ stone ground grits- a true southern staple, a heap of creek shrimp and pile of spicey andouille sausage topped with tasso gravy. According to Executive Chef Maegan Horton, a Johnson & Wales grad who’s been leading the Blue Marlin team for the past 8 years, “the Shrimp and Grits have been made the same way, every day since Blue Marlin opened in 1994.”

The core menu features a variety of Southern favorites- Salmon Pontchartrain, a salmon filet topped with blackened shrimp and scallops and finished with a mornay sauce; Oyster & Shrimp Skillet Bienville- an original recipe, featuring Apalachicola oysters in a shrimp and Tasso ham cream sauce; or the Black & Blue New York Strip, perfectly grilled and topped with melted blue cheese. An all-time favorite side, is their version of Collards- perfectly seasoned and stewed. There’s always plenty of fresh off the hook choices and dinner specials.

On the lunch menu, there’s plenty of lighter fare and fried seafood specialty’s- like the Gulf Oysters, Crab Cakes or the Salt & Pepper Catfish! Abundant plates that will leave you craving for more. That’s probably why, locals and visitors alike rated Blue Marlin the #1 Choice for Seafood according to Trip Advisor.

While the restaurant holds an upscale reputation, Horton and the staff welcome guests indoors or along the covered sidewalk with a casual air of friendliness- as if they’ve known you for years and have been waiting your arrival. Be sure to clean your plate and try a taste of Ms. JoAnn Dukes Black Out Cake, the refreshing Key Lime Pie or the decadent richness of the Cream Brulee Cheesecake– all made from scratch.
Need to feed a crowd? The Vista Room offers the same quality food, excellent service and ambiance you’ll find in the main dining room for any private party, corporate event or special occasion. For offsite party planning consider Signature Catering.

Plan your visit downtown for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch. Blue Marlin is open daily, Monday – Friday 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Saturday 4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

CHEF QUESTION:
What do you do to relax?
“Downtime allows me the opportunity to travel with my husband. We often make time to visit with family, it’s great especially when they don’t make me cook!”

By: Julie Colson

6 Savy Lake Murray Vacation Rentals

It’s not too late for a summer vacation, a STAYcation or to start planning a fall getaway.  We’ve researched a few Lake Murray rental properties that are in great condition and are all lake front properties with docks. Scroll through our list and check them out.  We bet you’ll want to book now!  For more information about Lake Murray, visit LakeMurrayCountry.com or give us a call, (803) 781-5940.

This rental is located in Chapin, SC and offers room for 8 guests.  It has 3 bedrooms, spa-like baths and a sleek, modern look.  The dock is brand new and the views from the deck are outstanding.

This professional furnished lake home is in Saluda, SC and has room for 6 guests. It is a true lakeside paradise with a swim dock, water trampoline, lakeside bar and an entertaining area for grilling, mini golf, kayaking, TV and more. Guests can enjoy evenings gathered around the fire pit with a lakeside view.

This open floor plan home sleeps 7 guests and has 3 bedrooms. It has a shady screen porch and deck with great views of Lake Murray’s sunsets. Renters can fish from the dock or paddle around in a provided canoe.

This lovely rental is located in a quiet cove in Lexington, SC.  It has room for 4 guests with 1 bedroom and a large open living area.  For extra guests. there’s a sofa the converts into a queen bed.  French doors stretch across the back of the house; everywhere you turn, you can walk out to beautiful Lake Murray.

Rustic Living on Lake Murray
This rustic cabin located in a cove in Lexington, SC, has room for 6 guests. The space is perfect for couples looking for a quiet getaway or a retiree wanting to stay south this winter.  The town of Lexington is just 15 miles away.

Large Leesville Lake Rental
This large rental home on Lake Murray is in Leesville, SC.  This home is ready for a crowd with room for 12 guests and welcomes dogs to stay.  There’s a dock ready for fun on the water and the lake views from the large windows across the back of the home are excellent!

