The SC State Museum is South Carolina’s largest and most comprehensive museum. The State Museum shares the history of South Carolina through rich and diverse collections displayed through interactive and engaging exhibitions. Visitors catch a glimpse of South Carolina’s past, present and future through a variety of exhibitions and educational programs.
The South Carolina State Museum’s collection currently contains more than 70,000 artifacts. Plus, the State Museum is undergoing a multidimensional expansion project called Windows to New Worlds which is scheduled to open this year! Guests can look forward to an on-site and online observatory, a 55-foot digital planetarium dome and theater, a 4D multisensory theatre, an outdoor telescope viewing terrace and more!
Featured Event at the South Carolina State Museum:
Solar Observing in the Boeing Observatory
Open Daily | Hours: Mon - Fri 10AM - 4PM, Saturday 11AM - 4PM, Sunday 1 - 4PM
Get an up-close look at the Sun through our solar scope. All observatory activities are dependent on clear skies. It is possible that the observatory may be in use for scheduled school classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:30AM and 1:45PM. Call ahead to be sure the observatory is open! We hope you will make plans to experience this unique activity at the South Carolina State Museum. Click here for additional information.
South Carolina State Museum - Columbia, SC
South Carolina State Museum Exhibits:
Museum Highlights Tour
Do you feel that there is so much to see that you don't know where to begin? Wish you had a personal tour guide? Join a Saturday walk-in tour. Docents will lead 60 minute tours of the museum at 11AM and again at 1PM. Tours are free with museum general admission or membership. For more information about the South Carolina State Museum, please call 803-898-4921
The Civil War in South Carolina
The South Carolina State Museum presents a new, permanent exhibit on the war in South Carolina. This special exhibit invites visitors to explore the Civil War experiences of the people in South Carolina. Current Civil War Exhibitions include The Coming of the Civil War, Soldiers of the Palmetto State and Naval Warfare and Failed Attempts to Take Charleston. Plus, the State Museum plans to unveil updates to its H.L. Hunley exhibition which are based on new archaeological evidence.
Windows to New Worlds
The Windows to New Worlds renovation project will position the South Carolina State Museum on the cutting edge of education, particularly in the critical areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Its innovative combination of facilities and services will create a complex unique, not only to South Carolina, but to the nation.
The expanded and renovated State Museum will be the first of its kind in the U.S. to have under one roof an on-site and online observatory and classroom, a 55-foot digital planetarium dome and theater, a 4-D multi-sensory theater, plus an outdoor viewing terrace.
A world-class vintage telescope and astronomical instruments collection has been donated to the museum directly as a result of this project. Teachers across the state will be able to remotely access the telescope from their classrooms offering enhanced distance learning capabilities.
Centrally located for maximum accessibility to the state’s population and its visitors, this facility will annually attract between 210,000 and 260,000 participants of all ages, from kindergarten pupils to parents and grandparents.
A non-recurring investment of $21 million will erect and equip these facilities, which then will be supported by earned revenues and continued private donations.
South Carolina State Museum Collections:
The SC State Museum’s collection contains more than 70,000 artifacts that are featured in four disciplines:
South Carolina Art
The SC State Museum features amazing pieces of art ranging from traditional portraiture and decorative arts to the most up-to-the minute contemporary art by South Carolina’s finest artists. Museum exhibitions offer visitors a large, clean, cool space for quiet contemplation and visual stimulation.
Complex geologic history and sea and land environments that have interacted over a long period of time have made South Carolina one of the most biologically diverse areas of the United States. The South Carolina State Museum has two new shark models on display in the natural history gallery!
Science and Technology
Visitors are invited to explore historic and contemporary exhibits and activities on the science and technology floor. Learn about transportation, communications, manufacturing, natural resources industries and more on this floor. Enjoy science related to history as well as hands-on science principles activities!
The SC State Museum’s history collection features more than 45,000 objects and historic images related to the Palmetto State’s cultural heritage. Visitors will enjoy more than 14,000 years of South Carolina history as they view objects ranging from some of the oldest stone tools found in the Palmetto State to the first automobile mass-produced in South Carolina during the 1920’s.
South Carolina State Museum Address & Contact Information:
301 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201
South Carolina State Museum Hours:
Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00AM – 5:00PM
Sundays from 1:00PM – 5:00PM
The State Museum is open seven days a week Memorial Day through Labor Day and the month of December.
Museum is closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
South Carolina State Museum Admission:
General Admission Fees
Adults (13 – 61): $7.00
Seniors (62 and over): $6.00
Children (3-12): $5.00
Infants 2 and under: Free
Military Discount: $1.00 Off Admission
Blockbuster exhibits have an additional admission charge.
The State Museum is fully accessible to the disabled. Free wheelchairs available on first-come, first-serve basis.
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