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Old 06-01-2011, 02:48 PM
 
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Hey all,

I'm military, moving from East Coast (Wash DC) to Texas in late June. I will be passing though SC (it's the only state in the South I haven't been to, one of 5 states left for me to go to to hit all 50, so I'm making a point to stop by).
Now, I can't do Charleston (too far out of the way), so I've decided to do either Columbia or Clemson... it's a pasttime of mine to stop by college towns, as I think they're fun and usually fairly nice. So, the question is, where should I visit, Columbia or Clemson?
I will only have a day to be there (like from early afternoon 1 day till early afternoon the next). Remember, this is in June, meaning school will still be out-- does this mean Clemson is going to be a ghost town? Is there any sort of fun there in the summer? Or is Columbia my best bet?
To help with your advice-giving, some info about me: 25, single, enjoys bars/nightlife (not 'clubs' like downtown atlanta, but bars with good beer, friendly bartenders, and nice girls to look at). The only touristy thing I'll be doing is checking out either university (Clemson or USC), and perusing the local beer selection. Again, I'm military, so if either town gets unfriendly on us military types, that would also be good to know (as an aside, some bars in DC aren't exactly military friendly, and I can't blame them, with the way some USMC/Army guys tend to start fights). So, what do you think for my quick detour into SC?
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:08 PM
 
Location: WI
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i'll defer to those in your age bracket as far as things to do at night, but Columbia likey will have more options ( my guess is you'll be directed to 5 Points and the Vista for areas to check out ). Also, since Fort Jackson is in Columbia, I doubt you'd run into issues with you being in the military.

Good luck on your trip, and thanks for your service!
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:09 PM
 
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There really isn't anything Clemson, besides, well, Clemson. I don't care much for the College crowd being 30 now. Not sure what Clemson is like in the summer. I'd imagine still collegey - just not as much.

Now if I were you, given your route, I'd stop in Asheville NC, then Greenville on your way to texas (sorry about that) But that's just me...
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jg20814 View Post
with the way some USMC/Army guys tend to start fights
Yeah, they need to do a better job of separating us. This used to happen up at ECU, too, when we'd drive up from Lejeune and the Army would drive over from Bragg. Fights would always ensue as the Army fellers wanted to prove they were just as good as us, and we had to remind them they weren't... ;c)

I don't care much for the college crowd, either, but I've been around both. I have to say, I didn't care for Clemson. The campus is gorgeous, and I love the Upstate (it's not an Upstate-Midlands thing, so don't bring that bickering in here), but the people there are absolute snobs. I expected differently, being an agriculture school but, when my daughter and I went up to a game last fall, people kept looking down their nose at us and wouldn't hardly speak to us at all. I guess we looked too common for them... My experience around USC is a complete 180.

Clemson has Jugheads, down in Tiger Town, which may be some of the best hot dogs I've ever eaten (I love the Spiller!). However, the establishments around there are small and cramped and all packed in together (kind of like being overseas), which I would imagine leads to a rowdy and rambunctious crowd in the evenings.

While Columbia most certainly has its own share of clubs and club-like environments, it's a little more spread out and I think you'd have a better shot and finding the type of atmosphere you're looking for.

Greenville, too (maybe even more so than Cola), but that's almost an hour's drive (in the wrong direction) from Clemson.

*Edit - If you're set on visiting a college town, then between Cola and Clemson I'd choose Columbia. If you're willing to slide on that this time, I'd choose Greenville over Columbia. Both towns have nice bars and beautiful parks to check out, but I just like the vibe of downtown Gville better. Plus you've got the mountains to look at! And, if you've got the time and still want a peek, you could swing through Clemson on your way out.
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:02 AM
 
7,987 posts, read 11,221,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jg20814 View Post
Hey all,

