Trip Planner: USA / South Carolina / Columbia / South Carolina State 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. Work out when and for how long to visit South Carolina State Museum and other Columbia attractions using our handy Columbia trip site.
South Carolina State Museum reviews
Such a great experience! It is obvious this is affiliated with the Smithsonian. Lots of fun stuff to do, and interesting information. Recommend to couples, families, anyone...just remember it is a..... more
Such a great experience! It is obvious this is affiliated with the Smithsonian. Lots of fun stuff to do, and interesting information. Recommend to couples, families, anyone...just remember it is a..... more »
The shows were the best thing! Rudolph in 4D & Winter night sky downstairs. So much fun. Some of the things in the museum didn’t work anymore & do need some upkeep. Lots of things to look at...
The shows were the best thing! Rudolph in 4D & Winter night sky downstairs. So much fun. Some of the things in the museum didn’t work anymore & do need some upkeep. Lots of things to look at... more »
Although it's showing its age in places (some of the exhibits are 25+ years old) the museum is clearly undergoing a renewal. Many signboards and displays have recent updates, exhibits are being tweaked, new displays are going on. It's true this isn't the state of the art museum it was in the early 90s, but it's still a solid place to pick up on state history and I still love coming here to see what's been updated since my last visit. Watching the changes from one visit to the next in almost real time has been pretty exciting! In good weather, definitely check out the observatory. Even if it's closed due to clouds or rain, they're always happy to have a chat about the telescope and show off pictures they've taken with it, which is extremely cool. The updated space exhibits are also fantastic, as are the telescopes on display and the recent acquisitions hall. Showing its age in places, yes, but like I said it's still definitely worth the visit.
Great place to explore. The building itself is cool. The planetarium is a great experience. Also do the observatory. Impressive telescope and knowledgeable staff. The other displays throughout are fantastic, but there isn't much change. Still, I enjoyed repeated visits. The manually powered submarine model is fascinating. We went this last time for the eclipse. The staff members really make you feel welcome.
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