Columbia SC Museums


Columbia SC museums! Listed below are 15 museums that are housed in the Greater Columbia area! Please contact the museums at the phone numbers provided for further information regarding admission prices. Hours of operation and special seasonal features are subject to change so please call ahead.

Get lost in South Carolina's history at museums such as The South Carolina State Museum, which features an abundance of exhibits that tell the story of South Carolina. Or spend the day on one of Columbia's cultural gems, the South Carolina Museum of Art, which features art of all forms and styles. For kids of all ages, EdVenture's Children Museum is perfect for a day filled with hands-on learning!

Cayce Historical Museum
The Cayce Historical Museum is a replica of the old Cayce House, a trading post of the 1700's
and features an authentic kitchen and smokehouse. Walk through the history of the early eighteenth
century SC Midlands’ “back country” at the Cayce Historical Museum. Museum exhibits
highlight colonial trade, agricultural development, and transportation and as well as Native American
exhibits dating back thousands of years!
Open Tues-Fri 9 AM-5 PM and Sat-Sun 2-5 PM
1800 12th Street, Cayce
Regular Admission is charged

Columbia Fire Department Museum
The Columbia Fire Department Museum is dedicated to preserving Columbia Fire Department memorabilia.
Located within the front portion of The Columbia Fire Department Headquarters, the museum educates
the public on the importance of the Columbia Fire Department and the professional men and women
within its service. Museum attractions date back as far as the mid 1800's and include a 1929
American LaFrance fire engine and 1903 horse-drawn steamer, other equipment from days gone by,
a photo history of firefighting in Columbia and pictures of the six fire chiefs that have served Columbia since the early 1900's.
Open weekdays 8:30AM - 5PM and on weekends by appointment.
The museum is at the entrance of the Columbia Fire Department Headquarters at 1800 Laurel Street.

Columbia Museum of Art · 1515 Main Street. 803-799-2810
The Columbia Museum of Art is a cultural gem! The museum is a captivating architectural conversion, transformed from an urban department store into a sleek and airy, light-filled space with 25 galleries. The permanent collection includes world-class examples of the Italian Renaissance, Baroque Art, Impressionism, and Modern Art. The museum recently opened Modern & Contemporary Art from the Collection which features over 30 paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures including works by Jasper Johns, Howard Thomas, Sally Mann and Edward Ruscha. The museum also offers changing exhibitions from renowned museums and educational programs that include group and public tours, lectures, films and concerts.
Open Tuesday-Friday 11 AM-5 PM, first Fridays 11 AM-8 PM, Saturdays 10 AM-5 PM, and Sundays noon-5 PM. Closed Mondays and major holidays.
Admission charged

Criminal Justice Hall of Fame
The South Carolina Criminal Justice Hall of Fame was dedicated as a memorial to all South Carolina law enforcement officers.
Exhibits feature the FBI, Secret Service, South Carolina jails, the State Highway Patrol, gun exhibits and more.
Open Monday-Friday 8:30AM - 5PM
Located at 5400 Broad River Road (Highway 176).
Free of Admission

Historic Columbia Foundation
Follow the people, places, and progress of Columbia over three centuries within five downtown Historic Columbia Foundation sites, including house museums open for guided tours Tuesday-Sunday. Discover how communities are connected through history with a series of self-guided walking tours, web-based tours, even an app!
1616 Blanding Street. 803-252-7742.
Admission charged

Historic Columbia Foundation

EdVenture Children's Museum
EdVenture’s proudly boasts eight world-class exhibit galleries, a library, learning laboratories, resource centers and other visitor amenities. Two additional outdoor gallery spaces are located just outside the museum’s front doors. Within the total 92,000 square feet that is EdVenture Children’s Museum, there are more than 350 individual hands-on exhibits. The most prominent of EdVenutre's features is Eddie - the world's largest child and the signature exhibit within the museum! Their vision is to create new generations of lifelong learners.
Open Tuesday - Saturday: 9AM - 5PM
Sunday: Noon - 5PM
Closed Mondays and major holidays.
211 Gervais Street Columbia, SC
Admission charged

