Why Columbia is the best city in South Carolina

Excuse us while we rep a little pride in place. 💪

Gervais Street Bridge

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 good things that other South Carolina cities offer:

  • Charleston | Arguably one of the most picturesque cities in the nation. Enter: The Battery, Rainbow Row, and Waterfront Park. 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 towntraditions 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 at CHStoday. 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.