Columbia offers the best of two worlds; a rich past full of American history and a vibrant, modern future. The city and the LDS faith faced much persecution in the early days as Columbia was one of the original 13 colonies. The first LDS missionaries arrived here in 1840, but most members didn't start converting until the 1880's.
The imperial marble used to build the temple is from Danby, VT about an hours drive from where Joseph Smith was born in Danbury. The temple is located about 25 minutes outside the city in Hopkins.
This is a city with southern charm, a city heavily influenced by the University of South Carolina and their sporting events (The Gamecock's!) and Fort Jackson, a US Army installation. It was the second planned city in the US. A beautiful, historic city with plenty of worthwhile attractions. Visiting here will make you curious about how the city came to be and the events that shaped it. The South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum is an excellent place to learn about the military history. Rich architecture is abundant. Check out the Robert Mills House & Gardens to see one example of the city's preservation efforts. The South Carolina State Museum houses displays related to art, history, technology and science. Enjoy the fresh air and beauty and interact with animals at the Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Gardens. If you'd rather be more active, Congaree National Park has the space you need for hiking, kayaking, canoeing and other outdoor adventures. Set at the confluence of three rivers, there's always something fun to be doing while you're out in nature.
Hospitality is a focus in South Carolina. Major improvements have been the focus for the last few years and the city is now more vibrant than it has ever been. It's a great time to take advantage of some fantastic eats. For an Italian experience, enjoy a leisurely meal at Alodia's. Japanese fan? Head to Inakaya Japanese Restaurant for a good selection of specialties. You're in the south after all and you want to experience that Southern hospitality everyone is always speaking about. The best place for that is Harper's Five Points. For an extensive menu, you can't go wrong with California Dreaming Restaurant. Di Prato's has the best sandwiches if you're a lover of NYC style deli. Motor Supply Co Bistro is a unique experience where you can dine inside a renovated engine supply building from the 1800's. With twice-daily changing menus, you can always try something new.