Traditionally thought of as an expensive place to live, the Columbia SC area is home to many smaller cities and towns.Piedmont South Carolina best places to live that are well worth exploring.
And being closer to a metro area allows you to enjoy all the conveniences a city has to offer.
Before we dive right in, here’s a little background:
Columbia SC has a population of 131,680 people
Columbia is located in the middle of the state, in Richland County; 372,023 people live in the county.
The city has 8 colleges and universities with more than 55,000 students enrolled.
It’s week two of our road trip to the Piedmont South Carolina best places to live around Columbia.
The first Piedmont South Carolina best places to live we’re visiting today is the city of Irmo SC.
Irmo is located just 15 minutes northwest of Columbia, in Richland County, where there are approximately 393,830 people.
In the last 40 years, the population of Irmo SC has exploded from around 500 residents to 11,223 and there’s many good reasons people flock to this area.
- Median housing cost is only $123,850, making it a highly affordable place to live
- Its central location makes it easy to travel to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Greenville SC in an hour and half
- You can be relaxing at the beaches of coastal Charleston SC in about two hours
- Irmo is less than 30 minutes from downtown Columbia SC
As one of the gateways to Lake Murray, Irmo has beautiful scenery and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities including boating, swimming, and fishing.
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Lake Murray is one of the most beautiful lakes in South Carolina.
The downtown scene is full of art, amazing culinary destinations, and dance studios.
Outdoor concerts are hosted in the park during the summer months, giving you plenty of entertainment options.
The Piedmont South Carolina best places to live town of Lexington SC is located just 15 miles south west of Columbia. And like Irmo, is also located in Lexington County.
The population of Lexington has grown 52% since 2000, bringing it to 19,141.
Just like Irmo, though it is a small town, there are plenty of reasons for people to relocate to this area.
The median housing cost is $161,092, making it slightly more expensive than Irmo, but still an affordable place for many families and retirees to call home.
It too, serves as a gateway to the beautiful Lake Murray, so you can enjoy outdoor fun.
Its central location means you can take a retreat to the Blue Ridge Mountains, or head to the beach to soak up the sun in a couple hours. It can’t get much better than that!
Many people travel far distances to get to either and don’t have a choice!
Staying right around home, Lexington has a variety of things to do.
This Piedmont South Carolina best places to live is home to three museums:
- Cayce Historical Museum – learn the history of the area that predates the American Revolution.
- Gilbert Museum offers residents a glimpse into the historic train depot
- Lexington County Museum – you’ll see what South Carolina Colonial life was all about
No matter what draws you to the Columbia South Carolina metropolitan area, you’ll quickly find yourself at home in either Irmo or Lexington.
These small gems in the area are growing fast, and with good reason.
Remember all the advantages of living near but not in a larger metro area. Just a short drive from downtown Columbia and you’ll be relaxing in either of these quaint South Carolina best places to live.
Torn between the two?
Irmo has a slightly more affordable housing price, while Lexington has a slightly larger population.
Robert Bencivenga is a professional site locator for major corporations. Bob finds affordable best places to live in North Carolina and South Carolina. Bob Does Not Sell Real Estate!
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