EdVenture Children's Museum

The Lexington County Historical Museum
The Lexington County Historical Museum almost transports visitors back in time.
Structures and furnishings construct the life of Lexington residents from 1770 through the Civil War.
Exhibits feature locally made artifacts, like handcrafted furniture and handsewn quilts.
Open Tues-Sat 10 AM-4 PM
and Sun 1-4 PM

231 Fox Street, Lexington
Regular Admission Charged

McKissick Museum - USC
The McKissick Museum, located in the historic Horseshoe at the University of South Carolina,
features permanent collections including the ʺBaruch Silver Galleryʺ and ʺNatural Curiosity: The University
of South Carolina and the Evolution of Scientific Inquiry in the Natural Worldʺ.
The McKissick Museum provides insight into the long and illustrious history of the University of South Carolina.
Open Mon-Fri 8:30 AM-5 PM and Sat 11AM-3PM.
816 Bull Street
Free of charge

Museum of Education - USC
The Museum of Education features an archive of educational materials which are presented
through exhibitions, publications, and programs. The museum wished to portray the perennial
issues of education as a means to generate thoughtful discussion among members of the university community and general public.
Open Monday-Friday; 9AM -4PM
The Museum of Education is located on Greene St. between S. Main and Sumter streets.

South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum
For over a century, the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum has collected and preserved the military history of this state. Columbia’s oldest museum presents the state’s martial tradition from the Revolutionary War to today’s War on Terror. Visitors explore the military campaigns in which South Carolinian soldiers have participated over the past 300+ years! Bold Banners: Early Civil War Flags of South Carolina displays some of the earliest flags representing units from across South Carolina. Approximately 13 flags, some recently conserved and never before seen on display, are on exhibit until September 29, 2012. See the Civil War jump off the screen in Civil War in 3D, the museum’s latest exhibit, now through June 2, 2013. Conflict Zone (photography exhibit covering the wars in Afghanistan and Irag): Nov 9, 2012-Feb 23, 2013.
Open Tues-Sat 10AM-5PM and the first Sun evey month 1-5PM.
301 Gervais Street (State Museum Building).
Admission charged

SC Confederate Relic Room

South Carolina Govenor's Mansion Complex
The Governor’s Mansion Complex has housed the state’s governors since 1868. A tour includes the state
dining room, two drawing rooms, the library, and the smaller Palmetto Dining Room—all furnished with period antiques.
Two additional homes grace this lovely 9-acre complex. Governor’s Mansion.
800 Richland Street
Call 803-737-1710 for more info
Tours free by reservation all year long

South Carolina State Museum
The South Carolina State Museum features four large floors filled with fascinating exhibits, many of them hands-on, telling the story of South Carolina through the disciplines of art, history, natural history, and science/technology. One of a series of new exhibits marking the observance of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War is ʺNaval Warfare on the Coast and Failed Attempts to Take Charlestonʺ. ʺThe Life and Times of Congressman Robert Smallsʺ details the life of an extraordinary man, born a slave, who lived to be elected to the US Congress: through January 2013. ʺThe Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Atticʺ and ʺBull Street: Life Behind the Wallʺ explores mental health and its institutions and patients: Sept 1-Oct 14.
Open Tues-Sat 10 AM-5 PM and Sun 1-5 PM
301 Gervais Street
Call 803-898-4921 for more information
Admission Charged

SC State Museum

US Army Basic Combat Training Museum
The US Army Basic Combat Training Museum on Fort Jackson details the progress of US Army training since then- Camp Jackson opened in 1917.
Open Mon-Fri 9AM-4PM, closed weekends and federal holidays
Building 4442, Jackson Boulevard, Fort Jackson
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