Well, well, well…. This game actually makes it worth the Great GP1’s time to post again.
In the spirit of being a good Zip and in the spirit of southern hospitality, I’m here to help the rest of you have a good time, or at least in the case of Columbia, SC, avoid disaster. Let’s get started.
I’m not going to paint Columbia as anything other than what it is, “The Screen Door to Hell”. Easily the hottest city in the country in the summer. The good news is it will not be unbearably hot like it normally is in Columbia. There are things to do in Columbia, but not much. This is why you need an expert like the Great GP1 to guide you through all your travel plans.
First, sightseeing in Columbia consists of…well, not many sights and mostly things you would rather not see. You could go look at campus. The advantage of this activity is you can see the entire campus from your car as it is an urban campus much like UofA. The capital is nice, but you can basically drive by it too and see everything you would want to see. This concludes sightseeing activities in Columbia.
If I still lived in Akron and wanted to make this trip (I know, it’s the weekend after Thanksgiving.), I would take Friday and Monday off work, leave Thursday and drive most of the way there. Golfing is always fun for people who like to travel. There is a nice public golf course in Tega Cay, SC just across the state line from Charlotte that is public and well maintained. Great people live in this town. It has 27 holes and make sure you DO NOT play the old 9 hold course. I would play golf on Friday and then go to Columbia Friday night.
If I stayed in Columbia on Friday and/or Saturday, I would look for hotels in The Vista or generally downtown. Be careful of two night minimums for Gamecock games. Book one now and see if you can beat the chains putting on this restriction.
Three places I recommend for dinner in Columbia are: Ristorante Divina (The Vista), Terra (close by but you must cross the river in to West Columbia) and my personal favorite The Blue Marlin. The Vista has a ton of other places though if these are not attractive choices. Sports bars at The Vista include: Wild Wing Café, Twin Peaks and Carolina Ale House. Wild Wing will have the best TV set up, CAH will have the second best and a rooftop bar and Twin Peaks will still have a good TV set up and hot girls working at it.
Tickets should be easily available for this game as well as parking passes. Noon games are not very popular for Gamecock fans because the rich ones who drive from the ocean communities have difficulty waking up on Saturday mornings because of hangovers. This is my favorite type of game to go to. I love mostly empty stadiums and being able to park close to stadiums. I guess I am at the point in my life I like to have as little people around me as possible. Most definitely I will be attending this game.
The best place to park is across the street from the stadium at Gamecock Park. Public restrooms and electricity make it a great place. https://gamecocksonline.com/sports/2018/6/21/ot-game-day-parking-information-html.aspx If you can surf the internet and find someone who has a condo in Carolina Walk and is willing to sell their tickets and parking pass, it is next to this parking area and is a good place. Near the top of Carolina Walk on game days, there is normally a band playing the residence hire and a bar. It’s a private party, but the residents often sell their wristband to attend along with their tickets and parking pass. The state fairground is a huge parking area and you should be able to buy a pass in it off the internet. Don’t park in some of the private business selling parking. The game will be over at 3:30 and you will still be waiting to get out at midnight. Be prepared, you must drive to the stadium from wherever you decide to stay. The stadium is away from campus and the general downtown area.
Tickets? There should be plenty of them. Don’t buy tickets too low. The stands go right down to the field and it’s extremely hard to see the game from down there. Mostly, it’s hard to see over the players. Upper deck tickets are too high. If you want to stay out of the sun, get tickets on the Zips side. Plenty of tickets between the end zones will be available.
If you are going to take my brilliant recommendation and stay until Monday, I have some Sunday advice for you if you can take a break from watching Baker Mayfield lead the Browns to the Super Bowl this year (cough…snicker). Either after the game or Sunday morning, get up and go to Charleston. It is beautiful there at Christmas time. If you are with your family, there are a ton of things to do in Charleston. If you are with a group of guys, go golfing again. However, if I wanted to take advantage of golf on Sunday, I would probably go to Myrtle Beach for that.
If you take the family to Charleston and want to play golf also, Wild Dunes at IOP is the best place to stay. Rooms will be dirt cheap. You could get up Sunday, take a nice walk on the beach with the temperatures in the 50s or 60s (best time of the year to go to the beach here) and then play some golf.
Drive safe on the way home. Too many people from Ohio get in to wrecks on their way home from Hilton Head in the summer in Charlotte and it clogs up traffic on Saturdays. It makes it hard for me and the luckiest woman in the world, Mrs. GP1, to get uptown for dinner on Saturday nights.