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“Something for everyone”

South Carolina State Museum
Ranked #5 of 109 things to do in Columbia
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The South Carolina State Museum is a state-of-the-art facility featuring four floors of permanent and changing exhibits, a digital dome planetarium, 4D interactive theater and an observatory. The State Museum, the largest and most comprehensive museum in the state, is located along the banks of the Congaree River in downtown Columbia, South Carolina.
Iowa City, Iowa
Level 6 Contributor
486 reviews
127 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 172 helpful votes
“Something for everyone”
Reviewed August 19, 2012

We were surprised that we spent 4 hours there. A great way to learn about the state of SC. There was really something for everyone to see/do including hands on exhibits which I think were for the kids but we enjoyed them too. If you're thinking of seeing the SC Confederate Relic room and Military museum, too, buy the combo ticket. You have to do a lot of reading to discover it exists.

Visited August 2012
Thank Bountiful-IA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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480 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Orangeburg, South Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“good informative museum..”
Reviewed August 16, 2012

Great place to spend a few hours..exhibits change often so its worth repeat trips..located close to Vista area so good eats and drinks are right there by the river

Visited February 2012
Thank lowcountry803
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Titanic exhibit was okay”
Reviewed July 29, 2012

We went to the South Carolina State Museum to see the Titanic museum. We were really excited but I would have to recommend that someone go to one of the titanic museums in other places if one would like to see more than a few items and many large photographs of what the spaces aboard might have looked like. We were really excited to see the exhibit because the museum has had great exhibits in the past that actually had a number of artifacts, that was not true for the titanic exhibit. I just felt a let down. the price to gain entrance is rather expensive ( you can go to the exhibit in Gatlinburg for less) and yes you can see other exhibits in the rest of the museum but the quality of those exhibits isn't what they were in the past.
THe way the titanic exhibit is arranged is rather nice we took about an hour and a half to see it all but it just was not as much as I expected.

Other items in the rest of the museum need updating or maintenance the old phones on the third floor ( I think) only one of them work so it is not a true interative experience for children or anyone else that wants to speak into it.
The second floor has like a natural scenes from South Carolina the areas are almost exactly as they were when my 12 year old was three. Many of the animals (such as the birds) that they have stuffed and are using in these exhibits have lost all of their feathers and look kind of gruesome. What is supposed to happen is that you are to look at the pictures of the animals besides the exhibits and then find the animals in the exhibits the birds are in such bad condition that you can recognize that they are birds but not that they resemble the pictures at all.

There is an abstract art display in the first floor. THat was really enjoyable.

I still think if one is going to the museum mainly for the Titanic exhibit, it would be better to go somewhere else. It will cost less (we paid $76 for a family of 4) and there would no doubt be more actual items from the titanic. There are sad, interesting tales of people who were onboard posted throughout the exhibit but I just felt some of that information you could have learned already if you are a true Titanic buff, as I am, I think you may actually want to go somewhere where there are more artifacts on display.

This is a good museum but it needs some updating.
We go to museums all over so maybe that has colored my views somewhat but I was disappointed. Not a good value for the price at all.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank M R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, SC
Level 6 Contributor
251 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Titanic exhibit is impressive!”
Reviewed July 23, 2012

Wow! The Titanic exhibit currently at the SC State Museum is awesome! When you check in, you receive a boarding pass of an actual Titanic passenger. There is a little biographical information on it so you know why your person was on the ship and whether they were in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd class. That really makes this exhibit personal and fun. You also find out at the end whether your passenger survived or not. The artifacts are wonderful. It is worht the cost of admission.

Visited July 2012
5 Thank sciencerules03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
224 reviews
105 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Surprised it was so well done”
Reviewed July 21, 2012

We were passing thorugh and looking for things to do and stopped by here. We were very surprised at how interesting this state museum was. There are several floors of displays that really transcend just SC, and the displays cover very many areas of interest. It has manufacturing, history, geology, archeology, and too many other areas to mention. They even had a play room for small children that our 18 month old twins really enjoyed. The price was cheap and for another two bucks you could get into the small civil war museum down the hall from this museum. We have recommended this to anyone we know heading that way.

Visited October 2011
Thank Tony D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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