Welcome to Columbia, SC
Creativity, Excitement, and Promise
Columbia is nestled in the heart of South Carolina. The state's capital city, Columbia was founded in 1786. Not only is it home to the state's flagship university, but it's also the place to find the state's government, Fortune 500 companies, a thriving arts scene, and more than 800,000 residents.
Columbia is the capital city of South Carolina. With a population of 136,632 as of the 2020 U.S. Census, it is the second-largest city in South Carolina. The city serves as the county seat of Richland County, and a portion of the city extends into neighboring Lexington County. It is the center of the Columbia metropolitan statistical area, which had a population of 829,470 and is the 72nd-largest metropolitan statistical area in the nation.
Columbia is known for its compact, easily navigable streets and Southern charm, cuisine, and hospitality. Living in Columbia offers residents an urban-suburban feel, in Columbia, there are many young professionals, and is the site of Fort Jackson, the largest United States Army installation for Basic Combat Training. Twenty miles to the east of the city is McEntire Joint National Guard Base, which is operated by the U.S. Air Force and is used as a training base for the 169th Fighter Wing of the South Carolina Air National Guard.
WHAT TO LOVE
- Warm Southern South Carolina Weather
- A Rich History
- Home of USC
- Cuisine and Hospitality
Columbia is home to the South Carolina State House, a Greek Revival building set in gardens dotted with monuments. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is a huge park with animal enclosures and botanical gardens. A diverse collection spanning centuries is on display at the Columbia Museum of Art. Dating to 1823, the Robert Mills House is a mansion and museum surrounded by ornate gardens.
DINING, ENTERTAINMENT & SHOPPING
It’s home to the South Carolina State House, a Greek Revival building set in gardens dotted with monuments. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is a huge park with animal enclosures and botanical gardens. A diverse collection spanning centuries is on display at the Columbia Museum of Art. Dating to 1823, the Robert Mills House is a mansion and museum surrounded by ornate gardens.
A number of distinct food districts are scattered throughout the region. In Five Points or stop in for lunch at The Gourmet Shop. Order up their famous chicken salad with a glass of sweet tea. The Vista is a standout option with dozens of bars and restaurants across several blocks, from Motor Supply to Cola’s Restaurant. The tree-lined Devine Street is the perfect setting for outdoor dining.
Halls Chophouse on Main Street proudly serves only USDA Prime Steaks from Allen Brothers of Chicago, the premier purveyor of the finest prime meats. Allen Brothers’ steaks are hand-selected, aged with their meticulous processes, and hand-cut to exact portion specifications.
If you’re looking to get all your shopping done in one place, Columbia SC’s malls offer national retailers and plenty of restaurants to fuel your shopping spree. From sporting goods to clothing and home furnishings, all conveniently located just outside of downtown, both Columbiana Centre and the Village at Sandhills have what you need.
THINGS TO DO
Columbia, South Carolina, offers a plethora of parks, museums, historical sites and more for all to explore.
As the second-most populous city in the state and home to the University of South Carolina, Columbia harbors a variety of vibrant shopping, dining, and entertainment districts to explore, as well as many notable historic landmarks from the Civil War era. And thanks to its location at the confluence of the Saluda and Broad rivers, the city has year-round access to a variety of outdoor recreational pursuits like hiking, biking, fishing, and paddling.
With several distinct shopping districts and a recently revitalized downtown, tons of new shops, restaurants, and other thriving businesses mix in amidst old favorites like The Nickelodeon and King's Jewelers. The best part? Columbia SC grants you front-row access to all of this with affordable prices, manageable traffic, lots of parking, and walkable districts, too.
Discover places to enjoy a sweet treat, escape rooms, trails, movies, and more right here in Columbia!