Home » Local Guides » Moving to Columbia? 12 Things You Need to Know!

1. What They Say About Southern Hospitality is True

If you have not experienced southern hospitality, you are in for a treat. It is normal for the locals in Columbia, South Carolina to be polite to each other and with visitors. It is very rare that anyone will act in a rude manner. If you move to this area, you will find that your neighbors will be welcoming and helpful. Don’t be surprised if they knock on the door, after you move in, just to say hello.

2. “Cola” is Not Just a Soft Drink

Columbia, South Carolina is known by the locals as “Cola,” which is an abbreviation of Columbia. If you want to have a Coca-Cola soft drink, if you order a “coke” according to Southern Living, they will ask you what kind of coke you want because coke is the generic term for a soft drink. However, old-time southerners will usually order a Coca-Cola drink by asking for a “co-cola” when they are in the city of Cola.

3. Local Fare is Mouth-Watering Tasty

Try the South Carolinian barbecue along with some hush puppies, fritters, and sweet tea. The barbecue in South Carolina is different from the barbecued ribs served elsewhere. Instead of being on the bone, it is “pulled” pork with all the bones removed. It has the texture of shredded meat that is extremely tender, which is covered by a spicy, vinegar-tomato sauce. Hush puppies are balls of dough made from cornmeal that is fried. They got their name from being able to silence dogs sitting under the dinner table.

Fritters are also made from cornmeal and fried. They may have pieces of corn or apple mixed in for extra flavor. They are often served as a dessert by adding sweet toppings to them. Sweet tea is very popular. Just be warned that it has so much sugar in it (about one-third cup per quart) that you may go into diabetic shock from drinking it.

4. Techies Needed

The largest employers in Columbia are in information technology, insurance, health care, and education. Manufacturing jobs are found at the Westinghouse Electric Company that employs many residents. The University of South Carolina has positions in scientific research that involve cutting-edge technology through the Innovista Program, which focuses on alternative energy. Palmetto Health and the Medical University of South Carolina are big employers of technicians in the health care sector.

5. Historical City Rebuilt After Burning to the Ground

Columbia was the first city in the United States to be named after the explorer Christopher Columbus. Even though the city was founded in 1786, its oldest buildings now date from the 20th century. Virtually all the city was completely destroyed in 1865 during the American Civil War.

The beautiful campus of the University of South Carolina is home of the “Fighting Gamecocks” sports team that is named after a hero from the American Revolutionary War with the same nickname.

6. Fun Things to See Include Fireflies and Koala Bears

The Congaree National Park has the tallest old-growth trees in America that are east of the Mississippi River. In late May and early June, fireflies can be seen at night in this park. They light up all at once providing a brilliant natural light show. The Riverbanks Zoo has super cute koala bears and 2,000 other animals to see.

The Columbia Marionette Theater is one of a few theaters in America dedicated to puppet shows. The South Carolina State Museum was built in a red-brick building that housed the world’s first electric-powered mill. Art lovers will appreciate the Columbia Museum of Art, located in the renovated downtown Columbia area.

7. Shopping with a Mission

The Soda City shopping area has the Mast General Store, which is a must-see. South Carolinians love shopping for antiques at the Spring Valley Antique Mall and the Old Mill Antique Mall. If you are a collector, you will have many hours of fun hunting for the next treasure to add to your collection.

8. Amusing Ways to Get Wet

There are three rivers to enjoy, which are the Broad, Congaree, and Saluda rivers. They run right through the city. These rivers offer whitewater rafting in some places. In the calmer portions, it is also fun to go down the rivers in tubes, kayaks, and canoes. If water parks are more to your liking, you can enjoy the Palmetto Falls Water Park.

9. Beauty and Relaxation

For a total facial makeover, try Carolina Eye Candy. For a luxury spa, there are many choices including Hand & Stone, Body Sugaring & Wellness, and Occo.

10. The Southern Charm of Historic Downtown

Small businesses in Columbia are still able to survive, even thrive. It helps to locate your business near the University of South Carolina campus. There has also been an extensive revitalization of Downtown Columbia, which has some of the oldest, well-established neighborhoods.

11. Contemporary Living

Columbia has all the modern conveniences and plenty of nice amenities. Living in Columbia is a little more expensive than living in other parts of South Carolina because it is in the heart of the state and it has many nice neighborhoods. The median price of a house is $164,200 and the median rent is $863 per month.

12. What Columbia is Famous For

The band Hootie and the Blowfish came from Columbia. Darius Rucker formed the band with other students he met at the University of South Carolina. Actor Aziz Ansari of the Parks and Recreations show and astronaut Charles F. Bolden Jr., who became head of NASA, are both from Columbia.

The city was named the top All American City twice, in 1951 and once again in 1964. In 2013, Kiplinger magazine named Columbia one of the top ten American cities to live in, so it still ranks as one of the most desirable cities for livability in America.

Bonus! Storage Rentals of America Offers Affordable Storage

Need a place to store your items while you move? Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, we offer some of the cheapest climate controlled storage in Columbia. Give us a call and see the difference for yourself! We’ll help put you in a storage unit perfect for your needs. If you need a neighborhood guide we have those as well!

Columbia Neighborhood Guides

We’re Your Storage Solution!

Storage Rentals of America is your convenient self-storage solution. We have storage unit facilities across Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, New Jersey, and South Carolina. So come into our office or give our storage experts a call. Our call center is available 7 days a week and can help determine which storage unit size best fits your unique storage situation.