AAA Travel Guides
Current Search Destination:Columbia, SC
Trip planner source for U.S. and world travel.
The City
Overview
Visitor Center
Self-guiding tours
Shopping
Attractions

Description
Originally settled on the opposite bank of the Congaree River, Columbia was created and designated South Carolina's capital by a 1786 act of the legislature, which moved the seat of government from Charleston. On Dec. 17, 1860, a convention met to draw up the Ordinance of Secession, but because of a smallpox epidemic the convention moved to Charleston, where the ordinance was signed.
Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman entered Columbia on Feb. 17, 1865, and set a fire the same night that destroyed three-fourths of the city, including every house on Main Street except that of the French consul. The university, public buildings and statehouse also were spared. The South Carolina Governor's Mansion, the surviving structure of a destroyed military school, is open by appointment; phone (803) 737-1710.
Chartered in 1801, the University of South Carolina plays a prominent role in Columbia. The original campus of the university, known as the Horseshoe, contains 10 restored buildings dating to the early 19th century; the buildings are currently used for classrooms, offices and living quarters. The visitor center has displays and interactive exhibits about the university's history and campus. It's located in the McKissick Museum , which is at the top of the Horseshoe. Campus tours are available; phone (803) 777-0169 or (800) 922-9755 for schedule and other information.
Segra Park is home to a South Atlantic League minor league baseball team, the Columbia Fireflies.

InfoOffice
Experience Columbia SC 1010 Lincoln St. Columbia, SC 29201. Phone:(803)545-0000 or (800)264-4884

Self-guiding tours
Brochures for self-guiding walking tours of various historic neighborhoods and sites can be picked up from the visitor center and from the Robert Mills House museum shop.

Shopping
Columbia offers three specialty shopping districts. In the Five Points district there are nearly three dozen shops, many of which are on Harden Street and Saluda Avenue. Congaree Vista, a former industrial and warehouse district, is now a 1,200-acre historic district filled with shops and art galleries. Many of the old buildings now house these new establishments. The Doors of Devine features upscale shops along Devine Street. All three districts also include restaurants, and Five Points and Congaree Vista are entertainment and nightlife hubs, too.
For the basics, turn to Columbia Place (7201 Two Notch Rd.), with Macy's and Sears. Columbiana Centre (100 Columbiana Cir.), offers Banana Republic, bebe and Dillard's. Village at Sandhill (481 Towncenter Pl.) has Belk and JCPenney along with an array of other mall stores.

Attraction PlaceHolders
The Columbia Museum of Art
X
Click to View Map
Top Hotels
Current Location: Columbia, SC
1
Best Western Plus Columbia Northeast
7525 Two Notch Rd. Columbia, SC 29223
AAA Inspector Rating
Members save 5% to 15% and earn 10% bonus Best Western Rewards® points when booking AAA/CAA rates!
AAA Members
2
Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotel Columbia-Greystone
200 Stoneridge Dr. Columbia, SC 29210
AAA Inspector Rating
Members save up to 10% and earn Honors points when booking AAA rates!
AAA Members
3
Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel
1400 Main St. Columbia, SC 29201
AAA Inspector Rating
Members save 5% or more and earn Marriott Bonvoy™ points when booking AAA/CAA rates!
AAA Members
4
Columbia Marriott
1200 Hampton St. Columbia, SC 29201
AAA Inspector Rating
Members save 5% or more and earn Marriott Bonvoy™ points when booking AAA/CAA rates!
AAA Members