Dixieland Spring Tour travel blog

Chinese Snowball tree at Riverbanks Botanical Gardens

Gardens were lovely

Fountains were neat


Woodland Walk

Rock General Sherman supposedly stood on

Saluda Mill ruins

Baby koala about 1 month old

Hungry giraffe

Climbing wall at the zoo


Cool lion of recycled junk

These flamingos are courting

Mr. Smiley

Zip line over the river

State Capitol Building

Central dome was beautiful

Damage caused by General Sherman's attack

Grounds of capitol

Columbia, SC The Riverbanks Botanical Gardens is a 170-acre zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden located along the Saluda River. It was super nice. The garden section included Asian Garden, Bog Garden, Collection Garden, Dry Garden, Rose Garden, Shade Garden, Walled Garden, and a woodland walk that led us to the Saluda Mill Ruins on the banks of the river. It was the 1st water-powered textile mill in South Carolina. It was built of local granite and completed around 1830. Slaves chiseled out huge blocks of granite with hand tools - an amazing feat. Also there supposedly is a rock that General Sherman stood upon on the eve of the shelling of Columbia. The zoo section was great, too. The walks are shaded and the enclosures are large. In addition to animals there is a climbing wall, a 4-story vertical rope challenge, a kangaroo walkabout, a zip line with 7 lines ranging in length from 200 to 1,000’ with a rickety bridge and two cargo net climbs. It goes out over the river.

Then we decided to walk to the capitol building. While Charleston is flat, Columbia has hills. They are all on the way to the capitol. We toured the capitol and learned many facts about the building. General Sherman and his Union army captured the State Capital in 1865 leaving city-wide destruction. When Sherman arrived with Federal troops, he found a capitol with stone walls but only a temporary wooden roof. Sherman fired on the capitol and had hit it with 6 cannon balls. When the capitol building was finally completed, the spots where the cannon balls hit were preserved.

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