Columbia, SC Reviews

50 Reviews

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What BestPlaces Users Say about Columbia

Columbia, South Carolina is the capital city of the state and is known for its rich history, vibrant arts and culture scene, and affordable cost of living. It is home to the University of South Carolina and has a population of over 131,000 residents. With its southern charm and unique blend of urban and rural areas, Columbia attracts a diverse population and has become a popular place to live. Let's take a look at what real users have to say about living in Columbia.

1. According to 's review, "I've lived in Columbia for over 10 years and I love it. The city has a great mix of small-town charm and big-city amenities. The cost of living is very reasonable and there are plenty of job opportunities." This review highlights the affordability and opportunities that Columbia offers to its residents.

2. shares their experience living in Columbia, stating, "I moved here from a larger city and I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly and welcoming the people are. The community here is very close-knit and it's easy to make friends." This shows that Columbia has a strong sense of community and its residents are known for their southern hospitality.

3. "Columbia has something for everyone. There are great schools, beautiful parks, and diverse restaurants. I've lived here my whole life and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else," says . This review highlights the family-friendly nature of the city and its variety of offerings for all ages.

4. However, not all reviews are positive. shares their dissatisfaction with living in Columbia, stating, "Traffic is terrible, the crime rate is high, and the weather can be extreme. I've had several negative experiences and I'm looking to move out of the city soon." This serves as a reminder that every city has its drawbacks and it's important to do thorough research before deciding to relocate.

In summary, Columbia, South Carolina has received mostly positive reviews from its residents. Its affordability, sense of community, and diverse offerings make it an attractive place to live. However, as with any city, there are also some negative aspects to consider. It's important for individuals to weigh the pros and cons and decide if Columbia is the right fit for them.

 based on 50 Reviews
Get to know Columbia with the latest comments and reviews from people who live in or have visited Columbia

Love Living in Columbia! - 11/14/2023
I love living in Columbia! I recently graduated from USC and plan to stay. I read the reviews posted here and it shows that like many cities, your experience will depend on where you live. The downtown, USC, and neighborhoods east all the way to the small city of Forest Acres are great places to live. Once you begin heading north, it begins to change. Far north, and especially in the Richland County areas, it's poor with lots of crime - shootings, drugs, etc. and the schools struggle. I'm a teacher and it's sad to see because the kids there must overcome so much outside of school. But other than those areas, Columbia is a wonderful. Many people are moving here. I've met parents from many different states. The weather gets hot in July and August, but all other months are perfect! I'm originally from the north and do not miss the cold at all! The people here are friendly too. The only potential negative for people my age is the lack of a "bar scene," but that's not what I'm looking Read More

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Almost ideal. Could see myself moving back - 7/16/2023
Loved living in Columbia, SC prior to my job transfer. It's the perfect size - plenty to do, but still a laid back place. People are extremely friendly, there are beautiful neighborhoods, and it's easy to get around. It has a major university in the center of the city, so lots of young people mingling around, which makes it a fun, energetic place to live. It's beginning to get discovered though. SC is one the faster growing states and Columbia is still affordable, but this may change. Prior to moving, VW announced a $4B plant to build all-electric cars in Columbia area. This will likely be the beginning of a population explosion as more move to the area for these jobs. Would love to get back before that Read More

Small town advertised as a "big" city - 7/20/2021
I moved to Columbia for graduate school and although it is a giant step up from my small, out-of-state hometown, I became bored and restless here in less than a year. Although I do not particularly feel unsafe where I live, crime rates in and around the city are much higher than what is advertised. As a social person myself, I find the city to be very small and quite boring. There is no real nightlife scene here aside from college and dive bars, and a handful of quieter places downtown. For a city that supports small and local businesses as much as they claim, there is quite the monopoly on the service industry here as well. I do not recommend the city for young professionals or those who actually enjoy living in cities. If you prefer more of a "small town in the city" feel or don't want to let go of that high school hometown atmosphere, this is the place for you. Don't get me wrong, my experience here has been good overall and I feel comfortable here, however the pace is way too slow Read More

Columbia is not the jewel of the of the South - 9/18/2020
Do not be a deceived by past/current residences, CPD, city council, and local media Columbia has high crime rates-property and violent that are suppressed and not publicized.

They will say that crime is everywhere or normalize the idea of non-violent crime or make it seem like you’re not at high risk of experiencing it yourself. There’s this implied idea that it doesn’t happen in THIS or THAT NEIGHBORHOOD and criminals aren’t they’re actual neighbors. They say that crime only happens on the “bad” side of town or “those kinds of people don’t live here”, but these people do and each neighborhood has its unique problem residents/street.

