Get a Quote

Moving to Columbia: Everything You Need To Know

Columbia is more than just the capital of South Carolina. Located just two hours from the coast, this southern city offers an incredible list of amenities as well as a burgeoning downtown area, incredible arts and culture scene, a growing business community, and friendly people. With so much to offer, it's no wonder Soda City is considered one of the best places to live in South Carolina.

Columbia, SC Movers

Life in Columbia

Columbia has a population of 136, 630 people, making it the second largest city in South Carolina behind Charleston. Though it may not be located right on the beach like its seaside sister, the capital city has plenty to offer families, young professionals, and retirees. For starters, it’s a nice escape from the traffic, congestion, and hustle and bustle of a big city. In Columbia, you will find a more relaxed atmosphere and plenty to do without the stress and crowds of a larger metropolitan area. Residents enjoy the small-town charm of Columbia as well as local events, festivals, concerts, and markets. If you do prefer a quick getaway, you are just an hour from Charlotte and less than two hours from scenic Charleston. 

Warm, South Carolina Weather

Say “hello” to sunshine and warm weather. Living in Columbia, you can expect more than 200 days of sunshine each year along with a humid, subtropical climate. You can expect hot and humid summers and cool to mild winters. Summer temperatures usually hover close to 90 degrees but you can find some reprieve with afternoon thunderstorms. As for winter, it’s uncommon for temperatures to fall below freezing and snow is minimal. 

The Great Outdoors

Living in Columbia means you will have plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors. You can spend those warm summer days tubing, fishing, or biking the trails at Three Rivers Greenway. You can also pack a picnic or rent a kayak at the family-friendly riverfront Saluda Shoals Park. Congaree National Park is also nearby, and this beautiful forest has creeks for fishing or canoeing as well as plenty of hiking trails. There’s also Harbison State Forest which features more than 2,000 acres of forest land and trails. The family can also take a day trip to Lake Murray, the city’s largest manmade lake, and enjoy kayaking 50,000 acres of serene water. Of course, you are also just a short drive from the beautiful beaches along the Atlantic Coast, such as Folly Beach and Tybee Island. 

Job Market in Columbia

Columbia has a robust and growing job market across a variety of industries. In fact, the capital city just earned the No.10 spot on Wallethub’s “Best Cities to Start a New Career,” making it an ideal destination for new graduates. There is a high availability of entry-level jobs, workforce diversity, and excellent starting salaries. You will also find a number of major employers in the area including CBRE Group, Northwestern Mutual, IBM, Prisma Health, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, AT&T, and the University of South Carolina, which all provide excellent career opportunities in finance, healthcare, technology, and education sectors. 

Cost of Living in Columbia

The cost of living in the state of South Carolina is lower than the national average, but the city of Columbia is even more affordable. In fact, Soda City ranks among the top 10 most affordable places to live in the U.S. Housing is nearly 12% below the national average, with median home prices around $234,000 and average rent around $1300. Residents of Columbua will also save on healthcare, transportation, and groceries. Budget-friendly living is just one of the many benefits of living in Columbia.

Where to Live in Columbia?

Choosing a neighborhood to live in is one of the biggest decisions you will make when moving to Columbia. Here are some of the best neighborhoods in the city:

Shandon: This family-friendly neighborhood features tree-lined streets, cozy bungalows, and Craftsman-style homes. The manicured lawns and sidewalks make for an inviting stroll through the neighborhood. Families also enjoy spending time at Sims Park and Emily Douglas Park, both of which feature playgrounds, dog areas, and plenty of space to play or have a picnic. It is also a short walk to the University of South Carolina and close to retail shops and businesses. 

Cayce: Students and families are moving to this up and coming neighborhood located along the Congaree River. This puts residents within easy walking distance of the Cayce Riverwalk, offering miles of pathways and boardwalks. You are also just a short distance from dining and shopping. 

Elmwood Park: This historic neighborhood was once the site of the state fairgrounds but has since been revitalized into a beautiful urban neighborhood with historic architecture and a welcoming family vibe. It is located just minutes from downtown as well as plenty of restaurants and businesses. 

Things to Do in Columbia

The Arts: Columbia has a thriving arts community which features two professional ballet companies, several live theaters, and dozens of art galleries. You will also find a lively music scene at local concert halls and clubs. 

Food Scene: The dining scene in Columbia is quickly expanding and becoming quite the experience. Innovative chefs have moved into the area, putting their own unique spin on classic southern comfort food. You will find plenty of great places to eat, especially along Devine Street, where several cozy restaurants welcome guests for dining under the beautiful oak trees. 

Kids Activities: In addition to all of the outdoor fun, there are plenty of attractions for kids such as the Riverbanks Zoo and EdVenture. You will also find a variety of parks, playgrounds, trails, and river walks for the family. 

Ready to Move to Columbia? Allied Van Lines Can Help

Columbia’s attractive amenities combined with affordable living make it an ideal destination for its residents. If you are preparing to relocate to Columbia, let the professionals at Allied Van Lines help with your move. As a leader in the moving industry for more than 95 years, our knowledgeable and highly experienced specialists can guide you through the moving process. With the help of our team, you can save time, money, and a tremendous amount of stress. We know exactly what it takes to plan and execute a seamless move. Call Allied today for more information about our moving services and let us help with your relocation to Columbia!