Located right in the heart of Columbia’s historic Vista district, the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (CMCC) will be the location for this year's State Conference. The Convention Center is just a short walk from delicious food, great shopping, galleries, museums and friendly locals.
After the Conference, enjoy some of the other amenities Columbia has to offer including:
- Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens: One of the nation's top zoos. 170-acre zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden with more than 2,000 animals.
- South Carolina State House: Built in 1855. Well-manicured and easy walk along capitol grounds and find the stars on the building, marking the spots hit by Sherman's cannons during the Civil War. Free guided tours available Monday through Saturday.
- South Carolina State Museum: The largest museum in the Southeast. Four floors of art, science, history, and technology exhibits. Digital dome planetarium, 4D interactive theater, and 2,400 square foot Boeing observatory. Open seven days a week.
- Congaree National Park: 26,000 acre National Park offering hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, and bird watching. Ranger-guided walks available. South Carolina's only national park. Admission is free and the park is open 24/7/365.
- Columbia Museum of Art: Exciting national exhibitions are always cycling through the Columbia Museum of Art. Also offers art classes, tours, and lectures to engage both children and adults. Open every day, except Monday.
- Columbia Fireflies: Minor league baseball. In its first season, Ballpark Digest recognized Spirit Communications Park as it's 2016 Ballpark of the year. Home games Conference weekend vs Augusta GreenJackets. First pitch on Saturday, April 7 is at 6:05 pm and 2:05 pm on Sunday, April 8.
Come for the Conference, stay and play!
Parking, Directions and Accommodations
There are multiple parking options available:
- The CMCC parking lot adjacent to the facility may be available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis. The lot is monitored. Tell the guard that you are with the SC EPSCoR State Conference. Parking availability is subject to change, based on event times and the number of events in the building. Parking in the rear lot behind the CMCC is not permitted. CMCC is not responsible for damage or theft in the lot.
- Metered parking is available along many of the streets around the facility and parking is free on Saturdays. Again, these are limited and subject to availability.
- Pay-for-Parking garages are operated by the City of Columbia and are available 24/7. Cash or credit card payments are accepted. A cashier is on site most days from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Charges are $2 for the first hour and $1 for every additional hour, but no more than $10 for the day. Customers with lost tickets will automatically be charged $10 regardless of hours parked in the garage.
Out-of-town guests wishing to make a hotel reservation at accommodations in the conference area should be aware that the Conference is being held during the week of the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Hotel availability in the city will be limited and conference attendees are encouraged to make reservations early.
Hotels located near the site of the Conference include:
- Aloft Columbia Downtown – 3 minute drive, 7 minute walk
- Columbia Marriott – 3 minute drive, 9 minute walk
- Courtyard by Marriott Columbia – 4 minute drive, 12 minute walk
- Hampton Inn by Hilton Columbia Downtown Historic District – 3 minute drive, 4 minute walk
- Hilton Columbia Center – 1 minute drive, 3 minute walk
- Hilton Garden Inn Columbia Downtown – 6 minute drive, 20 minute walk
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia - Downtown – 5 minute drive, 19 minute walk
- Hyatt Place Columbia/Downtown/The Vista – 2 minute drive, 5 minute walk
- Inn at USC Wyndham – 5 minute drive, 17 minute walk
- Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel – 5 minute drive, 15 minute walk
- SpringHill Suites by Marriott Columbia Downtown/The Vista – 3-6 minute drive, 13 minute walk