By: Jayne Baker

Find treasures and dine at the Little Mountain Antiques Cafe

Restaurant: Little Mountain Antiques Café
Style: Eclectic, much like the Shop
Chef: Karen Quinn, Chef/Owner
Address: 1528 Main Street, Little Mountain
Phone: (803) 941-7189
Website: Search “Antique Mall Café” on Facebook

You know the feeling when you find the special treasure you’ve been searching for? That pure elation and joy? That’s the feeling you get when you meander through Little Mountain Antiques and stumble upon their Café tucked into the very back corner of the lower level. The savory aromas draw you in and that’s when you spot the old-fashioned glass bakery case, stacked with tempting desserts of all kinds!

As you slide into a cozy booth to discuss baubles, trinkets and curiosities, you’ll find a new topic of discussion as you glance over the menu. There’s daily soup and quiche specials, the southern chicken salad plate plus a variety of healthy salad choices and by healthy we mean large! Then there’s choices like the Tango Turkey or Dancing Pig wraps or a healthy dose of beef in the Pub Burger; all are prepared with the freshest homegrown, homemade ingredients and leave you pleasantly re-fueled.

And as you think about leaving you glance again at the dessert case. The freshly baked cakes, pies, cinnamon rolls and tarts change regularly, but the favorite is the Peanut Butter Reese’s cake is a consistent favorite.

Speaking of favorites- a southern staple is a tomato pie and you haven’t lived until you have a taste of a LM Café Tomato Pie with BACON! This all-time summer classic has a delicious light crust and takes sharp turn with a spicey twist- it’s made with their house made spicey pimento cheese, tons of crispy bacon and topped with basil.

While this hidden gem serves lunch daily from 11 to 3 pm, it also offers special orders, catering, take-out and hosting for your special occasion. Beer, wine and brewed teas are served.

CHEF QUESTION:

What is your favorite dish on the menu?
Our Southern PBJ is a real hit- homemade pimento cheese, bacon and raspberry jalapeno jam. Once you try it, you’re hooked.

By: Julie Colson

5 Ways to Cool off in the Lake Murray Country region

During the summer in the South, the heat outside is cranked up, popsicles are sold out at the grocery stores and everyone is looking for things to do and ways to keep cool. We’ve compiled 5 ways to keep cool in the Capital City/Lake Murray Country region.

Swimming in Lake Murray is refreshing!

#1  Our number one swimming hole is Lake Murray, the Jewel of South Carolina, a 50,000-acre lake with lots of room to swim. A great swimming spot on the lake is Dreher Island State Park.  This state park is an island on Lake Murray and has many spots to take a dip in the water. You can swim anywhere along the shoreline as there is no designated swim area.

An all-time favorite activity on Lake Murray is boating. There are a variety of boating options…powerboats, pontoons, kayaks, canoes, jet ski’s and paddleboard rentals. We have several local vendors that can help you get on the water…Better Boating, Lake Murray Boat Rentals, Riverwinds Landing, 50/50 Watersports, Palmetto Outdoor and California Republic Paddle Boards.

#2   Floating or kayaking down one of Columbia’s three rivers will cool you off for sure. Palmetto Outdoor will rent you a kayak or tube to get you wet and on the river. Grab a few friends, wrap your tubes together, bring a cooler and start floating down the river.  Palmetto Outdoor will also take you on a guided kayak trip down the river and into Congaree National Park. This scenic guided trip is a leisurely flat water paddle through one of the largest hardwood forests east of the Mississippi River.

#3   Splash parks are a favorite spot during the summer and there are a variety in the region.

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden has a splash park called Waterfall Junction. This water wonderland has a 25-foot cascading waterfall, a splash zone and a life size replica of T-Rex.

The Saluda Shoals Splash Pad keeps the kids cool and busy!

In the Irmo and Chapin areas, there are splash pads at Saluda Shoals Park and Melvin Park. The charge is $3 per person or you can purchase a 15-visit Splash Pass for $40.

