Columbia, SC

Travel Guide
South Carolina State House
Wander the wide boulevards of this graceful city to discover stately homes, galleries, museums, entertainment venues, recreational parks and a zoo with a botanical garden.

Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, sits at the confluence of three rivers. An orderly city made up of tree-lined streets and broad boulevards, the city’s attractions include antebellum homes, art galleries and museums with exhibits to suit all ages. Relax at riverside parks and explore one of the nation’s most renowned zoos as you make your way around the city. Founded in 1786 and all but flattened during the Civil War, today Columbia combines the elegance of a state capital with the youthfulness of a university town.

Start your visit with a tour of the South Carolina State House, which marks the heart of the city. Outside is the African-American History Monument, a commemoration of African-American contributions to South Carolina. From this point in the center of Columbia, streets lead in all directions to major attractions and historic landmarks. Peek inside the rooms of the Governor’s Mansion, one of the few buildings to survivor Civil War destruction.

Browse a comprehensive display of art, natural history, science and technology exhibits at South Carolina State Museum. See work by American and European artists at the Columbia Museum of Art and take the family to enjoy the hands-on and educational exhibits at the EdVenture Children’s Museum. Learn about South Carolina’s military history at the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum.

Take advantage of the city’s extensive collection of green spaces. Spot colorful wildlife and plant species at Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden. Stroll along the banks of three rivers at the Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park. Find picnic sites, sports fields and walking trails at Earlewood Park. Mingle with students on the lawns of Gibbes Green, at the University of South Carolina.

Columbia is a city that loves its sports. Experience some of this passion while watching basketball at the Colonial Life Arena, baseball at Founders Park or football at Williams-Brice Stadium. For a change of pace, take in some of the city’s cultural offerings at venues such as the Columbia Marionette Theatre or the Workshop Theatre. Spend an evening bar hopping in the neighborhoods of Congaree Vista and Five Points.

Reach the Columbia from other major U.S. cities via the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Amtrak train arrive from all corners of the state. With mild winters, hot summers and downtown attractions confined to a small area, Columbia is an ideal city to traverse on foot.

Where to stay in Columbia

Hilton Garden Inn Columbia/Harbison
Hilton Garden Inn Columbia/Harbison
3 out of 5
434 Columbiana Dr, Columbia, SC, 29212-1652
The price is $99 per night from Sep 11 to Sep 12
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Columbia. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (1,000 reviews)
"love it"

Reviewed on Aug 15, 2022

Hilton Garden Inn Columbia/Harbison
Graduate Columbia, S.C.
Graduate Columbia, S.C.
4 out of 5
1619 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC, 29201
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $129 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 23
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Columbia. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and a 24-hour fitness center. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (1,001 reviews)
Oasis near campus
"In town for a friend’s birthday celebration. Just can’t beat the location near campus. Love The Graduate for style, comfort and location."

Reviewed on Aug 15, 2022

Graduate Columbia, S.C.
Embassy Suites Columbia - Greystone
Embassy Suites Columbia - Greystone
3.5 out of 5
200 Stoneridge Dr, Columbia, SC, 29210-8010
The price is $106 per night from Sep 9 to Sep 10
Stay at this 3.5-star business-friendly hotel in Columbia. Enjoy free breakfast, WiFi, and room service. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff ...
3.4/5 (1,000 reviews)
review
"very clean, nice, quit, did not know we had to pay for parking!"

Reviewed on Aug 12, 2022

Embassy Suites Columbia - Greystone
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
The Hangar Lofts Hotel
The Hangar Lofts Hotel
2.5 out of 5
724 S Edisto Ave, Columbia, SC, 29205
The price is $155 per night from Aug 18 to Aug 19
Stay at this aparthotel in Columbia. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and laundry facilities. Popular attractions Fort Jackson and South Carolina State Fairgrounds ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (9 reviews)
"The rooms are midcentury industrial design and it was so nice to stay in a hotel room that is not cookie cutter!! We hope to come back again this fall."

Reviewed on Jul 30, 2022

The Hangar Lofts Hotel
InTown Suites Extended Stay Columbia SC - Broad River
InTown Suites Extended Stay Columbia SC - Broad River
3 out of 5
1633 Broad River Rd, Columbia, SC, 29210
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly aparthotel in Columbia. Enjoy free parking, WiFi, and laundry facilities. Popular attractions Riverbanks Zoo and Garden ...
2.9/5 (11 reviews)
"when i asked for an microwave. a d pillows. Those items were immediately provided."

Reviewed on Jan 5, 2022

InTown Suites Extended Stay Columbia SC - Broad River
Kasa Downtown Columbia
Kasa Downtown Columbia
3.5 out of 5
Taylor Street 1217, Columbia, SC, 29201
Stay at this 3.5-star apartment in Columbia. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a picnic area. Popular attractions Fort Jackson and Township Auditorium are located ...
3.7/5 Good! (9 reviews)
Good experience!
"It was a really nice place! Unfortunately, the elevator was down and we didn’t have a heads up. Plus, the shower head in one of the bathrooms leaked ( spraying sideways). However, the communication was great after we arrived. We would have stayed longer if we were in the area for a longer period ..."

Reviewed on Aug 5, 2022

Kasa Downtown Columbia
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit

Things to do

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Columbia

Cities near Columbia