This blog series is in partnership with Visit the Cities of the SEC.
Columbia, SC is excited to welcome the Mississippi State Bulldogs to town. Whether it’s your first time watching a game at Williams-Brice Stadium, or you’ve been making the trek for this SEC matchup for years, we have some old favorites as well as new and notable things to try to maximize your fun and minimize any tailgate hassles.
First things first – secure your tailgate spot. The South Carolina State Fairgrounds is located adjacent to Williams-Brice and is the epitome of a tailgate playground. Single game parking passes for the September 23, 2023 matchup go on sale on at 10am September 13.
Check rates and availability for a wide range of accommodations from boutique inns to full-service downtown properties to economical options with easy access to our interstates. Rooms fill fast on game weekends and some properties require a two-night minimum.
Stock up on local favorites like boiled peanuts from Cromer’s to fried chicken from Bernie’s to BBQ from Doc’s to make your tailgate fresh and flavorful. And if you love pimento cheese, you’re in luck. Columbia SC is home to the Pimento Cheese Passport, featuring 16 different restaurants that offer unique pimento cheese dishes. At the tailgate, a tub of pimento cheese from DiPrato’s will not last long paired alongside their homemade pita chips, on burgers or in sandwiches.
Game Day Gear
September in Columbia is likely to be quite hot, so plan your outfit accordingly. Whether your style is trendy or classic, ladies will find a host of boutiques on Devine Street including MyKim, Just the Thing (check out their clear bag selection!) and Brittons for the perfect gameday sundress. Brittons has a huge selection of on-trend apparel for the guys as well. Mast General Store in the Main Street District offers a variety of outdoor wear in the event you find yourself in need of rain gear.
Before or After the Game
Every Saturday morning on Main Street from 9am-1pm, rain or shine, dozens of vendors display art, clothing, and accessories alongside a wide variety of food trucks offering southern favorites and international delicacies at Soda City Market. It’s dog-friendly, kid-friendly and one of locals’ favorite ways to spend a Saturday morning.
Columbia’s brewery scene is not to be missed. From local favorites like River Rat Brewery just blocks from the stadium to Savage Craft located in West Columbia across the Gervais Street Bridge or Bierkeller on the river, you are sure to find a good time and a cold pint at any turn.
Columbia SC is most definitely a brunch town, and you will find no shortage of mimosas, Bloody Marys, biscuits (probably with pimento cheese) and grits to bring you back to life after the previous night’s festivities.
One of our favorite things about being in the SEC is the abundance of local traditions and gorgeous campuses. While you’re here, don’t miss sneaking a peak at the famed Cockabooses, a string of elaborately refurbished railroad cars used for tailgating, before you enter the stadium. Also, escape the heat and stroll to see the historic buildings and shady trees the Horseshoe, our main section of campus. And while we know you may prefer a cowbell to a sandstorm, one thing we can agree on in the SEC is Southern hospitality and having a great time, and we hope you enjoy our city and make us your game day home away from home!
As you plan the rest of the season, don’t forget to download the Cities of the SEC Passport to help you navigate the best of every city in the conference.