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Columbia, SC

Getting to Know Columbia, SC
Would you love to live in a city where Southern charm and history meet urban culture? If so, consider Columbia, South Carolina. A revitalized downtown area offers art galleries, restaurants, a convention center, concerts and plenty of great shopping. As the home of University of South Carolina's main campus, Columbia also offers an exciting array of educational opportunities. And with a large student population, it's easy to find cheap apartments in Columbia, SC.



Columbia Apartments and Neighborhoods

Only five minutes from USC, Devine Street is a 12-block stretch of eclectic retailers and restaurants in one of the city's oldest residential areas. Other popular options include downtown, which offers a metropolitan atmosphere for fans of city living, and Cayce, a quiet suburban community just west of the Congaree River.

Apartments in Columbia, SC range from the affordable to pricey and country to contemporary. Spacious apartments near the university are perfect for sharing with roommates and make it easy to access I-26. Luxurious lofts with views of the city skyline can be found close to the downtown area. Many apartment rentals in Columbia include a pool, a fitness center, spacious layouts and upgraded kitchens. Browse Apartment Guide for up-to-date listings to find the best apartments in Columbia, SC.


Free Things to Do

There's no need to break the bank when you want to have fun. Here are our top 10 free things to do in Columbia:

  • Riverfront Park provides 167 acres worth of walking, jogging and biking opportunities.
  • Finlay Park is one of the state's best public parks and hosts festivals throughout the year.
  • Owens Field Skate Park offers teens 15,000 square feet of skating challenges, including bowls and metal-plated rails.
  • The South Carolina State House is open for guided and self-guided tours daily. Look for the six bronze stars that mark cannon fire from Sherman's March.
  • USC campus tours provide an insider view of Gibbes Green, Koger Center for the Performing Arts and Williams-Brice Stadium.
  • Sign up for a class at Columbia Art Center to increase your sense of creativity.
  • Lowe's and Home Depot both offer weekend workshops for do-it-yourself enthusiasts of all ages.
  • Take a photo in front of the deceptively realistic Tunnelvision mural, and then see if you can find the world's largest fire hydrant nearby.
  • The Caldwell-Boylston House on the Governor's Mansion grounds is open for tours on select weekdays.
  • Columbia's main street market, Soda City, features regional wares to nourish "brain, body and belly."


Columbia is for Families

In Columbia, you can find a wide range of public, Catholic, charter, boarding and magnet schools, and several of the state's top-ranking private schools. Education doesn't have to end when class is dismissed. Accompany the little ones to attractions like EdVenture Children's Museum and the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden to learn about local flora and fauna.


Natural Beauty of Columbia
Columbia's natural beauty is best experienced by bird watching on the Saluda River, fishing at scenic Lake Murray and hiking through Harbison State Forest. The shrubs, ditch areas and native grasses welcome wildlife, including songbirds, quail and cottontail rabbits.


Getaways from Columbia

Cola is within driving distance of the Appalachian Mountains, scenic marshes, national forests and the coastal communities of Charleston and Savannah. The closest beach to Columbia is Myrtle Beach, the Travel Channel's pick for #1 beach in the country. You are also less than seven hours from the sandy shores of Virginia Beach, Nags Head, Jekyll Island and Daytona Beach.