Columbia is situated in Richland County and covers about 130 square miles. The population of the city itself is about 123,000, while the greater metropolitan area has a population exceeding 700,000. Major employers include the state government, the University of South Carolina, Fort Jackson, and several healthcare and insurance providers. The city is situated on a fall line, right at the point where the uplands give way to the coastal plain. For this reason, water-powered mills were common in Columbia until the early part of the 20th century. The Broad and the Saluda Rivers converge in Columbia, forming the Congaree River, which then flows 47 miles to the Santee-Cooper Lakes north of Charleston. The SC state sales tax is 6% for non-grocery goods and 3% for grocery goods. Richland County's hospitality tax is 2% and the accommodations tax is 8%.
Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) 3000 Aviation Way West Columbia, SC 29170 http://www.columbiaairport.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org 888-562-5002 803-822-5000 Located about six miles from downtown, Columbia Metropolitan Airport is served by American Eagle, Continental, Delta, Northwest, US Airways and United. Curious travelers can take an airport tour Monday-Friday 9am-1pm. Amtrak 850 Pulaski St Columbia, SC 29201 803-252-8246 800-872-7245 http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/am2Station/Station_Page&code=CLB Located in The Vista. Amtrak's Palmetto and Silver Service run from New York City to Miami, FL, stopping in Columbia along the way. Station open Daily 5:30am-midnight. Greyhound Bus Lines 2015 Gervais St Columbia, SC 29204 803-256-6465 803-771-0159 800-231-2222 http://www.greyhound.com/home/TicketCenter/locations.asp?state=sc Located just northwest of the University of South Carolina. Station open Daily 24 hours.
Rental Cars: Car rental agencies are situated at the airport and throughout metro Columbia. Public Transportation: Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (CMRTA) 1745 Sumter St Columbia, SC 29201 803-255-7100 http://www.gocmrta.com/ Buses run every 30-60 minutes Monday through Friday. Many routes run on an abbreviated schedule on Saturdays and not at all on Sundays. Standard One-Way Fare: $1.50, transfers are free on request 10 Ride Pass: $10.00 Children 10 and under ride free with an adult on weekends. Taxi Services: Blue Ribbon Taxi 6400 N Main St Columbia, SC 29180 803-754-8163 Capitol City Cab 415 S Assembly St Columbia, SC 29201 803-233-8294 Checker Yellow Cab Co, Inc. 1715 12th St Cayce, SC 29033 803-799-3311 Classic Taxi Cab Company PO Box 5183 Columbia, SC 29250 803-348-0662
The State (daily)
1401 Shop Rd
Columbia, SC 29201
Free Times (alternative weekly)
1534 Main St
Columbia, SC 29201
Columbia City Paper (alternative weekly)
701 Gervais St, Ste 150-218
Columbia, SC 29205
Columbia Star (independent weekly)
The Carolina Reporter
Award-winning USC Journalism Department newspaper
USC student newspaper
Conventions & Tourism
Columbia Regional Visitors Center http://www.columbiacvb.com/ 1101 Lincoln St Columbia, SC 29201 803-545-0001 800-264-4884 Fax: 803-545-0013 Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 1pm-5pm Capital City/Lake Murray Country Visitors Center 2184 N Lake Dr Irmo, SC 29063 803-781-5940 866-725-3935 Fax: 803-781-6197 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 1pm-5pm University of South Carolina Visitor Center McKissick Museum 816 Bull St Columbia, SC 29208 http://www.sc.edu/visitorcenter/ email@example.com 803-777-0169 800-922-9755 Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm, Sat 11am-3pm
Although tipping is generally a personal matter, there are some guidelines that prove helpful to travelers. At restaurants, servers typically get 15% of the bill, although 10% acknowledges basic assistance, and 20% awards exceptional service. It is also common now for some restaurants to charge an automatic gratuity of 18% for groups. You should be aware of this possibility before providing an additional tip. Taxi drivers usually fit into similar guidelines by receiving a tip equivalent to 15% of the tab. Often, a dollar tip covers many situations. Bartenders are customarily given $1 per cocktail, hotel maids are provided $1 for each day of a stay, bellhops get about $1 per bag, and a coat-check clerk typically receives $1 as well. The exception is a concierge, who generally receives $5-$10 for standard service (additional assistance suggests more).