Columbia rated high for retired rowers

Columbia has been picked as a top retirement spot for rowing and sculling enthusiasts.

Ranked fifth in a list of 11 U.S. cities by Rower's Almanac, Columbia was noted for its 2.5-mile stretch of the Broad River downtown and 41 miles of rowable water on Lake Murray.

Rating factors included housing costs, state income tax rates, number of restaurants, theatres, libraries and hospitals, types of water and rowing available, number of boathouses and regattas, and the size of the local rowing population.

The Columbia profile on says there are more than 100 rowers in the area and highlights the Columbia Rowing Club.

Georgetown University, Bucknell University and Syracuse University are among the colleges that have sent squads to Columbia for training.

According to a release by the magazine, the idea for the survey was born when a retiring master rower set out looking for a "small, pedestrian-friendly town, warm weather and walk-able access to a rowing venue." When he couldn't find it, he contacted Rower’s Almanac who took that initial criteria and expanded upon it.

The entire list: 1) Sarasota, Fla.; 2) Austin, Texas; 3) Cape Coral, Fla.; 4) Raleigh, N.C.; 5) Columbia; 6) DeLand, Fla., tied with Tempe Ariz.; 7) Klamath Falls, Ore.; (8 Natchitoches, La.; 9) Lakeport, Calif.; 10) Greenwood, N.Y.