Skip to Content

scenes from Columbia, SC

Gervais Street bridge crossing the Congaree River leading into the Columbia Skyline

Explore Columbia


In Columbia, energy and innovation collide in ways that make it top-rated place to learn, work, live and play. Come visit the heart of South Carolina and see why there's no place we'd rather be!

Some college towns just shine brighter.

Columbia is nestled in the heart of South Carolina. The state's capital city, Columbia was founded in 1786. Not only is it home to the state's flagship university, it's the place to find the state's government, Fortune 500 companies, a thriving arts scene and more than 800,000 residents. 

Whether you come for a day or weekend, there's always something to enjoy. Plan your trip around one of the area's popular events and festivals or explore a host of things to do any time of year. Bunk over in the chic Hotel Trundle just off Main Street or stay on campus at the Graduate Columbia for a one-of-kind Gamecock experience. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, savor the Columbia food scene from slow-smoked barbecue joints to nationally lauded fine dining in every district of town. We recommend the Vista's Cupcake DownSouth and Main Street's East Bay Deli.

Do it all here

The University of South Carolina is woven into the fabric of Columbia. An ideal place to visit or stay, Columbia is your front door to a world-class education, the southern outdoors and much more. Take a closer look.

An aerial view of the SC Statehouse in the heart of downtown Columbia.

Take Soda City for a Spin

Get a head start on planning your trip to Columbia and the communities that make up our thriving city. Columbia is big enough that you can do anything, and small enough that you won’t get lost. No matter what you’re passionate about, it’s here.

 
Car taillights streaming down the highway leading into the Columbia downtown skyline light up at night with glowing windows in the buildings.

Y'all! In 2019, SmartAsset ranked Columbia, South Carolina, as the 4th most popular City Where Millennials are Moving. Not only that, Columbia's been named a top college town in the U.S. by livability.com.

Once you start to explore the city, you find all these cool events and places, like Papa Jazz Record Shoppe, the Soda City Market and outdoor music festivals.

Kathleen Snowden
  • Two people riding a chairlift over the South Carolina State Fair in the evening surrounded by glowing lights from the other fair rides.
  • When we say you can pursue your passions here, we mean it. Whatever you’re into — from intellectual pursuits to physical fitness, community service to your favorite hobby — Columbia's got you covered.

  • A river full of people paddling in colorful kayaks surrounded by lush trees on the river bank.
  • Two people walking on the bridge across the canal at the river.
  • A singer singing into a microphone with blue and green stage lights signing on him.
  • Two students laughing with each other as they walk down the city street.

Nearest Airports to Campus

The closest airport to the University of South Carolina is the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE), which is approximately 15-20 minutes (by car) from our campus. The Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is in Charlotte, NC and is approximately 1.5 hours (by car) from our campus. The Columbia Charlotte Shuttle is the leading provider of transportation between UofSC and the Charlotte Airport.

Check Us Out

There’s so much more we’d like to show you about Columbia and South Carolina. Our Visitor Center hosts a wide range of academic, virtual and on-campus experiences to give you a better look at the opportunities and amenities waiting for you here. Learn about visit options and our thriving hometown, Columbia, SC. 

Visit Campus
The smokestack with the letters USC on it framed by tree limbs in front of a blue sky.
©