Columbia, South Carolina ……………. A Capital Place To Be


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South Carolina State Capital Building, Columbia, South Carolina – © K Helland

A Guest Article on Columbia, South Carolina by Karen Helland



Whether you are on your way to the Masters, or to Charlotte or Charleston—COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA should be part of your destination. The Masters in Augusta, Georgia is one hour away, Charlotte, North Carolina is two hours north and Charleston is two hours south of Columbia. Located in the center of the state, the beach and mountains are within two hours of Columbia.

Columbia has many venues worthy of investigation:

Try a stroll on the Capitol Building grounds. The statuary and plaques offer an interesting and informative walk through history.  Visit the information center nearby to load up on brochures, tour information, and recommendations.

Throughout Columbia there are many historic districts—Olympia, Elmwood, Cottontown and Forest Acres to name a few. Woodrow Wilson’s boyhood home is located in Columbia along  with many other historical homes. The architecture along Main Street blends the old with the new.

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Congaree Bridge Historical Marker Plaque – © K Helland

The University of South Carolina is within walking distance of the Capitol Building. The Horseshoe (The original campus of the University of South Carolina) has the oldest free standing college library in the United States—The Caroliniana, The McKissick Museum, and the President’s residence  are also located around the Horseshoe.  If you’re hungry you might try the McCutcheon House – also on the Horseshoe.  Future chefs and hotel managers receive their training here and prepare meals available to the public. Yum!

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University of South Carolina Library – The Caroliniana – © K Helland



The arts are well represented in Columbia. There are three amateur theaters—Trustus, Workshop and the Town. There is also a puppet/marionette theater for children. USC uses two venues on their campus for productions—Longstreet and Drayton. The Koger Center, Colonial Life Arena and the Township auditorium bring concerts, ballet, orchestras and the circus to Columbia. There are museums, Art, Contemporary Art, The State Museum, The Confederate War Museum, EdAdventure for children. The Richland County Library is an award winning library that has many cultural events. The State Fair in Mid-October offers the agriculture, food, and concerts of the whole state. The Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden is rated among the top ten zoos in the country. It provides breeding of many endangered species. Your children would enjoy a ride on their endangered species carousel.

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S. Carolina State Museum (left) & Ed Adventure (right) – River View – © K Helland

 There is food—glorious food! And not just shrimp and grits. Along Main Street and Gervais Street there are many types of restaurants to fill your “belly”. Some offer local delights such as Sandy’s Hot Dogs and Cromer’s Peanuts—“the worst peanuts in town”. There are some “high end” places like the Oak Table and Ruth Chris. The variety of offerings in the area is great – truly something for everyone.  There is a fresh market on Main Street and another one on 701 Whaley Street on the weekends. And of course to go along with your dining pleasure there is shopping along these same corridors.

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South Carolina Gamecock – © K Helland

And then there are Sports. The USC Gamecocks provide nationally ranked football and baseball teams with the coaching of Steve Spurrier and Ray Tanner. Their Track and Field team has also produced Olympians. If you are a person who likes to participate in sports then Columbia and its environs has lots to offer as well. There are 10 golf courses within 20 miles of Columbia. Need more?  How about  tennis, skating, races, walking trails along the Congaree River and the Strom Thurmond Wellness Center at USC. Fourteen miles from Columbia is Lake Murray. Boating, Sailing and tours are available.

With so much history to explore, coupled with the many activities available, I hope you will make COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA , a destination or a stop on your way to other adventures. As we say in the South, “Y’all come”.

Karen  Helland, World Traveler


My thanks to Karen for her guest article.  Karen is an ardent traveler who currently resides in – wait for it – Columbia, South Carolina!  Here’s her brief bio:

 Karen Helland–Snapshot biography
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I am a retired elementary school library/media specialist who loves to travel.  I travel to visit my two sons, their wives and four grandchildren.  I have traveled throughout the United States.  I have traveled to every continent but two, with the greatest amount being in Europe.
I am originally from Connecticut and I have lived in Rhode Island and Wimbledon, England.   For the last 32 years I have resided in Columbia, South Carolina.
Keep on Travelin’ ………………………….. And Enjoy the Adventure!
Thanks again to Karen – well done.  If you have a topic, or would like to do a guest article – let me know!
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© 2013 – 2017, Bruce W Bean, Ph.D. All rights reserved.