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Want to feed a giraffe or get cozy with a flamingo? The 170-acre Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is home to more than 2,000 creatures, with even more fun in a three-story ropes course, four zip-lines, nature trails, pony rides and more.
Art, history, science and discovery collide in Columbia, SC at our many museums. Step back in time at the region’s historic museums, reflect on the finer things in life at an art museum, or find the inner child at the Southeast’s largest children’s museum.
South Carolina’s only national park is the largest old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the Southeast and contains some of the nation’s tallest trees. Experience the park through many opportunities, including an elevated boardwalk, guided canoe trips and even nighttime hikes.
The South Carolina State House overlooks downtown Columbia, SC’s Main Street and is a must-see on any trip. The copper Greek Revival dome and Corinthian columns adorn the structure, while six stars mark where Union cannonballs struck the building during the Civil War.
Located between downtown Columbia and Lake Murray, Saluda Shoals Park offers paved and unpaved hiking trails, kayaking and canoeing on the Saluda River, trout fishing, horseback riding and a splash pad for the little ones.
This 18,000-seat arena is your ticket to popular music and entertainment, hosting names like Taylor Swift, Red Hot Chili Peppers or Billy Joel, performances by Cirque du Soleil, Gamecocks basketball games, the circus and even more.
Learn how to sail, kayak or canoe, scuba dive, water ski or just cruise this watery playground. In late summer, thousands of purple martins converge on Bomb Island, the largest roosting sanctuary in North America.
Whether you’re a Gamecock or an opponent, you’ll enjoy game day in Columbia, SC. Baseball and football fans tailgate in style before heading to the stadium for a frenzied afternoon or evening of jumping to “Sandstorm.”
Locals agree that Columbia's barbecue, smoky pulled pork smothered in our unique mustard-based sauce, is a must-try on any trip to the region. Most “joints” will offer a wide variety of Southern food, including fried chicken, hash and rice, hush puppies and macaroni and cheese.
Boutiques, antique stores, and large malls and shopping villages give visitors the opportunity to snag something Southern as a wearable or local product. Try Devine Street, Five Points, the Congaree Vista, Main Street, Village at Sandhill or other hot spots throughout the region.

Fort Jackson, Columbia, SC

Attending graduation at Fort Jackson? 

Whether you're a veteran on a sentimental journey, a soldier at Fort Jackson, or a family looking for hot summer fun, sample our historic city. Explore the museums at Fort Jackson or other attractions on post. Enjoy our world-class zoo and one of the largest children's museums in the world. Many Columbia attractions and hotels offer military discounts, coupons and special offers, listed below.

For information about Fort Jackson graduation, please visit Fort Jackson's official website at http://www.jackson.army.mil.

Military Discount

Military Discount

  • Offer Valid: 04/24/2013 - 12/31/2020

The Backpacker Quality Gear

10% discount on regular priced merchandise for active military personnel.

About Fort Jackson
It's quite likely most who've served in the United States armed forces have warm memories of Columbia's Fort Jackson. The Fort, encompassing more than 52,000 acres east of Columbia, is the largest and most active Initial Entry Training Center in the United States Army, providing training to 50 percent of all the Army's Basic Combat Training load and 55 percent of all female soldiers entering the Army.

The fort's acreage includes more than 50 ranges, 1,000 buildings, and more than 43,000 soldiers are trained here each year. In the 2011 fiscal year, the Fort trained 36,000 Basic Combat Training (BCT) and 8,000 Advanced Individual Training (AIT) soldiers. An additional 19,000 soldiers attend the Soldier Support Institute, Chaplain Center, Polygraph School and Drill Sergeant School.

Thirty six hundred active duty soldiers and their 11,520 family members are assigned to the installation and make Columbia their home. Fort Jackson employs 3,500 military and 3,500 civilian workers and provides services for more than 46,000 military  retirees of all branches and their family members. Several museums located onsite are open to the public and describe America's military history and trace Fort Jackson's contribution to America's military strength.

More than 100,000 family members visit Columbia each year to attend Thursday morning basic training graduation, a stirringly patriotic event that takes place 41 times during the year.

For additional information about the Friends of Our Forces program, contact Susan McPherson at the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce at smcpherson@columbiachamber or 803.733.1148.

What's Hot Now
What's Hot Now
Here you can browse what visitors and locals think is #RealColumbiaSC. Be sure to tag your photos across social media with #RealColumbiaSC for a chance to be featured.