Things to know before moving to Columbia, SC

Living in Columbia, South Carolina may be the perfect choice for you and your family or it might just be the opposite. Because of that, you should consider every single fact before making the final decision. Moving to Columbia, SC is a big step in your life, so do it right and learn something about this beautiful and interesting city. What are the reasons to move there and what is it you should know before moving? Sit back, relax, and let us tell you everything you need to know.

The preparation for moving is not just packing, it is much more than that. You should learn something about the tradition and history of one of the first planned cities in the US. Take your time to explore and do some research about the capital of South Carolina. You might be surprised by the rich history this place might uncover if you look thoroughly enough.

An astonishing building located in South Carolina
South Carolina has amazing buildings you can visit after moving there.

Things you should learn before moving to Columbia, SC

What to consider before moving to Columbia in the State of South Carolina? No matter where you move, you should learn some new things – both good and bad. After you do your research about this amazing city find reliable cross-country movers if you like Columbia and you can imagine yourself living there. Moving on, let’s talk about some stuff you might have missed during research you’ve done in the past.

A different accent

People in South Carolina speak in a typical southern accent. Be prepared for this cute accent (Y’all means for you all). You’ll be hearing that little y’all every now and then – Y’all have a nice day; Y’all alright? Also, in Columbia, there are a few streets that are hard to pronounce if you are not a local. Gervais Street is pronounced Ger-vay. Some time after migrating to Columbia, South Carolina you will get used to this different speaking area.

The hot weather

South Carolina is a hot and sunny state. If you love the sun and you enjoy it, then this is the perfect place for you. Columbia is “Famously Hot” and this is the second name of this city. Why? You might ask. Precisely because it has the greatest high temperatures in the whole state. Summers are very hot, and also the weather can change quite fast.

Winters are mild but be prepared for the summer since June has temperatures running around 70 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, the temperatures in January range from 36 to 59 Fahrenheit. Columbia has an average of about 217 sunny days per year, while The US average is 205 days. There might be a handful of sunny days, but this city also has quite a bit of sudden rainfall, so keep an eye on the weather forecast! You should consider all the facts before you move to Columbia or anywhere else.

A beautiful sunset
If you love sunny and hot summer days, Columbia is the perfect city for you and your family.


Public Transportation you might use after migrating to Columbia, SC

Moving to Columbia, SC might prove to be difficult for people used to riding bikes around the city. The best way to get around Columbia is in fact, by car. But, there is another way, using public transportation. A huge part of public transport relies on the Comet bus system which proved to be quite efficient and dependable. The bus tickets are really cheap, running at $2 per person. The routes go through most of the place, and you can even track the bus in real time! The city might not be very bike friendly, but word is there are works on the way to change that exact problem.

A lot of jobs in the healthcare industry

Because of the famous University, Columbia has many doctors, nurses, and surgeons. There are many hospitals in Columbia, so if you are looking for a job in healthcare, now you know where you can find it. Moving to Columbia, SC for a job is a good choice if you want to start your career. Columbia does not have just job opportunities in healthcare, you can start a business in South Carolina too.

A doctor and his assistant analyzing a document
If you are looking for a job in healthcare, move to Columbia. With the famous university and hospitals, you will have a lot of opportunities there.

What about other job opportunities?

As you may have guessed, healthcare is not the only viable profession you can find in Columbia. As of March 2022, the unemployment rate is equal to 3.1% and it can only get better. Main employers in Columbia include the State of Carolina, the City of Columbia, the US Army, AT&T, the University of Columbia, and Branch Banking and Trust. As you can tell by yourself, the largest industries in this area are Health Care & Social Assistance, Accommodation & Food Services, and Educational Services.

Meanwhile, the highest paying jobs are professional ones – Technical, & Scientific Services, Finance & Insurance, and Utilities. The workforce is diverse and very committed, so if you are moving to South Carolina for work, you surely won’t be the only hard worker in town. Don’t worry if we didn’t mention your profession, with a bit of luck and stubbornness you will definitely find a job.

Delicious food you can try by moving to Columbia, South Carolina

Besides Southern hospitality, Columbia has delicious food such as BBQ. Pimento cheese is the most famous food and you must try it. You can use it for burgers, BBQs, sandwiches, salads…When you move somewhere, try new things and be open. Columbia also has other delicious and unique dishes you must try after moving. Maybe visit The Divine Cinnamon Roll Deli, a bakery with a big focus on cinnamon. This place is one of the more popular restaurants in Columbia and it features dishes like the Pepper Jack Steak and Eggs, the Big Max and etc.

Cola’s Restaurant is a more gentlemen’s choice preferring fresh ingredients and offering seafood and meat dishes. Although, if you are more into BBQ, definitely take a look at Midwood Smokehouse which takes inspiration from Texas and the Carolinas. The food offers might not be as versatile if you are moving from NYC to Columbia, SC, but you should explore some of the many local restaurants this city offers and you will be surprised, for sure.

