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We want to brag about our great communities. We know you will like it here because South Carolina has much to offer no matter what your interests may be.

Columbia and the Midlands

Geographically located in the center of the state, Columbia is South Carolina’s state capital and home to most every amenity expected of a metropolitan area. Being situated in the middle of the state has its advantages. Columbia is only a couple of hours from South Carolina's spectacular beaches and the lush Blue Ridge Mountains. Three interstate highways intersect in Columbia — I-20, I-26 and I-77 — with I-85 and I-95 just an hour drive away.

City Snapshot
The Columbia area population is currently more than 583,000. That number is expected to increase to 648,700 by the year 2010 and to 1,000,000 by 2025. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 50.4 percent of the population is male, 49.6 percent is female. The median age is 33 years.

A Great Place To Call Home.
Whatever your preference in homes, you can find it here. Compared to other parts of the country, housing in Columbia is quite affordable. Older homes are nestled in such downtown neighborhoods as Shandon and Forest Acres, while newer, younger neighborhoods continue to expand in the suburban areas of Irmo, Lexington and along the shoreline of Lake Murray.

Columbia is home to the main campus of the University of South Carolina, a leading graduate research institution including schools of medicine, nursing and public health. Nine other degree-granting colleges and universities are located in Columbia, including Midlands Technical College, the largest technical college in the state.

More than 130 public and 70 private schools with long established programs for all grades also are available in the two counties that make up Columbia—Richland and Lexington county.

Faith & Devotion
Almost every religious denomination is represented in Columbia. Large and small congregations offer worship opportunities and sponsor a diverse variety of benevolent services for our community's well-being. You can view the websites of some of the churches in our area or get a listing of all of the churches by clicking on the MORE link above.

You can shop till you drop in Columbia. Almost all of the major department stores are in four regional shopping malls and a variety of specialty shops and boutiques compliment these in numerous shopping centers.

Oh, The Weather!
Columbia is comfortable year-round which makes almost any outdoor activity feasible at any time of year. While a mild dusting of snow every year or so guarantees a touch of winter, a round of golf in December is still highly possible. (The average annual snowfall is just 1.89 inches.) Whether on weeknights or weekends, Columbia is a melting pot of extracurricular activities.

Parks with tennis courts and playgrounds, public and private clubs, and some dozen or so golf courses are available throughout the community. Hunting and fishing are popular in the outlying areas of the city. Weekend afternoons find families taking in the sounds of outdoor concerts in downtown 17-acre Finlay Park or jogging, biking or walking on paths that stretch through nearby Riverfront Park. Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden, popular among locals and out-of-towners alike, is ranked in the Top 10 zoos in the nation and rests upon the banks of the Saluda River.

The Water’s Fine!
Only 10 minutes northwest of our city is the spectacular 50,000-acre man-made Lake Murray. Recognized as one of the nation's top large-mouth bass fishing spots, Lake Murray delights residents and visitors along nearly 526 miles of shoreline. There are several public parks, even restaurants, on the lake. In the summer months, the lake is alive with activity ... boating, skiing, sailing, jet-skiing, and sunbathing. This popular attraction just can't be beat for a quick (and inexpensive) weekend or late afternoon get-a-way!

Sports fans can take in any number of spectator sports in Columbia. A member of the southeastern conference, the University of South Carolina hosts men's and women's basketball teams in its 12,401-seat Carolina Coliseum. The 72,400-seat Williams-Brice Stadium is home to USC's football team. And just 90 miles away in nearby Charlotte, N.C., Columbians can cheer on the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Bobcats and Charlotte Sting, respective members of the NFL, NBA, and WNBA.

The Arts
If you're looking for culture, Columbia has it. Several art and history museums house nationally recognized collections. A variety of theatrical, dance and musical offerings can be experienced at The Koger Center for the Arts, the Carolina Coliseum, Township Auditorium and the nearby Newberry Opera House. Younger music fans most likely already know that Columbia is the home and starting place for the popular band, Hootie and the Blowfish. And unique to South Carolina are a number of hometown festivals which celebrate traditions, seasons and landmarks.