An overview of Columbia, SC

Columbia is the state capital and South Carolina’s largest city. In 2013, our in-town population was 133,358 and the greater metropolitan area served 800,485. We have a great mix of small town feel and medium city amenities.

We are located very near to the geographical center of the state, making us an easy drive to the mountains and the beach. The cost of living here is lower than national average making Columbia a very affordable city.

Columbia is one of the earliest planned cities in the US, giving us wide streets and straight roads in the city center, making it easier to get around and helping with traffic issues.

Map of intown Columbia SC

Downtown is home to University of South Carolina, the largest university in the state and home to the Gamecock football and baseball teams. Other large employers in the city are the government, Palmetto Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC, and Fort Jackson.

Famous people from around here include Aziz Ansari, Alex English, Hootie & the Blowfish, and artist Blue Sky, whose public art projects are located throughout the city.

Known for being “Famously Hot,” Columbia is in a sup-tropical and humid climate. Our summers are hot and our winters aren’t very cold. It rains a lot in the summer, occasionally in the winter, and it snows every few years.

Weather Averages in Columbia SC


Things to do in Columbia:

Just an introduction to the things you can do while you’re here in Columbia, focusing on my own favorites.

Local Restaurants

Mr. Friendly’s - upscale Southern

Baan Sawan - Thai

Egg Roll Chen - fast food Chinese

Harper's - American eatery

Arabesque - Mediterranean

M Vista - upscale Chinese

Cantina 76 - upscale Mexican

Southern Belly BBQ - fantastic barbecue

Groucho’s Deli - sandwiches

Blue Cactus - Korean and great vegetarian options


The Whig – dive bar with great food and cheap tacos on Tuesday

Art Bar - for the alternative crowd

River Rat Brewery - local beer

Hunter Gatherer - local beer and fantastic food

Bourbon - bourbon and Cajun food


Congaree National Park

Three Rivers Greenway

Lake Murray


Riverbanks Zoo

 Edventure Children’s Museum

Frankie’s Fun Park


The Columbia Museum of Art

Nickelodeon Theatre

701 Center for Contemporary Art

Trustus Theatre


The State House

South Carolina State Museum

The Woodrow Wilson Family Home


Learn More about Columbia, SC

City of Columbia Official Website

Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau

The State - SC's largest newspaper

University of South Carolina