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Best things to do in Columbia

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Where in the world: USA  /  Tennessee  /  Columbia

Top 15 things to do in Columbia

1. Lotz House Museum, Franklin

Lotz House Museum tells the story of the talented Lotz family and their home during the American Civil War. A guide will take you through the remarkable house. Admire the intricate carpentry of Johann Lotz and the finest Civil War-era antiques collection in the South. The Lotz house was in the central area of the Battle of Franklin, one of the bloodiest of the war, and you can still see damage from the five hours of fighting. Look for the charred dent in the wooden floor from a cannonball that crashed through the roof. Following the battle, the house served as a hospital for wounded soldiers. Bloodstains are still visible on the floors and walls throughout the house. On your way out, stop by the gift shop, which features DVDs and books about the Civil War, as well as one-of-a-kind antiques and collectibles. .
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $89 › Learn more about Lotz House Museum

2. Carnton, Franklin

Built as a typical plantation house, then transformed into an army hospital, Carnton is now a museum for Civil War enthusiasts. The museum is divided into three exhibits: the Battle of Franklin Trust, dedicated to the five bloodiest hours of the war; the Carter House, a brick home where one of the cruelest battles took place; and Carnton Plantation, property donated by the McGavock family as a memorial to the deceased. A nearby cemetery holds the graves of hundreds of soldiers. The Carter House is a setting in Robert Hicks’s novel "The Widow of the South."
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $102 › Learn more about Carnton

3. Downtown Franklin, Franklin

Built around a town square featuring a Civil War monument of a lone Confederate soldier overlooking the center of town, Downtown Franklin offers a glimpse into its history, along with a collection of modern boutiques and art galleries. The site of a major Civil War battle, the town features a 16-block area on the National Register of Historic Places that's filled with restored Victorian buildings, many of which now house antique shops, gift shops, and bookstores. Shop around town, stroll down one of the walking trails, and dine at one of the many restaurants in the area. Parking is free and within easy walking distance from everything the town has to offer.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Downtown Franklin

4. Civil War Tour with Lotz House, Carter House & Carnton Admission from Nashville

FROM $102
Get an inside look at the bloodiest hours of the American Civil War on this tour from Nashville to Franklin, the site of the famous Battle of Franklin in 1864. Learn from your knowledgeable guide about the war’s dark history as you visit the Carter House and Lotz House, which still bear bullet holes and blood stains. You’ll also tour the Carnton and learn about its role during and after the war, when it became the country's largest private Confederate cemetery.
Suggested duration: 7h
Tours from $102 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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6. Carter House, Franklin

Tour the Federal-style Carter House, the site of the U.S. Civil War Second Battle of Franklin in 1864. Completed in 1830 by Fountain Branch Carter, the house is now a Tennessee State Historic Site. During the battle, the Carter family hid in the basement while gun fire blasted through their home. The Carters' son Tod fought and was mortally wounded in the battle. As you tour the house, you can view the room where he died, as well as the more than 1,000 bullet holes left in the house from the fighting. Note that the grounds' famous cotton gin is no longer intact. The home is close to other historical sites, such as the Lotz House, where you can learn more about the battle's impact on Franklin. If you are interested in visiting these different sites, look into purhasing a Carnton Plantation value package for discounts.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $102 › Learn more about Carter House

7. Historic Elm Springs

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Historic Elm Springs

8. The Nashville Sightseeing Day Pass: Save BIG on 20+ Attractions in Music City!

FROM $89
Ain’t No Party Like a ‘NashVegas’ Party! As the beating heart of Tennessee culture and cuisine, you can count on Nashville to be the perfectly aged cocktail of southern decadence. Breathe in the barrel-aged harmonies of history, music, and bourbon with the Nashville Sightseeing Day Pass, your key to saving over 50% on twenty of the city’s iconic attractions. Check out the Country Music Hall of Fame or the Musician's Hall of Fame and Museum; take a tour of history at the Andrew Jackson Hermitage or the Belle Meade Mansion; and enjoy access to the Gray Line Music City Bus Tour. Customize your trip to Nashville to fit your ideal itinerary with an easy-to-use Sightseeing Day Pass. With the option to select from 1, 2, or 3 days, you can enjoy full admission to as many attractions as you want, saving over 50% of visitation costs and no fixed start date. A perfect choice for first time visitors with an open itinerary and active travelers looking to explore it all.
Suggested duration: 24h - 72h
Tours from $89 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Arrington Vineyards, Arrington

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Arrington Vineyards

10. St. John's Episcopal Church

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about St. John's Episcopal Church

11. Columbia Town Square

Suggested duration: 4 hours
Learn more about Columbia Town Square

12. McGavock Confederate Cemetery, Franklin

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about McGavock Confederate Cemetery

13. Shiloh National Military Park, Shiloh

Explore American Civil War history on the Shiloh and Corinth battlefields at Shiloh National Military Park. The two-day Battle of Shiloh on April 6-7, 1862, began a six-month struggle between Union soldiers and Confederates over a railroad junction in Corinth. This battlefield, named for the Shiloh Methodist Church, opened to the public as a park in 1894. The park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. Visit the museum and interpretive center to learn about the war tools used in this era. For further exploration of the park, pick up a narrated audio tour that provides highlights of the battlefield as you drive the 20.4 km (12.7 mi) route. You can walk through the Shiloh Indian Mounds Site and view the Iowa Monument, Sunken Road, and Confederate Memorial.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Shiloh National Military Park

15. Duck River Books

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Duck River Books