Columbia, South Carolina’s Diverse Neighborhoods

Introduction

Columbia, the capital and second largest city in South Carolina, is home to over 130,000 residents. This growing Southern city is known for its family-friendly charm and community spirit, as well as the beautiful Sandhills region landscape.

Columbia features a diverse range of neighborhoods, from historic homes to brand new developments. Keep reading for an in-depth guide to understanding Columbia’s neighborhoods!

Five Points

Five Points is the energetic, eclectic heart of Columbia located just outside the University of South Carolina. This pedestrian-friendly area features over 20 locally owned bars, restaurants, galleries and shops.

Popular Attractions

  • The Horseshoe: Beautiful, historic heart of USC’s campus
  • Kobo: Japanese/Korean fusion restaurant with late night ramen
  • Nickelodeon Theater: Indie arthouse cinema with cult classics

Housing

  • Mostly apartments, condos and smaller historic homes
  • Walkable to downtown and USC campus
  • Property values range from $150k to $400k

Schools

  • Brennen Elementary School
  • Hand Middle School
  • AC Flora High School

Shandon

Known for its classic Southern charm, tree-lined streets, and historic homes, Shandon is one of Columbia’s most sought-after in-town neighborhoods.

Popular Attractions

  • Riverfront Park: Paths along the river with views of the Gervais St Bridge
  • Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe: Long-running hot spot for Lowcountry cuisine
  • Craft and Draft: Trendy craft beer bar with backyard patio

Housing

  • Mostly single family homes built between 1920s-1950s
  • Property values range from $250k to $650k
  • Lots of renovated bungalows and ranch style homes

Schools

  • Brennen Elementary School
  • Hand Middle School
  • Dreher High School

Rosewood

Rosewood is a peaceful, family-friendly neighborhood located close to downtown. It features charming bungalows and lush, mature trees that give the area a secluded feel.

Popular Attractions

  • Rosewood Market: Hip neighborhood cafe with wine bar
  • Kilbourne United Methodist Church: Community church since 1922
  • Owens Field Skate Park: Open skatepark with mini ramps

Housing

  • Mostly modest single family homes from the 1930s
  • Property values range from $175k to $350k

Schools

  • Rosewood Elementary School
  • CR Hanlon Middle School
  • AC Flora High School

The Vista

The vibrant Vista district is Columbia’s downtown center for entertainment, culture, shopping and dining. Located by the Congaree River, its historic brick warehouses now contain trendy restaurants, art galleries and more.

Popular Attractions

  • Riverfront Park: Walking paths with views of the Congaree River
  • Columbia Museum of Art: Collection of European and American art
  • Mast General Store: Iconic country store with candies and gifts

Housing

  • Mostly apartments and condos in repurposed historic buildings
  • Property values range from $1300 – $2500 per month

Schools

  • Brennen Elementary School
  • CA Johnson High School

Lake Carolina

Lake Carolina is a large planned community located 10 minutes from downtown Columbia. This family-oriented neighborhood surrounds a recreational lake and features amenities like pools, parks, walking trails and a town center.

Popular Attractions

  • 50-acre lake with paved walking trail, fishing docks and kayak rentals
  • Town Center with shops, restaurants, movie theater, day spa and salon
  • Many community pools, parks and playgrounds

Housing

  • Mostly large single family homes in suburban style neighborhoods
  • Property values range from $250k to $850k
  • Neighborhoods include Camden Forest, Cambridge Pointe and Mansfield Pointe

Schools

  • Lake Carolina Elementary School
  • Lake Carolina Middle School
  • Spring Valley High School

Northeast Columbia

Northeast Columbia refers to the residential areas located above I-20 stretching to I-77. It has a mix of established suburban neighborhoods, some with mid-century homes, alongside new housing developments.

Popular Attractions

  • Greenview Park: 27 acres with picnic areas, tennis, trails
  • Orchard Park: Community pool and playground
  • Trenholm Plaza: Open air shopping center with national retailers

Housing

  • Mix of modest mid-century homes and large new construction homes
  • Property values range from $120k to $500k

Schools

  • AC Moore Elementary School
  • Longleaf Middle School
  • AC Flora High School

Cayce/West Columbia

Located just across the Congaree River, Cayce and West Columbia feel similar to Columbia yet have a small town charm. These areas have historic homes mixed with new developments and a renovated riverfront.

Popular Attractions

  • Riverwalk Park: Brick path follows the river with art displays
  • Steel Hands Brewing: Craft brewery in a former naval shipyard building
  • Timberlake’s Grocery: Old-fashioned country store since 1946

Housing

  • Mix of charming historic homes, mill houses and new neighborhoods
  • Property values range from $140k to $400k

Schools

  • Cayce Elementary School
  • Pine Ridge Middle School
  • Airport High School

Conclusion

Columbia truly offers something for everyone with diverse neighborhoods ranging from the historic homes of Shandon to the suburban communities of Lake Carolina. Whether you want an apartment downtown or a family home near excellent schools, Columbia has vibrant neighborhoods to suit your lifestyle. Use this neighborhood guide to find your perfect area to live in Columbia, South Carolina!

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Directions

  • Start out going south on Main Street toward Oak Avenue. Turn right onto Oak Avenue and continue for 2 miles. Take the ramp onto Highway 77 South and drive for 5 miles. Take exit 42 for Slash Pine Road. Turn left onto Slash Pine Road and drive west for 3 miles. Turn right onto Slash Pine Lane. 1012 Slash Pine Ln will be on your left.
  • Begin by heading west on Park Street for 0.6 miles. Turn left onto Elm Boulevard and go straight for 1.1 miles. Turn right onto Highway 77 South and continue for about 8 miles. Use the left 2 lanes to take exit 42 for Slash Pine Road. Keep left at the fork and turn left onto Slash Pine Road. In 2.5 miles, turn right onto Slash Pine Lane. 1012 Slash Pine Ln is on the right side of the street.
  • Start out on Creek View Drive heading south. Drive for 0.9 miles and turn right onto Oak Avenue. Take Oak Avenue across the bridge over the creek and continue west for 1.7 miles. Turn left onto Highway 77 South and stay on it for approximately 7 miles. Take exit 42 for Slash Pine Road. At the stop sign, turn left onto Slash Pine Road heading west. After 2.8 miles, make a right onto Slash Pine Lane. 1012 Slash Pine Ln will be a gray house on your right side.