This week we’re beginning our visit to one of the largest metropolitan areas in South Carolina and the beautiful capital city of Columbia SC, population 129,272.
It’s been several weeks since we’ve begun our exploration of Best Place Charlotte NC.
It’s been great to learn more about the surrounding North Carolina Best Places to live smaller cities and towns.
However, I’m really excited to be moving on …actually moving South!
That’s right we’re heading to our friend South Carolina the Palmetto State.
Location wise, Columbia SC actually sits not far from the geographical center of South Carolina where the Broad and Saluda rivers come together to form the Congaree river.
This area of South Carolina’s central Piedmont region is often referred to as “the Midlands.”
Or the midway point between the coastal Low Country and mountainous Upcountry, or Upstate, portions of the state.
In recent years, Columbia SC has become the center of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in SC.
An increasingly diverse and dynamic social, cultural and economic hot spot in both South Carolina and North Carolina.
Columbia’s forward thinking is just one of the reasons for moving it higher and higher on our list of South Carolina best places to relocate and retire in.
If you’ve ever been to Columbia SC you know it has a lot to offer and quite frankly it’s a very beautiful place to live.
I’ve always been impressed with Columbia’s wonderful mix of old and new and the fact it has done a lot of work in the last twenty years or so on revitalizing the downtown area.
You’ll see a block of beautiful historic buildings mixed in with a new state of the art convention center and what use to be old warehouses turned into art galleries, restaurants and shopping boutiques.
Columbia SC also has a lot of distinct and vibrant neighborhoods with strong communities.
Tree-lined streets and old Victorian homes of Elmwood Park near downtown and upscale subdivisions in the northeastern part of town or the fast growing residential neighborhoods in the northwestern part of town.
Not surprisingly there is also a lot to do in Columbia SC.
There’s a variety of museums, a nationally ranked zoo, a very active arts and cultural scene and venues that run from small theaters to stately opera houses and large scale arenas and auditoriums.
If you enjoy the great outdoors then you’ll also be glad to know the area around Columbia, SC is full of outdoor recreational opportunities.
Whether you enjoy hitting the links on one of the area’s many golf courses or rafting one of the local rivers there’s plenty to choose from. Or perhaps you’d like hiking in nearby Congaree Swamp National Park or taking in the fishing and water-sport fun out on beautiful Lake Murray.
There are definite advantages to living in and around Columbia SC well beyond those mentioned above.
First off, Columbia is a government town and thus the kind of place that attracts a diverse and professional workforce and tends to enjoy a fairly stable local economy even in challenging economic times.
I also like to point out that Columbia SC is a college town and home to not only the University of South Carolina but nine other smaller colleges and technical schools which means a lot of young people and a vibrant social and economic scene.
While state government, the university and nearby military base, Fort Jackson are major parts of the local economy, you’ll find that Columbia is also home to several other major industries.
- medical centers high tech manufacturing firms
- energy companies
- pharmaceutical companies
- insurance firms
- transport companies
- and a variety of other firms that do business worldwide
And all this means jobs and business opportunities to you.
And don’t worry about access or transportation.One of the benefits of being right smack dab in the middle of the state is that Columbia SC has long been a logistics and transportation hub.
In fact you have access to several major national and state highways that converge on the city.
Railroad lines with Amtrak service to much of the East Coast. Nearby Columbia Metropolitan Airport provides express air service to many different parts of the country.
Well… now that you know a little more about Columbia SC we’re going to spend a little bit of time getting to know more of the small cities, towns and communities surrounding this South Carolina Best Place to live. Who knows, one of them just might become your South Carolina best place to live.
For now I hope you have a great weekend. I’ll see you next week when we start our tour of the Columbia SC metropolitan area best places to relocate or retire .
See You next week,
Bob Bencivenga is a professional site locator and location analyst for major corporations. Bob researches the growth of NC and SC to find the Best Places to Retire or Relocate that are still affordable.
Bob Does Not Sell Real Estate!