Columbia General Attractions
South Carolina State House
DESCRIPTION: Hundreds of enslaved people cut quarry stone for the walls and columns, and worked as on-site laborers during the construction of the State House from 1851 through 1861. From 1868 until 1877, there were over 80 African Americans conducting legislative business in the State House; this majority occurred in no other state. Historian Eric Foner described the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1868 as “mostly educated, articulate, and politically experienced freeborn” Blacks “who often outmaneuvered white” politicians. After 1877, Blacks were systematically eliminated from state government and businesses throughout the South. Almost 100 years later, the next African American legislator elected in the state. Herbert U. Fielding, James L. Felder, and I.S. Leevy Johnson became the first Black Carolinians to serve in the general Assembly since the 1890s.
DAYS & HOURS: Tours on Mon–Fri 9a–12p and 1:30p–4p
ADDRESS: Main Street at Gervais Street, Columbia, SC MAP
Columbia Museum of Art
DESCRIPTION: Opened in 1950 at the original site of Bull and Senate Streets, this regional museum has expanded collections of Early Renaissance, the Dutch School, Neo-Classicism and 19th Century American and European art. Moved to this 3 times larger, 20,000 square foot location in 1998 with 13′ ceilings to elegantly host an art collection that has grown to 7,000 objects.
ADMISSION: Under $15
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Fri 11a-5p, Sat 10a-5p, Sun Noon-5p; open until 8p on 1st Friday onf the month
ADDRESS: 1515 Main Street, Columbia, SC MAP
Columbia Riverfront Park and Historic Canal
DESCRIPTION: Runs beside the historic Columbia Canal, the park features a 2.5-mile trail popular for walking, running, bicycling, and fishing. Picnic tables and benches are scattered along the walking trail.
DAYS & HOURS: sunrise to sunset
ADDRESS: 1932 Calhoun Street, Columbia, SC MAP
DESCRIPTION: Columbia’s Film Society’s 75-seat venue provides an intimate setting for international and independent cinema, showcasing over 125 films each year. The venue hosts the African-American/International Film Festival, Columbia Jewish Film Festival, Native American Film Festival, Latin American Film Festival, and Southern Circuit Touring Filmmaker Series. It also carries the distinction of being the only non-profit art house film theater in South Carolina.
ADMISSION: Under $10
ADDRESS: 37 Main Street, Columbia, SC MAP
Koger Center for the Arts
DESCRIPTION: The invaluable cultural center seats 2,256 in 3 tiers for ballet, Broadway musicals, symphonies, concerts and special events, including the U.S. Youth Games and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority presentation, Fashionetta. It is home of the South Carolina Philharmonic and located on the University of South Carolina campus. It was built with a $15 million donation by the Koger.
BOX OFFICE: Carolina Coliseum, Mon-Fri 9a–5p
ADDRESS: 1051 Greene Street, Columbia, SC MAP
University of South Carolina
DESCRIPTION: Between 1873-1877, the University of South Carolina was the only southern state university opened to African American students, 233 attended. When Reconstruction ended in 1877, the college was closed to prevent African Americans from attending. When it reopened several years later, African Americans were no longer permitted to attend; in 1963, the university integrated the Columbia campus for the second time. Academic home to 37,000 students each year.
DAYS & HOURS: tours by appt Mon–Fri 10a and 2p and Sat 10a and 2p during academic year
ADDRESS: U. of South Carolina campus, Columbia, SC MAP
Columbia City Jazz Dance Company
DESCRIPTION: One of the nation’s top dance companies; aside from the many performances around town and abroad, the company is known for it Guest Artists Series which brings in internationally known dancers to teach master classes open to any dancer from any studio. Classes have been taught by notables such as Mia Michaels, Ray Leeper, Desiree Robbins, Doug Calwell, Liz Imperio, and others during August through November.
ADDRESS: 550 Rivermont Drive, Columbia, SC MAP
State Farmers Market
DESCRIPTION: Fresh fruits and vegetables arrive daily at the largest produce market in the Southeast. Visitors and buyers welcome. Its located across from the University of South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Football Stadium.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Sat 6a-9p, Sun Noon-6p
ADDRESS: 3483 Charleston Highway, West Columbia, SC MAP