Columbia is a quaint college town on the rise with a lot of growing businesses.
As the capital of South Carolina, the city does not disappoint. Visit the downtown area and try southern restaurants and neat bars. The more busier areas are near the mall too. They have certain college areas that have neat shops too. You must check out the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden! It is very well maintained! Remember to not skip the Garden part! They have a splash pad and acres of kids play areas and it is all part of your Zoo admission!
The very first state capital in the country. Tons of history here. Foodies will find plenty. "Famously Hot" is a true statement but you're only an hour & a half from the beach or mountains if you need to cool off. Or you can take a dip in the nearby lake or tube/kayak the 3 rivers downtown! Main St has enjoyed a Renaissance with many shops and events.
The worlds tallest fire extinguisher! I wouldn't go out of your way to see this but if you are in Columbia, SC, might as well stop by.