U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Celebrating Labor Day!
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > South Carolina > Columbia area
 [Register]
Columbia area Columbia - Lexington - Irmo
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-10-2010, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, AR
999 posts, read 1,368,001 times
Reputation: 609
Default So tell me about Columbia...

My wife and I are looking to relocate from Wichita, Kansas in a few months. We are very familiar with Wichita, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Dallas and the cities of that area. We want something new. We like larger cities but not huge metropolitian areas like Dallas. It's jut too big for our tastes. What we want to know, is Columbia an area we should add to the list on candidates? We don't want Flordia or southern Texas, but we don't want an area with seasons but one that leans towards a milder winter and warmer summer. As far as weather, we understand you usually have to compromise something. I lived in Naples, Fl so I know about east coast summers. I've been to and considererd the Greenville area but am curious what Columbia's draw for us might be. What attracts peopple to the area? What is the biggest downer of the city? Are you too far south for nice fall foliage? Are there lots of outdoor activites in the area? Obviously we would come to any area before we move. Coming from Kansas, it doesn't take much to impress us. Please tell me anything about your city that makes it unique. Thank you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-10-2010, 10:25 PM
 
6 posts, read 8,862 times
Reputation: 15
I grew up in Columbia and currently live in Charleston, SC. One of the biggest advantages of living in Columbia is the proximity to beaches and mountains! You can be in MB in 2 1/2 hrs, Chas in about 2, Greenville in about 2 and then on to the mountains in less than 4 hrs total, and you would probably get more enjoyment of the foliage up there (in that case Greenville is better). It's definitely not a BIG city, smaller than both Charlotte and Atlanta. The winters are milder, there are some times when you can wear flip flops @ Christmas. Don't think I've ever seen a white Christmas. Any snow usually comes in February and lasts a day or so. The summers are HOT and HUMID. You don't get a coastal breeze like here in Charleston. There's a nice lake (Lake Murray) for the summer activities. It's sad, but I'm having a difficult time deciding what makes it unique. If downtown, you'll definitely notice that it's a university city, esp now that the Gamecocks won the CWS. If you're in to college football, tailgating is great, the football not always so great Hope that helps. Let me know of any more specific questions.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-11-2010, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
6,672 posts, read 4,787,980 times
Reputation: 1165
I would say that overall what draws people to Columbia is that it is a neat, clean, attractive southern city in a beautiful natural setting. It is colorful in the spring, green in the summer, and colorful again in November, before a short gray winter that brings an occasional dusting or light dumping of snow. It can get into the teens overnight for very brief periods, but 29 degrees overnight is more the norm, and it's considered too cold by most on days when temperatures don't get out of the 40s.

The people are friendly and diverse, with a heavy tilt toward southern-ness, whatever that is. The city has a perhaps surprising international vibe, though.

Lake Murray and three rivers, along with miles of nature trails and greenways, are at the heart of the area's outdoor activities. There are nature enthusiast clubs and sports leagues of every kind. Performing arts, visual arts and entertainment are thriving. Because of its central location Columbia is a great place to be for anyone who loves the whole state and enjoys day trips. And, go, Gamecocks!

Columbia definitely leans toward the milder winter and warmer summer portion of your criteria, knrstz.
On the most uncomfortable days of summer the heat index here (how hot it feels, not just the thermometer reading) is the same as in Charleston and a few degrees higher than in Greenville according to daily weather reports, and it can feel stifling if you don't keep mind over matter or yourself in the air-conditioning or under some shade by the river. The pay-off is that Columbia is much less likely to get iced over in the winter than are places at higher latitudes and altitudes.

The city has a unique charm. Its tree-lined straight wide avenues rise and fall over gently rolling hills in a checker-board pattern, flattening out only on the plateau where the central business and historic districts lie. Antebellum, turn-of-the-20th-Century, modern, and neo-classical architecture co-exist with a healthy tree canopy and flowered medians. As in most any city, derelict properties dot the landscape (mostly on the outskirts) as federal demolition funding is secured, utilized, and continuously sought.

People who live in the poorer neighborhoods here are the ones who experience most of the area's biggest problems: violent crime, drugs, gangs and teen pregnancy. One candidate for the District 2 seat on city council (special election this Tuesday) sounds like someone who will make a lot of headway on these problems. That district is the main one affected by the problems and he seems poised to win.

Some say Columbia can't land the big ones. It has been in the news recently that hip national retailers aren't coming here and are choosing other areas of the state. By history this area gets most things after they have been elsewhere in the state for a while. I have noticed this through the years. Other metros apparently often slightly precede Columbia in getting some specific statistics needed for certain companies to move in. I think that's due to specific and incidental statistical effects of in-migration on discrete local populaces over time. By the same token, companies sometimes pick Columbia for their first South Carolina market. In general Columbia currently is quite focused on supporting local merchants over national chains. Presently there are pretty "SHOP PROUD, SHOP COLUMBIA" banners all over downtown, and reports indicate this local advertising campaign is seeing good results. So much more of each dollar paid to Columbia-based businesses goes back into local government coffers that shopping locally only makes good sense, and Columbians have taken note.

