Admissions & Information

Purchase tickets, join or renew a museum membership, and/or contact our helpful team with questions.

Man with short beard wears blue shirt with museum logo and hands tickets to woman facing away from camera

Guest using the parking deck (which include accessible parking areas) may enter the museum through the Atrium.


The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Planetarium takes guests on journeys to the deepest reaches of space through exciting astronomy shows, entertaining programs focused on art, history or natural history and even laser shows.

See what's showing

Guests in the planetarium dome look up at projection of the Pillars of Earth on the planetarium dome
Carolina Gallery

This large space is a great area to meet up with fellow guests and it is where many museum events are held. Did you know? You can also rent it out to host your own special event.

Learn More About Event Rentals

Cotton Mill Exchange

Temporarily Located on the 2nd Floor

The museum store is the perfect location to find amazing and unique SC themed gifts.

Learn More About the Museum Shop

Experience Columbia

Columbia, SC is a great place to live and visit! Stop by the Experience Columbia lounge and learn more about the fun and exciting things to do here.

Learn more about Experience Columbia

Lipscomb Gallery

Closed for Renovations

Home to the museum's rotating schedule of art focused exhibitions, this space is currently closed for renovations. But don't worry, there is still lots of South Carolina art to see and experience through the second, third and fourth floor galleries - and even outside! 

Family looks at 3 pieces of art displayed on a wall, including a portrait of Marilyn Monroe
South Carolina State Parks Exhibition

South Carolina is home to variety of amazing park all over the state. Learn more about them and the work of the SC State Parks system.

Learn more South Carolina State Parks

First Floor Restrooms

Elevators & Stairs

Community Gallery

This small gallery sometimes features changing displays on a variety of topics.

Crescent Cafe by The Food Academy

Hungry or looking for a quick snack? Stop by the Cresent Cafe on your next museum visit.

Learn more about the Crescent Cafe

White bread sandwich cut into triangles with ham, tomato, cheese lettuce
Dinosaur Gallery

Guests can see a full-size casts of an Albertosaurus, replicas of a Mastodon and a glyptodont, sabertooth cat fossils, and more.

A mother holding a child looks at her son standing close by as he looks up in awe at a T-Rex skull at the South Carolina State Museum.
Exhibition Gallery

Learn about the rocks and minerals found in South Carolina, plus see a giant amethyst and more.

Prehistoric South Carolina

Learn about ancient sea creatures, like our iconic Megalodon replica, and other animals including mastodons and mammoths that once roamed pre-historic South Carolina.

Gallery at the State Museum with giant shark jaws on display along with life-size Megalodon replica hanging from ceiling
4D Theater

The Rev. Dr. Solomon Jackson Jr 4D Theater offers guest the chance to enjoy immersive film experiences featuring 3D visuals mixed with real world effects.

Young girl gasps in delight as she experiences a show in the in the 4D theater audience at the State Museum.
South Carolina Habitats

This immersive space allows guests to see - and hear - the sites and sounds from habitats found throughout South Carolina.

Wooden walkway in foreground with area behind it painted to appear like a lowcountry South Carolina beach
Second Floor Restrooms

Elevators & Stairs


Discover how agriculture has shaped the past of South Carolina and continues to impact its future.

Communication Technology

See a wide variety of historic communication devices, from large television cameras to the first television sets, and explore how their development impacted industry and society in South Carolina.

Vintage television camera with WNOK-TV written on the side with the CBS 'eye' logo

Discover the story behind this important industry in South Carolina.

Laser Science

Did you know South Carolinian Charles Townes invented the pre-cursor to the laser, called the 'maser'? Learn more about this important innovation, see his Nobel Prize and more.

Sound Science

What's noise got to do with it? Discover the engaging science of sound with this hands-on display!

A Mother with two daughters look at the exhibit entrance which features a large sign with the exhibit title done in a graffiti art style.
South Carolina Industries

Discover stories revealing the impact of innovation and industry on South Carolina and learn more about the people who contributed to its advancement.

Space Science

Learn about important contributions to space exploration made by South Carolinians and see related objects and artifacts, including items used by Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke on his mission to the Moon. 

Learn More About the Apollo 16 exhibition

Open vehicle with two large white seats and gold mesh satellite attached to front and four red capped wheels sits on display with a replica of the moon's surface beneath it.

Learn more about the importance of the mill industry in South Carolina with displays including original machinery, multimedia content, hands-on features and more.


Trace how the development of transportation transformed South Carolina throughout history and a life-size replica of America’s first passenger steam locomotive.

Full size train replica of The Best Friend of Charleston at the State Museum. Shows green train with red wheels and black smoke stack.
Third Floor Restrooms

Elevators & Stairs

Antebellum Period
Boeing Observatory

The Boeing Observatory is home to the historic 1926 Alvan Clark telescope.

Learn More About the Observatory

Observatory Educator Looks Through Alvan Clark Telescope During Solar Observing Hours With Dome Open Above Him Showing Blue Sky
Charleston Courtyard
Civil War & Reconstruction

This gallery explores one of the most turbulent periods in South Carolina history and its aftermath. 


Large antique cannon on exhibition with photo backdrop of a destroyed Main St. in Columbia, SC c. 1865
Exploration & Settlement

Travel back 14,000 years to learn about early Native American cultures and discover the history of colonial settlement

Fort Moultrie

Learn about the Battle of Sullivan's Island and see a replica of Ft. Moultrie.

Fort Moultrie replica on display
H.L. Hunley Replica

Discover the story behind the H.L. Hunley and learn about how it met its demise during the Civil War.

Mill Life

Find out what life was like for mill workers in South Carolina during the turn of the century.

Recent Acquisitions Gallery

This changing exhibition gallery is currently home to, The Story of Us: Sharing Our Past, Building Our Future.

Learn More About this Exhibition

Life size antique train engine car is suspended on a lift as it is moved from the back of a flatbed truck to the ground.
Revolutionary War

Trace the history of the Revolutionary War and its impact in our state with a life-size replica of Fort Moultrie, a selection of firearms from the period and more.

SC 2nd Rgt. Flag
Robert B. Ariail Historic Telescope Gallery

Learn about this important collection featuring more than 200 telescopes and instruments dating back to 1730.

Row of antique telescopes on exhibition at the State Museum
Rural Life
Fourth Floor Restrooms

Elevators & Stairs

Atrium Cotton Mill Exchange Museum Store Lipscomb Gallery BlueCross BlueShieldof South CarolinaPlanetarium Admissions & Information Carolina Gallery SC ParksExhibition Experience Columbia Display Main Entrance SchoolGroupEntrance Rev. Dr. Solomon Jackson, Jr. 4D Theater ExhibitionGallery DinosaurGallery South Carolina Habitats Prehistoric South Carolina Geology Community Gallery School Lunch Room Wheelchair Accessible Entrance to the Planetarium Crescent Cafe Textiles Forestry Optical Illusions Communication Technology Laser Science Space Science Sound Science South Carolina Industries Transportation Agriculture F o r t Moultrie H.L. Hunley Replica Rural Life Boeing Observatory Observatory Classroom Recent AcquisitionsGallery Mill Life Exploration & Settlement RevolutionaryWar AntebellumPeriod Charleston Courtyard Palmetto Gallery Robert B. Ariail Historic Telescope Gallery Civil War &Reconstruction Native American History Theater