The State House

The State House gift shop is OPEN from Open 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday, and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on (most) Saturdays.  Tours will resume on Monday, April 19, 2021.

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.  Tours are limited to 20 people per tour.

State House Tour Schedule

  • Tours will only be conducted at 9:30, 10;30, 11:30, 1;30, 2:30, and 3:30., Monday through Friday.  The chambers (House and Senate) will be closed to tours while in session.
  • 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 20 tour attendees, multiple times must be reserved for the groups.
  • To reserve your tour time, or for more information, please call 803-734-2430.    

     

State House Live! - Virtual Tours

State House Live is your opportunity to see the SC State House remotely and talk with your own virtual tour guide.  This is for any group!

In our live, virtual tours, each group will have a tour guide that will talk about the architecture, history and state government activities that take place in the SC State House. Most tours will include a look at the first floor where the Executive Branch operates and the second floor where the Legislative branch meets, along with many portraits, paintings, and details of the architecture and the building materials.

Tours are available Monday – Friday at 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30. The tour calendar is now open until May 2022. The day after Memorial Day, we will begin taking reservations for the remainder of 2022. 

Tours will be 30 minutes long and offer time for Q&A at the end. Participants can join via Zoom or Google Meet. Teachers can connect their class by joining through the email invitation and projecting it in their classrooms. Participants who will be joining individually will also connect via an email invitation; up to 30 individual logins will be allowed to join in one virtual tour. After calling to make a reservation for your virtual tour, you will receive an email confirmation with the date and time of your virtual tour and the invitation link for Zoom or Google Meet. 

Please call 803-734-2430 for more information or to make your reservation.  

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.  Please see information on our State House Live! virtual tours above, if you are unable to travel at this time.

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

Worksheets

Order Forms

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:

  • Apparel
  • Home Décor
  • Jewelry
  • 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!