Car Registration

After being considered a resident of South Carolina, you have 45 days to get your South Carolina vehicle registration certificate. This certificate will thereafter be valid for 2 full years from the date of registration. Might want to ask around for more information, or even visit the local websites before migrating to Columbia in the state of South Carolina. No worries though, the process might take a while but is nothing complicated. It’s also worth sitting down and thinking about how to transport your car to South Carolina, which just isn’t a small deal either. Make sure to have the correct documents with you and everything should be done before you know it.

Good education

Columbia has a lot of colleges you can choose from. If you want to work on your education, it is a good choice to consider repositioning to Columbia, South Carolina for college. You will get the best education no matter if you choose a private college or a public one. The University of South Carolina is ranked as #53 among top public schools with 31,000 students. It is even mentioned in our text about the best college locations in South Carolina! This university offers more than 60 nationally ranked academic programs.

That’s obviously not the only college or university – Columbia International University, Columbia College, Benedict College. These are all exceptional schools that you can choose from. Make no exceptions for elementary schools though! Brockman Elementary School scores a 9 out of 10 on and Rosewood Elementary School shoots up to a solid 8. So no matter the age of your kids, you will be able to educate them properly and without a doubt.

A university you might attend after moving to Columbia, SC
Choosing the proper university to attend is a very important and difficult choice, but in the universities at Columbia, quality is assured.

Football and golf

Football is a big deal in Columbia. Before moving to Columbia, South Carolina, you should know what tailgating means. Tailgating is an event when football fans park their cars or van close to the stadium and watch football, eat burgers and drink beer.  Now you understand how big of an event a football match is, so don’t miss out on any Univ. Of South Carolina Gamecocks games! Also, there are a lot of traffic jams when it’s football season. Therefore, try to avoid a move to Columbia during the football season. On the other hand, if you love golf, Columbia has a lot of golf courses because of the sheer amount of greenery they have at their disposal. The LinRick Gold Course, Cobblestone Park Golf Club’s Black Course, The Golden Hills Country Club, we could just keep on naming them.

A man playing golf.
Golf is always a good choice for some recreation.

The culture and tradition of Columbia

It has a rich history and tradition. Just by taking a stroll around the place, you can see a substantial amount of historical value. You should open your book and start learning about it. It’s neverending and interesting too. It also has a colonial history and African-American history too. Learn some interesting facts because it is a fun part of moving to Columbia, SC.

Now, in order to look into some of their culture and history, you might want to visit a museum or two. Especially if you have decided on moving from Tennessee to South Carolina, which is quite far away and the culture might prove to be quite different. The South Carolina State Museum mostly touches on the themes of the Civil War and the Revolutionary War. Alongside that, the Museum of Reconstruction is focused on the early racial, political, and social statuses of Columbia. One of the national historical landmarks of Columbia is the Robert Mills House, featuring a number of 18th-century and early 19th-century rooms and galleries that touch upon the early days of the city. Many unique artifacts are hiding in these museums, taking a look is never a waste of time.

Art, Theater, and the like

Turns out that repositioning to Columbia, South Carolina will give you access to an exemplary amount of art collections, theater performances, and even puppet shows. You can literally find new art to adore every single day since this city is full of it. At the Columbia Museum of Art, you’ll have the chance to admire worldwide art. If you want to see what the locals are brewing, check out the 701 Center for Contemporary Arts. It doesn’t stop there though, because the whole city is a canvas! Turn a corner, and you might find a mural, take a walk in a park, and discover another art piece. Columbia is not a stranger to public art, it has actually been supporting it for a while now.

The Columbia Marionette Theater and the Columbia Children’s Theatre will entice you with the earlier-mentioned puppet shows. This choice could suit your kids more and can prove to be highly entertaining if you decide to migrate to Columbia, SC.

Trustus, on the other hand, has been around since the late 1900s and is a professional theater company. Their goal is to make your brain spin its gears with deep plays and interesting designs. Every season offers a new list of unique performances, it just never gets old.

If you want to take some classes in painting, photography, or other similar areas, then The Village Artists is the place for you. The classes aren’t necessarily for adults only, so your children can accompany you!

A puppet performance for kids
Carolina features fun for the whole family!

Moving to Columbia, SC for retirement

For moving you will need a moving company. But, not just some random movers, you should definitely find the best cross-country movers in Columbia. Be prepared for moving to Columbia, SC, and start packing your clothes and belongings. Many people move to Columbia for retirement. Why? Because there are plenty of reasons to move to South Carolina after retirement. So let us dive into some of those reasons, shall we?

  • Costs of living are not big so moving to Columbia, SC is an affordable and smart financial decision. 
  • The University of South Carolina has free tuition for people over 60. So, it is never too late to work on your education.
  • South Carolina has a lot of places to retire, so it does not have to be Columbia. You have a lot of options.
  • The climate in Columbia is pleasant.
  • Taxes are reasonable.
  • Cheap houses and apartments.
Old people enjoying their time in a park after moving to Columbia, SC
A lot of people choose to live in Columbia after their careers.

