Every single Saturday – rain or shine (a bold but smart move by the event planners) – the Soda City Market opens up in downtown Columbia, South Carolina.
What makes the Soda City Market SO flipping COOL is the basic premise: all locally produced vendors. Each one must make or grow the products they sell. They vet. And they make sure only the top-notch vendors are included in the market.
More than 150 vendors set up each week at the market.
Where to stay in Columbia
We stayed the weekend at the Sheraton Downtown Columbia, which is an old bank building that converted the bank vault into a martini bar. Do I really need to say more? Ok, here you go: if you don’t want to have drinks in the basement, you can take the express elevator to the 17th floor and have cocktails on the roof overlooking Columbia. This would be a delightful activity if you aren’t deathly afraid of heights. (I prefer my feet on the floor of the basement.) Our room was excellent, and the old school details like the tile in the elevator made it a fun place to stay. Stay here! It’s fabulous, and you won’t need to drive to visit the market.
About Soda City, South Carolina Market
On Saturday morning, we stepped outside of our hotel around 8:30 while vendors were setting up.
Up to 5,000 attend a regular Saturday market – but in the early morning, the market is peaceful and empty.
Thankfully, Thirsty Mare set up early and was ready to serve coffee.
We sipped freshly roasted coffee, were tempted by homemade cinnamon rolls but went for breakfast burritos.
We sniffed candles, met artists, purchased a matching scrunchie and dog bandana set. Also purchased a t-shirt that says ”I wet my plants.” Amazing.
As lunchtime approached, the streets filled with shoppers and dogs and strollers. We wanted to try the paella (it looked incredible!) but it was time for us to head back to Myrtle Beach. I will be back to the Soda City Market for the sole purpose of trying that paella: chef’s set-up was so dramatic with large wok-pans and fire!
This could be the only activity you plan for a weekend getaway to Columbia, and it would be worth it. You’ll discover so many cool Carolina artists and brands!
Soda City Market
Columbia, South Carolina
“Soda City Market is a producer-only market — vendors must make or grow their own products”