"Everywhere you go, you get the sense the city is enjoying itself."
-Atlanta Magazine, "48 Hours in Cola"

Urban amenities in a city that’s just the right size. A low cost of living and family-friendly neighborhoods with room to roam. Arts, entertainment, sports and outdoor activities - and weather that makes it easy to enjoy living here year round.

Cost of Living

With a median home cost of $142,700, Columbia’s overall cost of living is less than the average for South Carolina and the U.S., with especially affordable housing and lower grocery bills.

Ease of Access

We’re in the heart of the state, a short drive to the coast or mountains. Charlotte is within 90 minutes, Atlanta just over 3 hours away. With a network of interstates and the Columbia Metropolitan Airport at your service, you’ll find it easy to get wherever you care to go for work or for fun.


Sunny days, mild winters—here’s where you can still enjoy four seasons but not have to suffer long cold winters, snow and icy roads. Our average annual high is 76 degrees with an average low of 54.

Great Reasons To Live Here

16 mins

average commute

Top 10

best U.S. Cities to live



days of sunshine annually


in Top 10 U.S. markets for 2020


Art + Culture

We’re a lively community of artists, makers and performers with world-class venues that attract national acts and exhibitions. From local festivals to Broadway touring shows, there’s always something exciting to do.

See what’s happening in Columbia this week.


Of course, we’re big on higher education with USC and a host of other colleges in town. With the most public schools in the state, the Columbia region is also home to some of the best rated. Private and charter schools provide more options for K-12 education.

Find more about school districts here

Health Care

Four major hospital systems including the Dorn V.A. hospital and a free-standing children’s hospital, making high quality care available around the city.

Find out more about health care.


From tree-lined streets to downtown living, with views of the water or the 18th hole, Columbia’s neighborhoods are diverse, each with a character of its own.

Learn more about our neighborhoods

Explore our eight distinct business districts!

Recreation + Leisure

Great food, nightlife, outdoor adventure—there’s something to enjoy every day of the year whether you’re looking for a night out, a weekend challenge or a fun day for the family. And for sport fans, get ready to cheer: We’re the home of national championship teams.

Learn more about all the fun you’ll have

Heart of Downtown

“When Mast General Store was considering Columbia as a possible location for its next store, leadership looked at many aspects that contribute to the success of our other locations in the southeast including a strong organization building momentum in the heart of downtown, recreation and tourism, and quality of life for residents. Those key elements were a part of the fabric of the city. In the nine years we’ve been on Main Street, we’ve seen even more happen – new festivals and public gatherings, new people eating at restaurants and shopping, and best of all new residents and new businesses moving in regularly. For us, it’s exciting to see more people recognizing the opportunities in the city.”

- Jeremy Becraft
General Manager, Mast General Store