Overview of Columbia
Apartments and rentals can be found throughout the charming Southern city of Columbia, SC. As the state capital and the largest city in the state, Columbia is the central location for entertainment, culture, arts, recreation, education and jobs in South Carolina. Low commute times and affordable rental housing make Columbia a great place to live and work.
Living in Columbia, SC
South Carolina is one of the original 13 colonies that created the United States. It became the eighth state to enter the union in 1788. The new state capital of Columbia was created at about the same time. The site was selected because it was centrally located. It was officially chartered as a village in 1805, and a city in 1854. The city grew steadily over the next five decades helped by the railroad. In 1917, the city was chosen to host Camp Jackson, a military installation. It closed for a time, but was reopened in 1940 and remains open to this day as Fort Jackson.
Today, Columbia is a city of nearly 130,000 people. The attractive inland city, overflowing with âSouthern Charmâ has garnered a number of accolades from national publications as among the best places to live, the best places to retire, a most livable city, and many others. It has mild winters and sunny summers. Plus, thereâs plenty of entertainment options from dining and nightlife to culture and the arts, to the great outdoors.
Popular neighborhoods in Columbia include Downtown, East Columbia, Olympia and The Summit.
Columbia Work & Study
Columbia has a long connection to the military through Fort Jackson, which encompasses more than 52,000 acres east of the city. It is the largest and most active Initial Entry Training Center in the U.S. Army. More than 34% of new soldiers are trained here each year or about 41,000 people. Almost 4,000 civilians are employed at the Fort, which has 3,600 active duty soldiers who live in the area with their 11,500 family members. The Fort draws visitors to the city; more than 100,000 family members attend the basic training graduations that take place 41 times a year. Yet, Columbia has a diversified economy with a number of other major employment sectors such as state government, healthcare, manufacturing, logistics and insurance.
As for education, the University of South Carolinaâs main campus is in Columbia. Originally founded in 1801, it offers 350 degree programs and has more than 27,500 students. A number of other institutes of higher learning can be found in Columbia, including Benedict College, Columbia College, Midlands Technical College and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, among others.
Columbia Cost of Living
The cost of living in Columbia is just slightly below the average for the country. A typical one-bedroom apartment rents for about $750 monthly, although you can find nice rentals for even more affordable rates. Two bedroom units usually rent for $800 to $1,000 monthly. For a bit more, you can choose from among condos, townhomes and single family homes in neighborhoods all over the city.
Columbia Attractions & Entertainment
As the state capital, Columbia has an abundance of cultural attractions for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike. These include the South Carolina State Museum, which is the stateâs largest. It has exhibits in science, technology, history and the arts. The Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum includes not only a collection of relics from South Carolina during the confederate period, but also other relics from colonial times to the space age. The Lexington County Museum depicts everyday life in the area prior to the Civil War through guided tours of a 19th century farm. A number of theaters produce plays and musicals including the historic Town Theater; the cityâs professional theater company at Trustus Theater, and the specialty Columbia Marionette Theater among others. The city also boasts a ballet company, philharmonic orchestra and jazz dance company.
If the outdoors is more your style, there are 56 city parks and green spaces in Columbia, including 55 tennis courts and 16 city pools, plus picnic areas, playgrounds, gyms, athletic fields and recreation centers.
Columbia Special Events
As the state capital and the stateâs largest city, Columbiaâs schedule is filled with festivals and special events. The South Carolina State Fair held every March features live bands, arts and crafts, and of course, fair food. Jubilee: Festival of Heritage is held annually in August and recognizes African-American Heritage at the historic Mann-Simms Cottage. Music and dance performances, storytelling, and arts & crafts are all part of the annual event. Vista Lights in mid-November includes walking tours, entertainment by local musicians and carriage rides through the cityâs antique district. And The Southern Piano Festival is an international competition for your pianists from around the country and the world.