5 Ways to Cool off in the Lake Murray Country region

June 16, 2020

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