Picnic Time! Best Places in the Midlands

SESQUICENTENNIAL STATE PARK | Northeast Columbia

Located in Northeast Columbia on Two Notch Road, “Sesqui” is a beloved 1400 acre park that offers many activities for visitors including a 30-acre lake with fishing boat, kayak/canoe, SUP and pedal boat rentals, 12 miles of hiking and biking trails, a splash pad for cooling off, a playground and a dog park. Website here. Admission: $2 adults; $1.25 SC seniors; age 15 & younger free

  • Picnic Shelter Information: Five picnic shelters are available for family or other group gatherings. Each shelter may be reserved for $55-110/day. Our new picnic pads are not covered, and include picnic table seating for up to 25 people and a grill. These picnic pads rent for $35-75/day. If shelters or picnic pads are not reserved, guests may use on a first-come, first-served basis at no charge.

    Note: Admission is not included in shelter price. Rates listed do not include applicable tax and nonrefundable reservation costs.
    Alcohol, balloons, signs and loud, amplified music are not allowed on the park. Please contact the park if you have any further questions.
    Shelter Reservations: To make a picnic shelter reservation, call toll-free 1-866-345-PARK (7275) or reserve online by clicking here. Picnic Tables: Picnic tables are available throughout the picnic area and are first-come, first-serve at no charge. Groups may use no more than two tables at one time.

DREHER ISLAND STATE PARK | Prosperity

Located less than 30 miles from downtown Columbia is this 348 acre park that spans three islands and provides access to 12 miles of Lake Murray shoreline. Website here.

  • Picnic Shelter Information: Twelve picnic shelters that accommodate up to 30 people each, are available for family or other group gatherings. Each shelter may be reserved for $52-82/day. 
    If shelters are not reserved, guests may use shelters on a first-come, first-serve basis at no charge. Shelter Reservations: To make a picnic shelter reservation, call toll-free 1-866-345-7275 or reserve online by clicking here.
  • Admission: $2 adults; $1.25 SC seniors; age 15 & younger free

SALUDA SHOALS PARK | Irmo

Saluda Shoals Park is a premier, natural, environmentally sensitive riverfront park that invites visitors to experience the treasures of the Saluda River through exceptional educational, recreational and cultural opportunities. Located along the banks of the beautiful Saluda River, this 400 acre regional park offers bike, canoe, kayak and tube rentals as well as plenty of trails, splash pad for kids and much more. Website here.

Picnic Shelters Information: Saluda Shoals Park has six picnic areas available for rental. All shelters feature lights, ceiling fans, electrical outlets, charcoal grills, water spigot, trashcans with bags, parking fee waived for your guests, close to restrooms and lighted parking. You and your guests may also rent a volleyball net and ball for $35, horse shoes for $15, enjoy alcohol ($50 permit), ride the Saluda Shoals Park Train which carries 15-20 people (rent by the hour). Call Angie Senn (803) 213-2053 Monday -Friday 8:30am-5:00pm for more information or to make a reservation.

MELVIN PARK| Chapin

Melvin Park is the newest park for the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission. This park offers a splash pad as well as two shelters with picnic tables that hold 25-30 people each, and one of which has a charcoal grill. Both have electricity. Website here.

VIRGINIA HYLTON PARK | Lexington

Located within downtown Lexington, Virginia Hylton Park offers picnickers a large, covered stage/shelter with grill, ceiling fans, lights, and electrical outlets, which must be reserved in advance. Website here. Features of this park include flower gardens, koi pond, walking trails, playgrounds (separate special needs playground), restrooms and horseshoe pit.

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