Columbia, South Carolina, America's second planned city, was chosen as the state capitol in 1786 due to its location in the center of the state.
As did many southern towns, Columbia suffered under General Sherman's army. In February of 1865, the town was destroyed by fire. Since that time, Columbia has developed itself into a state capitol South Carolinians have reason to be proud of. Columbia (South Carolina's most populated city) offers all the conveniences of city life, while retaining southern charm and possessing something of a hip, fresh flavor. The assortment of diverse activities you'll find here is nothing short of amazing.
At a five-way intersection in historic downtown rests the area known as Five Points. Known for its quality restaurants, unique shops, and lively night scene, this is the place to catch live music in Columbia. It's also a hot spot for young college students attending one of the nearby colleges.
Another not-to-miss region is the Congaree Vista District. Located along the banks of the Congaree River, this area is establishing itself as the premier arts and entertainment district of Columbia. Savvy and chic aptly describe the diverse mix of businesses located here. Frequented by locals, it is an experience not to miss.
Columbia's strong performing arts community offers an abundance of activities. In fact, its Town Theatre is the oldest continually operated theater in the country. The Columbia City Ballet, the Columbia Museum of Art (the largest art museum in the state) and the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra all enjoy excellent reputations.
Children and parents alike will adore the entertaining and educational EdVenture Children's Museum and the Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden.
As if there wasn't already enough to do in Columbia, the areas offers the opportunity for numerous recreational adventures. Parks are a central part of Columbia. The Columbia Riverfront Park and Historic Canal, Finlay Park, and Memorial Park are highlights of downtown. The parks provide greenspace, beautiful waterfalls, walking and bike paths, and even an old railway bridge turned pedestrian walkway. Columbia's parks are a great place to relax and plan your day's activities. Located just minutes from Columbia is the 50,000 acre Lake Murray.
Columbia is located in the center of South Carolina at the junctions of Interstates 20, 26 and 77.