Columbia has frequently been rated as one of the top retirement towns in the USA. CNN Money has included it in its 25 Best Places to Retire because it has the amenities of city life, Southern Hospitality, a low cost of living, outdoor recreation, and a temperate climate. Consumer Reports compared the CNN Money list with the U.S. News list of best places to retire and found only one city common to both lists - Columbia. U.S. News described it as "a colorful capital city with a riverfront esplanade". Columbia, a growing city of about 129,000, is the state capital. It is fortunate to have a number of parks including Finlay Park. The University of South Carolina has a main campus here which offers free tuition to SC residents over 60. The city was named as one of 30 of America's most livable cities.
What is special about Columbia, SC
Downtown Columbia has been the scene of ambitious and successful urban renewal projects. The historic Congaree Vista is a large district in the central business district near the Congaree river. It has many historic buildings that have been rehabilitated. The University, which is located downtown, has Innovista, a unique "innovation district" between the campus' core and the banks of the Congaree River. This project integrates public and private sector research and researchers with retail, restaurant, residential, and recreational facilities in a contemporary urban landscape. The Robert Mills House is one of the local historical attractions.
Who will like retirement in Columbia, SC
People who want to retire in the Carolinas but be near an mid-sized city with a lot to do might enjoy Columbia. The population is about 50% white, 41% African-American, and the rest mostly Hispanic.
Climate and Physical Environment
Columbia is located in the center of the state. The median January temperatures are in the mid to high 40's. The July median is in the low 80's. The city is on the Congaree River.
Restaurants & Cultural Scene
The Town Theatre, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been here since 1917m and is just one of several theatres in Columbia. The South Carolina State Museum has exhibits in technology, history, and the arts. It one of the largest museums in the Southeast. The Columbia Museum of Art is here, as is the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra, Columbia's resident orchestra. The revitalized downtown has an assortment of good restaurants. The South Carolina State Fair and Riverfest Celebration are 2 of the larger festivals held in Columbia. The Koger Center of the Arts.