Sesquicentennial (Sesqui) State Park, in northeast Columbia, has a splash pad with 26 sprayers, including one as high as 10 feet. Entry is included with park admission.  Also, there’s a 30-acre lake at Sesqui offering canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals.

In Columbia, the Greenview Park Aquatics Center and the Sims Park in Shandon have spray pools. In Lexington, Corley Park has a spray pool and the Caractor Park has a mist fountain to keep you cool.

#4   The Fort Jackson Army base offers much more than a splash pad. They are home to Palmetto Falls Water Park with sprawling pools and slides. The park features two water slides, a huge family pool, a splashdown pool and a lazy river. This super fun water park is open to visitors; check their website for hours of operation.

Check out the peaceful pool at Aloft Harbison swimming pool.

#5   Lastly, there are some great hotel pools in our region that are worth looking into. In downtown Columbia, the DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Columbia have peaceful pools for your enjoyment. In Irmo, the Aloft Columbia/Harbison, Hyatt Place Harbison and Hampton Inn by the Lake have great spots to take a dip.

By: Jayne Baker

 

 

 

 

Hitting the Trails in Capital City/Lake Murray Country

From hiking to biking and some spectacular views, the Capital City/Lake Murray Country region offers many opportunities to explore the great outdoors on its trails. We’ve compiled a list of trails offering visitors a place to get active, find peace and explore. The hardest part will be deciding which trail to get on first.

On the trail at Dreher Island State Park.

Dreher Island State Park

3677 State Park Road, Prosperity 

Dreher Island State Park, roughly 30 miles from the state capital, Columbia, provides access to 12 miles of Lake Murray shoreline. There are three trails inside the park for recreational use; these are the Little Gap Trail, Billy Dreher or nature trail and the Bicycle Bypass Trail. The Little Gap Trail is 2.1 miles long and is the most strenuous of the three trails in the park. You will wander up and down through a thick forest of pines and hard words and maybe lucky enough to spot a bald eagle that nests in this area. Visit the park’s website (link above) for hours of operation and admission prices.

Sesquicentennial State Park

9564 Two Notch Road, Columbia

Sesquicentennial State Park, known to locals as a Sesqui, is a spacious green get away. It offers 1400 acres of pines and nature trails that will make you forget you’re close to a bustling city. There are 12 miles of hiking and specifically 6 miles of biking trails. And, when you get tired of hiking, you can rent a kayak or canoe or go on the Splash Pad to cool off.
Visit southcarolinaparks.com for more information.

The Palmetto Trail – Peak to Prosperity Passage

1317 Hope Station Road, Pomaria

This trail is 10.8 miles long including views from an 1100-foot long bridge across the Broad River. There’s a smart cell phone tour you can access while hiking to learn more about the Dutch Fork history and wildlife. The palmetto conservation organization partnered with Avenza maps to offer an interactive map that does not require an Internet connection. Before hitting the trail download the app onto your mobile device so you can help stay on track while on the trail. Visit PalmettoConservation.org for more information on the peak to prosperity passage and to find more
passages in the state.

The kids love hiking at Harbison State Forest.

Harbison State Forest

5600 Broad River Road, Columbia

Harbison Forest has 18 miles of trails designed for walking, jogging, hiking and bicycling that range from mostly easy to difficult. Parking passes are required for all visitors to Harbison State Forest and can be obtained at the fee box located at each parking area. Proceeds from the parking passes help to maintain and improve the trail system. Click here to view the trail guide. Harbison’s trail map can also be found on the Avenza app. In addition, drinking water and restrooms are available at the picnic area.

The views of the river are stunning along Columbia’s riverwalk.