The Average Prices

Moving to Columbia, SC would mean you will be living in one of the most affordable cities in South Carolina. The average cost of living for one person is equal to $1,956 with rent, while the average in the whole US is about $2,926. When we’re talking food prices, one person usually spends around $526 on food during the month. The median home price is $290,030, and the median rent price is $885 per month. These housing prices are actually 27% lower than the national average. Although, it is really important to mention that the utility prices add up to 30% higher costs than the national average. The median individual income is equal to $22,616, while the median household income is $47,416. These numbers might have been a lot to endure, so let’s move on to some more exciting themes.


After a long week of hard work you definitely deserve a reward. What better reward than a fun night out with your friends or significant other? If you are into fancy stuff and rare vintages, give the Lula Drake Wine Parlor a visit, where you can try all sorts of wine and small plates. If beer is your drink of choice, consider Craft & Draft, a place that offers craft beer and even its own stout. On the other hand, Bourbon has a fair list of craft cocktails that might interest you.

If you want to enjoy a tasty American burger while drinking your beer, sit down in Liberty Taproom and Grill, which is another place with lagers, stouts, ales, and their own quality brews. Hunter Gatherer brewery offers jazz on Thursdays and a quiet weeknight atmosphere with a creative artsy style. Although, it Is full of people on the weekends. One might say there is always somewhere to go for a night out after migrating to Columbia, SC.

Teenagers having fun in a bar
There’s never enough fun to be had in Columbia!

Events you’ll experience by moving to Columbia, SC

This city actually offers a wide variety of regular events like festivals, concerts, and similar occurrences. So relocating to Columbia, South Carolina definitely won’t lead to a boring and monotonous life. It might be a good idea to sit down and look through all the annual events that the city of Columbia offers. Rosewood Crawfish Festival will let you enjoy a full day of live music with 10,000 pounds of tasty crawfish.

The Governor’s Cup is a group of more than 5,000 marathon courses where you get to hike next to the city’s adored attractions. This is actually a long-lasting tradition considered to be one of the oldest continually conducted road races in the Southeast. Next on the list is the Jam Room Music Festival. This festival grasps a wide variety of different music genre’s with a considerable number of live performances. Event here, event there, they just keep popping up, this city is the capital of South Carolina after all.

People are extremely friendly

There is a bunch of talk about how the population of these regions is really friendly and nice. Seems like helping out people in need is second nature to them. Keep in mind there is a substantial number in the growing population of Columbia, so these people are pretty much used to meeting new friends. The myth of Southern Hospitality ended up being true, so finding your own little group won’t be so challenging after all. You might start playing Jenga or making a group barbeque with your new neighbors in no time. Make sure to say hi to all the neighbors when you finally finish moving to Columbia, SC.

The Greenery

Another good thing about repositioning to Columbia, SC is all the quiet parks and incredible green spaces you can relax in. If you enjoy peaceful walks and nature, this might just drastically affect your decision. The number of different parks and forests is just astonishing. You can take a 30-minute drive from downtown Columbia and end up surrounded by pure greenery. If you don’t feel like taking a ride for some peace and quiet, you can just walk to the heart of downtown where you can find 12 miles of ADA-accessible pathways overlooking the Congaree. Worth mentioning is the Congaree National Park with their biggest remnant of old-growth floodplain forest on the continent.

The Greater Columbia (an area that consists of Columbia, and the cities near it) has a total of 3 state parks. Dreher Island is a place where you could fish from ashore, and also have a soothing family picnic, or maybe even camp for a few days. Sesquicentennial State Park is also an excellent choice for picnics. Located in the Sandhills region, you will have a view of a gorgeous 30-acre lake. If it’s a hellishly hot summer day, maybe visit the Saluda Shoals and take a swim in the Saluda River.

Finally, if you just enjoy the calming lake views, go on and take a trip to Lake Wateree State Recreation Area. On the other hand, Columbia isn’t the only place with great greenery, there are plenty of nice places in the US for nature lovers, never stop looking! We’ve named quite a few parks and recreational areas and yet, there are so many more you can experience by relocating to Columbia, South Carolina! It would take a while to go through every single one of them, so we’ll leave that research to you personally.

Riverfront Park in Columbia that you can see only after moving to Columbia, SC
Peace and quiet are always a walk away after moving to Columbia, SC.

Is Columbia, SC a dangerous place?

When we talk about crime, you might not be too happy about the results. Moving to Columbia, SC brings you to a place where the crime rate is above the US average. On a scale of 1 – 100 (where 100 is the highest crime rate), Columbia stands at 76 in terms of property crime. The national average for property crime is 35. While the national average for violent crime is 22.7, this place scores 39.5. Apparently, crime is the most prominent in West Columbia, Cayce, St Andrews, and Dentsville, which is definitely something to keep in mind. Maybe skip the news channels for a while since they might be filled with grim information.


Moving to Columbia, SC can be successful only when you are prepared. So, learn a few important things before moving there. It is normal to be nervous, happy, and sad at the same time, but before moving you need to be prepared and ready for action. It might just be one of the biggest changes in your life so, do it right. Be open to trying new things, drinks and food. There’s no doubt you’ll quickly get used to this friendly place filled with nature. Good luck with moving to Columbia!

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