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  • student wearing Carolina hat staring off into the sunset over Columbia from parking garage

Columbia Connection: Best Places to Watch the Carolina Sunset

There are few things that beat watching the sunset over the city of Columbia skyline, and our students agree. Gamecocks flock to different spots on campus to unwind and catch a glimpse of the well-known Carolina cotton candy skies. Taylor Carroll has mastered the art of chasing sunsets and shares the four best places to watch.

I’ve seen a lot of sunsets in a lot of different places throughout my lifetime, but nothing compares to the sunsets in Columbia. Neon orange, pink and yellow cascade across the sky in a blend of colors I promise will leave you speechless every time. It’s no wonder why “Under a Carolina Sky I Stand…” plays before every USC home football game. So, just for you, we’ve conducted some field research and have put together a list of the best spots to enjoy the sunset!

1. USC Horizon Garage

Personally, the top of the Horizon Garage is my all-time favorite spot to watch the sunset. Located next to California Dreaming and across the street from the Strom Thurmond gym, the top of the parking garage gives the best view of Cola’s western horizon. Make an evening out of it by grabbing some friends and having a picnic! Did someone say sushi?

2. West Columbia Riverwalk/Gervais Street Bridge 

If you’re looking to get out into nature and enjoy the sunset, the West Columbia Riverwalk is the perfect place. Eight miles of paved and/or boardwalk trails run parallel with the Congaree River and accommodate walking, jogging, bicycling and nature gazing. Benches that line the trail are a great option for sitting and watching the sunset or walk across the Gervais St. bridge for a higher vantage point.

3. Top of Carolina 

USC’s very own rotating restaurant on the 18th floor of the Capstone residence hall has a view of the city like no other. Enjoy a nice dinner and view of Columbia as you watch the sunset with a unique, 360° experience that will truly capture the cotton candy sky. Top of Carolina will quite literally have your head in the clouds and make you feel like you’re living in a daydream.

4. Williams-Brice Stadium

Of course, I couldn’t leave out one of the best places in Columbia, period: Williams-Brice Stadium. When we’re lucky enough to get a night game, seeing the beautiful sky along with the energetic crowd of 80,000 Gamecock fans makes for a memorable experience.

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