Three Rivers Greenway in Columbia

West Columbia Riverwalk Park & Amphitheater

Located at the intersection of Axtell Drive and Naples Avenue

The Three Rivers Greenway is a 12.5-mile linear park that is located in the cities of Columbia, West Columbia and Cayce. It is a series of riverfront pathways where the Broad, Saluda and Congaree rivers meet. There are many trails and boardwalks, an outdoor amphitheater, restrooms and beautiful views of the Columbia skyline. Visitors can stroll, jog, bike or blade down the pathways. There are also informational exhibits on the history and habitat of the area along the way. The trails are dog friendly and are also ADA accessible accommodating baby strollers and wheelchairs. This trail also offers a walking tour of the Greenway app.

12,000-Year History Park

1120 Fort Congaree Trail, Cayce

The 12,000-year history park is a walking trail as well as a unique archaeological site in Cayce SC. The area had an array of inhabitants including Native American tribes and Civil War soldiers. The park is full of stories and offers something for explores of all ages. On Saturdays, guided historic walking tours are offered. The volunteer guides will take you on a walk along with beautiful trail filled with stories. This trail is open for hiking and biking and is accessible 24/7. 

Visiting Lake Murray Country, Lake Murray, Conagree National Park, South Carolina Travel, Family Travel
The oversized trees at Congaree National Park are amazing to see!

Congaree National Park

100 National Park Road, Hopkins

Unfortunately, the Congaree National Park is currently closed. However for future information, there are a number of trails in the park including The Boardwalk Loop Trail (2.4 miles) The Bluff Trail (1.7 miles), The Sims Trail (3.2 miles), Weston Lake Loop Trail (4.4 miles), Oakridge Trail (7 miles), River Trail (10.4 miles), Kingsnake Trail (11.7 miles), Bates Ferry Trail (2.2 miles), Long leaf Trail (0.3 miles) and Fork Swamp Trail (.6 miles). Because the majority of the Congaree National Park lies within a floodplain, the terrain is mainly flat with only slight elevation changes. The majority of the trails begin from the Harry Hampton Visitor Center, which offers parking and restrooms. Trail maps are available at the center 24/7.
Click here for the self-guided boardwalk tour.

By: Jayne Baker

Getting Out on Lake Murray

Since boating is great for social distancing and Lake Murray’s public access ramps are open, many people are asking how do I get on the lake? I don’t own a boat; where do I go? We’ve compiled many ways and options for locals and visitors to explore Lake Murray’s waters.

Boat rentals are available through Lake Murray Boat Rentals, Better Boating or through the Nautical Boat Club. Lake Murray Boat Rentals rents pontoons and each boat rental includes a bimini top, life jackets, ropes, an anchor, and radio with bluetooth connectivity. Seating ranges from 8 to 17 people depending on the layout of the boat. Better Boating also has boats for rent.  The Nautical Boat Club is a boating club that will provide boats to you throughout the year for an annual fee.  This is something to look into if you want to get into boating but don’t want to purchase a boat.

Have you ever wanted to try paddle boarding? California Republic Paddleboards will accommodate you and your rental with ease. This is a fun way to get on the lake and it’s great exercise.  

Do you just want to get on Lake Murray for a scenic boat ride? Pontoon Rentals & Tours with Kenny Hardee or Lake Murray Yacht Tours is ready to take you out.  Kenny’s pontoon is spacious and Lake Murray Yacht Tours can take up to 6 passengers aboard their luxury yacht. 

Columbia Sailing Club is offering a variety of ways to get out on the lake. During the months of June and July, they are offering programs for women to learn how to sail. This is great for social distancing and just one of the many programs that they offer. Visit their website for information on kids camps and more.

Want to catch a big one? Lake Murray has a variety of fishing guides that are ready to help you find a big fish. What a great way to experience Lake Murray with a professional guide showing you where the big fish are. Click here for a listing of Lake Murray guides.

Lastly, Palmetto Outdoor and Saluda River Resort offers kayak rentals and will arrange for your family to rent kayaks for the day.  In addition, Better Boating also offers kayak and paddleboard rentals.

So, go have some fun and soak in the sun on beautiful Lake Murray!

By: Jayne Baker