The State House
Strategically centered in downtown Columbia, the South Carolina State House is the seat of state government in SouthCarolina. The State House is home to the Governor's office, as well as the House and Senate chambers.
Free guided and self-guided tours of the State House are available Monday - Friday. Visitors may enter the State House through the public entrance which is on the Sumter Street side of the building.
- Download our on-site tour brochure.
- Click here for a virtual tour of the State House.
- View our State House Tour Video and learn more!
State House Tour Schedule
- While the legislature is in session (January - May), tours are offered every half hour beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m. Tours are not offered at 12 p.m. or 12:30 p.m. during these months.
- Following session (June - December), tours are available every hour on the half hour beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m.. Tours are not offered at 12:30 p.m. during these months.
- The State House is also open for tours each Saturday, except on the Saturdays after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tours are given at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Visitors can also tour at their own pace using brochures available in the State House.
- Walk-in tours are welcomed and encouraged.
- Please call ahead if you plan on bringing a group larger than 10. If you have more than the maximum of 50 tour attendees, multiple times must be reserved for the groups.
- To reserve your tour time, or for more information, please call 803-734-2430.
School Group & Teacher Information
If you are a teacher and would like to schedule a tour for your class, please contact our tour office at 803-734-2430.
We have provided the following resources for your convenience. Please download these items prior to your tour as they will assist you in moving efficiently throughout the building.
Required Tour Material
State House Gift Shop
The State House Gift Shop provides tourists and other guests with an opportunity to buy an array of items reminiscent of South Carolina to help commemorate their trip to the capitol. Whether adorned with our notable palmetto/crescent logo or the official state seal of South Carolina, the gift shop contains an assortment of items in many categories including, but not limited to:
- Home Décor
- Holiday-Themed Items
- Professional Gifts
The State House Gift Shop is also the only provider of South Carolina’s official dinnerware, made by Vietri. Regardless of the occasion, the gift shop is a wonderful retail outlet to purchase South Carolina merchandise.
Contact the Gift Shop at 803-734-0865.
Open 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday, and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday.
State House History
Strategically centered within downtown Columbia, the current South Carolina State House is the result of construction which lasted half a century-spanning from 1855 to 1907. Built primarily out of blue granite, South Carolina’s official state stone, the State House is completely fireproof allowing it to safely store many important state documents and house two of our three branches of state government.
Both the executive and legislative branches meet in the lower and upper State House lobbies, respectively. The building contains several unique architectural features that can be observed from both the exterior and interior, including a false dome centered within the main lobby and an outer dome made of copper centered to the outside of the building. Between the years of 1995 and 1998 an extensive renovation took place and it was during this time that the State House became reinforced with seismic isolators to protect the historic building from earthquakes. Many other functional and cosmetic changes took place during this time as well, in order for the State House to match as closely as possible the original architectural plans.
We invite you to walk the 100 year-old floors of this building where you will be captivated by the stories of the past and will be able to witness history in the making for years to come. Watch the tour video here and learn more!