Living Here Guide

The Vista or Five Points? No, the Vista and Five Points

Some say it’s a different crowd that frequents Columbia’s Vista district from those who prefer to hang out in the city’s long-established Five Points entertainment area.

For 100 years, Five Points has been a diverse Columbia shopping and commercial district, catering to historic surrounding neighborhoods such as Shandon, Old Shandon and the University of South Carolina.

The area was named Five Points for five-pronged intersection of Harden Street, Devine Street and Santee Avenue that comes to a point in the district. The area fosters shopping, dining and recreational venues by day and becomes an entertainment and nightlife venue, highlighting a large college population, by night.

The Vista is steeped in the city’s historical moorings of once-vibrant residential areas such as Ward One and its light industrial, mercantile and transportive past. The 800-acre district afforded a view of the Congaree River from the downtown and university areas and was an area where businesses that dealt in transportation (including rail), storage (including warehouses) and light manufacturing gravitated.

With much of the area’s architecture preserved, the Vista began transforming in the 1990s to an eclectic enclave of shops, restaurants, businesses and nightlife that attracts patrons from around the state and region.

Roddie Burris