Columbia, South Carolina


Looklyloo Score: 85

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Young Professionals/DINKs

For a young professional you can’t beat the downtown district. The area includes the Congaree Vista or just Vista, which is a hotbed of the social scene due to its more than 60 restaurants and nightclubs and the fact it is adjacent to the South Carolina State House and the University of South Carolina. While the single and couples crowd enjoys walking to the entertainment district that downtown affords, there’s also a ton to do her for families including the South Carolina State Museum and EdVenture Children’s Museum.

Downtown also includes the Five Points area and local and tourist hotspots like the Nickelodeon Theater and Columbia Museum of Art. Five Points is Columbia’s original village neighborhood and is the center of the public arts district for the city as well as the host to many of the cities most iconic landmarks.

Housing downtown includes condos in converted warehouses and plenty of newer development for rentals including: Canalside Lofts and the Vista Commons. Median price for a condo in downtown Columbia is $319k and rentals run an average $1.3k.

Forest Hills


If you’re looking for a bit more quiet and family-friendly vibes, check out Forest Hills. The area was developed in the 1920’s and the beautiful homes and tree-lined streets are so beloved and bucolic the community is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s pretty ideal for families who don’t want to be too far away from an active lifestyle as it sits just outside the Five Points and Vista neighborhoods so getting to nightlife and activities for the kiddos is a walk or short drive away.Citadel Park is where families typical play, with picnic spots, playground area, and tennis and basketball courts. Kiddos in the neighborhood attend Satchel Ford Elementary, Crayton Middle and A.C. Flora High School. All highly rated choices in Richland School District One.

The homes are mostly Colonial, Craftsman or Tudors, and were built between the ‘20’s and the 50’s and home sales average ~$340k.

Arcadia Lakes


Another popular historic neighborhood is Arcadia Lakes. It gives locals who want to be close to downtown a more suburban feel as a result of its rural roots. Most of the housing is single family and you can find super-premium homes on the lake with small docks and ample fishing and relaxing on the water. Homes on the hill offer beautiful views of nearby Lake Murray as well as seven other local lakes. There are several parks in the area including Sesquicentennial State Park (also referred to as "Sesqui"), featuring camping, kayaking and canoeing, fishing and plenty of playgrounds and picnic spots. There are also miles of trails for hiking and biking.

Homes are typically ranches and split-levels although there are monster lakefront developments that pull in those looking for something more upscale. Average home sale price is $418k.