Columbia, South Carolina (SC)
If you are considering Columbia, South Carolina (SC) as a possible relocation or retirement destination, this section of Boomerater can help you make an informed decision. If you live here, used to live here or have researched this town, please help other Boomeraters by reviewing Columbia.
General Information about Columbia
Columbia is the state capital and largest city of South Carolina. As of 2006, the estimate for the population of the city proper is 122,819. Columbia is the county seat of Richland County, but a small portion of the city extends into Lexington County. The city is the center of a rapidly growing metro area of 703,771. The city's name is derived from a poetic name for Christopher Columbus.
Located just 13miles (21km) northwest of South Carolina's geographic center, Columbia is the primary city of the Midlands region of South Carolina, which comprises several counties in the central portion of the state. As such it is centrally located to the rest of the state. Founded in 1786 as the site of South Carolina's new capital city, it was one of the first planned cities in the United States. The area is often cited for its high quality of life offerings, with its many cultural amenities, parks, and recreational features. At the confluence of two major rivers, Columbia is one of the best destinations in the country for kayak and canoe enthusiasts. It is also known for its large number of independent theater groups. Columbia was recently one of 30 communities named "America's Most Livable Communities." The award was given by the Washington-based non-profit Partners for Livable Communities and honors communities that are developing themselves in the creative economy. Columbia has also been named a top midsized market for relocating families in the nation. Increasingly, Columbia is becoming recognized as an ideal city for retirees. Where to Retire magazine listed Columbia as one of its 25 best choices for retirement as a "budget town" in its January/February 2007 edition  . A RetireHomeSmart.com survey of retirement cities lists Columbia as America's second best retirement city.
Stats about Columbia
|Cost of Living|
|Median Household Income:||$31,141|
|Median Home Value:||$98,500|
|State sales tax:||6.0%|
Average rating for Columbia based on Boomerater reviews
Ratings and reviews of Columbia
Colcheer (currently lives here; has lived here for Over 10 years):
"An unassuming modern charmer"
What I like about Columbia is that it is at once a big city and a small town. Architecturally and design-wise , it's like a miniature New York-Washington, DC hybrid. It's very green with wide, tree-lined boulevards and flowered public areas.
It has three rivers with a river walk, as well as lakes and ponds for fishing, skiing and relaxing. There are plenty of parks, from urban city parks to suburban community parks, and from state parks to a national park 20 miles away. The city has a strong tree ordinance, planting new trees every year and nursing its oldest specimens with great care to preserve both its canopy and its "Tree City, USA" designation.
Culturally the community is blessed with an array of professional dance companies, a quality symphony, and numerous stage theaters. The State Museum, Edventure Children's Museum, the Columbia Museum of Art, and the University of South Carolina's museums and art galleries offer impressive permanent and temporary exhibits.
Columbia has a thriving downtown area that is continuing to make improvements compared to when downtowns all over America were deserted for the malls. Recently the central business district has added a Sheraton Hotel, some specialty retail and service stores, and some restaurants, as well as a few modern office towers. Two other districts in the downtown area, the Vista and Five Points, offer nightlife, specialty stores and restaurants to suit every budget.
I would recommend Columbia as a place to retire, not only for its recreational and big city offerings but also for its college town atmosphere. Senior citizens can always find something to do here as members of any number of clubs or as individuals.
If there were no such thing as air-conditioning I would have to go somewhere else in July and August, but I actually rather like walking outside from a cool interior into the baking heat for short periods of time. It feels as though a great big southern security blanket is wrapping itself around me during those moments. But man, does that cool air feel good when I walk back inside. Whew! During even the hottest weeks, however, early mornings and late afternoons into the evenings are quite bearable outdoors, except for a few days a year when the humidity is especially high.
The crime rate could be better, but it is falling, and Columbia was not on a recent list of the 15 most dangerous metropolitan statistical areas in the nation. Neighborhood associations have a strong voice here, and they have been taking back their neighborhoods for about a decade now with good results.
In the center of the state, the Capital City is well positioned and well served by three interstates with easy access to a fourth for day trips all over South Carolina and beyond to Atlanta and Charlotte. It is also halfway between New York and Miami. Columbia Metropolitan Airport, while working on lowering its average airfare, is beautiful and easy to navigate.
There's something here for everyone: families, singles, young professionals and retirees. Come check it out.
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