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Discover the Small-town Charm of West Columbia

Allison Vile Allison Vile
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.
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Just a quick hop over the Gervais Street Bridge from the capital city, West Columbia is a thriving hot spot for local charm. Its location along the Congaree and Saluda rivers also makes it attractive to visitors and fun-seekers.

In 1894, the area was famously known as the town of Brookland for its clear, babbling brooks. But because the name already existed in records, the U.S. Postal Service changed the name to “New Brookland.” For years, it served as a popular residential community for employees of Columbia Mills, a textile plant just across the river on the east bank of the Congaree River. By 1936, the charter had been modified to West Columbia and the name stuck.

The city has retained its small-town feel despite a boom in redevelopment that has added new homes, apartments, businesses and retail to the cityscape. Stretching along the west bank of the Congaree River is a plethora of amenities for outdoor fun, including the picturesque Riverwalk that’s part of the Three Rivers Greenway and the Riverwalk Park and Amphitheater, a venue for concerts and events. You'll also find an entrance to the Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Gardens, offering direct access to the gardens.

In West Columbia, you can dine al fresco at beloved restaurants like Cafe Strudel, known for its delicious brunch delights, Al’s Upstairs Italian Restaurant, offering views of the Columbia skyline, and Terra Restaurant, serving fresh Southern cuisine. Shop locally at 763 Antiques Mall for vintage goods, State Street Trading Company for local artwork, The Elephant Trunk for a wide selection of collectibles and Cherry’s Delight for gift giving.

Allison Vile
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.