Destination guide

A seat of government that feels like a sun-kissed hammock

Set on the banks of three rivers, Columbia is the capital and second largest city in South Carolina. With its serene streets lined with oak and magnolia trees, its majestic Greek Revival State House, and its increasingly popular restaurant and bar scene, Columbia offers everything you'd expect in an urban center while maintaining the friendly pace of a small town. Spend a leisurely day casting a line, tool around a local botanical garden, and then head out with friends for a meal under the stars on a balmy evening. It's all possible with a Columbia vacation rental as your base.

Things to do

Even the gardens pay their respects to the nation's history

The Robert Mills House and Gardens offers something for lovers of history and architecture. Built in 1823, this stately Classical Revival townhouse has gardens combining 1970s-era landscape design with flower beds of the 19th-century English style, plus a museum collection of early 19th-century decorative arts. If those pieces whet your appetite for more, visit the Columbia Museum of Art, with collections spanning works from the Old Masters to the Impressionists. For the animal enthusiasts in your party, Riverbanks Zoo & Garden has it all _ an aquarium, animal habitats, and botanical gardens.

Activities

Take a boat out on the water and your pals out for a drink

If your Columbia vacation rental is downtown, you'll be a close to concert venues, rooftop restaurants, and bars that light up when the sun goes down. Visitors are well advised to pair evenings out with long days on the water. Kayaking and canoeing are a great way to while away the hours on one of Columbia's picturesque rivers. Just west of Columbia is Lake Murray, which welcomes every kind of vessel, from dinghies to pontoons to speedboats. The water of Saluda River is cold year-round and great for fly fishing.

Weather

Spring blooms and summer swelter in sunny Columbia

South Carolina's climate is known for being mild year-round and Columbia is no exception. Summer is the only time temperatures flirt with the extremes, and you'll need sunglasses, shade, and a Columbia vacation rental with air conditioning if you're not used to 90¡ afternoons. Spring and fall are particularly beautiful, with flowers blooming from March through May and changing leaves and cool breezes from September through November. Keep an eye on hurricane season, which stretches from June through November, and pay attention to official announcements if the weather starts looking stormy.

Natural features

Three rivers make this capital city a wilderness metropolis

Set where the Saluda and Broad Rivers join to form the Congaree, your Columbia vacation rental provides access to the best of the city and country. Just a few miles northwest of downtown is Harbison Forest, offering 18 miles of hiking trails surrounded by 2,000 acres of pine and hardwood forest threaded with sparkling streams. You'll be inside city limits but feel a world away. Sesquicentennial State Park is just outside Columbia's borders and has a lake, hiking trails, and nature trails easy enough for the littlest guests. Bird watchers can spot migrating warblers and waterfowl.

How to get there

How to get to and around Columbia

Fly into Columbia, SC (CAE-Columbia Metropolitan), the closest airport, located 6.5 mi (10.5 km) from the city center.

If you'd prefer to travel by train, the main station is Columbia Station.

Where to stay around Columbia?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 284 vacation rentals near Columbia. From 188 Houses to 29 Condos/Apartments, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Columbia for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to Columbia?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Columbia. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Fort Jackson: 198 vacation rentals
  • University of South Carolina: 129 vacation rentals
  • South Carolina State House: 132 vacation rentals
  • Colonial Life Arena: 131 vacation rentals
  • Riverbanks Zoo and Garden: 150 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Columbia listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Houses in Columbia?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 188 Houses in Columbia. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Columbia include:

  • Condos/Apartments: 29 rentals available
  • Cabins: 29 rentals available
  • Cottages: 29 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Bungalows and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Columbia?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 39 vacation rentals with pool available in Columbia. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

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