I'm military, moving from East Coast (Wash DC) to Texas in late June. I will be passing though SC (it's the only state in the South I haven't been to, one of 5 states left for me to go to to hit all 50, so I'm making a point to stop by).
Now, I can't do Charleston (too far out of the way), so I've decided to do either Columbia or Clemson... it's a pasttime of mine to stop by college towns, as I think they're fun and usually fairly nice. So, the question is, where should I visit, Columbia or Clemson?
I will only have a day to be there (like from early afternoon 1 day till early afternoon the next). Remember, this is in June, meaning school will still be out-- does this mean Clemson is going to be a ghost town? Is there any sort of fun there in the summer? Or is Columbia my best bet?
To help with your advice-giving, some info about me: 25, single, enjoys bars/nightlife (not 'clubs' like downtown atlanta, but bars with good beer, friendly bartenders, and nice girls to look at). The only touristy thing I'll be doing is checking out either university (Clemson or USC), and perusing the local beer selection. Again, I'm military, so if either town gets unfriendly on us military types, that would also be good to know (as an aside, some bars in DC aren't exactly military friendly, and I can't blame them, with the way some USMC/Army guys tend to start fights). So, what do you think for my quick detour into SC?
I agree with others. Being the time of summer you plan to visit, Clemson will be quiet, with the university out for summer. The town is very quaint, but don't expect much activity. USC in Columbia will also be out, and though Columbia is a city, there is a marked difference in activity levels between the months when the university in and when it is out.

Check out both Charleston and Greenville. Not being dependent on college students, both seem to have more year round activity and both have wonderful downtowns, with numerous bars.
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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Sounds like Columbia would definitely be your best bet. Greenville isn't a college town and like you said Charleston is just going to be out of the way (but otherwise definitely worth a visit). Columbia isn't a quintessential college town like Clemson which is an actual town which revolves 100% around the university, but it's a medium sized city where the university plays a significant role in the life of the city but it's not everything. That basically ensures that the city will be alive and have things to do when school isn't in session. Five Points is the urban village that caters more to the college crowd and it's still pretty active in the summer, but there's also the Vista (http://www.vistacolumbia.com/visitors.asp - broken link) district closer to the Congaree River that serves more of the local population. Also, we're definitely military friendly with Fort Jackson being an anchor for the city. The local convention and visitors bureau even has a magazine for soldiers, employees, and visitors of Fort Jackson which includes entertainment options and such. Come on down! Just hit I-95 south to I-20 west, make your stop in Columbia, and get back on I-20 west which will take you straight to Texas. We look forward to your visit! Feel free to ask any more questions if you have any.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Greenville, S.C., USA
5,473 posts, read 13,655,409 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsupstate View Post
I agree with others. Being the time of summer you plan to visit, Clemson will be quiet, with the university out for summer. The town is very quaint, but don't expect much activity. USC in Columbia will also be out, and though Columbia is a city, there is a marked difference in activity levels between the months when the university in and when it is out.

Check out both Charleston and Greenville. Not being dependent on college students, both seem to have more year round activity and both have wonderful downtowns, with numerous bars.
I agree with this post. Someone also mentioned Asheville (Beer City, USA), which is definitely worth a visit if you're in the vicinity and interested in more than the typical mass-distributed beer labels. Greenville's reputation as a place for people who love the art of beer is also growing steadily, and the city is only an hour south of Asheville. The gorgeous Furman University campus is worth a look as well. If you decide to visit the Upstate, then check out The Trappe Door (Belgian), Addy's Dutch Café, Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria, Blue Ridge Brewing Company, The Brown Street Club, Smoke on the Water, The Velo Fellow, On The Roxx, Liberty Tap Room, Carolina Ale House, Wild Wing Café, Blu Martini, or DT's, to name a few of many (trust me, there are many more) watering holes in downtown. You can still swing through the beautiful Clemson University campus and check out the legendary Esso Club or classic TD's on your way to Texas.

By the Way, the Upstate is also a very military-friendly region.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:33 AM
 
257 posts, read 259,540 times
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Oh, and if you're interested in a guided tour of the USC campus, you can check out information related to that here: Visitor Center- University of South Carolina
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:46 AM
 
780 posts, read 1,204,163 times
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Flip a coin, either Clemson or Columbia is a neat place to visit. I might lean slightly toward Columbia if you want a place with some nightlife. Clemson during the summer pretty much rolls up the sidewalks after dark.

As others here have said, if you have any leeway in your schedule, you'd do well to check out Charleston.
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
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I don't notice much of a difference at all in the activity level between when USC is in versus out. It just doesn't correlate. Summer school is in, and gobs of students stay in Columbia during the summer to work. Also, lots of students who attend college out of state or in Clemson come back to Columbia during the summer. It's a wash. The activity level is growing exponentially with school in or out.
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