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South Carolina State Museum, Columbia

(460+ reviews on the web)
Specialty Museum Museum
Immerse yourself in South Carolina's history and culture at South Carolina State Museum, the largest museum in the Southeastern United States. The old Columbia Mills building housing the museum is an artifact in itself, listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982. Explore the collection, which is divided into four themes: natural history, technology and science, culture, and art. Look for highlights including the first locomotive built in America, the Best Friend of Charleston, and the H.L. Hunley--the first submarine to sink a rival ship in battle. View exhibits commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Confederate relic room, and displays about the state's car manufacturing industry. Stop by the digital dome planetarium and the 4-D interactive theater for shows, or head to the observatory to look at the sun and stars through one of four telescopes. Arrange your visit to South Carolina State Museum and discover more family-friendly attractions in Columbia using our Columbia trip generator.
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3 days in Columbia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in East Coast of USA BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 6 days in Columbia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Augusta & Columbia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, relaxing, popular PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in South Carolina BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Boston & Columbia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Columbia, Camden & Charleston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Columbia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, outdoors, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids, outdoors, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Columbia & Seattle BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Columbia & Seattle BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: August, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in South Carolina BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Four of us toured the museum on a Saturday and it wasn't crowded which surprised us since it's summer and we expected tourists to be visiting. We thought the exhibits were good learning tools for peop...  more »
  • We went early on a Saturday afternoon to the museum. We were surprised by the low crowd, but were glad that we were able to take our time looking around the large museum without feeling rushed. Many o...  more »
  • I love to visit this museum while I am in the columbia area. There are pleanty of interesting things to see inside of the museum.  more »
Google
  • A local favorite. Extremely knowledgeable staff that can explain every exhibit. Rotates in very exciting new exhibits so that there is always something new and interesting to see. Very large, and reasonably priced. Great way to spend a day. Membership rates are fair and well worth it if you have a family that wants to come visit the museum a few times a year. The coolest thing they have introduced in the past few years is the observatory telescope, check out outer space in fascinating detail.
  • There were some interesting exhibitions at the museum. The planetarium show was interesting, as well as their 4D theater show. Four floors of different exhibits and themes. The downside, however, is that many of the exhibits interactive features were broken. Overall, it is worth the experience. Pretty cheap too for everything (~$20 for 2 shows and an interactive exhibit)
  • The staff in the sovenir shop downstairs were okay but the manager was very rude to me and my daughter when we visited. They treated us as if we were not paying to be there. My daughter dropped her toy and it broke while in the museum. When we took it back the manager attempted to give my daughter a speech about not playing with the toys she buys and how everything is breakable. It's sad because a lot of families go to the museum to be educated not to be put down. Who tells a child not to play with toys??
  • Let me start by saying my children had a wonderful time here. Our afternoon started out on a very bad note we walked in having never visited the museum before had a few questions for the girl behind the counter. We have 5 children and were initially just going to buy the attraction tickets for them when I noticed that the member pricing was much cheaper I asked what we needed to do to become a member and all she did was hand me a pamphlet and say read this. We asked her a few other questions about membership and she seemed very annoyed. We were the only ones in line at the time so it wasn't like we were holding anyone else up. She did not know the answer to many of our questions because she said it changes all the time. When my nine-year-old daughter touched a sign on the counter and asked what it was for her response was for you not to touch. I was disgusted. We asked to speak to a manager , Scotty the retail manager came out and assisted us and was happy to answer all of our questions and listen to our complaint about the service from the young lady behind the counter you made our day better but we will still have a bad taste in my mouth after starting off our afternoon being treated rudely after spending over $100 just to get in the door.
  • Great museum with interesting exhibits ranging from prehistoric geologic history, indigenous peoples, and manufacturing. All with a connection to the South Carolina area. We are proud new members of the museum..