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A Guide to Midlands Museums

With a history dating back thousands of years, museums in the Midlands showcase the history of the area, from the earliest settlers to the the trains that transformed cities and towns.


Columbia Museum of Art | Photo by @colamuseum

Table of Contents

Museums are the cultural hubs of Columbia. Whether you’re looking to learn something new about the Midlands or plotting a way to spend your Saturday afternoon, here are 14 museums to visit in our city.


Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201 | $10 for adults, $5 for students | This award-winning museum is home to an internationally renowned collection. The art in the museum’s collection spans 5,000 years of global history. CMA offers traveling shows and exhibitions, an interactive activity space + events and classes for all ages.


Cayce Historical Museum, 1800 12th St, Cayce| Free admission | The Cayce Historical Museum chronicles the history of the first European settlement in the Midlands, then known as “the backcountry.” The museum showcases the agricultural, social, and cultural heritage of the Cayce, Old Saxe Gotha, Granby, and West Columbia areas.

Lexington County Museum, 231 Fox St., Lexington | $5 or $2 for children | Lexington County Museum offers a unique learning opportunity to view structures and artifacts that focus on sharing the life stories of local residents from the colonial period to the Civil War. It features more than 30 historic structures that have been moved to the site from locations throughout the county.

SC Governor’s Mansion, 800 Richland St. | Free | SC takes pride in this mansion, which has been home to 30+ governors and their families through the years. The Mansion, however, is more than a residence; the public rooms illustrate the history and heritage of SC.

McKissick Museum, 1501 Pendleton St. | Free | McKissick is located at the heart of the historic Horseshoe on the University of South Carolina’s campus. The museum’s collections date back to 1801 and provide insight into the history of the University and the community, culture, and environment of the American South.


EdVenture Children’s Museum, 211 Gervais St. | $11.95, $10.95 for seniors, educators, and military + Free for members and children under 2 | EdVenture is an educational museum dedicated to creating new generations of lifelong learners through museum experiences, afterschool programming and camps. When you visit the museum, there are interactive activities + opportunities for kids to learn and have fun.


Columbia Fire Museum, 1800 Laurel St. | Free | The museum educates the public about the importance of the Columbia Fire Department and the professional men and women within its service. Museum attractions date back as far as the mid 1800s and include a 1929 American LaFrance fire engine, a 1903 horse-drawn steamer + more.

Robert Mills House and Gardens,1616 Blanding St. | $10, $7 for youth + Free for Historic Columbia members | The Robert Mills House is one of five historic house museums in Columbia. This house is named after the prominent architect who designed it -- and who is also known for creating the Washington Monument. It features period rooms and focus galleries highlighting 18th and 19th century decorative arts + landscaping.

The South Carolina Railroad Museum, 110 Industrial Park Rd., Winnsboro | $15 for adults, $10 for children | The South Carolina Railroad Museum features a walk through display train featuring the 100-year-old Norfolk business car, a Southern Post Office car, Nickle Plate caboose, and more.


SC Military Museum, 1 National Guard Rd. | Free | The museum contains period and authentic firearms, uniforms, armored fighting vehicles + more. There are two buildings packed with these artifacts in chronological order, so you can experience the entire scope of SC’s military tradition.

SC Confederate Relic and Military Museum, 301 Gervais St. | $6, $5 for seniors and military, $3 for youth + free for members and children under 9 | This museum aims to collect and preserve the military history of SC – containing 300 years of military campaigns, a battle flag collection + many artifacts from nearly every early American conflict.

US Army Basic Combat Museum, 2400 Ft. Jackson Rd. | Free | The Basic Combat Museum tells the story of how training in the U.S. Army has developed since 1917 when Fort Jackson first opened. Visitors can follow the evolution of army training from WWI to how soldiers do it today.


SC Law Enforcement Hall of Fame, 5400 Broad River Rd. | Free | The SC Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame was established to honor SC law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. The Hall of Fame also honors all officers with interpretive exhibits and the museum collection about day-to-day life in law enforcement.

SC State Museum, 301 Gervais St. | $8.95 | The State Museum is the one-stop for all museum needs. There are rotating exhibits, a planetarium, programming for children and 4-D movies. The museum provides educational environments that entertain, inspire imagination and creativity, and enrich the lives of visitors.

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