The view of the Gervais Street Bridge while walking on the West Columbia Riverwalk. | Photo by COLAtoday team
Today, we’re pitching an answer to the age-old, largely contested question — what is the best city in South Carolina, and why? (Spoiler alert: It’s Columbia.)
Editor Sam here — if you know me, you know that I’ve vouched for Columbia for years as the most underrated and best city in the state. I’m looking at you, my Clemson + College of Charleston-grad besties.
To show that I’m objective, I’ll start with some of the goodthingsthatother South Carolina cities offer:
Charleston | Arguably one of the most picturesque cities in the nation. Enter: The Battery, RainbowRow, and WaterfrontPark.Don’t forget about the beaches — Oh, and don’t get us started on the food scene.
Greenville | One of the more trendy + eclectic cities in SC, featuring murals, galleries, festivals, and landmarks like Falls Park and the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Bonus points for this city — it’s also home to our parent company, 6AM City.
Beaufort | Lots of history + scenic, coastal views with trails, parks, and nearby beaches. Ya know, relaxing marsh-y vibes
See? Totally impartial + willing to say that these cities are great — just not as great as ours. Now to Columbia. You just can’t argue with facts.
Our three rivers — the Broad + Saluda Rivers seamlessly pour into the beautiful Congaree River. Oh, and we didn’t even mention all of our riverwalks.
It’s centrally located — traveling to Greenville, Charleston, and Charlotte will take you about two hours, making us (in our opinion) the most day-trip-friendly SC city.
We’re a college town — traditions and city pride runs deep here. Oh, and UofSC ranked No. 1 for best first-year experience + international business school in the nation. If you’re a freshman in Cola, welcome! Check out a guide we made just for you.
According to WalletHub, Columbia ranked No. 10 for being one of the best cities to start a career.
But if you’re ever in the Greenville or Charleston areas and need the 4-1-1 on what’s going on in those cities, check out our friends Danielle and Kyle at GVLtoday + Lexa and Tatum atCHStoday. They’re pretty great.
Note: This article is meant to be fun + lighthearted. We love all of the other cities in this state and know that each one has its own unique reasons for being wonderful.
Use the links below to share this free newsletter with family and friends who love our city and share the same sentiment for it.
National Breakfast Day | Mon., Sept. 26 | 7 a.m.-2 p.m. | The Flying Biscuit Cafe, 936 Harden St. | Celebrate national breakfast day with a plate of bacon and eggs at Five Points’ newest breakfast spot. 🍳
Yoga in the Galleries | Mon., Sept. 26 | 6-7 p.m. | Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St. | $15 | Begin your week with a restorative Yin yoga flow in the exhibition “Amanda McCavour: Bright Little Day Stars.” 🧘♀️
The Supper Club At Chayz Lounge | Wed., Sept. 28 | 6-9 p.m. | Chayz Lounge, 607 Meeting St., West Columbia | $20 | Each week you will experience a symphony of flavors and artistry, lovingly prepared with exceptional flair by Chef Augusta and her talented team. 🎺
Nephron Career Fair | Thurs., Sept. 29 | 3-7 p.m. | Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation, 4500 12th Street Extension, West Columbia | Free | Discover the career that is right for you at the Nephron Pharmaceuticals Career Fair. 💼
Rock Around the Clock | Fri., Sept. 30-Sat., Oct.1 | Fri., 8-11 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | 100 Congress St., Winnsboro | Free | Enjoy this annual festival that includes a concert, classic car and truck show + more.*
Jam Room Music Festival 2022 | Sat., Oct. 1 | 12 a.m.-10 p.m. | Downtown Columbia, 1400 Block | Free | The Jam Room Music Festival returns to Columbia, SC’s Main Street for the first time since 2019 headlined by Sun Ra Arkestra, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Titus Andronicus. 🎼
Curtin Farm Fest 2022 | Sat., Oct. 1 | 10 a.m-4 p.m. | Curtin Farms | 407 N. Paraham Rd., Clover | Kids aged 3-9: $5; Kids and adults aged 10+: $10 | Browse hand-crafted products + unique antiques (craft beer in hand) while enjoying local food, live music, and more — all located on a 100-year-old working farm. 🚜*
We have amonthly guide filled with events + activities you can plan for in advance. Click the button below to bookmark ideas for upcoming date nights, family outings, and time with friends.
A Panera Breadis coming soon to the Harbison Center shopping complex (275 Harbison Blvd.) An opening date has not been announced, but construction is underway for the standalone restaurant. This will be the Midlands’ eighthPanera location. 🥖 (The State)
A smoothie bowl business is coming to Five Points early next year and will be located at 2015 Devine St. Coco Bowlz will be opening its first location in Columbia, offering healthy dining options like açaí bowls, smoothies + more. 🥤
The University of South Carolina will be raising its minimum wage to $14 an hour at the beginning of the year. Employees of the flagship university can expect wage increases starting January 2023. If you’re searching for a job, look for open positions here. (ABC Columbia)
Harold Pendleton recently took over as the executive chef at The War Mouth in Cottontown. He was promoted after working at the restaurant since 2016 and the owner plans to bring back its lunch options with Harold’s new position. 🍴 (The Post and Courier)
The late Columbia artist Laura Spongwill have her work displayed in a solo exhibition at the Koger Center for the Arts. “Laura Spong: A Passionate Perspective” is visible until Dec. 18 on the second floor gallery of the venue. (The Post and Courier)
Boku Kitchen and Saloonis hosting a week-long partywith a purpose. Cocktails for Cancer will take place Mon., Oct. 3-Fri., Oct. 7 to benefit the SC Cancer Alliance. Specialty drinks will be offered throughout the week with 100% of sales going towards cancer prevention. 🍸
Homeward Bound Pet Rescue in Irmo is looking for volunteers to foster dogs. Some shelters in the area have halted their animal intake until more space is available. If you or someone you know is interested in adoption, fill out an application here. 🐕 (ABC Columbia)
If you could ask a primary care providera question, what would you ask? (think: illness prevention, supplement safety, that strange pain + more). Submit your questions to connect with Prisma Health experts, who are on call + ready to answer your healthcare questions in our next edition of Prisma Health On Call.*
Did you know? Our allergy triggers change and evolve over time as we age. Read: You might have new allergies you don’t even know about. Curious about yours? Take this quiz and find out.*
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To us, watching the leaves turn from vibrant shades of green to tones of amber, scarlet, and rust is one of the most spectacular things in the world.
This year, The Farmers Almanac predicts that the city of Columbia + other areas in South Carolina will see peak fall foliage between Wed., Oct. 19 and Fri., Nov. 4. Lace up your hiking boots + head over to Sesquicentennial State Park to experience the leaf color transformation on one of the park’s many beautiful hiking trails. If that’s not enough, here are some more fall foliage insights.
Wanna know some of our favorite places to see the leaves? Here are some driving-distance spots + pro tips to finding the best views in the city.
Today’s issue was written by Sam.
Editor’s pick: We went to Terra(100 State St.) over the weekend to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The service was fantastic and the food was incredible. If you haven’t gone (or haven’t been in a while) I recommend going + ordering the clam pizza.
Missed yesterday’s newsletter? If you do decide to leave the best city in SC for a little getaway, here are five reasons to fly with the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE).
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