The perfect place to play & stay

May 30, 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Do you remember vacationing as a child? Remember the freedom and excitement of exploring a new location with tantalizing adventures around every turn that kept you wanting more? From sights to sounds, tastes, and smells – all of your senses were engaged by this new place. Relive that childlike wonderment with a Lake Murray Country Playcation.

What is a playcation, you ask?

A vacation predominately consisting of play; especially from a child’s perspective

Enter, Capital City/Lake Murray Country: conveniently located off I-77, I-26, and I-20 in the heart of the Palmetto State. From golf to outdoor recreation, and world-class attractions including the award-winning Riverbanks Zoo & Garden this is the perfect place to stay and play! Whether you want to spend time in the great outdoors or keep your adventures air-conditioned, there’s so much to see and explore in and around Lake Murray Country during your Playcation, including:


Outdoor excursions

people on canoes paddle through congaree national park on congaree river.

Congaree National Park

Experience the natural wonders of Congaree National Park on foot or on the water. With over 25 miles of hiking trails and 2.4 miles of boardwalk, there are many ways to explore the largest intact expanse of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States, including guided canoe tours.

Sunset Lake Murray Country purple martins in flight

Purple Martin Phenomenon

Each summer the skies over Bomb Island on Lake Murray come to life as the Purple Martins arrive for their summer vacation. It is estimated that more than one million birds venture north for the summer and roost on the island, giving spectators a rare look at one of nature’s true phenomenons. The Lake Murray sanctuary remains the largest roosting site in North America. What is the best way to see this phenomenon? Book a boat tour Pro tip: The number of birds peaks in mid-to-late July.

Lake Murray

Lake Murray, often referred to as the Jewel of South Carolina, has breathtaking sunset views, pristine waters, and 650 miles of shoreline offering a wide array of outdoor fun. Boating, water sports, private tours, and fishing excursions are just a few ways to explore Lake Murray Country.


Explore indoors

South Carolina State Museum facade with sign

South Carolina State Museum

Housed in the historic 1893 Columbia Mill textile building, the South Carolina State Museum tells the state’s history through traveling museum exhibits, permanent collections, and educational programs. (Planning a date night? Check out Friday Night Laser Nights for classic rock and stunning visuals.)


four children eagerly look at a sea lion as it swims by at riverbanks zoo and gardenRiverbanks Zoo and Garden

Named one of the top 10 zoos in the country by TripAdvisor, the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is home to 2,000+ magnificent animals and houses one of the nation’s most beautiful and inspiring botanical gardens. Pro tip: After your fun-filled day outdoors or inside, check out the culinary and nightlife scenes.


Columbia SC is ranked the “10 best spot for a weekend getaway in the South” and “One of America’s Best New Food Destinations” by Food and Wine. Set aside ample time to explore the “Capital of Museums”, with over 12 to explore in the region, Lake Murray Country has earned the nickname.

Need more ideas? Check out our Itineraries, that are fun for the whole family! Whether you’re a local or a visitor, this is the place to Stay and Play. Book your Lake Murray Playcation today!