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Columbia Museum of Art - In Columbia, South Carolina

Discover the 8 Best Museums in Columbia, South Carolina (2024)

Columbia is well-known for its natural beauty and captivating history. If you are on a trip to Columbia, South Carolina, visiting the museums here is a must to experience the region’s great history.

Visiting museums can inform you about the place’s history, culture, ancient art, and earlier civilizations. Museum galleries are similar to classrooms that expose kids and adults to new knowledge. It is helpful if you take a guided tour as the guides are locals well-aware of the displayed relics and artifacts.

Columbia museums are more than well-kept collections of artifacts. They are more interactive these days, which helps in engaging the visitors. Museums in Columbia do so by offering visitors hands-on experience. You can find what new event or activity is conducted in a museum by visiting their official websites. You will find yourself becoming an active part of the local community by taking a trip to some of these museums.

Discover the 8 Best Museums in Columbia, South Carolina

The following are the most renowned museums in Columbia, South Carolina, that you must visit on your trip here.

1. South Carolina State Museum

The South Carolina State Museum is rated among the best Columbia museums offering state-of-the-art experience to you. The museum, having four extensive floors, is known for its permanent and changing exhibits. Other attractions of the planetarium include a 4D interactive theater, a digital dome planetarium, and an observatory. It is the largest museum in the state with the latest collection of artifacts. While visiting the museum, you can come across fascinating exhibits. The exhibitions inform visitors about the state’s natural history, art, science, and technology.

South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, South Carolina

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Address: 301 Gervais St., Downtown Columbia, South Carolina

Timing: Monday: Closed, Tuesday-Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday: 12 pm to 5 pm

Primary attractions: Planetarium, 4D Theater, Observatory

2. Columbia Museum of Art

If you are someone who wants to visit a premier international museum, the Columbia Museum of Art is the perfect place to explore extraordinary collections. The museum currently welcomes more than 150,000 visitors annually for offering engaging activities for people of all ages.

The most notable art collections in the museum include Samuel H. Kress’s collection of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque, furniture and silver collections, and modern and contemporary art collections.

Other artifacts include Claude Monet’s “The Seine at Giverny,” Dale Chihuly’s “Chandelier,” etc. The museum is also notable for numerous changing exhibitions, innovative in-house exhibitions, and exhibitions borrowed from renowned museums. Apart from exhibitions and art collections, the museum is among the top-rated museums of Columbia to rejoice in numberless musical performances, films, lectures, and literary programs.

Address: 1515 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Timing: Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm. Thursday: 10 am to 8 pm; Closed on Mondays and major holidays

Primary attractions: Major personalities’ exhibits and collections

3. South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum

Do you want to explore the military history of South Carolina from the Revolutionary War to the modern period? Then visiting the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum must be on the top of your list.

The war museum in Columbia is the ideal place to explore treasures from several wars like the Mexican War, Revolutionary War, Spanish-American War, Civil War, World War I, World War II, the War on Terror, Vietnam War, and several other American conflicts. If you get excited learning about military weaponry and war history, this is the place to boost your serotonin.

Address: 301 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Timing: Tuesday – Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday & Monday: Closed

Primary attractions: War-related exhibits and collections

4. South Carolina Military Museum

South Carolina Military Museum, the largest state museum devoted to martial history, is among the premier museums of Columbia. The museum has numerous martial artifacts and an impressive collection of edged weapons, firearms, uniforms, artillery pieces, ordnance, and armored fighting vehicles. Amid its array of martial collections, the Columbiad Cannon, which protected Charleston Harbor once, is the most notable artifact here.

Address: 1 National Guard Road, Columbia, SC 29201

Timing: Monday – Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm

Primary attractions: Martial collections

5. EdVenture Children’s Museum

Take your kids to EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia, South Carolina to experience the joy of learning. It is the largest children’s museum having the world’s largest child’s statue, Eddie, and several other attractions.

Interactive activities like talking to a skeleton, becoming a veterinarian for the day, driving a real fire truck, or visiting a foreign land can fascinate the young ones. This museum is an inspiring place with the aim of educating children. It holds activities like cooking in the Cooking Lab, which helps them learn the value of important nutrition. Its FLIGHT exhibit informs tourists of the field of aeronautics and how it helps NASA. Do not miss out on acquiring such vast knowledge all in one place!

Address: 211 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Timing: Monday & Wednesday – Saturday: 9 am to 5 pm; Sunday: 12 pm to 5 pm; Tuesday: Closed

Primary attractions: Interactive Activities, Art Galleries

6. Fort Jackson Museum

Originally, the Fort Jackson Museum Community (FJMC) at Fort Jackson, SC, operates four museums: Fort Jackson, U.S. Army Adjutant General Corps, U.S. Army Chaplain, and U.S. Army Finance Corps Museums. The museum is not open to all. Visitors need special permission to visit the martial museum.

You can learn the story of Fort Jackson and the soldiers’ training history. Other activities to rejoice in the museum include educational programs and films honoring the soldiers.

Address: Building 4442 Jackson Blvd, Fort Jackson, SC 29207

Timing: Monday – Friday: 9 am – 4 pm; Extended Hours on Family Day 9 am – 6 pm.

Primary attractions: Martial collections, Exhibitions, Educational Programs, Films, and more

7. South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame

If you are eager to explore law enforcement, its necessities, its day-to-day application, and its evolution over the past years, the museum is the ideal place for you. You can experience the law enforcement in the state up close with a chance to get a glimpse of the state’s history.

The museum pays homage to South Carolina law enforcement personnel who lost their lives while serving the state. You can come across amazing seized contraband, weapons, uniforms, historic equipment, a 1955 Ford SC Highway Patrol car, and martial badges.

Address: 5400 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC 29212

Timing: Monday – Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm; Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and significant holidays

Primary attractions: Martial collections and artifacts related to the state legislature

8. McKissick Museum

The College of Art and Science of the University of South Carolina operates the McKissick Museum. The museum is worth visiting to explore extensive collections of 18th-century minerals, silver, gemstones, and precious stones in the southwest of the USA.

Other attractions in the museum include pottery collections from the 20th century, amassed by enslaved people. By exploring the exhibitions, you can gain insight into the nation’s foundation and fascinating local culture of ancient times.

Address: 816 Bull St, Columbia, SC 29208, USA

Timing: Monday – Friday: 8.30 am to 5 pm; Saturday: 11 am to 3 pm; Sundays closed

Primary attractions: Pottery collections crafted by slaves


The museums in Columbia are best known for focusing on community involvement and a change for development through their interactive activities. As these museums function similarly to community centers, they can provide access to the latest research developments and fresh ideas. That is why the museums in Columbia have seen immense growth in interest and participation of people. If you are in Columbia and wondering about exploring new ideas and thoughts, the museums in Columbia are a great medium to offer what you crave!

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