Ah, the wonders of the Christmas season. Gatherings with family and friends. The spectacle of parades and light shows. The joy of children. Warm feelings of peace, love and goodwill. Battling bumper-to-bumper traffic on the interstate or Harbison Boulevard in an attempt to get to the mall.
OK, so maybe that last one doesn’t exactly inspire cheerful tidings toward your fellow man. But there’s good news: you don’t have to fight through Midlands holiday gridlock to find perfect gifts for all those on your nice list. You can fill your Christmas stockings, support an array of locally-owned businesses, and enjoy an unhurried holiday shopping experience by visiting merchants just across the river in West Columbia.
From crafts and home decor to one-of-a-kind art and antiques, an easy trip over the Gervais Street bridge offers countless gift options that will make your season bright. So this holiday season, forgo the traffic and crowds of mall shopping and visit one of these unique commercial districts in West Columbia.
One of West Columbia’s best-known shopping, dining and nightlife corridors is anchored by the Old Mill Antique Mall, which has been in business for 30 years and features a wide range of antiques, collectibles, and furniture offered by over 75 dealers, all on one recently expanded sales floor. Nearby is The Warehouse, a singular consignment experience that offers not just furniture, accessories and antiques, but also holiday decorating items like wreaths and garland.
A short walk away is Rob Shaw Gallery and Framing, where in addition to numerous Palmetto State-themed works conceived by the artist and owner himself, unique gifts can be created from documents, photographs or artifacts. State Street Trading Company is a locally owned gallery where you can find gifts ranging from fine art, to antiques, and collectibles. Across the street is Spa 131, where the Midlands’ best day spa offers gift cards for skin care and massage treatments. And if a holiday party needs catering, look no further than Cafe Strudel, whose line-out-the-door fare will take any gathering to the next level.
A landmark of nearby Meeting Street is the holiday edition of the Meeting Street Artisan Market, which features numerous local artists showcasing their creations, and is open every Saturday through December 21, from 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Two blocks away is Columbia Flag & Sign Company, whose extensive selection includes a number of Gamecocks and Clemson flags for the sports fan in the family.
Across the street is Meeting Street Interiors, whose sumptuous collection of antiques and accessories runs the gamut from art and books to furniture and draperies, and includes almost everything in between. A bit down the road is
The Stone Boot Co., a family-owned boot boutique featuring a curated selection for any occasion, as well as accessories like belts, hats and jewelry.
A short walk away is 763 Antique Mall, a beguiling emporium featuring a little of everything, from pottery and textiles to musical instruments and military paraphernalia. More unique gift ideas can be found at nearby Glassie Ladies, where countless glass art creations are on display. And then there’s Messie’s Closet, a curated resale boutique specializing in buzzworthy women’s clothing at a fraction of the retail price.
West Columbia’s most famous intersection is known for more than the big Zesto cone. Fine art is treated with care at Gold Line Framing Gallery & Gifts, which beyond its custom framing services also offers frames for diplomas, weddings, and countless other occasions. For those interested in helping furry friends, St. Paws Thrift Store offers a vast array of books, houseware, furniture, clothing and more, with proceeds going to qualified animal rescue organizations.
Those buying for music lovers can check out an old-school record store at Scratch ’n’ Spin Records, which offers not just vintage vinyl but also used compact discs, cassettes, DVDs and video games. Agape Again Resale and Consignment features 1,100 feet of retail space, packed with mementos and antiques, as well as Christmas decor. And Buttercream Dreams offers an array of cakes and cupcakes that can serve as the ideal capper to a holiday party or Christmas dinner.
Farther west on Highway 1, there’s Carolina Pottery, with 70,000 square feet of home goods and decor items to enhance both indoor and outdoor living spaces. Nearby is the Central South Carolina Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which offers an ever-changing array of gently used furniture and appliances.
It’s all enough to bring a smile to even the grinchiest member of your Christmas shopping list. For more information on what West Columbia has to offer both during and after the holidays, visit WestColumbiaSC.gov.