West Columbia is a suburban city in Central South Carolina, part of the Columbia metropolitan area. The city is known for it historical appeal and low cost of living which have made it an enticing option for retirees. Additionally, the city is close proximity to plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, while still being close to Columbia's city center.
Geography & Climate
The climate type in West Columbia is classified as humid subtropical, which means summers are hot and humid, while winters are typically mild and wet. Residents can expect more rain than the national average and over 200 sunny days a year.
West Columbia is situated just west of the confluence of the Saluda, Congaree, and Broad Rivers. The northern part of West Columbia has plenty of forests and hills mixed with residential neighborhoods, while the southern half is home to their downtown area. The larger city of Columbia's downtown lies just across the rivers to the east.
Recreation, Culture & Entertainment
West Columbia is home to many outdoor attractions and amenities such as the West Columbia Riverwalk and the Palmetto Outdoor Center. Here, residents can participate in many recreational activities such as hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Not to mention, there is the Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden.
The city is also known for its historical appeal which can be found in their many antique shops and malls. One notable landmark of the city is the South Carolina State Museum.
West Columbia is within 10 minutes of Columbia which has even more dining, shopping, and entertainment options, and Charlotte is about an hour and a half away, providing an opportunity for day trips and weekend getaways in the capital city of North Carolina.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The overall cost of living in West Columbia is less than both state and national averages. This is primarily due to the significantly low cost of homes and housing, at almost half the national average. Grocery and transportation costs are also below average, while health care and utilities are just above the average.
South Carolina is one of the most tax-friendly states in the nation. Social Security benefits are exempt from taxation, and residents who are 65+ can exclude up to $10,000 of other forms of retirement income. Homeowners who are active adults may qualify to exclude the first $50,000 on their home from local property taxes. The sales tax rate in South Carolina is at 6 percent and West Columbia adds a 1 percent tax on that rate.
There are several hospitals and medical centers within a 10-mile radius of West Columbia, and four of these are highly rated by U.S. News. They are Lexington Medical Center, Palmetto Health Baptist, Palmetto Health Richland, and Providence Hospital-Columbia.