Flights to Columbia
Situated in the centre of the US state of South Carolina, Columbia is both the capital and the largest city of the state, and was one of the first ‘planned’ cities in the USA. Founded in 1786, Columbia now offers attractions both old and new.
International flights to Columbia will land at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (airport code: CAE) which is located in the suburbs of the city, just 8 kilometres (5 miles) from downtown Columbia. From South Africa flights to Columbia are all indirect requiring either one or two stops. For one stop flights to Columbia choose from Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, or for a larger choice of airlines traveller can choose a two stop flight to Columbia from South Africa with Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic Airways, BMI, British Airways, and South African Airways.
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The Tourist Attractions in Columbia:
Columbia was specifically built to be the capital city of the state of South Carolina and was one of the first ‘planned’ cities in the USA. This means the city was architecturally designed and laid out to include street patterns, green spaces, industry and more. Like many other cities in the US, in the latter half of the last century the downtown core of Columbia became run down and lifeless, but, also like many other American cities it has recently undergone a period of restoration and revitalization, making this once again a popular place to be. Amongst the attractions for visitors to Columbia is its history, architecture and parks.
South Carolina State House
The South Carolina State House is one of Columbia’s most prominent buildings. This Greek Revival style building was constructed in 1855 and has a copper dome. Visitors to the state house should look out for a number of stars on the building and the dome which represent the points at which the state house was hit by artillery during the Civil War. The state house is worth visiting for the history of the building, and the grounds are also a pleasant place to admire monuments and a rose garden.
Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens
Keeping with the historical theme, the Hampton-Preston Museum and Gardens is well worth a visit too. This is one of the few remaining antebellum houses in Columbia and was built in 1818. As well as seeing the house visitors can see period furniture and furnishings.
Located just a mile (1.6km) from downtown Columbia is Riverbanks Zoo. This zoo has been expanding over the last few years and is now considered to be one of the top ten zoos in the country. Recent additions include koala bears that were donated from Queensland, Australia.
Museums in Columbia
Visitors who enjoy museums will find there are plenty in Columbia to discover. South Carolina State Museum is one such example where the history and lifestyle of the city and the state are well represented.
The Columbia Museum of Art is another and this has several notable collections including a Monet exhibition.
Congaree National Park
If you want to get out of the city for a while the Congaree National Park is a nice place to do so. Located about 32 kilometres (20 miles) south of Columbia the park features a visitor centre and its attractions include hiking trails, canoeing, wildlife, and interesting plant life.
When Should You Visit?:
Columbia’s weather is generally mild to hot throughout the year with the summers being hot and very humid, and hence quite uncomfortable at times. July is the hottest month with an average high of 34C (94F), and this is also the wettest month of the year, so may be best avoided! Autumn and spring are warm and more pleasant, whilst winters are mild.