Want to find a college town seeped in Southern charm, history, and fantastic cuisine? Columbia is both the largest city in South Carolina and the state capital. In the past twenty years, the city has undertaken a major downtown revitalization project, resulting in the lively Congaree Vista district and the Colonial Center, a large concert and event venue. Students at Columbia colleges and universities interested in water sports are in luck: Columbia's location at the confluence of two rivers makes it one of the best spots for kayaking and canoeing in the United States.
Columbia colleges and universities run the gamut from large public schools to smaller private institutions. The University of South Carolina, the biggest of Columbia's colleges and universities, is a public institution located in downtown Columbia. It is renowned as a center for research, and has an acclaimed international business program. Allen University is a small, private, historically black school, while Columbia College is a well-respected private women's liberal arts institution.