Despite nearly 225 years of history, in many ways Columbia is a clean slate, and any newcomer can make a big difference quickly if they are smart and willing to get involved. It doesn't take long to figure out that Columbia is an unassuming city. Maybe that's its biggest appeal.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-11-2010, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Fayetteville, AR
999 posts, read 1,368,001 times
Reputation: 609
Thanks for the responses. I grew up in Stillwater, OK so I am familiar with a great college sports environment, even if the results on the field aren't what we want. I was glad to see someone describe the area as somewhat hilly. I like a little shape to the land. Sometimes large hills and mountains can make a town tough to navigate for us flat-landed people! Just curious, what are the chains and stores that you feel Columbia is lacking? Which ones have come to Columbia first?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-11-2010, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
6,672 posts, read 4,787,980 times
Reputation: 1165
Someone who follows retail and chains more than I do would have to give specifics on stores Columbia is perceived as lacking or blessed with. I'm just going on memory that there has been give and take through the years, usually with Greenville and Charleston getting something first and then Columbia, but at times with Columbia getting something first. I can't remember or think of specific stores or chains other than the ones presented in this thread.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-11-2010, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
4,709 posts, read 7,809,764 times
Reputation: 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by knrstz View Post
My wife and I are looking to relocate from Wichita, Kansas in a few months. We are very familiar with Wichita, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Dallas and the cities of that area. We want something new. We like larger cities but not huge metropolitian areas like Dallas. It's jut too big for our tastes. What we want to know, is Columbia an area we should add to the list on candidates? We don't want Flordia or southern Texas, but we don't want an area with seasons but one that leans towards a milder winter and warmer summer. As far as weather, we understand you usually have to compromise something. I lived in Naples, Fl so I know about east coast summers. I've been to and considererd the Greenville area but am curious what Columbia's draw for us might be. What attracts peopple to the area? What is the biggest downer of the city? Are you too far south for nice fall foliage? Are there lots of outdoor activites in the area? Obviously we would come to any area before we move. Coming from Kansas, it doesn't take much to impress us. Please tell me anything about your city that makes it unique. Thank you.
In my opinion, Columbia is a nice size-range place to live. It's big enough that there is more than enough to keep you occupied, but small enough that traffic isn't unbearable and it doesn't take an excessive period of time to get anywhere in town. We have 2 main restaurant/bar/entertainment areas in the downtown area - the Vista and Five Points. You will find that the average age in Columbia is very young since it is the home of 7 colleges and universities. It is also the home of Fort Jackson and state government.

There are 4 distinct seasons and we do have fall foliage, which varies depending on the section of town. I live on the north side of downtown and most of the trees in my neighborhood are deciduous, but if you live in Forest Acres, the majority of trees are evergreen Pines. We have nice fall foliage in my neighborhood, but it doesn't usually hit its peak until early November. It snows on occasion with a light dusting, at a minimum, pretty much every winter.

The only national park in South Carolina is about 20 minutes from downtown - Congaree National Park and there are also 2 state parks in the metro with 3 rivers adjacent to downtown with whitewater rafting on the Saluda rapids and kayaking on all three. The closest point of Lake Murray is also about 15-20 minutes from downtown.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-11-2010, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
4,709 posts, read 7,809,764 times
Reputation: 1133
I just read what Columbiadata said about Columbia being an unassuming city, which is my favorite part about living here. You will find very little pretension and mostly very genuine people. That is why I've stayed here even though I generally like large cities.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-12-2010, 02:07 PM
 
7,932 posts, read 6,388,545 times
Reputation: 2591
Quote:
Originally Posted by knrstz View Post
Just curious, what are the chains and stores that you feel Columbia is lacking?
A few off the top of my head, that can be found in other South Carolina cities, but not Columbia:

Apple
Whole Foods
Aldo
Pottery Barn
Trader Joe's
Costco
Bass Pro
Bloom
The Walking Co.
PFChangs
Anthropologie
Petco
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-12-2010, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
4,709 posts, read 7,809,764 times
Reputation: 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsupstate View Post
A few off the top of my head, that can be found in other South Carolina cities, but not Columbia:

Apple
Whole Foods
Aldo
Pottery Barn
Trader Joe's
Costco
Bass Pro
Bloom
The Walking Co.
PFChangs
Anthropologie
Petco
You conveniently forgot to mention stores found in Columbia, but not in other areas of South Carolina.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-12-2010, 05:56 PM
 
7,932 posts, read 6,388,545 times
Reputation: 2591
Quote:
Originally Posted by waccamatt View Post
You conveniently forgot to mention stores found in Columbia, but not in other areas of South Carolina.
Such as? Not really any good ones I can think of. Please name some.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:



Over $79,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > South Carolina > Columbia area

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top