A bulk of residents falsely believe themselves to live in a much safer and nicer place despite viewing and discussing crimes that happened during the evening/morning hours on their neighborhood pages and having the knowledge that the person on tape is the local drunk, career criminal, drug addict, local public school student, Read More

Much to love, even if not perfect. - 9/12/2020
I've lived in metro Columbia since the 80s and have seen a lot of change here. The university has grown so much and in most ways, I would say the city is getting better. I've always lived and worked near downtown, which in recent years has revitalized to become a buzzing hub of activity (pre-Covid). If you like lake life or college sports, you will love Columbia. I'm not into either, but still enjoy living in town in a walkable neighborhood with parks, a local brew pub, and pretty much everything I need within 3 miles. SC is a deep red state, but you might be surprised to find Columbia, in Richland County, is very blue. People are friendly and the city is very diverse. On the downside, housing costs are rising rapidly, especially rental rates. Crime is too high, homelessness is rising, yet we are fortunate to have a city police department that usually shows restraint in this college town. The food scene here has exponentially improved over the past decade+. There are opportunities in Read More

Better than Florence, but still nothing special. - 3/3/2020
By and large, you'll find a better class of person than Florence, but that bar isn't particularly high. A vast, vast majority of folks have some ties to the university, the military, are from South Carolina, or have all 3 characteristics. If you are not in any of these groups, the people are ok, but you will kind of feel like an outsider. Again, people in Columbia are more hospitable than Florence, but I wouldn't exactly say that they welcome transplants with open arms. Business wise, there are more opportunities than Florence, but this is not one of the city's strong points. Columbia is not really a place to grow your career. The wages and growth opportunities are very low and still lag far behind most other cities in the U.S. I get the feeling that the attitude of many employers is "just be happy that you have a job." The attitude of the work force isn't exactly dynamic either. There isn't much energy here. It's just status quo. Maybe it is much better upstate, like in Greenville? Read More

Good for Families - 12/4/2018
I am in high school in Columbia and I think that it is ok. I have lived in Forest Acres my whole life and I'm just ready to get out. It is not a bad city and there are many things that I like about it but I just am ready for a change. I went to Crayton Middle and go to AC Flora High School which are both good and extremely diverse. The city is mostly safe and I feel comfortable going on runs by myself. Forest Acres is a great place to raise a family and it is also close to downtown. The traffic is only bad at rush hour downtown and on I-26. The weather in the summer is pretty hot (90-100) and winter is too unpredictable. Some years we have snow and some years the temp does not go below 20 degrees. The airport is good but does not have many direct flights. My favorite part about Columbia is that it is less than two hours to the beach and mountains and is close to Charleston, Atlanta, Charlotte, Greenville, Asheville, and reasonably close to the rest of the East Coast. It is also pretty Read More

Ideal city for vegans + great outdoor lifestyle - 6/30/2018
My expectation for Columbia were low after living in Seattle, NYC, the DC area and Raleigh NC. Fast forward 6 months and I absolutely love this pretty city called "Cola" by the locals! I am an umarried professional age 40, and find a ton to do. The downtown is walkable with broad roads, historic buildings and an amazing tree canopy. There are farmers markets, hip eateries and lots of fresh produce. Did anyone know that Columbia is currently a vegan and vegetarian paradise? The food is scrumptious and I've sampled the cuisine 25+ countries! The USC campus is gorgeous and there are all kinds of places to walk. In addition, there are art museums and a beautiful river. The city is full of low hills which makes it soothing to look out into the distance. I would love to see the city attract more performing arts (there is a small scene but it could grow) and more direct, lower cost flights. That said, this is a wonderful place to live. It is not currently jammed up with random people Read More

Local street and highway roads - 12/8/2016
I've travelled out of the country and within the U.S. To me, by far, Columbia, South Carolina roads are absolutely challenging to navigate for visitors as well as residents. I drive as a defensive vehicle operator in Columbia always on the look out for horrible road dips and sink holes that can be the result of an unavoidable accident. Read More

Capital City - 8/9/2015
I have been here since July of 2000. I have enjoyed it here in every way. Job opportunities are abundant and there are so many things to do. The river, the lake, downtown and five points, shopping, food, the zoo is amazing, really nice museum. Parks, hiking, camping, sports, and so much more. Read More

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