Columbia is a midsize metropolitan urban area near the geographic center of the state of South Carolina. It's also the state capital and one of the largest cities in South Carolina. Columbia houses the state government, its largest university and the well-known Fort Jackson. It also has served as an important location throughout American history, especially during the American Civil War.
Living in Columbia
Columbia offers a mix of historical and modern-day attractions, from Woodrow Wilson's family home to the Columbia Museum of Art, with its internationally-recognized modern and classic masterpieces. The downtown area in Columbia is vibrant yet quaint. There are plenty of restaurants and entertainment options to choose from, all complemented by a welcoming, small-town atmosphere. The combination of big-city amenities and a tight-knit suburban community is what attracts many people to Columbia.
Columbia is also home to a very active arts and culture community, with a number of local theaters, museums and music venues. One of the most notable art landmarks is Town Theatre, which has been in operation since 1917 and is America's oldest continuously-operating community theater. Other cultural institutions in Columbia include the Columbia Marionette Theater, EdVenture and the Columbia Museum of Art. Several major venues in the city host a variety of music, theater and dance performances as well as conventions and sports events.
Working in Columbia
Columbia has a large and highly-diversified economy, hosting many major corporations and businesses. A number of companies have selected Columbia as their headquarters site, including Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co., South State Bank, Spectrum Medical and AgFirst Farm Credit Bank. Many manufacturing companies, such as Michelin, Bose Technology, Honeywell and Westinghouse Electric, have large operations in the city as well. All of these businesses and more support a strong and diverse job market, which is good news if you're going to be looking for work in Columbia.
Columbia's major employers also include the state government, Palmetto Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina.
Columbia's schools are divided into several districts, managed by two main entities: the Richland and Lexington districts. Each of these two districts is then sub-divided into units, such as Richland District One, Richland District Two and so forth. There are many private schools in Columbia, offering you the choice of a faith-based, parochial or college prep education.
Columbia is a major South Carolina hub for higher education, hosting more than 12 colleges, universities and satellite campuses. The largest and best-known school in the city is the University of South Carolina, which offers around 350 degree programs in its 15 schools.
Resources for Moving to Columbia
Here's some helpful information to simplify your move to Columbia:
Utilities: Columbia's primary utilities providers include Columbia Water and South Carolina Electric & Gas.
Garbage and Recycling: The city provides curbside trash collection as well as designated roll carts.
Public Transportation: The Comet is the primary public transportation option in Columbia, offering bus service throughout the city as well as its neighboring communities.
Parking: Columbia enforces a number of parking laws, so it's important to pay attention to posted rules. Parking meters, garages and lots are all options available throughout the city.
Columbia has an extremely affordable housing market, which may be surprising given its high desirability. There is a wide range of housing options at budget-friendly prices, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find something to fit your needs. The city offers a number of Southern-style homes, sprawling mansions and early to mid-century homes in neighborhoods throughout the city.