Columbia, South Carolina, often referred to as the “Capital of Southern Hospitality,” is a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. From its vibrant arts scene to its picturesque parks and gardens, there’s no shortage of things to explore in this charming southern city. Here are seven interesting facts about Columbia that will make you want to pack your bags and visit this dynamic destination:
- The Horseshoe: One of the most iconic spots in Columbia is the Horseshoe, a historic horseshoe-shaped area on the University of South Carolina campus. This picturesque spot is home to some of the university’s oldest buildings, including the South Carolina Library and the President’s House. Take a leisurely stroll through the Horseshoe and soak in the architectural beauty and rich history of this renowned academic institution.
- Riverbanks Zoo and Garden: Nestled along the scenic banks of the Congaree River, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is one of the top-rated zoos in the country. This 170-acre park is home to over 2,000 animals from around the world, including rare and endangered species. Visitors can also explore lush botanical gardens, catch a glimpse of exotic wildlife, and enjoy interactive exhibits and educational programs for all ages.
- Famously Hot: Columbia is known for its hot and humid summers, earning it the nickname “Famously Hot.” However, don’t let the heat deter you from exploring all that the city has to offer. From indoor attractions like museums and art galleries to outdoor adventures along the riverfront, there’s no shortage of ways to beat the heat and enjoy everything Columbia has to offer year-round.
- The State House: Dominating the skyline of downtown Columbia is the majestic South Carolina State House. This historic building, completed in 1907, is a masterpiece of Greek Revival architecture and is home to the state’s legislative chambers and governor’s office. Visitors can take guided tours of the State House to learn about its storied past and marvel at its stunning marble columns, intricate carvings, and iconic dome.
- Vibrant Arts Scene: Columbia boasts a thriving arts scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and performance venues scattered throughout the city. From world-class art exhibits to live music concerts and theatrical productions, there’s always something exciting happening in Columbia for art enthusiasts and culture lovers alike.
- Lake Murray: Just a short drive from downtown Columbia is Lake Murray, a sprawling reservoir known for its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. Spanning over 50,000 acres, Lake Murray is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering boating, fishing, swimming, and hiking opportunities against a backdrop of stunning sunsets and picturesque landscapes.
- Culinary Delights: Foodies will delight in Columbia’s diverse culinary scene, which offers everything from classic southern comfort food to international cuisine. From barbecue joints and seafood shacks to fine dining restaurants and trendy cafes, there’s something to satisfy every palate in this culinary hub of the South.
In conclusion, Columbia, South Carolina, is a vibrant and diverse city with something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re exploring its historic landmarks, immersing yourself in its arts and culture, or indulging in its culinary delights, Columbia is sure to captivate and inspire you with its charm and hospitality. Plan your visit today and discover all that this dynamic destination has to offer! Here’s the 2024 Columbia, SC Insider’s Guide