Columbia LGBTQ City Guide

Where the Broad River meets the Saluda River sits Columbia, South Carolina. This gorgeous city is the capital of the state and is home to the University of South Carolina, the state’s largest university. It’s also home to Fort Jackson, which is the largest basic combat training installation for the U.S. Army. Both bring many people to Columbia temporarily, although many graduates and military personnel make the city their permanent home It’s also a city with a rich arts and culture scene, plenty of opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, and much to see and do. If you’re thinking of finding your next home in Columbia, chances are, you’ll find plenty about it to love!

A Look at Columbia's History

Columbia was founded in 1786. Unfortunately, despite its long history, you won’t be able to see very many 18th or early 19th century buildings in the city anymore. This is because two-thirds of Columbia was burned to the ground when General Sherman took Union troops through the city in 1865 during the Civil War. Despite this dark point in its history, the city rebuilt and rebounded, learning from its past and becoming a more progressive and diverse city that today is full of many thriving businesses and industries, and many welcoming neighborhoods. For so many reasons, Columbia would be a great place to call home!

A Few Fun Facts About Columbia

  • Columbia was the first city in the United States named for Christopher Columbus.
  • Congaree National Park, which is located just 20 miles outside of Columbia, is home to the tallest trees east of the Mississippi, known as “champion trees”.
  • The first textile mill run in the world to be run completely by electricity opened in Columbia in 1894. The red brick building that housed the mill is now home to the South Carolina State Museum.  

 Read more fun facts about Columbia here.

Columbia’s LGBTQ Community                                        

Columbia is a city that loves and supports its LGBTQ community with a variety of resources, including:

PFLAG Columbia

PFLAG Columbia is the Columbia area’s local chapter of the national PFLAG organization, which is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in the country. PFLAG is well-known for its mission of supporting LGBTQ people, friends, family, and allies across the country in a wide variety of ways. With 500 chapters and more than 200,000 members in the United States, PFLAG plays a critical role in providing advocacy, support, and resources to the LGBTQ community.

What's the Weather Like in Columbia?

Those who live in Columbia can expect to experience all four distinct seasons each year. Over the year, the temperature can range from an average low of about 35°F in January to an average high of around 94°F in July. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters are generally mild. The area receives around 1 inch of snow each year in about 46 inches of rain. Spring and fall are typically mild and pleasant and wonderful and seasons to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors in Columbia.

Can’t-Miss Events in Columbia

SC Pride

South Carolina Pride is a state-wide pride celebration of which Outfest Columbia is a central part. You don’t want to miss this celebration that includes parades, parties, family-friendly activities, networking opportunities, and more, all to celebrate the LGBTQ community and all that it adds to the city. Be sure to put it on your calendar – you won’t want to miss your chance to join in the fun!

The Best Neighborhoods in Columbia

If you’re thinking of making a move to Columbia, you will find that the entire city is very welcoming. Unlike some larger cities that tend to have one specific “gayborhood,” the LGBTQ community in Columbia is sprinkled throughout the city, so truly, many neighborhoods in the city would make a wonderful place to call home. 

There are a variety of housing options, price ranges, and styles in Columbia. Many people have recently flocked to the revitalized Historic Downtown area. New stores, a large convention center, and new townhouses and high-end condos make it a great place to live. For those looking for a more affordable LGBTQ sanctuary, Earlewood is definitely an option worth looking into. It is one of the most welcoming parts of Columbia.

There are a wide variety of home styles available in different price ranges. The median list price of homes currently for sale in the Columbia area is around $225,000.

Arts and Entertainment

Columbia Marionette Theater

Columbia is actually home to one of only a handful of dedicated puppet theaters in the entire country. The beautiful Columbia Marionette Theater was built specifically for this art form and the shows are excellent. Don’t miss a chance to enjoy this unique form of art for yourself!

Koger Center for the Arts

The Koger Center for the Arts is one of the best places in Columbia to enjoy a wide variety of performances. Whether you enjoy opera, stand-up comedy, off-Broadway shows, concerts, or all of the above, you have the chance to enjoy them here!

Parks and Recreation

Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park, which is only a short drive from Columbia, is well worth the trip. In addition to its stunning natural beauty, excellent hiking trails, and fascinating wildlife and plant life, it is one of only a few places in the world where you can see synchronous fireflies, which are fireflies that light up together at the same time. In fact, the town’s minor-league baseball team is even named the Columbia Fireflies after this unique phenomenon!

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

Columbia’s Riverbanks Zoo is a great place to spend a beautiful day enjoying the outdoors. It is one of only half a dozen zoos in the United States that have a permanent koala bear exhibit. They are adorable and fun to watch, not to mention the many other interesting educational and exciting opportunities to observe animals and plant life from around the world.

Columbia Nightlife

The Capital Club

For over 30 years, the Capital Club has been a popular gathering place for Columbia’s LGBTQ community. The club features a long bar, cozy leather sofas, and eclectic artwork. It also offers strong drinks, friendly crowds, and plenty of fun.

PT's 1109

PT’s 1109 is a very popular LGBTQ nightspot. It’s known for offering great cocktails, excellent karaoke, great drag shows, and a welcoming space to relax, dance, and have fun.

Contact a Columbia Gay Realtor Today

If you're ready to make a move to Columbia, at, we're here to help you take the first step toward finding an agent who knows and loves the community, and who can help you find a home and a neighborhood you'll love. We're proud to have a network of excellent realtors in Columbia, and we would love to help connect you with the right one. Contact a Columbia gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!