Columbia Travel Blog› entry 5 of 6 › view all entries
Interstate 26 took us back to I-95, under it, and then on to Columbia, the state capital. There are two industries in Columbia, the state government, and the University of South Carolina. We came here primarily on a college visit to enable our son to tour the university as a prospective school to attend. We found quite an interesting small city.
The Carolina campus is in the heart of town, centered on The Horseshoe. The older buldings, dating back to the university's founding in 1809 are all located along The Horseshoe. One of these structures is the South Caroliniana Libray. Constructed in 1840, it was originally the University Library, the first free-standing academic library built in the Untied States.
South Carolina puts on quite a tour. McKissick feaures interactive displays and a flashy film. Student tour guides then take groups around the campus. There is a lot of building going on or newly completed, and the campus extends well beyond the original Horseshoe.
A few blocks to the East of campus is Five Points, named for the five streets that come together at an odd angle. Five Points is typcial of the "college corner" neighborhood found in any college town. It is home to student hangouts with fanciful names such as "Group Therapy", stores catering to student's needs and fashions, an immense Starbucks, and some nice restaurants, too. We enjoyed excellent Carolina barbeque at Harper's. Another Columbia restaurant to note is California Dreaming, featuring American cuisine. It occupies the adaptively reused Columbia Union Station, south of the campus.