Columbia (South Carolina)

Columbia skyline

Columbia is both the capital city and largest city in South Carolina. It is in the approximate geographic center of the state, and is one of the first planned cities of the United States. It is also home to the main campus of the University of South Carolina, and to the Army's Fort Jackson. Located in close proximity to two seemingly forever-growing metros, Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina, Columbia's recent rapid growth indicates South Carolina's capital city is beginning to blossom as other Southern cities have in the past decade. As of 2006, estimates for the population of the city proper is 122,819, with an urban core population of about 420,000, and a metro area population of about 750,000.

Get in

By car

Columbia is easily reached by Interstate 20, Interstate 26 and Interstate 77, or by U.S. Highway 1.

By plane

Columbia is served by the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE), located 7.5 miles southwest of downtown.

There are non-stop flights to Columbia Metropolitan Airport from the following cities (some cities may be seasonal or only offer service certain days of the week): Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston, Newark, New York, Philadelphia and Washington.

To get from the airport to downtown using public transport, Comet Bus Route #28 operates weekday-only service from the Midland Tech Airport campus, a few blocks from the airport. The bus leaves 3 times per day: at 7:39AM, 1:04PM, and 4:59PM. The journey downtown costs $1.50 and takes 30 minutes.

By train

An Amtrak station is located at 850 Pulaski Street in the Vista. Columbia sits on the main north-south line on the East Coast. Trains depart daily for Miami and New York; however, most of the trains pass though Columbia at night and are frequently delayed.

By bus

Megabus. Service from Atlanta, Athens, Fayetteville, Durham, Richmond, and Washington, D.C. Buses stop at the Sumter Street Transit Station, located at the corner of Sumter Street and Laurel Street.

Get around

Most people use a car to get around Columbia, but more pedestrian-friendly areas of the city include downtown, The Vista, the University Hill/USC area, and Five Points. There is bus service around town provided by provided by CMRTA. It is generally geared towards locals rather than tourists. Taxi service is also available 24/7 if one calls in advance, and can usually be hailed on the street in Five Points and The Vista at night.


South Carolina Statehouse

Siebels House and Garden One of the best gardens in the city. Is free to walk through and surrounds the oldest house in Columbia.

South Carolina State Museum


1901 Pendleton St



Equitable Arcade at 1216 Washington St


Some of the most popular restaurants include, the Blue Marlin, which features seafood prepared in the South Carolina Lowcountry tradition; Dianne's on Devine, an upscale fine dining restaurant offering Italian dishes; the Hampton Street Vineyard, best known for its extensive selection in fine wines; and SakiTumi Grill & Sushi, which specializes in Pacific Rim cuisine. In all, Columbia offers over 450 dining options. Terra in the West Bank/State St. area in West Columbia is a new upscale eatery that has caught the attention of locals.


Passable regional chain restaurants have locations in and near town, including Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Mellow Mushroom Pizza, Moe's Southwest Grill, Atlanta Bread Co, Firehouse Subs and Sonic Drive-In (many 24h).

Other cheap eats include:



Columbia has a diverse, extensive array of restaurants to choose from, most notably those in the historic Congaree Vista district, Five Points, and along Devine Street.



Go next

Routes through Columbia

Raleigh Southern Pines  N  S  Savannah Orlando
Augusta Lexington  W  E  Jct N SFlorence END
Asheville Spartanburg  N  S  Orangeburg Charleston
Charlotte Pineville  N  S  END
Raleigh Rockingham  N  S  Lexington Augusta
Anderson Belton  W  E  Sumter Wilmington
Johnson City Gastonia  N  S  Hardeeville → END
Athens via Lexington  W  E  Sumter Conway

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, February 29, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.