Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South Carolina
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I've lived in the south all my life and absolutely love it here. The people are fantastic and the weather is terrific. If you haven't spent the summer down here, I highly recommend a visit in July or August before committing to a year round home here.
Fall, spring are gorgeous and winter will be a walk in the park for you. However, the humidity that comes with the heat in the summer would be an adjustment you would make for the months of May through September. I can take 100 degree temps, but the humidity sucks the life out of you and I worry that you wouldn't enjoy being outside in Columbia area during the summer. Even just an hour north here in the Charlotte metro area, we have slightly more moderate temps that make a big difference. We enjoy being outside most months of the year.
Columbia is a nice town with the university right in the downtown area, I have friends who have lived on Lake Murray and love it. I'm not super familiar with trails etc, you might check out South Carolina State Parks on the internet for more info. I know there are plenty, just not sure exactly what they offer. Columbia is far enough south that you wouldn't have snow like you would in the Charlotte area (once or twice a year) or even Atlanta. I would suggest that if you head down this way to look around that you also check out the area around Clemson, SC - Lake Hartwell and also Lake Norman in the Charlotte area. These areas are terrific and you are close enough to make trips to the mountains (Blue Ridge/Smokies) or the beach (Charleston, SC, Hilton Head and Carolina Beach, Wilmington etc.
North of Atlanta is also beautiful country. South Carolina is much better for taxes than some of the others, you might look into that also. Good luck - what a fun project!