Trip Planner:   USA  /  South Carolina  /  Columbia  /  Museums  /  South Carolina State Museum

South Carolina State Museum, Columbia

4.4
#1 of 6 in Museums in Columbia
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.
Create an itinerary including South Carolina State Museum
map
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
488 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • There is so much to see at the State Museum; it's a huge facility with galleries devoted to science, history, art, Visitors can spend half a day examining the fascinating exhibits, and there's a cafe ...  more »
  • The State Museum has a variety of exhibits that should appeal to many age groups. The science section is interesting for all ages, the history and topography of the state is told through many differen...  more »
  • My husband and I visited the Museum and were astonished to find so much to see! We definitely will be going back to explore further.  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.
  • Fab gift shop. Interesting displays, programs. Great kids activity accross parking lot.

Plan your trip to Columbia

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Columbia

Privately owned inns and hotels offer lodging with individualized style, while large chains have convenient and accessible rooms. Charming inns and bed and breakfasts in the town center offer a taste of luxurious Southern living.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
TripAdvisor
Millions of travel reviews
on TripAdvisor

Plans in Columbia by other users

35 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, kids, culture, relaxing, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, kids, culture, relaxing, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Columbia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Columbia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 55 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, kids, culture, relaxing, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, relaxing, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Columbia BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Columbia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 19 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans