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Overview

South Carolina's capital city and home to the state legislature, Columbia is a pretty little town with lots of historic buildings and an interesting military history. General Sherman stormed through here on his way to the coast during the Civil War, leaving a blazing city left for ruins. But the town extinguished the flames, wiped itself off and everyone enjoyed a glass of sweet tea. Columbia is a true Old South city. Southern hospitality is taken seriously here and good-old-boy culture still thrives. Efforts have been made to modernize the city with fun neighborhoods, a good selection of restaurants and an evolving performing arts scene. ...

South Carolina's capital city and home to the state legislature, Columbia is a pretty little town with lots of historic buildings and an interesting military history. General Sherman stormed through here on his way to the coast during the Civil War, leaving a blazing city left for ruins. But the town extinguished the flames, wiped itself off and everyone enjoyed a glass of sweet tea. Columbia is a true Old South city. Southern hospitality is taken seriously here and good-old-boy culture still thrives. Efforts have been made to modernize the city with fun neighborhoods, a good selection of restaurants and an evolving performing arts scene. Home to the University of South Carolina, Columbia's residents are wholeheartedly committed to the success of USC's sports teams. The city is also home to Fort Jackson, the country's largest Army basic training facility. Nearby Congaree National Park is a spectacular place; its giant trees are part of the largest old-growth floodplain forest remaining in North America. The Columbia Heartland is peppered by golf courses and pretty lakes, where visitors can sail, swim, kayak and fish the day away.

Debra Landau
About the Expert

Debra Landau has written eight Lonely Planet guidebooks, including books on the USA, Caribbean, and the South.

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Debra Landau for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    A year-round destination, busy in summer but nice in spring and fall when it's cooler